Leading from the front

by Andy Bryenton

Mowing a wide, flat, open space — such as a sports field or empty paddock — is only a matter of brute power. In such conditions a wide cutting deck and a big motor are the key to success. But what if you want to compact that power and wide swathe into a machine that can cope with the real world — a world of obstacles, garden beds, kid’s toys and ornamental shade trees? That’s when you need to think outside the box.

The ability to manoeuvre a small mower is all about articulation, but when you bump up the size to that of a serious zero-turn mower — the kind you’ll need for any serious lifestyle block or farm — the main issue becomes similar to that found in motor racing.

With an open-wheeled race car it’s easy to hit the apex of every corner, because you can see where the wheel is tracking.

Using this principle, Grasshopper moved the cutting deck of their Frontmount 600, 700 and 900 series mowers to the fore, allowing the big blades to be applied with finesse. The operator, mounted up and behind the cutting implement, can see exactly where the metal meets the lawn. 

In the backyard, there’s another advantage to having a low-slung cutting deck out front.

The overgrowth beneath hedges, shrubs and fences used to be a job for the weed whacker — now it can be despatched effortlessly from the comfy seat of the Grasshopper.

Once again, a direct view of the ultra-slim low profile deck means you can easily gauge by eye where to place those blades.

Even on the entry level 626T this means close to one-and-a-half metres of cutting width, so the job will be done in a snap.

Armed with a range of motors from a 700cc V-twin through to a no-nonsense triple cylinder diesel, there’s never a shortage of power under the Grasshopper’s rear-mounted hood.

The engine balances the deck at the front for stability on uneven ground, while guide wheels keep the whole unit steady and keep the blades ‘floating’ at the correct height over the turf.

When it’s time to clean up, a front deck means ease of access for your water blaster too. Now that spring is definitely here, it might be time to say goodbye to that old push mower and step up to a definitive lawn-care solution. Talk to your local Grasshopper dealer about a trial and see the difference.