The automatic mowing speed is engaged with the “mow” pedal. Disengage it and the mower immediately assumes transport mode. It couldn’t be simpler. What’s more, with a 1.47m working width, cutting efficiency is considerably up on a walk-behind greensmower and the result is still a striped finish. A competition model can be supplied with powered groomer and rear-roller brushes for extra cleanliness when it’s needed. Other options include verti-reel units and micro-adjustable turf combs.
Being British isn’t the only feature that makes the Greenstar unique. It is the only greensmower that comes with permanent all-wheel drive — that’s three wheels. We find the all-wheel drive increases traction and reduces skidding — we reckon that should be a real benefit to greenkeepers needing to maintain a high green-to-green travel speed first thing in the morning prior to play.
The Teestar shares many of the features of the Greenstar but has a 1.82m cutting width and is fitted with wider, larger diameter cylinders. There is a choice of six- or 10-bladed units, and height of cut is adjustable from 6mm to 38mm using the micro-adjusters and quick-adjust system.
We test the Greenstar on a nine-hole golf course and, because it is adaptable for mowing other areas including amenity turf and sports areas, we use the Teestar on the cricket wicket. Both machines have power steering.
“It’s a compact machine and very manoeuvrable. Power pick-up is smooth and the brakes are very responsive. It’s doing a top-class job and leaves a lovely finish — that’s important,” says our tester as he finishes the wicket.
A common power unit — fitted with 20.3hp Perkins three-cylinder diesel engine — is used for both the Greenstar and Teestar. The engine is mounted low for stability but giving good ground clearance for running over undulating ground. What’s more there’s sufficient power for the job without revving and this, combined with full cowling, results in one of the quietest diesel-powered, ride-on mowers we have come across. The 80dBA operation noise-level is ideal for those early starts. The cowling does not impede access for maintenance and servicing — simply lift the cover.
But it’s the quick-change units that sell this mower for one of our testers. The quick-detach motors simply unscrew and pull aside, then there is a pin and an R-clip and the unit rolls out and away – it takes seconds to remove each cutting head.
“That is so easy,” enthuses our man. “It should save a lot of time.”
All our testers find the Greenstar and Teestar machines easy to use and comfortable. On both machines the grass collectors are easy to fit and remove. Each has a grab-handle so grass can be tipped or tossed with little effort.
The safety technology on both machines is also impressive. The engine cannot be started unless the transmission is in neutral. When the operator leaves the seat to empty the collectors, the cutting reels immediately stop revolving and the transmission is isolated.
The engine is fitted with auto shutdown should it ever reach an over-temperature situation, and for parking purposes there is a separate switch to lower the units without engaging drive to the cylinders.
New health and safety regulations also mean that the need to fit ROP to ride-on mowers could, depending on the circumstances and the risk assessment, become essential. A ROP bar for the Greenstar and Teestar, together with retractable seat belt and seat restraining catch, is offered as an option on new machines.
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