Rethink entire lawn care fleet, local authorities urged

Local authorities need to reassess their entire kit fleet on value, performance and function after the spending review, according to an industry expert.

Simon Richard, an agent for the Reform and Shibaura Tractor ranges, said councils had to balance capital expenditure with the best service. "Delivering cut quality at less frequent intervals is achievable by increasing the level of rotary flails," he said.

He added that the move from cylinder gangs to roller mowers, articulating rotaries and flail mowers was largely dependant on cost.

Rotaries and flail mowers generally cost less to buy and maintain, he explained. Rotary flail could "tick a number of municipal task boxes", said Richard, such as offering a rough, fine or smooth cut finish for golf or football surfaces.

Geoff Lake, area parks manager for Leicester City Council, said if cutting regimes were reduced, flails would work well with longer and wetter grass. SGM Contracts managing director Steven McInroy added: "The capital cost of a ride-on with flail is significantly lower than that of a cylinder mower."

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