Deutscher Mowers
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Deutscher Mowers

The Oldest Deutscher Mower

16 December 2019
History

We receive many calls from customers wondering whether they might have the oldest Deutscher mower.

In the early 1950's a local golf club asked if Deutscher could build a mower to cut long grass and as a result this somewhat crude first mower was built.

This mower became the start of a long history of Deutscher manufactured mowers.

At the time Deutscher was a small engineering business involved in repairing engines and manufacturing parts for farm equipment, while also providing engineering services to other businesses.

During this period Deutscher was producing a post boring machine for drilling holes into farm fence posts. The posts hole borer was proving popular in the farming communities and Deutscher were keen to move away from simply being a jobbing shop and heads towards becoming manufacturing engineers. Early model mowers were of a simple design, having a single wheel between the motor and the cutting head for balance, and the two wheels on the front.

Originally they were referred to as the 'rotary scythe' as the blade protruded from the front of the cutting deck, allowing the cut material to flow back over the cutting deck. (Not great from a Health & Safety view point!). Over a number of years the company produced a small range of early model Deutscher mowers. These units seemed to differ from the batch to batch, as modifications were made along the way. This was fairly typical of production methods in those days.

WALK BEHIND MOWERS


B MODEL Late 1950’s. - Called a rotary scythe.
This mower was fitted with a two speed transmission and had a single wheel on the back. It was painted Ferguson Grey and units were powered by an MK15 Villiers engine - although I am told that some were fitted with JAP engines. There wasn’t a mechanism for ‘no load’ starting the engine, so there was quite an effort required to start the mower. Height adjustment was carried out by loosening two nuts which clamped the cutter spindle tube to the cutter frame . The operator was able to remove the front wheels and the blade plate had a dome on the bottom. This had many of the same characteristics as a modern whipper snipper for ease of cutting long grass.

 

C MODEL Early 1960’s.
This was an up grade to the B model. The notable change was that it had two rear wheels and you were able to tilt the motor forward, which loosened the belts for easy starting. There was a cover over the blades and side flaps, and you could either remove or swing them out in order to wind row the grass. It was a 24” cut . The blade was flat with the end bent over and it used a square head bolt with a brass rectangle nut. This model was fitted with a horizontal shaft, 5hp Briggs & Stratton, or a Mk25 Villiers motor. The mower was painted in a Hammertone Brown and was considered a very good mower in its day. The gears were changed from high to low with neutral in between, operated by a twist grip on the left hand side. There was no positive neutral and accidents occurred if the operator tried to select neutral and mistakenly engaged the other forward gear.

 

D MODEL Early to mid 1960’s • Serial No. 200 - 1999
This model was a total new design, and although it still had the two speed transmission, it had an improved clutch mechanism. This model featured height adjustment available from the operator position, and a separate control for the gears - with a positive neutral position. The cutter belt engage lever was a separate lever mounted in front of the rear wheels which allowed you to use the ground drive and leave the cutters disengaged. It was painted a light green colour and had a 26” cut, and a different blade bolt attachment system (which was used until eight years ago when Deutscher changed to a Nyloc nut and fluted blade). The blade was flat and sharpened both sides as you could change the twist on the belt to discharge from either side of the mower.

 

F MODEL 1965 - June 1979 • Serial No. 2000 - 10768
This was an up-grade from the D model, but had a cover over the belts. This model was available with a horizontal shaft, with the option of a Briggs & Stratton (originally a 6hp), Villiers Mark 25, Wisconson HSD or G65 Honda motor. Scott Bonnar Ltd had by then become the national distributors for Deutscher mowers and wanted the colour changed to dark green, which has been used on all our mowers since. This mower was a very popular with council shires and schools. Deutscher started exporting these units to South Africa and many other Asian countries. Production of the D & F models finished in 1979. Nearly 9000 of these mowers were produced over 14 years.

 

G26 MODEL June 1979 - October 1984 • Serial No. 10769 - 14008
This new design had a new transmission. The mower had variable speed forward and reverse gears, as well as a built in differential. This model still used a horizontal shaft engine but had a new design blade cover & top cover. The cutter spindle used taper roller bearings. This model was powered by either a G300, G400 Honda or a 8hp Briggs & Stratton IC engine. Although this was a good mower to use, it was difficult to produce as it had so many moving parts. With safety becoming important, the need for a ‘dead man clutch’ was critical, so Deutscher designed the H model with this feature in mind.

 

H26 MODEL December 1984 - November 2002 • Serial No. 1000 - 9851
This was the first model to use a vertical shaft engine. It used the same cutter deck as the G model but featured a spindle brake on the cutter blades, a dead man clutch, a two speed transmission (with reverse), and an enclosed differential. This model also offered a Limited Slip Diff version for use on difficult terrain. This was the first model to offer swivel front wheels and electric start as an option. When first released it was fitted with a 10.5hp Briggs & Stratton Engine or a GV400 Honda. Later models were fitted with the GXV340 Honda (manual start) or a GXV390 Honda (electric start). A 12.5hp Briggs & Stratton with an electric start was also available.

 

H660 MODEL November 2002 - current • Serial No. 9852 - 1750

The series two model was an update on the H26 model and was released with a round, deeper skirt cutting deck to comply with safety standards. This model moved from a flat blade to a fluted blade to assist with the discharge of cut material. The new blade gave protection to the blade bolt as well. Deutscher changed the blade attach system to a slightly longer bolt to accommodate the Nyloc nut instead of the rectangular brass nut, which had been in use since the outset. With the use of laser cutting, many parts were improved and changed. Lockable swivel front wheels became standard on this model. The blade engagement was operated by a foot pedal from the rear of the mower. Early models were available with an Intek or a Honda engine, while today it is available with either a Honda manual or electric start engine. This model contributed strongly to the ‘Deutscher Legend’.

22” (56cm) MOWERS

Deutscher started to produce this mower in the early 1960's In the early years Deutscher produced this 22inch cut mower as a push version. We think they would have been hard work despite their large rear wheels!

 

ZD MODEL March 1973 - July 1988 • Serial No. 1 - 2612

The mower had a single speed self propelled transmission and a differential. Originally the ZD model was powered by a horizontal shaft G42 Honda which was up graded to a G200 and finally a GX140 Honda.Over 2600 of this model were produced.

 

Y22 MODEL July 1980 – 1997 • Serial No. 2613 - 4762

The Y22 featured a 2 speed transmission with a dead man clutch and was released with a vertical shaft 5hp Briggs & Stratton. Swivel wheels were added to later models for greater manoverability. It was considered a smaller brother to the H26 model.

 

Y480 MODEL 1997 - current • Serial Numbers in the 4600 - 8400 range

This was known as the ‘Strawberry Cutter’ because it was designed to mow between the rows of strawberry plants in farms around the Wandin Valley area of Victoria. Many of these plantings were on steep slopes so a commercial quality narrow-cut mower was important to these customers. This mower used a 48cm cut and utilised many of the same components of the standard Y model, but had a smaller deck and a narrow-track transmission as well. It was available with either a Briggs & Stratton or Honda motor.

 

...more to come....

 

Follow this blog as we work through the Deutscher Mowers throughout the years.

 

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