The last few decades have not always been glorious ones for the British manufacturing industry. The number of people actually making things (as compared to selling things or selling ideas or selling imaginary money) in the UK has been in steady decline since the 1960s and these days we’re more likely to own products made in China, Germany, Japan and America than we are anything produced by British manufacturers. Yet in the small hamlet of Spellbrook, near Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire, one company is quietly maintaining the grand British tradition of building high quality machinery and excelling as it does so.
Traditional Skills & Modern Manufacturing Techniques
The company in question here is Hayter, whose motto is “Makers of the Finest Mowers”. Hayter didn’t start out making lawnmowers mind, as the company’s founder, Douglas Hayter, initially made his name in the building trade before diversifying into the manufacture of cattle yard equipment. It was only upon seeing a horse-drawn rotary mower at the London Science Museum that Mr Hayter was inspired to add a second hand two-stroke engine to the collection of odds and ends he kept under his workshop bench. This resulted in the first Hayter rotary lawnmower, complete with a dustbin lid cover for the rotor!
Since these humble beginnings Hayter has gone on to become one of the most respected names in the horticultural industry, driven by a desire to produce quality lawn care products capable of delivering years of sterling service. This has been achieved using a combination of traditional skills and the ready adoption of advanced technology across the years, with Hayter having received multiple end-of-year awards from the British Agricultural & Garden Machinery Association in recognition of the quality of the company’s tools.
The Hayter Harrier Range
Following a similar upward trajectory to the company itself, Hayter’s Harrier range of rear roller rotary mowers was first launched in the 1970s and has been improving ever since. The current Hayter Harrier machines, for instance, benefit from the accumulated expertise and modern manufacturing techniques used in the production of all Hayter machines, making them perfect for achieving a crisp striped finish on larger formal and ornamental lawns.
This is why Hayter Harrier mowers are today used by grounds care professionals and dedicated home gardeners across the world. To understand why the British-made Hayter Harrier mowers are so popular, however, it will help to take a slightly closer look at how they’re put together.
Certainly one of the most impressive things about Hayter Harrier mowers is their toughness. Partly this is attributable to the fact that all Hayter Harrier mowers are made with a lightweight yet durable aluminium cutting deck, along with a sturdy polymer underdeck for added protection against impact damage. But it is Hayter’s manufacturing techniques and dedication to quality control that makes Harrier mowers stand out from the competition.
A laser profiling machine is used to control the precision cutting of sheet metal at the initial stages of production to ensure a close fit with all parts, while a robotic welding system is used to ensure consistently high standards, thereby allowing Hayter mowers to deliver optimum levels of reliability and durability. This attention to detail is maintained throughout the construction of each and every Hayter Harrier mower, which are all hand-assembled by expert line workers and finished with Hayter’s trademark British Racing Green paint for increased resistance against wear and corrosion (not to mention the British weather).
Selected Hayter Harrier mowers also come fitted with a unique friction disc on the cutterblade (not available on machines featuring the blade brake clutch option), which helps to prevent damage to the crankshaft should you accidentally hit a solid object while mowing (Hayter even offers a lifetime guarantee against engine crankshaft bending on every machine fitted with this device). As such a lawnmower like the Hayter Harrier 48 will prove a steadfast companion for even the busiest professional gardener, landscaper or contractor, while homeowners with medium to large lawns will be astonished at the quality of cut these machines can produce.
Unbeatable Quality of Cut
Speaking of which, we haven’t said much about the results that these fantastic mowers can achieve yet have we? Such a failure would be a terrible oversight on our part, as although the robustness and longevity of Hayter mowers will command your loyalty in the long term, it is the sight of a pristine Harrier-mown lawn which will win your heart in the first place. This is because every Hayter Harrier mower comes equipped with a ribbed rear roller to produce a classic striped finish as you mow, making these machines a fantastic choice for anyone seeking a user-friendly alternative to an expensive cylinder mower.
With its 48cm (19”) working width, 70 litre grass collector and powerful Briggs & Stratton four-stroke engine, the Hayter Harrier 48 is therefore perfect for achieving a professional quality finish on lawns in excess of 500m2 (with pleasingly little fuss). All Harrier 48 mowers are additionally specified with a hardworking variable-speed drive system to aid mowing on larger or uneven lawns, while electric starting and blade brake clutch options are available should extra convenience be desired.
Of course the Hayter Harrier range also includes the Harrier 41 and Harrier 56 in addition to the Harrier 48 (which boast a 41cm (16”) and 56cm (22”) cutting width respectively). As with the Harrier 48, these machines can also be customised for your particular needs (the Harrier 41 even comes in a hand-propelled version for those with smaller gardens) so it is easy to find a Hayter machine perfect for your garden. And since all Hayter Harrier mowers also come with a five year domestic warranty as standard you can rest completely assured of consistent quality over time.
So while the other great Harrier from the history of British engineering – the Harrier Jump Jet, in case you were wondering – has now been consigned to the history books, the machines from the Hayter Harrier range roll steadily on across the formal lawns of Britain and beyond. Proof, if proof was needed, that there are still some things that the British do best.