“ Brand: McCulloch „
Well it’s that time of year again. Just after all the Easter eggs have been scoffed and there is a little more light to the evenings you start to hear a strange sound emanating from the garden. Each morning as you leave for work you try to identify what it is but being in a hurry you leave without further investigation. Then on a lazy Sunday afternoon it finally hits you. It’s the lawn and it’s saying, “cut me, cut me”. From that moment on you are faced with the endless grind of mowing the lawn. Round and round you go knowing that you will have to repeat the exercise from now until some unknown date in October when winter finally gets to grips with the country. At the end of last season my mower finally gave up the ghost. I had bought it around ten years ago and never changed the oil or cleaned it in all that time. This was wasteful and stupid but these things happen. The old dear had mowed many acres for me over those ten summers and we had travelled many miles together as she putt putted away and I listened to BBC Five Live. So it was with a sad and weary heart that I consigned her to the back of the garage with the old estate agent signs and some rather dilapidated pieces of old furniture, never to be seen again. When I had a quiet moment I pulled out my trusty copy of the Argos catalogue. I don’t know about you but I have always found them to be the best value for money for these types of things. I knew what I wanted, which always helps, and I had checked out the local stores for price and mower type. My budget was to be 250 Euro and I hoped to get a self-propelled model. The decision was made all the easier by the fact that Argos had only one model in this price range. A McCulloch Lawnmac 3540PD fitted the bill at just 252 Euro. It is even better value in the UK at only £129.99! I looked at the picture and compared the mower to the ones in my local hardware and garden c
entres and decided that this was the mower for me. It really is a lovely shade of yellow like the new VW Beetle and sporting versions of the small Fiat cars. The specification is listed below: ·Metal blade. ·40cm cutting width. ·3 cutting heights: 25-55mm. ·40 litre grass collection capacity. ·Blade brake. ·3.5HP. ·Vantage 35 engine. ·Weight 20kg. ·Manufacturer's 2 year parts and labour guarantee. More info at www.argos.co.uk Or at www.mcculloch-europe.com One call to the ring and reserve line confirmed that my machine was in stock and would be waiting for collection when I presented my reservation number. This is a really useful service as my nearest Argos is a two-hour drive away and you really want to return with the item you set out for after that distance! Ring and reserve is easy, you call the number (01 216 16 16 in the Republic of Ireland) and enter the store code where you want to collect the item. You then enter the item number and are told if it is available and the price. You enter the quantity that you require and are given a reservation number, so have a pen and paper to hand. You then quote this number to the assistant when you get to the store. The only quibble that I have with this service is that they only hold the item for two days so you have to make a few calls if you want to extend the reservation. After picking up my new mower I brought it home and opened the box. It comes in one big cardboard box that fits neatly into the boot of a Fiat Punto and the whole thing weighs just 20kg so is easy to manoeuvre. The assembly is not difficult as you are supplied with a diagram. They use one diagram and lots of different languages which means that you will have to keep flicking back and forward between the text and the diagram which is a little off putting. This is what you need to do to assemble the mower. 1.Place the two lower bars for the handle int
o the mower body and fix with two small screws, which are provided. 2.Fix the top part of the handle to the lower bars with two bolts and some large wing nuts, which are provided. Be sure to have the stickers facing upwards. 3.Fix the control levers to the handles and connect the cables for the brake and accelerator. The cables push into the bars and the levers are located with pins. 4.Fix the pull cord holder to the handles. Two spanners needed here. 5.Assemble all four wheels to the mower. They screw in by hand. 6.Fill with 0.6L of oil. 7.Fill with unleaded petrol. 8.Pop the two halves of the grass box together. The assembly is very easy and you will have your mower ready for action in no time. The grass box is a little fiddly and by far the most difficult part of the operation. You get two cable ties for fixing the cables to the handles but really you will need at least two more or some tape if you want to make a neat job of it. The only tools you need are a Philips screwdriver and a couple of spanners. Once you have filled the mower with fuel and oil it is time to get started. I always start these things on the path so that there is no grass underneath to impede the blade. It just makes the whole pulling thing easier. On this mower you prime the engine by pushing a small button on the side five times before you pull the cord. This only needs to be done when the engine is cold, as the mower will start easily when warm. After priming, hold in the engine safety lever and pull the cord. Mine started after two pulls and ran smoothly after a few minutes warming up. If you let the safety lever go the mower will stop and the blade brake engages. This means that whenever you leave the safety of the rear, the blade has stopped turning and there is no danger to your little toes. To engage the drive you pull up the remaining lever and you are off. The engin
e runs at one speed and so does the drive which is belt driven from the engine. More expensive models have variable speed but I find that this one speed works perfectly well for me. The mower body is made from a high-density polypropylene, which is strong but also very durable. This gives the mower it’s low weight and makes it very easy to manoeuvre around the garden. Another advantage is that it will never rust so you don’t have to worry about cleaning the mower. The grass box holds 40 litres and works very well without clogging up. This is really only big enough for medium sized lawns. If you have a very large lawn you will find the number of times you have to empty the box a bit frustrating. One thing that I found was that if you encounter any bumps the box falls off really easily. This is because the spring on the grass flap is not strong enough to hold the box in place. You can place a bungee around it if need be but this won’t be a problem if your lawn is reasonably level. The cutting height is adjustable with three different heights to choose from. The only problem is that you have to unscrew each wheel individually and rethread them into the new hole for the height you require. This can be a pain if you regularly leave your grass until it gets very long. I tend to use one height all year so it is not of particular concern. Another possible gripe would be the fact that the engine stops as part of the safety brake system. This means that you have to restart after you empty the grass box. Again, I don't mind this but more expensive models have a different system that allows the engine to remain running while you empty the grass box. After the first two hours you need to change the oil. This is difficult. The bung is under the cutting blade and is an odd size. A 19mm socket is needed and you must ensure that you remove the spark plug lead before putting your hands in there. The oil filler cap is loc
ated in an awkward position and you will need a funnel and a steady hand to avoid spills. Overall I am delighted with the machine and feel that it was a bargain at this price. I promise that I will take care of the beast and treat it to a regular oil change and the odd clean down but now that it won’t rust that’s another thing I don’t have to worry about. It is also a lot quieter than my last machine, which means I can lower the volume on my radio and not go deaf as early as I had first thought! Thanks for reading. MurphEE 2002
its a lot more bother with a hover having used many electric (mainly flymo) rotary mowers i no as well as anyone how much elbow grease is needed to cut a fairly large lawn last year i owned two flymo's they both worked (not very well) but worked until one hot july day last year when they both (EXPLODED) literally i put them both in the skip and borrowed a mower off a friend for the rest of the summer, last week looking through my window i noticed that i couldn't see my dog, she was there but the grass was so long she could not be seen, i then decided i had to have a new mower and this time it would be a petrol one, i had a quick look through the argos catologue and came across a page full of McCulloch Lawnmac's they were priced from £119 to £189 i opted for the "McCulloch Lawnmac 3540PD Powerdrive Petrol Mower" this one was priced at £149.99 it was self propelled, which is good as my lawn is on an incline, i got it home and the first thing i noticed was how easy it was to put it all together, all that's needed is to put 2 bars for the handles in the base( 10 min job) and your away (after you've put oil and petrol in it that is) putting the oil in is a little tricky, as its situated in an awkward place, i found an old jug worked perfectly, starting it wasn't so easy first you have to prime it by pressing a little rubber ball, i then pulled the cord for at least half an hour with not a hope of hearing it start, my wife was watching me laughing but sensibly reading the instructions (something i hadn't done) she then explained the machine had a "blade brake/auto engine cut out" this means that when you hold the little lever at the top of the handle the engine runs when you release it stops, i then hold this lever in and gave it just one pull and it fired (i was off up the lawn) the first thing i noticed was how easy it was cutting my 8 inch grass the self power
ed rear wheels do the job all you have to do is walk behind it, it really was very easy work, my only (very little) gripe with it is too have the rear wheels moving foward you have to hold the right hand lever inn and to have the engine running you hold the left lever meaning i had no spare hands to have a cigarette (a bit of cellotape next time i think) the grass box hold's 40 litres and even with my wet grass this didn't get blocked up (like the flymo's do) all in all it took me me just 90 minutes to cut 2 large lawns each had 2 cuts, it used to take me at least 4 hours before, i would only recommend the power driven model if your garden is hilly as at just 20kg it easy to push on a flat lawn, try it you will like it ! I PROMISE ! specs: Metal blade. 40cm cutting width. 3 cutting heights: 25-55mm. 40 litre grass collection capacity. Blade brake. 3.5 HP Tecumseh . Vantage 35 engine. Weight 20kg. Manufacturer's 2 year parts and labour guarantee.
Powerdrive Petrol Mower.