This mower has made me so much monny the mulching is just exalent there is no job this mower can not do better then a honda mower hands down power price can side thow and mulch wet or dry honda mowers have a limit wet over grown thay will be a pain
Does not last
While i was initially happy with the mower, did a great job cutting the grass, it does not last the distance. I am only on 1600sqm and yet the self propel died within 2 years and the whole machine takes manpower to start and even then 20 pulls. As a woman, i just dont have the strength. Ive piad to have it repaired twice before and i wont a third time. A mower that cost 1200 and only last 6 years is a joke. My last victa i innherited from my grandfather and lasted 40 years. Pity you dont make them like you used to victa.
Victa 560 after 6 years
I bought the 560 Victa 2 stroke self drive on the recommendation of my local mower guy who liked the previous 550 model. I wanted a powerful utility as I have over an acre to mow. At first I was shocked at its poor performance on thick grass but once I removed the mulcher and cut down the plastic spent grass exhaust chute it went very well, but I still always wanted a little more power in the thick grass-I don't care about the catcher, I just need long grass mowed! Thinking of slicing even more off the chute because it gets in the way. Have had the mower over 5 years and it hardly misses a beat. I replaced the 2 blade deck with a 4 blade deck and recommend this -cuts a lot better. My wife can use it and we both enjoy the standing up-hate sitting down to mow and bad for your back-get some exercise! Great on steep banks-I use it instead of the whipper snipper. Goes well with the fuel feeding down but conks out the other slope direction.I have just bought an old 550 for $50 and getting it done up-can't wait to try it. these Victas were Aussie made originals and very suited to our environment. I am a bit of a fan. Paul
An absolute joke compared to previous model
Engine first week / drive wheels just after 2 years / 3 gearboxes.
Quality is so poor I cannot believe it.
Mechanic in mower shop warned me it wasn't a patch on my old model 550 which I'd had for 15 years with only an occasional broken drive pin in addition I have replaced a primer plate and the front wheels are hugely worn large domestic lawn only. Same property as my original was used on but much smoother than when we first moved in.
My 550 I had 3 times as long at least and no issues other than minor service items.
Absolute piece of junk.
Whomever decided to change the original 550 design to this pile off junk I hope is no longer employed.
If victa re-released the 550 I would buy tomorrow.
As it is Grillo will get $6900 off me in the not to distant future as I have had this piece of junk. Up to the eyeballs and the drive is failing yet again!
This Machine Grew On Me
At first I wasn't that rapped in this mower, but once I had used it several times, and made some adjustments it has now become my favourite mower to use. It does an excellent job of mulching the grass on the spot, and if there is any residue after a pass then you just make a second past after lifting the deck up a few notches and this then gets rid of it, leaving a clean finish. Once you know how to use this mower to it's full capability it's a great machine that is economical to run and can help you make a good income from cutting grass.
Self-Propelled mower for larger lawns
I bought this to replace my Victa Professional 560 two-stroke which has given many years of faithful service; I have about 300 sq m of lawn and wanted a 22"mower that would throw & mulch, be reliable and easy to maintain. The Mulchmaster comes without a rear catcher so will only mulch or side throw. It has a Briggs & Stratton "Vanguard" commercial 4-stroke motor (2-stroke B&S and Honda 4-stroke area available too), aluminium deck, swing-back blades and has variable speed. Everything is robust and well made.
The mower started easily and bounded off willingly, however I soon found the side discharge chute (so designed to stop feet going in) stopped grass coming out. The chute also stops you getting close to obstacles on that side. Anyway, I found the mower works far better with mulch plug in ( the instructions say to leave the chute in place when using the mulch plug, don't know why). I now cut the grass weekly and the results are very satisfactory; the mower is a pleasure to use so this is no hardship. From my experience with my previous Victa these mowers give years and years of service without being the money pit that ride-ons usually are.
Heavy Duty Commercial Mower
Recently purchased the Victa Mulchmaster SP560 which I think now replaces the SP550. This machine has a 22'' [560mm] self propelled cutting base powered by a 190 cc Briggs and Stratton 8.25 I/C engine. The engine has a cast iron sleeved bore and comes with an external oil filter so hopefully engine issues should be few and far between. Researched this mower extensively before purchase and many mowing contractors now rate these new Briggs motors equal to, or better than the equivalent GVX commercial Honda engines.
These are large and heavy machines and I don't believe are suitable for the average suburban block, however, if you have a larger block and a ride on for some reason is not an option, this is the next best thing. The engine is unstoppable with the only draw back being a rather small 1.1l fuel tank which only gives me 1 1/2 hours run time under full throttle and working fairly hard. The handle height will be an issue for some as they cannot be adjusted and really suit a taller person. The blade carrier is set up for two blades only and is quite fiddly to fit if removed for blade change outs. Throttle and the variable speed drive control cables operate smoothly and so far the mower has started second pull every time. I noted that some have had issues with the self drive set up, however, hopefully the newer model has resolved some of these problems. Drive is through a variable speed belt to a all metal gearbox and axle - all of which appears to be pretty heavy duty. These are the weapons of choice for many councils and mowing contractors and the main reason why I decided to give one a go.
The mower deck comes with a solid plastic side discharge chute as well as a mulching plug, however I tend to cut shorter when the wet season is on up here and find the mulching plug only works on the higher settings. I have no doubt there are better machines about if you are after a manicured finish but doubt there are any better if you have a large heavily grassed area to contend with.
Low productivitiy, woefu service...Beware!
I used an older SP550 for a number of years and found it to be quire robust. Have been using this model for about six years and is less robust. The engine vibrated and cracked after a couple of years and was an expensive rebuild. Bits are constantly falling off or failing and the drive belt seems to wear and break a bit too often. While some of this can be put down to regular maintenance and wear and tear. the back up service is woeful. It has taken a month or more for spare parts to arrive from Victa. The long periods of sitting in the workshop waiting for parts to arrive is an expensive loss of productivity that makes it not worth owning. I have taken this up directly with Victa, but have not even had a response. The one certainty is that my next mower will not e a Victa.
I have had the 550 for around 10 yrs and it has worked hard - the motor is indestructible. The self propelled drive however leaves a lot to be desired. After about 5 yrs it began to slip as the drive wheels have plastic cogs that wear away. To replace one back wheel is nearly $100. I did this and soon the other wheel started slipping. Then the main shaft snapped. To replace the whole gear box and wheel assembly was a big cost and I decided to cut my losses and buy a new mower. I now have a self propelled direct drive Honda but like everything it also has its downsides. The direct shaft drive is extremely reliable but the Victa was better suited to my steep bush block with tall, thick grass - it is a true "utility" mower whereas the Honda is better suited to a flat block with manicured lawns. Victa need to design a direct drive utility mower. Then I'd be happy!
Does not catch all the grass if the grass is slightly moist gets stuck under the blades so you have to clear it every few minutes. Pain in the butt. Dumps cut grass all over the lawn. You would be better with a whipper snipper
I hear the new 550's aren't quite as good as the old models but I give mine full marks and a bit more. I love the squeeze handle, easy start, low care but most of all it will go just about anywhere!
I have been using an older Victa 550 now for 18 years. Somewhat battered around the gills but wow, what a remarkable mower! As per other readers, one big advantage is the ability to mow across extreme slopes with no fear of oil starvation and up slopes is a breeze! I am looking out for parts, especially a new deck. Just a hint for longevity of blades (sorry Victa) but Cox mowers make a very sturdy blade for their ride on mowers which I have adapted to my Rover Rancher ride-on by cutting about 5mm of the length with a cut off disc on a grinder. Guess what, they also fit the Victa and extend the blade life to infinity!
I couldn't work out why the wheel hub-clutch was slipping in drive on one side after placing a new and correct slip/grab spring in the hub. Turns out the collar on the square drive boss had been polished smooth and allowing the spring to slip in forward drive. Replaced the boss for $9.00 and if I had roller skates, I'm sure it would pull me around the yard. I recently was facing replacing the belt tensioner but discovered by purchasing an M34 belt, I don't need a tensioner at all for now!
Very Good Mower Except for Terrible Drive System
This mower is great when new and mostly great when not so new. However the self drive starts failing after a while. What happens is that the drive on one side will fail so only one wheel is being driven. Once fixed, after a few more hours the same or the other side will fail. And so on and so on.
Victa know about this problem and yet refuse to fix it. And yet the mower is otherwise so good. However if another manufacturer came up with another mower with a decent drive, I would never buy another 550.
Mostly well built.
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