Health and safety is a huge issue for many working in the outdoor environment, and none more so than those required to mow slopes. If you are responsible for safe working on severe inclines, then make a beeline for Simon Richard's stand (V17). The company will increase its bank-working product range this year with the introduction of the Reform Werke H4X and H5X Metrac Bank tractors.
Both models offer heavy-duty axles, four speed ranges, switchable twoor four-wheel drive, mechanical two-range gearing and electro hydraulic two-level switching and inching pedal. The all-wheel hydrostatic steering with load-sensing facility is switchable on the move to front, rear or crab steering mode. These new, compact models boost a high power-to-weight ratio.
Also on view will be the new 2010 model Muthing MU-FM and MU-C flails, now supporting self-cleaning "shark fin" shredding bar and new blades capable of reducing the power requirement by around 10 per cent.
Aebi Schmidt UK's upgraded Terratrac TT205 embankment tractor can be seen on stand W09. This four-wheel drive, four-wheel steer machine is equipped by a 50hp Kubota engine that provides hydraulic power via the front PTO shaft to operate a wide range of front-mounted implements. One of the first upgraded machines, fitted with flail mower, has been purchased by Anglian Water to control vegetation right down to the water's edge at Rutland Water.
More bank mowers, capable of working across slopes of up to 25 degs, feature on the Grillo stand (W28), along with the upgraded FD1500 and new FD1100 out-front mower with integral collection and the capability of mowing in extreme conditions. New for 2011 is the Grillo FX Zero Turn out-front mower. Powered by a 20hp twin-cylinder Kawasaki engine, this model is intended for smaller commercial operators and features a three-bladed cutting deck that can be switched between mulching or rear discharge without the driver leaving the seat. Height of cut is also adjusted electronically.
Managers needing to trim around trees and bushes or mow up to and under fencing and other obstacles should check out the new F800X Ferris mower displayed by IPU Group. This one is an out-front rather than mid-mount design and has a low profile. Fitted with a triple rotary head, it is available in either 61in or 72in cutting deck.
The machine is powered by a 30hp Yanmar engine and features two rugged 27-litre fuel tanks for increased acres/hour mowing coverage. The electric deck lifts to make cutting height easily adjustable from 38mm to 127mm in 6mm increments to allow a closer, more consistent cut through the Ferris ICD three-blade cutting system.
The IS2500Z series further expands the Ferris zero-turn line-up and offers diesel power with three deck-size options of 48, 52 or 61 inches to give mid-size rider performance with reduced overall weight. This should make it an ideal model for trailer transport. It can be powered by a 20hp or 26hp Yanmar three-cylinder engine and gives a forward ground speed of 10mph. Cutting height is adjustable through a foot-operated deck lift. You can see the F800X and IS2500Z on stand S26, along with IPU's diesel fuel conditioning products.
Another zero turn will make its debut on stand W44 and demo plot W46, as first-time exhibitor Sanli UK launches its SL127AD diesel-engined mower. With a cutting width of 48 inches (1.22m), this mower combines side-discharge and mulching deck.
Power to the wheels and cutter blades comes from a new twin-cylinder, water-cooled 18hp engine chosen to meet the demands of cost-conscious users with large areas of grass to maintain. Key features include two-lever independent zero-steering - it is a stick steer - and a cutting height range from 30mm to 90mm. Ask at the show about the "low" purchase price and running costs.
Trimax Mowing Systems comes to IoG Saltex to release its first major new product in almost 10 years - Merlin, a tri-deck rotary mower. It is being dubbed the world's first rotary mower for golf roughs and fairways. See it on stand DAB27. Originally designed for golf roughs and high-quality sports turf, the tractor-powered Merlin is reported to have performed beyond expectation.
Trimax marketing manager Tim Fanning says: "Merlin is unique to anything else on the market in terms of cut finish and therefore offers golf courses the opportunity to substantially reduce the money they spend on equipment. That's because it's very capable not only on roughs but also fairways, where we are seeing it outperform the traditionally used cylinder mowers."
According to Fanning, numerous design features give Merlin a high degree of accuracy and precision so it can cut at 12mm without scalping, even on undulating surfaces. He adds: "The financial incentives for courses are huge because you don't need to go out and buy a couple of expensive dedicated units to do each job. Instead, there is one mower that can go on the back of an underutilised tractor. The running costs per year are a fraction of what you pay to keep a cylinder mower going."
Fanning believes the greatest challenge for Trimax will be breaking the mindset that only cylinder mowers can be used on fairways. He continues: "The perception is very well embedded because up until now there has never been a rotary mower that can cut like a cylinder. We are focusing on the roughs market initially but we think over time there will be many courses using Merlin on fairways - and they will be top courses, not just the ones that have funding constraints." Production of the Merlin is due to commence in September.
More tractor-powered mowers will be exhibited by Major Equipment and Broadwood International. On stand T29, the Major TDR roller mower will show why it is becoming popular. Model TDR16000 cuts 13.2 acres per hour at a speed of 7mph, while the TDR20000 is capable of 16.5 acres per hour. The timed overlapping blades leave a fine cut. At the show, Major will introduce remote-control operation for the TDR16000.
The recently introduced ProGlider trailed system for Wessex RMX roller mowers takes pride of place on the Broadwood stand (R4). The ProGlider takes the strain and stress of transporting roller mowers off the back end of the tractor and suspends the mower on road transport wheels, thus eliminating the dangerous and damaging "rocking-horse" effect and minimising stress on the mower and tractor.
Available to fit all Wessex ProLine RMX roller mowers, the ProGlider is expected to attract attention at IoG Saltex. But also on show will be the Wessex STC120 multi-function collector. Likely to appeal to groundcare operatives, this machine can be specified as a flail mower collector, a sweeper collector or a scarifier collector.
A large mower requiring a small tractor, the Proflex TDR12 can be viewed on The Grass Group's stand (DAB 60). With a low PTO power requirement, this 3.7m-wide mower can be matched to tractors of just 30hp, leaving the bigger tractors free for other jobs. The TDR12 uses high-lift blades for a clean cut and the rollers produce a striped effect while cutting as low as 13mm without scalping.
If you are looking to reduce your environmental impact or the exposure of operators and bystanders to exhaust gases, noise and vibration, be sure to see the new battery-electric pedestrian fine turf mower being unveiled by Allett. Featuring an advanced electric motor and controller technology, this mower delivers very low hand/arm vibration and zero emissions, along with near-silent operation to make it ideal for use in noise-sensitive residential, commercial and resort locations.
Called the Elmow, this latest development from Allett's design and engineering centre in Hixon, Staffordshire, comes in 20in (51cm) and 24in (61cm) cutting widths to suit the mowing requirements of bowls and golf clubs, turf maintenance contractors and those looking after ornamental lawns. Prototype trials have shown that the machine can achieve up to four hours' mowing from a fully-charged battery pack, depending on the length of the grass, the cutting height and working gradients.
The battery pack has been chosen for ease of installation, so two could be interchanged to enable Elmow to work all day with minimal downtime and inconvenience. When in use, the 120mm diameter, 10-bladed cutting cylinder is preceded by a turf groomer designed to lift lateral grass growth, helping produce a consistently true and level finish. If not required, the groomer can be raised out of work.
Other features include no-tool cutting height adjustment from 2.4mm to 19mm, a combined cylinder reverser/speed reduction button for backlapping and a safety brake that engages when the machine is stationary but automatically disengages when forward or reverse drive is selected. Full production of the Elmow is scheduled to meet demand in the 2011 season. Prices of the mower, battery packs and other accessories will be announced at the show.
Also synonymous with ornamental and fine turf sports surfaces, Dennis will return to IoG Saltex with a new size and format of the Razor Ultra mower that caused so much interest last year. With 11-bladed cutting cylinder, ultra-short wheelbase for manoeuvrability, click height-adjusters and stub shafts for powered transport wheels, the new 22-inch (56cm) Razor model should appeal to groundsmen, greenkeepers and professional gardeners looking to achieve a manicured cut without the a need for a tungsten-tipped groomer.
Dennis managing director Ian Howard says: "We know that groundsmen and greenkeepers are highly skilled individuals with personal preferences on how to do the job, so we keep our range as versatile as possible. Our aim is always to give the professionals what they want."
WALK-BEHIND ROTARY MOWERS
Rotary pedestrian mowers will debut on the Sanli stand (W44 and demo W46). Bringing a stripe to ornamental lawns and other high-profile areas, the 19in (48cm) self-propelled roller mower is powered by a Sanli 5.5hp OHV engine and has a 60-litre grass catcher, soft-grip handles and single-point height adjustment.
If you do not want stripes, the 22in (56cm) rotary mower may appeal. A three-in-one cut and collect, cut and discharge or mulching machine, the Sanli 5.5hp unit is aimed at the semi-professional market. A pair of self-propelled wheeled rotaries with 19in (48cm) and 22in (56cm) aluminium decks will also be introduced on this stand.
You many remember models from their previous life under the "Harry" branding, but today you can see them marketed as "Active". The range, exhibited by Midland Power Machinery (DAC 21), is made up of steel-and-alloy-deck mowers powered by either Honda or Briggs & Stratton engines. Cutting widths from 16in (40.5cm) to 22in (56cm) are available.
Among its new products for this season, Honda is showing the HRS536SDE - a rough cut side-discharge model with mulching capability and built to perform in long grass.
Time spent interpreting standards and attempting to create a compliant system soon adds up and may not even result in success. Highways Sector Scheme 18 is now mandatory for organisations working on new contracts on certain Highways Agency property. Global QA Consultants (H34) has helped landscape firms to achieve certification in this new scheme.
Since its formation more than 15 years ago, Global QA has helped more than 800 organisations to achieve Government-approved (UKAS) certification to a variety of international and British standards and industry-specific schemes.
ONE TO WATCH
Two new products will make their debuts on Etesia's stand (U15), but the company is keeping details under wraps until the first day of the show.