A few minutes are needed to study the controls on the Paladin. Clutches and throttle are operated from the handle. There’s an OPC in the form of a small trigger that, although very lightweight, feels more like a clutch lever than other OPCs we have used. Our tester instinctively wants to release the OPC trigger as well the clutch, but he soon gets used to it and finds the Paladin to be a powerful and manoeuvrable mower with a good turn of speed.
But what we really like about the Paladin is the independent spring-actuated plate clutches and oil-bath gearbox, with v-belt final drive to the cylinder and chain drive to the divided cast-aluminium rear roller. It’s the transmission that prevents the machine from snatching as it takes-off and provides the exceptional performance. It is not only kind to the turf, but our testers also appreciate the smooth take-off. One says: “It is a really well-balanced machine and I like the way it just pulls away gently with no sudden lurch or jerking.”
The Paladin is constructed from high-grade cast aluminium, so rusting is not going to be a problem. Power — and there’s plenty of it — comes from a four-horsepower, four-stroke Honda engine.
There’s an option of five-, nine- and 11-bladed reels giving 86, 155 and 190 cuts per metre respectively so you can match the clipping rate to your requirements. Height of cut adjustment, from 1.5mm to a maximum of 16mm, is via a single ratcheted adjuster with fine increments of 0.35mm and additional alignment compensation.
The cutting cylinder is of welded construction with high carbon chromium steel blades and the bottom bar assembly comprises replacement high carbon chromium steel knife mounted on a rigid cast iron bar. A range of blades is available for different applications.
This machine is precise and positive in its cutting and performance. What’s more, the Paladin can give its performance without causing any back strain to the operator. The handles are adjustable to nine positions for users’ comfort and can be used released and floating for undulating lawns.
Lloyds, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary, is continuing to develop the successful formula of its Paladin mowers. New this year, the Paladin TG offers all the features of the original mower, but with the benefit of a groomer fitted closely between the cutting cylinder and the grooved front roller. The groomer can be engaged or disengaged via a simple clutch arrangement and the dual adjusters located on each sideplate will alter the height of both the groomer and the front roller.
Options for the Paladin include groomer, rake and vertirake assemblies, plus a grooved front roller. A transport kit is available comprising 95mm wide, 260mm diameter rubber-tyred wheels. These wheels are held in place with simple R-clips. The grassbox comes as standard.
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