And there is another unique aspect to the Profihopper. This machine has an auger to lift the cut grass and debris into the hopper. We can see that, by not relying on an updraft of air, it should be good at cutting and collecting long, wet grass. But we are scarifying today and with appropriate blades linked onto the reel in the out-front deck, we are ready to put the unit through its paces.
Our first tester has no trouble driving the Profihopper. With his left hand providing the occasional tweak to the steering levers, his right hand is free to operate the functions on the control panel — including the lever for reel engagement. The clutch for the mowing deck is electromagnetic. Height adjustment of the deck is a doddle — it is central adjustment and requires a simple twist from a spanner-like tool that is already clipped to the deck. It’s one of those “that’s a good idea” moments. And there’s another.
The Profihopper is powered by a 24.5hp Lombardini diesel engine. We take a look at it. It’s accessible for maintenance, but just look at the fan. “I’ve been saying it for years — someone must be able to come up with a fan that never clogs with clippings and muck,” says the other tester. And here it is. The Amazone Cooling System is a self-cleaning fan. In fact, it is two fans, and they work on a timer basis.
As soon as the machine is started, the larger fan operates to cool the system. After 10 minutes running, the smaller fan kicks in and works for five seconds to blow out any debris that has collected on the radiator. The system won a silver medal at the Demopark 2003 fair in Fulda, Germany.
At last, the sensor detects the hopper is full and we take the Profihopper for emptying. Because the clippings and debris have been “augered” into the hopper, we are expecting it to be full. It is. Two levers on the control panel operate the high-lift feature and as the trap swings open, a compacted block of clippings begins to tumble out and smashes open on the floor.
We inspect the collection. Like the Groundkeeper, it is quite green, because we have been mowing as well as scarifying. But a quick search through the debris reveals moss and thatch is also present.
“The job is done quickly and efficiently and the finish looks good,” says our tester.
At £19,000, the price of the Profihopper causes a little gasp — until we put it into perspective. This machine will mow, scarify, sweep and collect. Clippings can also be mulched and returned to the sward as mulch. And, being self-propelled, it frees up the tractor to carry out essential duties elsewhere.
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