When our tester discovers there’s even a concrete mixer attachment, he says: “It’s an interesting concept. It looks a good machine if you are going to make a serious investment in a variety of equipment — you don’t want to buy 10 machines and have nine in the shed. This allows you to add to your kit as and when you need it. The manufacturer has thought of everything.”
Another tester is also impressed by the price. “Exceptional value,” he comments.
Adjustable wheels and the 180° swivelling handlebars mean that the power units can be switched from one task to another quickly. The handles are mounted on silent blocks to dampen the engine’s vibration, and they are easily set in any of nine height positions — so you should be able to get comfortable with the machine no matter if you are tall or short.
Offsetting the handles is quick and simple — pull a lever and twist — so you won’t scrape your knuckles when working alongside fence lines or walls. The outer width of the wheels and track can also be regulated.
We find the Goldoni Special Lux 140, Uno 8DS and Uno 8S machines to be well balanced. Thanks to the differential, the machines are extremely manoeuvrable, which is handy where space is at a premium. A convenient lever — worked by a flick of the thumb — controls the diff lock for operations on boggy ground when the wheels are likely to slip and the machine needs more draft.
Start-up is simple. The machine has to be in neutral and the OPC engaged. Then, depending on the model, turn the key or pull the recoil. Key-start models have a recoil backup for use in the event of a flat battery. The engines are remarkably quiet. A bonus of the Super Lux 140 and Uno 8DS is that they can run on agricultural diesel, so even after the latest Budget it’s likely to remain a popular option when there is access to it.
Our testers find the machines easy to handle and comfortable to use, although it takes a few minutes to understand the gearing to get the best use from the various speeds.
The Super Lux 140 has four forward and three reverse transmissions. The Uno series has three forward and three reverse gears. Gear selection is via a lever and there is neutral between each gear. PTO engagement is the same as on a conventional tractor.
The quick-hitch system of attaching implements is impressive. Pulling down on a lever engages a spring clip and hook to hold back the coupling. The tractor is then moved away from one implement and lined up for the next.
Not quite so simple is the adjustment needed to swivel the handlebars from mowing to cultivating position. Although no tools are needed, it is necessary to unhook two or three levers. It takes a little practice, although the demonstrator completes the task in just 30 seconds.
Maintenance is straightforward with easy access to most parts. Battery access involves lifting the bonnet and undoing two wing nuts to remove a guard. If you work in very dry and dusty conditions it may be necessary to service the air filter daily. It’s a wet-bath filter so the job is messy, but it only takes a rinse with paraffin and topping up with oil.
We are impressed with the safety features, including the Motorstop — an OPC — and the reverse drive inhibitor that prevents reverse gears being used when the PTO is engaged.
All moving and hot mechanical parts are well protected.
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