Built in the US by Befco on behalf of Rotomec of Italy, and imported into the UK by Gambetti Barre, this three-deck rotary finishing mower is a strong machine that is well built, but very simple to use.
It’s a trailed unit, the mainframe riding on two wide wheels, and requires a tractor of just 25hp because it is lightweight. In fact, this is the smallest of three Cyclone Flex mowers — the others being 4.5m and 5.1m. There are nine blades, but they are small and it doesn’t take a huge amount of power to set them turning. As a result, a high cutting speed can be maintained.
Our tester revs the tractor and sets off across a wide expanse of lawn. With speeds touching 15km/h, he flies to the end, turns quickly and comes back.
He raises all three decks, hydraulically, to their vertical position. It’s easy to see that the units would be easy to clean and simple to maintain. The tester inspects his work — thumbs up — lowers the units and sets off again.
The Cyclone Flex consists of a carrier-frame, mechanically and hydraulically connected to three rear discharge Cyclone C50 grooming mowers. The tractor PTO is connected through a wide-angle drive line with slip clutch to a four-way splitter gearbox. The heavy-duty, wide-angle joint allows 80? turns and the slip clutch provides protection in the event of anything jamming the blades.
Two side shafts and a rear shaft transfer power from the central gearbox to individual gearboxes on each mower. These gearboxes have spiral gears for strength and quietness. The belts are just under the decks and are always running in a flat configuration. They are easy to reach for maintenance. The gearboxes are designed and built by Rotomec and have cooling fans.
Height adjustment is by means of spacers secured by a clip. It is necessary to adjust at each of the wheels — that’s four per deck, making a total of 12. But it is simple to do. “It’s something you would do as the season progresses,” says White. Height ranges from 25mm to 125mm in 10mm increments.
Maintenance is also simple. The greasing of hubs and spindles is done from the top of each spindle assembly. We also like the options — you can choose from four different blade types, three types of drawbar and two types of tyres. A mulching kit can be bolted on through pre-drilled holes.
But it is the practicality of the machine that impresses most. A giant version — the Super Flex — is also available with a 6m working width and a tractor requirement of 35-80hp.
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