Wright Stander

Here's a mower that does six kilometres per hour all day, every day. It doesn't slow down after lunch and it's not reluctant on Mondays. What's more, this machine doesn't come with the price tag of a ride-on mower.

Developed in the US in the mid- 1990s by engineers and manufacturers Jim Velke and Bill Wright, the Stander is imported into the UK by IPU Group of Oldbury, West Midlands. It’s not a walk-behind and it’s not a ride-on. This mower is one step on from a pedestrian mower — it’s a stand-on machine. And it can do everything a pedestrian mower can, and more.
Size-wise this is a very compact machine. It’s the same length as an average pedestrian mower, but without the handlebars to the rear. This means it will turn completely within its own space — something a pedestrian machine cannot do because of the position of the operator beyond the machine’s length.
Our reviewers are keen to try this mower. They quickly master the controls and within minutes are appreciating the capabilities of the Stander. IPU’s demonstrator tells us this is not recommended for banks but the unit’s low centre of gravity makes it a good mower for sloping ground up to 45?. Unfortunately, we have none on which to test it but we can state that kerbs present no problem at all and that the knobbly tyres on this machine give it the feel of a four-wheel drive, even though it is actually only two.
At 1.22m long and 1.22m wide, and with zero-turn in forward and reverse, this is a mower to get into those hard-to-reach places. You have to experience the manoeuvrability of this machine to appreciate it. One tester spins the machine round and round on the spot. “I’ve never done anything like this, except at a funfair,” he says. “It feels really stable and I feel totally in control. It’s also incredibly comfortable, fun and efficient.”
Yes, after a while, standing can be as tiring and awkward as walking. But with the Stander you are getting the job done quicker. Our testers also learn that it helps to move the body around, bend the knees and transfer your weight from side to side, even crouch and then stand up again.
The controls are simple. There’s no operator presence control to hold. Instead, you stand on it. If you are on it, the machine works. Step off it — or fall off it — and the machine stops. The machine is started by standing on the platform with the handbrake engaged. Use the choke if necessary and then turn the key. There is a recoil start — within reach of the platform — as backup in the event of a flat battery. A large, red button engages drive to the blades. With the blades up and the brake on, the engine still runs.
Steering is the same as popular zero-turners; push the levers away to travel forwards and pull them back for reverse. With one lever forward and the other back, the mower is sent into a “Torvill and Dean” spin. There’s no need for shunts or three-point turns with this machine and we reckon the visibility of the mowing operation is hard to beat.
“It certainly covers the ground,” says one tester. “The extra two kilometres per hour over a walk-behind mower will add up by the end of the season.”
Another reviewer is also impressed. “It’s the sort of mower that makes you want to get out and do the job,” he adds.
The manufacturer is so confident in this machine that the deck carries a lifetime guarantee. The rest of the mower has a two-year warranty.
Covering the ground faster than the average pedestrian mower, we agree the Stander is incredibly productive, but also results in a quality cut — one that shouldn’t damage the bottom line.

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