Green gives smoothest cut

The Witness - Wheels - - INDUSTRY - ALWYN VILJOEN

The sing song of the horse rac­ing com­men­ta­tor at Scottsville Race Course was re­placed by talk of turf tyres, reel and ro­tary cut­ting blades and 4x4 driv­e­trains on Thurs­day May 5.

Fran­cois Marais, mar­ket­ing and sales di­rec­tor at Mas­cor, SA’s award win­ning John Deere deal­er­ship, said the group was not into sell­ing trac­tors, but into pro­vid­ing so­lu­tions.

Mas­cor had in­vited mem­bers of the In­sti­tute for En­vi­ron­men­tal and Re­cre­ation Man­agers to a pre­sen­ta­tion of mow­ers, sprayers and light trac­tors, but it was John Deere’s “big bakkie”, of­fi­cially called the ProGa­tor 2030a diesel that gar­nered the most nods. Af­ter the pre­sen­ta­tions, the cam­ou­flaged Ga­tor had a queue of of­fi­cials try­ing the seats.

Mas­cor’s sports turf mower ex­pert, Doug Lyall, told the of­fi­cials these ma­chines are not cheap, start­ing at R700k for a five gang cut­ting sys­tem, but added these ma­chines are the only cut­ting sys­tem that can ren­der the striped lawns seen on top tour­na­ment pitches.

The lat­est three-wheel drive fair­way mower, the 7200a fea­tures the same driv­e­train that has been tried and tested for 16 years, but the cut­ting width of the blades can in­creased or re­duced, while the mow­ing and trans­port speeds of the mower are also man­aged by com­puter to save fuel and avoid op­er­a­tors speed­ing in the work area.

The big­gest fair­way mower is the 8700a, avail­able in two or four wheel drive con­fig­u­ra­tion.. Us­ing John Deere’s pro­pri­etary Load Match sys­tem, the drive wheels au­to­mat­i­cally com­pen­sate for dif­fer­ing turf con­di­tions when thicker grass slows the sys­tem down. This en­sures the finest cut and pitches that are tour­na­ment ready. For rougher work, the 8800a is fit­ted stan­dard with 4 wheel drive and uses ro­tary blades to evenly cut grass blades up to 125mm high. This mower is ideal for large park lawns to cre­ate smooth back­drops for wed­ding pho­tos, or to de­liver flat and even soc­cer pitches.

The Mas­cor show also hosted the Stihl ex­hi­bi­tion trailer, which was packed with all the chain saws, trim­mers and branch pruners a park man­ager could de­sire, as well as that noi­some tool that was de­signed by the devil him­self, the petrol-driven leaf blower.

But the good news for all the neigh­bours who don’t start clean­ing their gar­dens at 7 am on Satur­day morn­ings, said Stihl staffer Bren­den de Vil­liers, that there is now an all-elec­tric model.

This cord­less BGA100 is also Stihl’s most pow­er­ful leaf blower, but in this case, the si­lence is lit­er­ally worth gold. The blower costs R6 435 ex VAT and the A3000 lithium-ion bat­tery, which lasts about 100 min­utes at full throt­tle, or three to four hours of nor­mal, but bliss­fully quiet blow­ing, costs an­other R18 150 ex VAT.

De Vil­liers said the ini­tial out­lay on a cord­less blower is lot higher than a petrol model, but the run­ning and main­te­nance costs were a lot lower.

Hor­ti­cul­tur­al­ists at the Mitchell Park Zoo, at the top of Florida Rd in Morn­ing­side, Dur­ban will soon be test­ing the quiet blower. The groundskeep­ers there are al­ways striv­ing to make the least amount of noise for the ben­e­fit of the birds, an­i­mals and visi­tors.

John Deere’s 3x3 fair­way mow­ers are the only type of ma­chines that de­liver the al­ter­nate dark and light mowed lines seen on top sport fields and golf cour­ses.


Mas­cor’s sports turf mower ex­pert Doug Lyall on John Deere’s ver­sa­tile ProGa­tor 2030a diesel.

eThek­wini staff on the ‘lit­tle JD bakkie’ (from left): Basheshile Thusi, No­mafu Dlamini, Jab­u­lani Mdin­iso, and Nosipho Ndz­im­bomvu.

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