Dennis FT510

If you want options, look at this machine. It must rank as one of the most versatile and cost-effective mowing/ turf-care machines on the market. And it's got performance too.

The FT510, with 51cm working width, sits in the middle of a range of three mowing and grass-care systems engineered by Dennis — the others being the 43cm FT430 and the 61cm FT610. Like its bigger brother, the FT510 is offered with a choice of 5.5hp Honda GX160 or Kubota GX170 OHV engines. Then you decide what options should go with it.
The testers find the controls on the FT510 easy to use, with throttle on the left and clutch and operator-presence control on the right. The unit has full variable speed on the rear roller, giving the operator a true sense of control. The hydrostatic drive means that power is not likely to be lost when it is equipped for the tougher jobs such as scarification.
In straightforward mowing mode the machine can be matched to the situation by using either the five-bladed or nine-bladed cutting units. For its weight, the machine is highly manoeuvrable, thanks to the three-part geared differential roller that makes turning a breeze.
Independent roller and cutter drives give a variable clip rate up to 160 cuts per metre. Quality of cut is one feature our testers really like about the FT510 and they praise the easy “tool-free click system” of adjusting the height of cut. But they are also enthusiastic about the possibilities of changing the cutter cassette for other equipment to extend the power unit’s use throughout the year.
No tools are needed to swap cassettes and the speed of changing one cassette for another can only be appreciated when you do it or see it demonstrated. “It’s so simple to change the cutter for the scarifier. The cassettes do just drop into place,” says one tester.
The handlebars feature softgrip covering for comfort. None of the testers complain about vibration. In fact, the vibration figures are a selling point for this machine. With a maximum exposure time per eight hours of 4.34 hours, an area of 8,767m2 can be mown using the FT510 without exceeding the maximum vibration dosage. It means that a contractor looking after flat bowling greens can mow up to six greens.
Noise readings for the FT510 are similarly impressive. At the operator ear position the reading is 83.2dB(A). The sound power level is 97.89dB(A).
In addition to the five-bladed and nine-bladed cutting units, cassette options for the FT510 include brush, roller, sorrel roller, slitter, one-millimetre scarifier, two-millimetre scarifier and a verticutter.

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