Skip to main content
Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Front roller laying grass down problem

My little Ajax seems to cut great and lay down nice stripes, but the front roller flattens the grass and too much gets missed. It's set at 12mm.

It says remove middle rollers for long grass, could it be a matter of removing them to get an even 12mm then refit, or just leave them off?

Keith Wootton Tue, 19/05/2020


One solution to this is to replace the full-width front roller with small jockey wheels at either end. I can't find an example of an Ajax to illustrate but this photo of a Greens Silens Messor will give you an idea.

One way to achieve this is to find two small wheels (could be metal but plastic would do) about 4-5cm (1.5-2in) in diameter. Place them at each end of a replacement steel roller axle and use a piece of plastic or copper pipe that fits over the rod to act as a giant spacer to keep the wheels in position. As an alternative, simply attach the wheels to the roller bearers with a suitable size nut and bolt. A bit of experimenting should do the trick but it should work.

Clive1997 Tue, 19/05/2020

Or better still invest in a Coldwell with the very narrow jockey wheels which also have the benefit of being outside the cutting width,, in the background of your image Keith, but will probably need to sell the car to but one!

There is a Witch on ebay at present where a cheap modification has been made to achieve this, & they could have been positioned on the outside?.


Warpa Tue, 19/05/2020

Thanks for the replies. I'll remove the centre rollers and use the washer and split pin to hold the outer rollers in place and try it. I need to be gentle as it's been scalped and over seeded with ornamental grass seed which is just coming through.


wristpin Tue, 19/05/2020

There’s a Witch in my shed ( somewhere) with exactly that mod. I’ve never been able to decide whether or not it was an official option or just a diy job.

If I remember I’ll have a look tomorrow.

Warpa Tue, 19/05/2020

Middle section rollers removed and it was a big improvement. It's like it needs a lawn comb like the new Allett mowers although I dont think the 30 cm cordless has it which I'm buying next week.

RansomesRob Fri, 12/06/2020

Had a similar issue with rogue long blades of grass not being cut so, having seen Clive's photo of the roller set up on the Webb Witch and the Ransomes Ajax roller set up photo here is my Webb Witch sporting two small rollers with a piece of hosepipe between them to keep them apart. Not quite Vorsprung durch Technik but it does the job. Cheers. Rob  

suzanne shaw Sat, 13/06/2020

What a good idea to use a piece of hosepipe. I was going to get some cotter pins for my Ajax but will use your idea. Thanks

Clive1997 Sun, 14/06/2020

Next challenge set the jockey wheels outside the cylinder width so no grass is flattened?

Edda Sun, 14/06/2020

I have the same problem with my Ransomes Certes I find changing direction of cut helps, giving the grass a rake before cutting also helps to lift the blades of grass but the only method that really works for me is using my Atco with the verticut attachment on. It does not look good for a week or two but after that initial verticut the results are great.

RansomesRob Sun, 14/06/2020

Hi Suzanne. I found soaking the piece of hosepipe in really hot water to make it more pliable, plenty of oil on roller spindle and inside the hose helped it go on more easily as it was a tight fit. Hi. Clive. Might give your idea a go sometime. Hi Edda. Yes, I also use a rake first, change direction of cut and as I only have two small lawns a push mower is ideal, that Verticut attachment sounds good though. Cheers. Rob

villiers98 Sun, 14/06/2020

Warpa - your lawn looks very good but how often do you cut it?  To avoid the risk of scalping I would still keep the front rollers fitted but cut more often - 2 or 3 times a week this time of year. That way the grass wont be long enough to be flattened and miss the cutters .   I seem to recall reading you shouldn't remove more than a third of the length of grass at one time