The first riding lawn mower I ever used was one of those Snapper rear engine riding mowers. These rear engine riding mowers were some of the most popular back when I was growing up and mowing my family’s lawn. These were old school machines that were much better than the push type that made for a long day mowing. Trust me, I have used both. And while these rear engine machines are nothing compared to the commercial machines I now deal with, they were the best option for my family back then.
Those Old Snapper Rear Engine Riding Mowers Rocked…..
These mowers were built pretty tough for homeowner use. I don’t know how much commercial work you could have gotten from them though. The lawn care industry was not a popular business back then. Except for kids like me cutting a few yards here and there, there was not a big need for lawn care providers. People had more free time and did more yard work themselves. These rear engine riders were some of the most popular in my local area. They were not super fast. To be honest they were pretty slow! But once again, they were a much better option than walking behind a push mower.
Our Snapper rear engine riding mower was a “Comet” if I remember correctly and it lasted many years. I don’t remember my dad doing much maintenance on it either. We used it mainly for our own lawn so it was not like it was overworked. We probably should have sharpened the blade more often. But I was a kid, what did I know at the time?
These rear engine riding mowers had the option of an electric start or a pull cord for cranking. Ours had the cord and I certainly wished it had been an electric starter on many occasions. Pulling a cord to crank her up was not a fun thing when it wanted to be stubborn. It was a used machine when we got it, so it was not hot off the showroom floor.
One issue we had with our Snapper was the deck. It looked well built and for the time I guess it was. But I remember my dad having to hammer out the deck when it would get dinged, causing the blade to hit the deck. That was clearly not a good thing to have happen. He was pretty rough on our lawn mower, so that had something to do with the deck in constant need of “body work.” My dad never met a stump or rock that he didn’t mind hitting with that old lawn mower.
I still see these old school mowers every now and then. They may still even be in production. People have not forgotten them at all though. I talked to a buddy just the other day and he mentioned the same type issues with their deck getting bent up all the time as well.
Aah… Memories of Child Hood Mowing
We didn’t have giant zero turn mowers back then, but we did pretty well with the machines we had. There wasn’t a mower shop on every corner. There were not loads of online retailers to order lawn mower parts from….actually there was no internet at all! But we did the best we could with our old school machines. We worked on them as needed and asked for help from neighbors who were shade tree mechanics for more serious issues.
These mowers were tough overall as many products were back then. I guess that is why you still see them in use. They may look rusty, beat up, and worn out, but if they are still slinging grass, that says something about them. They are not up to commercial grade standards of today, but they would give many modern homeowner mowers a run for their money when it comes to longevity.
what about you? Do or did you have one of those Snapper rear engine riding mowers too? Is it still running? I would love to know if we share the same “good old memories”…..
As Always, Happy Mowing!
i have a rear engine snapper mower from old school….runs and cuts great….good condition for its age……glad i got it
Hey it is the year 2020, and yes they are still making them! I have a 1974 & 2012 I still use both.As well as 2 s/p walk behinds 1986&1990 I still use both of these as well.The 1974 and 1986 have newer engines that I put in. I will not buy any other brand these mowers are great. and very reliable! Snapper nothing old school about being reliable.nice to have equipment you can rely on.
I just traded my 1992 6.5 horsepower 26” cut Snapper rider for a 2020 15.5 horsepower 33” cut Snapper rider. I hope I am just as happy with the new one as I was with the old one. The years of service from the first helped justify the cost of the new one.
I have a 1985 rear engine mower,purchased off craigslist fo $150 11 years ago. It’s been a great mower for me. Been taking good care of it and will be mowing for many more years. I love it.
I bought a Comet 30″ a few years ago and the guy was the son, he said his dad bought it New, and the reason he was letting it go was his dad was still riding/cutting but as it goes he hit ran over everything for years, I can attest to that I did a lot of wrenching,but luckily the spindle was good so I got replacement parts and I’m getting him back in shape, it cut good and chiseled dirt on opposite sides because the blade holder bar was so bent up..that was the biggest challenge, replaced now, a lot of wrenching some elbow grease and my Snapper’s back and looking forward to a grass feast…
I am looking for a used in good shape 30″ snapper riding mower, or a motor for this mower