Tips for buying a new ride-on mower

Lucy Nichollsin Machinery & Mechanics

When it comes to purchasing a new ride-on mower, there are many manufacturers and models currently available. Whether you require 2wd or 4wd, petrol or diesel, ground-tip or high-tip, there are lots of options. But, what should you be looking at? Les Malin, Managing Director of Etesia UK answers some common questions.

Etesia Hydro

Q1. Will a ride-on mower cut and collect in the wet and leave a cut comparable to a pedestrian machine?

The obvious answer is some will, while some will not, but the ones that can will be far quicker over a large area compared to a pedestrian mower. However, there is still a need for smaller pedestrian machines, due to access and transport etc. When it comes to cut and collect systems, Etesia is the innovator of every other machine you see on the market today. The French based company created a patented system in the late 1980's and quite simply, the system is unrivalled. Where models such as our Hydro 80 or Bahia ride-on mowers are useful, is small access points such as gates etc. The British climate is notoriously wet, and on most days when it hasn't rained, the grass may still be damp, so it's important to have a machine that is up to the job of cutting and collecting in the wet. The Etesia Professional ride-on mower range have been designed and developed especially for these conditions. They will pick up wet grass clippings and even leaves in the autumn and have been designed to never clog and everything is fully automated.

Q2. Can you empty the grass box easily without leaving the seat?

All Etesia ride-on mowers have the option of emptying the grass box directly from the driver's seat, without ever having to leave the machine. In our larger Buffalo, H100 and H124 models, you can empty the grass box up to 1.24m above the ground which is very useful if you need to empty grass clippings into a skip or hi-tip vehicle for recycling. Unlike competitor machines, they are designed to be able to tip the heaviest of loads without needing additional counterweights to aid stability. This reduces the overall weight of the machine. The most notable benefit is the fact that Etesia machines do not require any additional accessories to unblock them when emptying the machines. Everything is automatic so no accessories or rattling of levers are required - you can simply cut, collect and empty the grass box all while sitting on the machine

Q3. Can I cut and collect and mulch with the same machine?

Mulch cutting has become very popular over the years. Predominately, it's used as a time-saving form of grass cutting as there is no need to collect clippings or debris and empty. There are also other benefits as mulching can often mean 'greener' grass, particularly in times of drought, as the nutrients are put back into the soil after a cut. Most of the Etesia machines have the option of being able to cut and collect or mulch - it really depends on the users' preference. Just remember the golden rule when mulch cutting and only cut a third of the grass height in a single cut.

Q4. Will a ride-on mower cut high grass?

We do sell a range of Attila brushcutters which have been specifically designed to cut rough grass or brambles and have been known for 'what-ever' they can push over, they can cut', however our ride-on mowers are an affordable solution for taming high grass paddocks and fields, meaning that one machine can be used for a multiple of different tasks.

Etesia Buffalo

Q5. Will I be able to fit attachments to a ride-on mower or will I need a tractor?

That really depends on the type of attachments you would like to fit. However, Etesia also sell a range of attachments from scarifiers, snow plough, sand spreader, weeding brush and also a street sweeper which means that one ride-on mower really can be a 365-days-a-year workhorse.

Q6. Will a ride-on mower effectively collect fallen leaves?

Autumn is a busy time in the garden and collecting and disposing of fallen leaves can be a big job. There is no faster or better way to collect those fallen leaves than with a Etesia ride-on mower. Another benefit of using a ride-on mower is that the leaves will be shredded which means you will get more leaves in the grass box and composting will be accelerated.

Q7. Are ride-on mowers safe to use?

When choosing a ride-on mower, ensure it has added safety benefits for the user. You need to consider if you are working on slopes, then it will be worth looking at a model with a differential lock for extra stability on slopes or uneven ground. Etesia is the only manufacturer to offer 4wd and or differential lock across the whole range of ride-on's with mid mount cutting decks. Vibration is also a big consideration. Etesia machines are rigorously tested in our state-of-the-art factory in France to meet all EU regulations. We also publish all of these figures on our website. It's also worth noting that vibration isn't just a health hazard for the user, but also an indicator of machine efficiency and design. Etesia avoids vibration by fitting correctly balanced components which also has the added benefit of lasting longer. We still have users of our first generation H100 model that is over 30 years old!

Q8. Will the manufacturer arrange a free, no obligation demonstration on our own site?

For the past 30 years, the Etesia slogan has always been 'Seeing is believing'. For That reason, we also recommend a free, no obligation demonstration to put our machines to the test on your own site. This can be organised by contacting us directly or speaking to one of dealers local to you.

Q9. Will I be able to buy spare parts easily?

Etesia UK holds vast stocks of spare parts for machines dating back to the 1980's. Selling to the professional market means obtaining spare parts, which is very important to the end user. Consumables are normally off the shelf and we pick 98% of orders consistently. It is only usually obscure items that may catch us out. Blades and belts are consumable items and will always need to be replaced from time-to-time. If your local dealer hasn't got the spare part you require, we can usually get it direct from France in no time at all. In addition to here in the UK, we also work with Kramp who stock many of the faster moving items and can supply dealers on their fantastic overnight service, which benefits from longer opening hours during harvest periods.

For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit

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Machinery & mechanics