e aluminium housing might be light in weight, but die-cast production has ensured this deck is strong. It is reinforced by a sheet steel liner and guaranteed for 10 years.
What's more, the crankshaft is protected from wear, while hidden features such as the reinforced axles and wheel bolts further indicate the integrity of this machine. "It looks and feels very durable," notes Creber.
While the majority of lawnmower manufacturers has gone over to loop handles this Viking has two hand grips, separated by a centralised control panel that puts drive controls within easy reach.
The handlebars adjust to suit the operator's height and can be swivelled left or right for safe mowing alongside fences or walls. They also fold over the machine, making a nice tidy unit for transportation.
There's plenty of power in the MB 750 KS. It is fitted with a high-torque, fuel- efficient 6hp OHV Kawasaki engine and has on-the-move, three-speed drive.
Dowling finds it easy to operate. "I thought it would be heavier than it is. It runs very easily and the fact you can change speed on the move is a definite advantage," she says. "What's more, the finish is good."
Smith takes the machine to a rougher area of grass. "I thought it would be a bit difficult to steer but it is fine - it picks everything up," he says.
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
Engine: Kawasaki FJ180V 6hp OHV
Cutting width: 48cm
Cutting height: 30-85mm
Deck: Aluminium, steel insert
Drive: Three-speed/blade brake clutch
Drive speeds: 2.4/3.5/4.6 kmph
Grass catcher: Textile 70 litres
Vibration level: 1.9m/s2
Sound level: 96dB(A)
List price (ex VAT): £1,140
Contact: Stihl on 01276 20202