But don’t be fooled by the basic appearance of these traditional mowers. They have a long history, but one of constant success, and alterations have only been made when they will bring clear advantages and improvements.
There is no doubt that Lloyds Leda mowers are robust. The frame is constructed of welded sectional steel.
It is designed to be tough, to articulate over undulations and to follow the towing vehicle on tight turns. And that is exactly what it does.
The gang is fitted to a 38hp John Deere tractor, though Lloyds tell us this mower can also be towed by a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
The trailer is equipped with pivoting arms and carrier frames to hold the Leda units. A lever on the tractor controls hydraulic rams on the trailer (an optional valve kit is available), allowing each unit to be lowered to the cutting position or raised for travelling.
For transport, the mower units are folded away into an assembly. The outfit is fitted with a towing coupling and braking system to comply with EU regulations, along with a full lighting system.
We are using the Leda Giant units for the first cut. These have 760mm-wide, 254mm-diameter cylinders and are fitted with cast wheels. Pneumatic tyres are also available. With six blades, these cylinders give 28 cuts per metre and offer cutting heights from a maximum of 76mm down to 19mm. Drive is via landwheels, through hardened gears with single-point grease lubrication.
Preparing to mow involves releasing the cylinders — the rear ones first — via a locking lever that pulls back and twists. The height is adjusted on a notched bracket and pin system on both sides of each cylinder — a job you would probably only do twice a year. It only takes a couple of minutes before the mower is put into action.
Our tester revs the tractor and sets off down the pitch. It’s an impressive sight. Cut grass flies into the air and after only a few metres, the tractor is totally lost in a fog of clippings.
But listen — you can actually hear the cylinders cutting the grass. The cylinders are “singing”.
The testers take turns to drive the tractor and within half an hour, the pitches have been mown twice. With a Leda, the gearing ensures you get the same cuts per metre, whatever the speed. The result is a finish that we reckon would be hard to better.
“You can’t beat that combination,” enthuses one tester, who quietly admits that he had doubts his regular mowing equipment would do the job.
Next we look at the Husky fitted with Leda Standard cylinders. These are 760mm wide, with 190mm diameter and come in four-, five-, six- and nine-bladed options. We are using the six-bladed cylinders, giving 33 cuts per metre. Total cutting width is 2.13m. And to finish the pitch, we use a set of standard cylinders with nine blades.
The fact that grease is used, rather than oil, is seen as an advantage — no risk of leaks and no puddles when the mower is parked — but what impresses our panel most is the simple and solid engineering of the Leda.
“Buy a Lloyds and you’ve bought a mower for life,” a tester suggests.
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