Post Covid-19, the focus will turn to achieving normality across the UK and local authorities and contractors will find themselves having to tackle large areas of growth that have had minimal maintenance.
Simon Richard, UK Agent for the Muthing rotary flail range, says: “I would suggest a large part of the solution is to re-assess the machinery fleet in terms of value, performance and functionality.
“The general public will continue to demand a reasonable level of open space maintenance in return for their taxes and the ability of local authorities to achieve the two objectives of delivering cut quality at less frequent intervals will be greatly increased by taking the decision to raise the number of flail mowers, as a percentage of their ground care machinery stock.
“Not only do rotaries and flail mowers generally cost less to purchase, but they also cost less to maintain, particularly grinding the cylinders and adjusting the bottom blade. Added to this is the growing trend to leave the grass longer between cuts. The quality of cut afforded by flail mowers has increased so dramatically over the years that these machines are no longer kept purely for rough areas. Smaller, lightweight versions are also finding employment on a wide range of sports turf surfaces.”
So what are the benefits afforded by the flail mower when compared to their cylinder counterpart? Where side debris is concerned the flail mower will not grab and throw debris to the left or right sides of the mower during cutting, making it extremely useful for cutting areas such as streets and close to buildings. The flail mower cuts the grass in a very distinctive way and the finished appearance will usually take on a striped appearance similar to a cylinder mower.
The flail is an extremely versatile piece of equipment and has the capability to tick a number of municipal task boxes, such as offering a rough, fine or smooth cut finish, the latter being particularly suited to golf courses or football playing surface work. The capital cost of a ride-on with a flail is significantly lower than that of a cylinder mower and this, together with reduced maintenance costs, has a significant bearing on the annual hire costs for customers.
There has been an upsurge in interest in flail mowers as the efficient and safe solution, with regard to delivering a reduction in ‘foreign object throw’ issues. Muthing are alone in having independent testing by TUV Nord, an accredited certification body, who confirm their products provide for the safety of both operator and other people within the operating area of the mower deck. Muthing safety clearances are reduced to 8 metres to the front or rear of their MU-FM 140/160 flails, two metres to the side and no higher than 600cm, an industry leader by some considerable distance.
Driven by financial constraints, a reduction in frequency of cuts per year, possibly in the order of fifty per cent, will inevitably result in the need for grass to be cut when both longer and wet. The flail is far more effective and efficient in longer wet grass conditions as the discharge area reaches the full width of the machine. Perhaps the main claim of the flail option is the ability to deliver very acceptable surfaces in all grass conditions and at a fraction of the cost of the alternatives.
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