A battery powered mower would be one thing (more on those soon at EFTM), but for those looking for the smell of the fumes and the power of the petrol motor under the throttle, you’ve gotta stick with the original – but could Victa InStart technology take the chore out of getting going?
Yanking the chain, it has a lot of meanings, but the one time we all feel it is when you’re firing up the mower for the first time in a while. Pull that cord, pull it again, and again. Perhaps five or six times – maybe more. Just to get the pistons moving and the engine fired up.
Once it’s running – life’s a breeze, but we don’t have that problem any more with cars, so why should our mowers be this way. No more! Thanks to a technology called “InStart”. Hooked up to the Briggs & Stratton engine, in fact built-into the engine, is a battery pack. This battery doesn’t power the blades – just the starter motor.
So, at the top of the handle there’s an ignition button, hidden under a plastic flap like the missile button on a fighter jet – fire that and the mower is pumping. Honestly, its a big deal on a Sunday morning.
Apart from that, the “Ultimate” model I tested also featured Victa’s self-propulsion system which allows you to squeeze a handle for it to drive itself under your guidance, taking away the pain of pushing a mower.
Unfortunately, I found this to make mowing a bit harder on a smaller set of lawns which required a lot of turning back and forth as the rear wheels don’t spin freely it’s harder to turn 180 degrees, that said it make getting through longer grass and up the odd incline a total breeze.
Great mower, amazing battery start feature – oh, and a hose attachment on the side of the body so you can hose out all the grass clippings at the end – a nifty little addition.
The Victa Ultimate with Briggs & Stratton InStart technology retails around $999.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.