This is a commercial machine - and one with a roller - but Hayter has finished the die-cast aluminium deck in gun-metal grey. It means, in the tough contractor-environment, it isn't going to look six years old after just two weeks of use.
Hayter has given the Harrier reinforced handles for extra strength and a crash bar at the front to protect the deck from damage. The front wheels are plastic. That may sound a bit of a let down, but they do have bearing centres and won't cost a fortune to replace.
At the rear, as you would expect, is a split-differential ribbed roller. "The roller is good. It means you can get close to the edges and the mower doesn't ground and cause damage," comments Smith. He also finds it a well-balanced and manoeuvrable machine. "I went round the circular pond and back on the same cut very easily. It picks up very nicely."
As with previous editions, this 56 can be used with grass bag or as a rear discharge mower. One thing we did notice, however, is that debris builds up on the ridge holding the catcher in place.
Height adjustment is via a single lever and is counterbalanced, but we wish the handlebar was also adjustable. Dowling finds them tall but they are not a problem for Smith or Creber. "I find it the right level to give good leverage," says Creber.
Engine: B&S 850 series OHV
Cutting width: 56cm
Cutting height: 13-60mm
Deck: Aluminium with polymer liner
Drive speed: 2.7mph
Grass catcher: Textile 70 litres
List price (ex VAT): £1,008.89
Contact: Hayter on 01279 723444
- Mark Creber, senior head gardener, CWGC Brookwood Cemetery
- Rebecca Dowling, gardener/caretaker first class, CWGC Brookwood Cemetery
- Bryan Smith, gardener/caretaker first class, CWGC Brookwood Cemetery