Product Type: Countax Lawn Mower
Newest Review: ... running over the trimmings from my hawthorn hedge it has never had a puncture. Accessories Countax market quite a range of accessories. I... more
On grass it cuts the mustard
Member Name: Immlang
Advantages: Reliable and effective
Disadvantages: It's quite bulky to store
This is a review of a Countax C38H Lawn Tractor.
I've had mine for 10 years, having bought it new from a local Countax dealer. It is powered by a single cylinder Honda petrol engine and it cuts a 38 inch swathe. The powered grass collector and roller that fastens on to the back picks up the grass and stripes the lawn. I have about an acre of grass to cut. The front lawn is about 100 square yards and the rest was rough grass once but I tamed it long ago with this mower and I now keep it pretty short.
It is very effective. It cannot cut as low as most walk-behind mowers but it cuts low enough for the grass to look like lawn. The grass collector is very good indeed, not leaving very much behind at all. It really will cut and collect wet grass. Equally, it will cut long grass, up to 6 inches high without breaking sweat. It is designed to cut up to the lawn edge and it does this to some extent but not totally, especially if you have curves in your lawn edges. It really proves its worth if you return home after a few weeks away in a wet summer, reducing the mowing marathon to something bearable.
Ease of use
It's not totally intuitive! There are umpteen controls and it's pretty easy to think you're cutting a strip of grass only to find you forgot to engage the blades with their electro-magnetic switch so you didn't cut, or you forgot to engage the grass collector power, so you didn't collect, or you remembered to engage the grass collector power but forgot to lower the grass collector so you still didn't collect...It does get to be routine after a while, thank goodness. The seat is comfy and the steering is light. The transmission is hydrostatic, which means stepless, no gears, no clutch, and easy to use. The tractor has electric start. It has never failed to start, even after a winter layup.
It has a good number of moving parts and a petrol engine, so it needs maintaining. I've maintained mine myself from new, using the comprehensive manual supplied with it. Changing the engine oil is a bit of bind, because it is hard to catch the old oil but basically maintenance is straightforward.
It has been astonishingly reliable. The tractor part has never needed any repairs, apart from a new battery about 3 years ago. I've changed the drive belt to the powered grass collector once and replaced all the bearings on the rear roller once. The manual did not cover this, but my local dealer was great, explaining just where I had to bash to get the old bearings out and telling me which nuts and washers I could re-use and which I was better off replacing. It's tempting fate to say this, but it is showing no sign of general failure at the moment and I hope to get a good few more years out of it. I had gluey anti-puncture stuff put inside the tyres when I bought it and in spite of regularly running over the trimmings from my hawthorn hedge it has never had a puncture.
Countax market quite a range of accessories. I've bought the scarifier (not from the dealer, sadly as it was so much cheaper on ebay) and I also bought a trailer. I didn't buy the Countax trailer as it was metal bodied and I wanted a plastic bodied trailer. To use the trailer you have to remove the powered grass collector. There is a definite knack to taking off and putting back the grass collector. I have the knack now and can do it in a couple of minutes, but it takes a while and some grazed knuckles to learn how to do it.
It's a brilliant piece of kit for keeping on top of a biggish area of grass and I highly recommend it.
Summary: Brilliant piece of kit if you have a lot of grass to cut