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Husqvarna AWD mower

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We have a cabin on the banks of the Mississippi River, and the "lawn" is more like a sandbox with a jungle of weeds. And with high water and whatnot, I don't get down to mow as often as I should, so sometimes that jungle is knee high. It's tough to mow. 

 

Husqvarna HU800 AWD mower
The Husqvarna HU800 AWD mower is $499 at Lowe's and outdoor power equipment suppliers.

Lately I've been trying out a unique new mower from Husqvarna that has all-wheel drive (AWD). It's the only mower of its kind—sort of a SUV for your yard. Combined with aggressive-tread wheels, the AWD gives the mower a lot of traction. I can really feel the difference on my loose, sandy "soil," and I imagine it would also be better on slopes. This mower also has a very powerful 190-cc Honda engine, which has been starting consistently for me on the first pull. It goes through the thick stuff at full speed without even breathing hard. Other features include a 22-in. heavy steel deck and a washing port. Overall, if you're looking for power and the ability to self-propel in the toughest conditions, this is one mower to try.

 

It's not perfect, though. The speed control is not very sensitive; it tends to be either off or full gallop. The speed was fast but acceptable for me (I'm 6 feet tall), but I could imagine it might be too fast for some people. I used the mower in mulching mode, and it performed perfectly, though in online reviews, I read of people having problems with the way the mower left clumps or rows of grass behind.

 

Bottom line: This is a powerful, heavy-duty mower with a unique drive system for tough mowing situations. At $500, it's not the cheapest machine you can buy, though still a couple hundred less than a Honda mower with a similar engine. And it might be worth a test drive to ensure you're happy with the discharge and the speed. Me, I'm happy to be able to mow my way through the jungle with power!

 

— Ken Collier, Editor in Chief

Sponsored by Husqvarna
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    • by posted on

      I would like a FRONT wheel drive lawnmower with an OPTION to engage the REAR wheels when needed.  With front wheel drive you can  keep the drive lever engaged and simply tilt the handle back to raise the front wheels slightly off the ground and make a turn and maneuver in tight spaces, or turn around to go back in the opposite direction.  You would engage the rear wheels WHEN NEEDED to go through high grass or really thick grass where extra traction is necessary.   If you have a rear wheel drive ONLY, you must always release the drive lever to stop forward progress, or to make turns in tight spaces etc, then reengage the drive over and over again.  The drive lever could be designed so that you would pull back a little more to engage the rear wheels when needed, or release the lever a little to disengage the rear wheels.  A lawn mower designed this way would be the best of both worlds in my opinion.

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