At this time of year we are actively considering our machinery requirements for the coming season. Traditionally we have used cylinder mowers to cut our sports fields and open spaces. However on this occasion we are considering purchase of rotary mowers such as a 5m wide Tri-deck roller mower and an out front rotary to replace our 4.6m wide seven cylinder mower and 2.1m wide triple ride on cylinder mower.
Having had demonstrations of these machines we generally like:-
1. Their relative simplicity
We are hoping with blade replacement costs set against cylinder regrinds our maintenance costs could be reduced by about 50%.
2. Overall costs
For a comparable width of cut purchase cost savings in order of 25-30% can be achieved.
3. Ability to cut long/wet grass
Our cylinder mowers give a fantastic cut when set up properly but with grass over 50-60mm they tend to struggle. The rotaries that we have tested seem able to cut grass to a high standard up to sward height of 100mm and to a lesser standard to a height of 150mm. Beyond that and one is in ‘flail territory’.
4. Ease of every day maintenance
As previously mentioned cylinder mowers give a great finish but can require a lot of setting up by a skilled operator.
Rotary mowers will de-skill this requirement and be less prone to damage with attendant re-setting following contact with stones and other obstacles.
However our concerns regarding rotary mowers centre around the following:
1. Their ability to follow contours. Our seven unit gang will flow with the ground so to speak. A wider Tri-deck mower will not.
2. The quality of cut may not be as high as a cylinder but because if requires less adjustment will maintain a given quality of cut much more readily over a more sensitive cylinder mower.
We would welcome your thoughts and experience of rotary v cylinder mowers. Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org