If you want a wide cut, a quality cut and versatility from your machinery, then the Progressive TDR-15 Roller Mower should be on your shortlist. Whether you tend playing fields, parks and municipal open spaces, sports facilities, polo fields or even fields down to turf production, this kit could suit your needs.
Its versatility comes from the cutting height — infinitely adjustable from 4in (100mm) down to as low as ½in (13mm) without scalping. Decks move 15° down, 25° up and 12° front to back. The finish is enhanced by a blade-tip speed of 5,574m per minute and stripes for visual impact.
We find the cutting quality is boosted by high-lift blades that create sufficient vacuum to lift the grass for a clean and even cut. Cutting dispersal impresses both our testers. The clippings are distributed evenly across the full length of the 150mm-diameter, thick-walled rollers. Cable-type cleaners are fitted to each roller as standard.
"That is a really clean cut," says Braund as he surveys his work. "It is a good spread pattern and you can pull it really quickly."
There are three 65in (165cm) decks, each with three blades, making up the generous total cutting width of 15ft 6in (4.7m). This mower really covers the ground — and fast. At 6mph it can cover 11.3 acres in an hour, aided by its 360° turning. Despite the generous cutting width, turn with this mower and there should be no uncut circle. You can be straight back into the next run.
We like the simplicity of this mower. It is solidly built. The decks comprise a single piece of 5mm steel plate formed and welded with supporting members at high-stress areas for structural strength. The blades are alloy steel and the support bars are welded to 30mm-diameter spindles, which are in turn supported by two greaseable bearings, and machined for balance. Two ½in bolts hold the blade rigid to provide a clean and level cut.
Deck drive is from the power take-off (PTO) shaft (telescopic) to a right-angled gearbox driving two "B" section belts to the spindles. Belt adjustment is easy — simply loosen four bolts and adjust the slide plates forwards or backwards.
It is easy to set up and the onboard spanner fits all the nuts and bolts. Adjusting the height at each corner takes no more than 10 minutes. The decks also offer easy access for service and maintenance.
"The ability to lift all the decks also makes the mower really easy to clean," says Gardner. "The decks are not too enclosed so it is easy to jet wash them and you can be satisfied that they are totally clean of debris."
Making a tidy package for transport, this mower folds to 84in (2.13m) wide and is lit and triangled ready for the road. Deck standoffs provide stability in transport without the need for straps or brackets.
Cutting width 4.7m
Height of cut Infinite — 13-100mm
Transport dimensions (LxWxH) 4.27x2.13x2.46m
Tractor 30hp minimum/50hp maximum
Hydraulics One double-acting outlet
List price TBC
Tel The Grass Group — 01638 720123
With budgets remaining under pressure, no one can afford to waste time when mowing. Time pressure is also a feature on golf and sports facilities as players expect to find facilities ready for use. Mowing must be done quickly, in the most cost-efficient manner and with little or no downtime and delay. Does that mean compromising on presentation?
In this test we look at three trailed mowers. Two — the Progressive TDR-15 and Trimax’s new Snake — are three-deck roller mower configurations that should appeal to those maintaining facilities as varied as parks and pitches to golf courses and turf farms.
We also look at the latest Progressive Pro-Flex model — a contour mower now benefiting from automatic belt tensioners and fewer greasing points. It also features Pro Lift-N-Turn to get you across pathways and back to mowing as quickly as possible. But what will our testers make of this Canadian-built mower, supplied in the UK by The Grass Group?
Test day was a scorcher. High temperatures and a lack of rain over previous days meant the grass was dry. Not ideal mowing conditions, but in a working environment jobs have to be done when they need doing. Parts of the Cannington golf course, plus the driving range, were left for us to mow.
The Review Panel
Sam Braund, grounds worker, Bridgwater College, Cannington Campus
Andre Gardner, grounds manager, Cannington Centre for Landbased Studies, Bridgwater College