What kit is available to mow grass on steep slopes?

There is kit designed specifically for mowing steep inclines, but it comes at a price. In terms of ride-on mowers, the Attila 180 from Etesia has been much reported since its launch three years ago. This is the automatic self-levelling machine that keeps the operator, engine and controls upright while two fully independent, floating cutting decks follow uneven terrain contours.
It is safe to 27? and has a rotary cutting mechanism with rear discharge, working over a width of 1.8m. List price is £28,950 ex VAT so you need to have a fair amount of work for it. It’s perhaps most suited to contractors looking to offer specialist services in bank maintenance.
For steeper slopes it would be wise to consider mowing “remotely”, where the machine tackles the risks of the incline and the operator stands at a safe distance with both feet on flat ground.
The first remote-controlled machine suitable for mowing on slopes was introduced two years ago, and won the Horticulture Week best new product award at IoG Saltex 2004. It is, of course, the Ransomes Spider ILD 01 radio-controlled mower.
The Spider, list price £19,995 ex VAT, is powered by a two-cylinder, four-stroke 18hp engine. The operator has radio control of the hydrostatic transmission, forward and reverse travel, 360? continuous steering, mower blade engagement and cutting-height adjustment.
Particularly suitable for steep and inaccessible semi-rough areas, roadside embankments and the banks around reservoirs, the Spider will mow on slopes up to 40?. Its main limitation is its working width — just 0.8m — but a larger version is expected in the future.
And now there’s a machine to tackle even steeper slopes. The new Deltrak remote-controlled mower from IPU Group is designed to work on angles of up to 50?. This is a tracked machine and it cuts by means of flails, powered by a 25hp or 31hp Vanguard air-cooled V-twin petrol engine or 27hp Briggs Diahatsu diesel engine. There is also a choice of 1,050mm or 1,250mm cutting heads. Cutting height is adjustable.
The Deltrak works by means of a “zero-gravity articulating system” that enables the engine to be in an upright position at all times and ensures full lubrication of internal parts at all times and under all load conditions. Maximum speed of this 600kg mower is 6km/h.

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