Julian Rogers Home DIY

Atco ride on mower tow hitch

I have an Atco ride on mower. I would not recommend it. When it was just over a year old, I was picking up some leaves near a beech tree and picked up some beech nuts (or “mast”). These rattled around inside the machine and broke the plastic blades of an inaccessible cooling fan for the fluid transmission system which resulted in a £300 repair bill. I removed  covers round the cutter deck which is, I suppose, a safety device but has this terminal side effect of trapping debris thrown out by the cutting deck.

The grass box is a severe irritation as it cannot be removed when full without spilling all the grass. Sometimes, you want to dump grass and leaves over a wall rather than in a pile at the side of a lawn. The discharge into the grass box (which, incidentally, is falling to pieces) is through an internal duct. If this gets blocked, it is very inconvenient to unblock. The cut is indifferent and you have to be very careful with the loud pedal as releasing it suddenly tips the mower forward and makes a deep crescent shape cut in the grass. In my opinion, this mower is only suitable for rough grass (I don't mean long grass!)  (Fortunately, we do have quite a bit of this type of grass but...) I have no criticism of the Briggs and Stratton motor.

I wish I had my old MTD mower still. This has removable grass bags and an external duct for the cut grass. However, in fifteen years it did require a new trans-axle, a new cutting deck, several new bearings for the blades and a large number of new drive belts. The one to the trans-axle was a real pain to fit. But it did have a towing eye which the Atco does not. What sort of garden w hich is big enough for a ride on doesn't need a tractor and trailer? Fortunately, I did manage to make a bolt on tow hitch.

These are the covers (one each side) I removed - see below.

Grass box cracking up. This causes the grass box to not locate properly allowing grass to be blown out the sides.

The back of the mower is too flimsy to have a towing eye bolted to it. Fortunately, there are two substantial “horns” which support the grass box. These have a handy hole and a little peg which can locate the tow hitch which is made from 5 mm thick steel angle a 5 mm plate welded together.