El NiÑo’s fury has not only brought natural disasters and a warmer winter, but also record amounts of rainfall in many areas, which may mean conditions are right for fast-growing roadside vegetation that will need to be controlled.
This spring, maintenance crews across the country are gearing up for the yearly battle with Mother Nature. Roadside maintenance not only provides an aesthetically pleasing environment for motorists, but also provides an element of safety. Tree limbs can obstruct traffic signs and signals, and tall grasses can obstruct intersections, blocking the view of motorists.
The Alamo Industrial Interstater by Alamo Industrial, Seguin, Texas, has left- and right-side mowers and will mow a 20-ft swath, cutting 12-acres per hour at 5 mph. The hydraulically operated, 88-in. wings can mow slopes, ditches or flatlands and may be raised as necessary to avoid obstacles. The rear 88-in. flail is powered by the tractor’s PTO and leveled by the three-point hitch control. The specially-designed housing and vertical flail action deflects debris downward rather than outward.
The company also offers the Industrial Hydro 15, a hydraulically powered flex-wing rotary mower that cuts a 15-ft-wide swath through tough grass and weeds. It is a pull-type mower with a self-leveling frame and dual tail wheels. There are no drivelines coming from the tractor’s PTO to the mower and no gearboxes or moving parts above the mower deck. Flexible hoses carry pressurized hydraulic fluid to the mower’s hydraulic motor allowing the tractor to turn at any angle to a point where the tractor wheel touches the mowing unit. As a safety feature, when a wing of the Hydro 15 is folded above any desired angle, the blade will come to a complete stop.
Alitec, Brownsburg, Ind., offers three models of flail mowers that can turn any 1,300 lb or larger skid steer into a rough-cut mower. The mower can typically mow tall grass and brush or trees up to 1.5 in. The maneuverability of a skidsteer allows the Alitec into areas that might be limited by a larger mower, while offering higher productivity and horsepower over riding mowers, according to the company. The models FM62, FM74 and FM88 offer a cutting width of 62 in., 74 in. and 88 in. The forward rotation allows the knives to pick up flattened grass and weeds as it cuts, shreds and discharges material evenly at the rear of the mower. The replaceable knives are available in various sizes, and fold back on impact with rocks and other debris and return to cutting position. A belt drive design allows the unit to be operated in close proximity to obstacles such as fences and guardrails.
The DewEze ATM-72, from DewEze, Harper, Kan., has a 27-hp air-cooled diesel engine to power the fully hydraulic, floating mower deck. The floating deck enables the mower to mow slopes, ditches and crests. A hydrostatic control and auto-leveling system keep the operator fully and safely upright on slopes. Some of the other features include quick, tight turns with rear discharge, simple blade maintenance and an operator’s seat designed for maximum safety, comfort, functionality and durability.
Encore’s Prowler Front Cut has a dual path hydrostatic drive and dual tail wheels for added stability and turning control. It has a zero turning radius in 52 in. and 61 in. cutting widths and the deck flips up for easy cleaning, blade access and compact storage. Encore offers customers a choice of either a 20-hp water-cooled Kawasaki or 22-hp air-cooled Kohler engine. The Beatrice-Neb. company also has added a new Z-series rider called the Z52 that has a wider cutting deck, more horsepower and anti-scalp rollers compared to earlier Z42 and Z48 models.
The Mid-Sized Bale Chopper from Goosen, Beatrice, Neb., has the capacity to shred 4 to 7 bales per minute, according to the company. The units are powered by either a 20-hp Honda or 35-hp Wisconsin engine, and also are available with PTO capability. A variable speed conveyor feed provides the operator with a steady flow of material intake and discharge to provide an even layer of mulch. The feed conveyor features a forward and reverse direction. A 32 in.-diam. blower with 360û directional spout allows for material distribution of 60 ft-90 ft depending upon wind conditions.
Gravely International, Brillion, Wis., offers the Promaster 360D front-mount riding mower available with a 22.3-hp Yanmar liquid-cooled diesel engine and a choice of 50 in.- or 60 in.-side-discharge or 60in. rear-discharge mulching mower. Each mower is offset to allow for ease in trimming, and the variable speed hydrostatic transmission provides speeds up to 8.8 mph. Additional features include front and rear tie downs, a transmission brake to secure the unit for safe transport and power steering for ease of operation and less operator fatigue. Operation is by means of a single foot control.
Excel Industries, Hesston Kan., has added the 48 in. UpperCut deck - a dual-trim, rear-discharge, mulching/ catching deck for the ShortCut line of commercial turf equipment. The UpperCut has three mowing blades that cut the grass and channel it up above the center blade to the UpperCut chamber, where four combination cutter/fan blades cut and recut the grass and discharge it out the rear. According to the company, the deck wraps completely around the back side of the blade creating suction for a clean finish. Excel Hustler manufactures a complete line of commercial riding rotary mowing equipment. All 11 models feature true zero radius turning maneuverability and year-round attachments.
The John Deere 5000 TEN Series Utility Tractors from John Deere, Raleigh, N.C., replaces the 5000 Series and offers high-torque John Deere engines with more horsepower. There are four transmissions to choose from and a redesigned operator station to make the 5210, 5310 and 5410 easier to operate.
In the arena of front mowers, John Deere offers the F735, a compact and agile F700 Series, in a diesel version. It features a 60 in.- mower, an overhead valve and four-cycle Yanmar diesel engine with 20.5 hp. The Z Trak front mower has a zero turning radius and is available in two models - the 20-hp F620 and 25-hp F625 gas models. Featuring 11 ft of cutting width, the John Deere WF1655 wide-area front mower has 51 hp and is equipped with an overhead-valve four-cycle Yanmar diesel engine.
Mowing attachments include a 60 in.- mower deck that is available for the F700 series front mowers. It has a cold-rolled-steel reinforcing bar welded to the bottom skirt of the mower to provide increased rigidity and overall strength.
For smaller jobs, the company offers the hydrostatic wide-area walk-behind mower, which controls speed, direction and tracking with one lever for easy maneuverability. Operators can choose from a 36 in.- 38 in.- or 54 in.-mower deck.
The company also offers a line of compact utility tractors for roadside maintenance work. Two models in the series are currently available, the 4100 Gear and the 4100 Hydro.
Kubota, Torrance, Calif., offers the F2260, F2560 and F3060 4WD models powered by Kubota’s ISO-mounted E-TVCS diesel engines, rated at 22 hp, 25 hp and 30 hp. The 2WD F2560E engine delivers 25 hp. These clean-burning engines have reduced vibration, lower noise levels and high torque rise. All models feature a single-pedal operated hydrostatic transmission, which makes changing directions easy, according to the company. The F60 models are available with a 60 in.- or 72 in.-side discharge mower, which can be equipped with a grass catcher. The tilt-up deck, which provides almost 8 in. of clearance when traveling between jobs, provides full access for blade replacement or deck cleaning. They also offer a 60 in.- or 72 in.-rear discharge mower.
Popular units by New Holland, New Holland, Pa., include the Model 3010S at 42 PTO hp. It has a simple 8 x 2 transmission, 9.0 GPM hydraulic flow and compact size. In the 56-86 PTO hp range, New Holland offers its 35 Series, and the new TS tractor cover, a 70-90 PTO hp range with new styling and 304 cu in Genesis engines.
Tiger Corp., Sioux Falls, S.D., has a new line of boom mowers named Saber Tooth, which offers a cutter head rotation of 180û around the outer boom, a cutter width of 50 in., a cutter reach up of 22 ft 6 in., a cutter reach out of 25 ft and a cutter reach down of 14 ft 6 in. The inner and outer booms are constructed of 70,000 psi steel reinforced with 100,000 psi steel.
They are equipped with operator protective devices such as a cab unit polycarbonate window, non-cab unit constructed of tubular steel with expanded metal mesh extending above and to the right of the operator’s position.
The Toro Co., Bloominton, Minn., offers the Toro hydrodrive mid-sized mowers, which deliver speed control of up to 6 mph with T-Bar controlled instant forward and reverse. Units are available in 15-hp and 20-hp Kohler Command or 16-hp Vangaurd engines. For operators who prefer a fixed deck, Toro offers 36 in.- and 48 in.-fixed deck mid-sized mowers that also feature the T-Bar system.
The company has a new Z Master Mid-Mount ZRT that is equipped with a full-floating Super Flow System deck. The ZRT comes in two models: the Z252, featuring a 22-hp Kohler engine with a 52 in.-deck, and the Z255, featuring a 25-hp Kohler engine with a 62 in.- deck. The tubular steel carrier frame with four-point floating deck suspension and off-set castor wheels eliminates scalping and tracking, according to the company. For hill-hugging performance, the Z Master Outfront ZRT has two models to choose from. The Z325 and Z320 are equipped with 23 in.-tires, a wide wheelbase, low center of gravity and weight directly over the rear wheel, which provides stability and traction.
For year round use, Toro offers the Groundmaster 1000-L, a compact mower capable of mowing up to 4 acres an hour. Cutting decks available are a 52 in.- or 72 in.-Super Flow System deck or the 62 in.-Guardian Recycler deck. Attachments are available, such as a 50 in.-two-stage snowthrower, 48 in.-V-plow, debris blower and rotary broom to take on any season.
In the line of zero turn radius mowers Woods Equipment Co., Rockford, Ill., offers the 6225 Mow’n Machine. The 6225 is a new addition to the 6000 Series of Mow’n Machines that feature eight engine options ranging from 14 to 25 hp, including diesel. The 6000 Series is designed with a low, out-front, three-spindle deck that allows for easy mowing under shrubs and low hanging branches.
In their new RD series that includes the RD8400, RD7200 and RD6000, the machines have cutting widths of 84 in., 72 in. and 60 in., and a rounded front and tapered rear deck, which allows a closer cut next to buildings and other obstacles. Also new to Woods is the Batwing 3240, a 20 ft- folding wing rotary cutter that features a 240 in.-cutting width and a 16,000 ft per minute blade tip speed.