With a 95cm cutting width, the Attila AV95 is the larger of two ride-on brushcutters from French-firm Etesia - the other being the 85cm AK85. At the centre of its performance is a gutsy 18hp Briggs & Stratton twin-cylinder Vanguard engine. It's a productive machine and one that our tester seems to have mistaken for a Formula One racing car.
"Look at the path he's clearing," remarks a tester, startled by the speed and effectiveness of the machine.
Now the Attila, we are told, is ideal for "keeping open bridle-ways, firebreaks and footpaths". Keeping them open? Our tester is creating pathways where none existed. If we can only get him off the machine, somebody else can have a go.
The Attila has a welded tubular chassis for strength. The heavy-duty steel deck has side and rear discharge and the seven-millimetre-thick blade has two tips. The blades can be locked for cutting grass so this machine can double as a general ride-on mower for grassed areas.
Working on a gradient
With a low centre of gravity and long wheel base, the AV95 should give it good hill-climbing ability and, according to Etesia, it is stable on slopes up to 30?. We find the heavy-tread tyres give excellent traction - so much so that the machine can be made to "climb" saplings in order to knock them over.
Working on rough terrain can be tiring on joints and spine but all our testers find the Attila AV95 comfortable to drive. The suspension seat, complete with arm rests, does much to soften the bumps and jolts of our woodland test site. This brushcutter is also remarkably easy to operate. Hydrostatic drive in both forward and reverse makes driving the Attila a pleasure.
"It's very manoeuvrable and good fun too," says our tester. And we know that the work gets done when it is "fun".
Forward and reverse speeds can be matched to the volume of material passing through the cutting unit. This allows it time to clear the deck and reduces the risk of blockages. There is a hand-operated diff-lock to provide extra traction on difficult terrain and height of cut is easily adjusted from 95mm down to 50mm in three steps using a single lever on the side of the machine.
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