Cub Cadet CC53SPBE-V pedestrian mower

Cub Cadet CC53SPBE-V pedestrian mower - image: HW
Cub Cadet CC53SPBE-V pedestrian mower - image: HW
The horticulture students at Derby College are quick to spot the Cub Cadet. "It's a mower with a hi-viz vest," yells one from the other side of the lawn. They quickly name it "The Wasp" and decide that being visible when mowing is a good idea from the health and safety point of view.

This 21in mower sits at the top end of Cub Cadet's Triloy Series. What sets it apart from others - other than its brilliant yellow livery - is the composition of the deck. It is zinc-coated steel with an aluminium front and rear end, and high-strength polypropylene composite impact panels for durability.

In fact, materials technology is packed into this mower. The low-vibration handle, for instance, contains a gel of polymers and synthetic hydrocarbons and the blades are Teflon-coated.

A Briggs & Stratton 750 EX Series DOV powers the mower. It's Ready Start but what is really appreciated is the key start. "It's a dream. There's no cord to break," says one student. Actually, there is a cord, but just for back-up in the event of a flat battery.

"It's a good piece of kit," says Baldwin. "It has a comfortable drive speed. It's variable so you find the pace to suit you and the conditions. And it gives a nice cut. It certainly picks up well and it is simple to use - not much to go wrong."

All the adjustments you need are quick and easy to make. The handlebar can sit in one of three positions. It can also be folded over for storage or transport. Cutting height adjustment is central via a soft-grip lever. When it comes to servicing we find that we need a screwdriver to access the air filter.

There is no shortage of attention to detail on this mower. The aluminium front end has a rake to guide grass towards the blade for a cleaner cut. The 80-litre grass bag has a "bag full" indicator. A mulch kit is supplied with the mower and there is a deck wash nozzle for cleaning after use.

Engine: Briggs & Stratton 750 EX Series DOV
Capacity: 160cc with electric start
Nominal power: 2.8kW at 2,900rpm
Drive: Six speeds + blade brake clutch
Cutting width: 53cm (21in)
Cutting height: 28-92mm adjustable (central in six positions)
Cutting type: Cut, collect, mulch
Housing: Zinc-coated steel/aluminium/polypropylene composite
Grass catcher box: Soft bag, hard top, 80 litres
Warranty: One-year commercial, three-year domestic conditional
List price: £679 including VAT
Tel: Barrus - 01869 363636

Tested This Issue

Viking MB 756 YC

Cub Cadet CC53SPBE-V

Masport 800AL

Masport 500AL

Makita PLM4631

Makita PLM4626

The Reviewer - Mike Baldwin, director of learning, Broomfield Campus, Derby College

The walk-behind wheeled rotary mower is the backbone of many machinery fleets and often a first choice for anyone with small or awkward areas of amenity grass. Lightweight and easy to pop into a van, these mowers are loved by garden contractors and in municipal spheres they are used for trimming up after the ride-ons have flown past.

With plenty of options, such as collect, side or rear discharge or mulch, wheeled rotaries find work in locations as different as cemeteries, highway roundabouts, newly germinating sports pitches and back lawns. At the Broomfield Campus of Derby College, where we held our test, walk-behind rotary mowers are used around beds and borders, along verges and in between trees.

We look at new models from four firms. Viking, the mowing side of Stihl, is an increasingly recognised name in professional grounds care circles as well as providing a wide range of domestic lawnmowers. We test the company's latest premium mower for commercial use. It is the most powerful and most expensive of the bunch, but what will our tester make of it?

We also look at a self-propelled and push mowers from Makita. Joining us for the first time we have Masport and Cub Cadet. While all three brands submit what appear very normal lawnmowers, we find each has something to set it apart from the others.

In the test, we were assisted by horticulture students undertaking an assessment of machinery for ease-of-use and health and safety considerations. Conditions on the day were cloudy but dry.

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