The old 100 looked every bit the garden tractor. Compared with the others in the stable – the Hydro 124D and the Bahia – it was almost old-fashioned. Evolution, with a rounded nose, takes on a more modern and sophisticated appearance — edges have been smoothed off to give curvy lines, which makes it more comfortable for your legs.
The grass collector is 500 litres instead of 480. Its plastic cover rolls down for use in dry, dusty collection, but folds away for greater airflow when collecting long, wet grass. As with the Hydro 100, the collector can be emptied without the operator leaving the seat.
But it’s the safety, noise and vibration aspects that have improved most. Evolution has an 18hp Briggs & Stratton engine, instead of the 16hp unit of the previous unit, but its high-volume exhaust absorbs noise. The bonnet has foam mufflers to minimise engine noise, and a new design of tooth belt and pulley lowers noise further.
The machine still sounds noisy when you stand beside the running engine, but when it’s working a few metres away it seems quieter. Evolution is marked 100dB(A) – a figure usually associated with bigger machines – and has a recorded noise level of 88dB(A) at the control position. The mower works well at normal revs without vibration.
Anyone with a lot of mowing to do will appreciate the Evolution. Being hydrostatic it is easy to operate. We especially like the high-back, fully padded suspension seat. With a tight turning circle, the machine is easy to manoeuvre.
All in all, Evolution is a good machine. What we want now is a diesel version.
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