Toro Reelmaster 5010 Series fairway mower

It looks as though the “red” march into UK golf clubs is set to continue. This is the latest offering from Toro and it has rather a lot going for it. It has been built with the operator in mind. It has also been built with the mechanic in mind. But most of all it has been built for the one thing that really matters — a better cut. And that is exactly what you get. Even in the showery conditions at the test site, there is no evidence of clumping, no sign of torn grass-blades and no double wheel marking.
The Toro Reelmaster 5010 Series fairway mower is said to bring precision mowing to the fairway. The aim is a better quality of cut and better after-cut appearance. It achieves this through a combination of the materials used in the blades and bedknife and what Toro calls “DPA” cutting units. DPA stands for Dual Precision Adjustment. Setting up the DPA cutting units requires two adjustments — height of cut and bedknife to reel — and both are easy.
The cutting units are available in three versions — 12.7cm diameter with eight blades and 17.8cm diameter with either eight or 11 blades. The blades are crafted from high-strength spring steel to hold a sharp edge longer so the grass is cut cleanly, not torn. The EdgeMax bedknife has a tool-steel leading edge to retain sharpness up to three times longer than standard bedknives. As well as seeing benefits in the cutting performance and after-cut appearance, the new units should also mean fewer adjustments have to be made, reduced grinding and generally less down time.
To enable you to achieve what you want on the course and get most from your investment, the 5010 Series has a range of optional, high-quality accessories. In addition to a Verticutter, there is a “Quick-Set” fairway groomer for a truly spruced after-cut appearance. Rotating blades help reduce grain, control thatch, knock off dew to minimise clumping and stand the grass up ready for a clean cut as well as dispersing the clippings. A Broomer kit can be used with the groomer and a powered rear roller brush system keeps the roller clean — again minimising unsightly clumping.
For the operator, however, it is comfort that counts. And from the ergonomic point of view, the 5010 Series has it all. For starters, there is the fully adjustable deluxe seat. For even greater comfort, particularly for the more demanding applications, there is an optional air-ride suspension seat. Of course, there is the usual cup holder and radio holder. The steering wheel tilts, making you feel really at home. This one has power steering and, in case it is needed, there is also a simple-to-adjust speed limiter under the pedal.
All the controls are to hand on an arm-rest console to your right. This is where you will find the ignition, throttle, reel engagement and gauges for temperature, oil pressure and battery. On the side of the console there is also an hour meter and the whole console tilts and swings out of the way if you want to climb onto the machine from that side. The controls are all well labelled and are distinctly “family Toro” — so what you see here is common to other Toro kit — but just in case you need reminding about anything, the manual is tucked into a handy capsule below the seat.
Unless you are long-legged, you might find it a bit of stride to get into the seat if you have the grass catchers in place. There is a step to aid you on your way, but the temptation is to push off against the ROPS or lunge forward and grab at the steering wheel. Without the catchers it is much easier and once in the seat visibility over the cutting units is outstanding. With the engine behind you, noise to the operator is reduced.
In the UK, three models of 5010 mowers are available, all with five cutting units giving a 2.54m cutting width. The RM5410 and RM5510 have 35.5hp four-cylinder Kubota diesel engines, the 5410 being fitted with 12.7cm eight-bladed reels and the 5510 having the larger 17.8cm reels with a choice of eight or 11 blades. The top-of-the-series RM5610 has a 44.2hp Kubota engine and is also fitted with the larger diameter reels. All units feature simple-to-use, variable-speed hydrostatic drive systems and all come as standard with two-wheel drive. All-wheel drive (AWD) is an option with CrossTrax for wet terrain and steep slopes.
The CrossTrax AWD system is based on the Toro Series/Parallel design and works by transferring power. If one of the front tyres begins to slip, power is transferred to the opposite rear tyre to improve traction. The really good thing about CrossTrax AWD is that you don’t have to make up your mind about it straight away. A retro-fit kit is available if you decide you need it at a later date. And fitting the kit shouldn’t be too difficult — this machine is endowed with features that mechanics will love.
The new reels and bedknife should mean less frequent grinding but the 5010 Series also boasts RSM — that’s Reduced Simplified Maintenance. To begin with, access is easy — hinges on the operator platform, bonnet and rear screen mean you can get at components in seconds and there is plenty of room to get hands and spanners into position. All routine service points can be reached from the left side of the machine.
At a time when many clubs are struggling financially, the starting price of £26,750 for the new Reelmaster has to be viewed as a serious investment — but we will almost certainly see some of the bigger courses taking advantage of this technology to mow fairways.

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