Turfmech Tornado 360

If you are looking to clear up leaves, debris or litter in record time, take a look at the Tornado 360 from Turfmech.

It will also blast away scarification material, hollow cores and even twigs, pine needles and pine cones - and it clears dew from fairways to enable mowing to begin early.

Sitting in the middle of a range of three tractor-mounted blowers from Turfmech, the 360 requires 30hp to 45hp. Recent improvements see the unit produce a greater flow, wider air delivery pattern and quieter operation. It is driven by vee-belts from the PTO input shaft and its centrifugal impellor now has a more efficient air inlet, generating about 30 per cent more airflow for sideward shifting of debris. Maximum air speed is 210km/h. There is a blast "intensifier" - a flap at the end of the air outlet that can be moved up or down - to better dislodge and shift stubborn wet material. An optional connection enables the intensifier to be adjusted from inside the tractor cab.

Noise is not an issue as far as our testers are concerned. "I expected it to be noisy and drone," confesses Murray. "But it's very bearable."

Murray also likes the way it is close-coupled to the tractor. "It's tight to the back of the tractor, so it follows wherever you go. I had no trouble getting in and out of grouped trees on the lawn."

Another feature that impresses is the anti-scalp rear roller. It follows undulations without scalping. "You don't have to worry about digging the machine into the turf when you are reversing," Murray points out. Being able to reverse without worrying will help save even more time.

As well as clearing leaves, the blower we tested removes the dew, although you would need to experiment with what level of blow is needed for this.

No marking was evident after the test. The Tornado 360 has wide pneumatic turf tyres fitted to the twin height-adjustable castor wheels at the front. The wheels and roller also ensure it is easy to move around the workshop.

Tractor requirement: 30-45hp
Air speed: 210km/h
Weight: 285kg
List price: POA
Contact: Turfmech Machinery on 01889 271503


The review panel
Andre Gardner, grounds manager, Cannington Campus, Bridgwater College
Steve Hasell, machinery lecturer, Cannington Campus, Bridgwater College
Hugh Murray, head greenkeeper, Cannington Golf Club
Ashley Hale, apprentice groundsman, Cannington Campus, Bridgwater
Mark Ekin, horticulture area manager, College of West Anglia, Wisbech
John Tangye, instructor and NPTC assessor, Littlefield Manor Training
Centre, Guildford

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