Mountfield Mower Test Drive
When I first laid eyes on the Mountfield self-propelled mower I knew I hadn’t seen one before. I could instantly tell it wasn’t a cheap import and I was suspicious that it might be English. After a bit of research I discovered it was from the UK and Mountfield has been one of the top brands there for more than 50 years.
Mountfield started manufacturing in 1962 and has been a local favourite in the UK ever since. There are a few great features on this mower I have not seen before.
The quality, ever reliable and easy starting Honda GCV190 engine powers this mower and is proven for this type of application and for the punishment it will endure in commercial use. The engine is mounted on a solid-looking, galvanised and powder-coated steel and aluminium chassis with rubber bushes dampening the engine vibrations greatly.
There are three operating positions for the handlebars to suit any operator and a folding position for storage or transport. Switching between these positions only takes a couple of seconds with the quick release locking mechanism on the handle.
I really like the variable speed feature; unlike some others that have single or 2-3 gear speeds the Mountfield has fully adjustable multiple speeds activated from a lever on the top left of the handlebars. Once in motion the speed lever can be adjusted, much like feathering a throttle. This enables the operator to adjust speeds with ease to suit various sites and terrain, which also provides a much greater range and choice of speeds.
The 70-litre catcher is simple to install and remove. It has a large single handle in the centre and when lined up and pushed against the rear chute flap it snaps into place automatically lifting the flap, which does not have to be lifted manually like others. This is a single-handed operation and the same for removal – a much quicker and easier setup than I used in the past.
The single height adjustment has seven positions from 25-77mm. It is easy to adjust between positions but it is a bit tricky to see which actual position is chosen.
The Mountfield SP555 V comes with a mulching plug and rear discharge chute, which provides three cutting choices. An exceptional cut was achieved while catching, mulching and chuting the grass. It was one of the best mulching finishes I have seen with little to no residue.
When I read that Mountfield claims the SP555 V produces a comparable cut to a cylinder mower I laughed, but after operating it I would have to say it’s not far off. This is thanks to their Twinclip blade technology and deck design. I have not seen a blade setup like this before. The single solid blade has two cutting surfaces on each face – upper and lower – effectively giving four cutting edges at two different heights. The first blade cuts the higher grass down before the second blade makes the finished cut. Not only does this produce an exceptional cut, but it also chops the clippings finer ensuring a neater finish while mulching and packing more grass into the catcher before emptying is required.
It is not often I get excited about a new walk-behind mower on the market because I thought I’d seen everything, but the Mountfield SP555 V is something a little different. It has all the features and build quality of a commercial machine and exceeded my expectations on cut quality and ease of use. It is very well priced for a machine of its capabilities at $1299 and has an impressive 2-year warranty.
I think the Mountfield SP555 V 53cm Self Propelled Petrol Lawnmower is well worth a look for any contractor or homeowner with a large lawn.
Test Drive as appeared in Landscape Contractor Magazine, words Andrew Tulloch, images Jamie Gray