Condor takes off
The Howard Condor mower has become a top seller for the firm due to its slashing ability
Howard Australia’s Condor mower, originally destined for manicured parklands, is increasingly being used for slasher work as councils discover its capabilities.
At 3.5m wide – twice the width of an average mower – the Howard Condor mower handles heavier work well, “as long as you’re not trying to cut trees down with it”, Howard Australia design engineer Robert Condon says. “It’s good to get the best new technology and materials and work them into our machines for the market here, and it’s good to see something you’ve worked on performing out in the field so successfully.”
Condon says people have sought out Howard slashers, the company’s biggest selling machines, for decades.
“From the everlasting Nugget to the contractor-tough EHD models, our slashers have long been regarded as the best in the business,” Condon says. “Design work for various machines including changes to reflect new safety regulations, such as guards on slashers, has helped us to continually improve.
“There were improvements to body design to incorporate new materials and galvanising, and other areas of innovative upgrading for performance and size.”
In 2010, Condon started working on designs for a roller mower to suit the needs of councils, schools, roadsides and parks. A winged roller mower, known back then as RLM350, is what Condon describes as the most technically complicated design he had ever worked on. The RLM350 is now well-known as the Howard Condor.
Mowers aside, the company’s most successful project over past years in dollar terms is the production of Howard rotary hoes.
“Successful design is always a collaborative effort,” Condon says. “There’s a great deal of knowledge out in the field, and we also had input from a very knowledgeable sales team, so we had a very clear idea of what was working and how we could improve.
“The fact that Howard machines built here in the 1970s are still out there and still going strong has to be a testament to good design.”
The Howard brand has been around since 1923, weathering changes in structure, ownership and markets.