TESTED THIS WEEK Timan RC-750
THE REVIEW PANEL
- Alan Smith, operator, ECS Facilities
We have found a bank that needs cutting. It is too steep for a walk-behind mower and our risk assessment suggests that much of it is not safe even for an operator with an appropriate brushcutter. We could use a tractor and verge mower, but not all areas are accessible for the size of tractor that would be required. It is time to test a bank mower.
There are several bank mowers on the market. Some have tracks, some have wheels. Some are rotary, others are flail. Some are ride-on, some are remote-controlled. In this test we look at the Timan RC-750. Imported into the UK by Campey Turf Care Systems, this is a tracked, remote-controlled machine with a heavy-duty flail cutter.
The test took place in the grounds around New Holland's Basildon tractor plant, normally maintained by contractor ECS Facilities. Conditions on the day were dry and sunny, although rain had fallen earlier in the week, leaving wet areas.
Other bank mowers include:
- Greenmech Multi-Task tractor
- Reform Metrac bank tractors
- Etesia Atilia 180 ride-on
- Shibura SG280A 4WD ride-on
- IRUS Deltrak remote-controlled
- Ransomes Spider remote-controlled
- RoboFlail remote-controlled
Worried about the steepness of your banks? Concerned about hand/arm vibration? Got thick vegetation that needs cutting with a heavy-duty mower? Then it is time that you took a look at the Timan RC-750.
Being remote-controlled, many of the health and safety issues normally associated with mowing are eliminated. But this machine is no toy. It is fearless when it comes to steep inclines and ploughs through dense vegetation with ease. In our test, this machine even turns hawthorn saplings and brambles to pulp.
The first thing that we notice about the Timan is its compact size. It is small enough and sufficiently light to be easily moved on a small trailer or even in the back of a van - though at 290kg gross weight, it does need ramping. Its size also means this machine will negotiate tight spaces and, at just 50cm tall, it will work under trees. Best of all, its lowness to the ground means it has remarkable stability.
Timan will work on difficult terrain and gives a sure-footed performance on slopes of up to 58 degrees. The tracks are independently suspended, giving four points of ground contact for most of the time the machine is working. Yet with a working width of 75cm, and with a fast forward speed where able, the mower gets the job done quickly.
Power comes from a 15hp Honda petrol engine with hydraulic transmission to the tracks and belt drive through a hydrostatic link to the flail mower on the front end. Being out-front, Timan cuts the grass before the tracks can flatten it and is also capable of cutting close to walls and edges. Changing the flails or carrying out maintenance of the head is a breeze - simply pull the lever and lift the head to the service position.
The control box is full of buttons and joysticks but everything is clearly labelled. It is not long before Smith masters the functions. "I'm not a PlayStation person, but it is easy to use. I got the hang of it first time," he says.
Timan will work up to 150m away from the control unit. Engine power is cut in the event of the machine trying to wonder off further. There is also an emergency stop button on the control box.
We found that, without considerable care and concentration, the tracks can scuff and mark previously well manicured turf. But when it comes to dense vegetation and overgrown sites, Timan is completely at home. Whatever it can climb up and knock down, it will mulch - and that includes hawthorn with 50mm stem diameter.
"I'm very impressed with it and I can't believe the thickness of the vegetation it goes through," says Smith. The price of the Timan is also attractive - up to £10k less than some other remote-controlled bank mowers.
Engine: Honda 15hp
Cutting width: 75cm
Dimensions: 165cm x 87cm x 50cm
Max working angle: 58 degrees
List price ex VAT: Expect to pay around £20,000
Contact: Campey Turf Care Systems on 01260 224568