Machines to help your field make the cut

Arguably the most important piece of equipment in a field manager’s fleet, mowers are available in sizes, configurations and with options to suit every application. Whether you’re looking to mow multiple acres quickly or trying to achieve a perfect stripe, there’s a mower out there for you. Here’s a look at some of the latest models to hit the market.

Toro

The Toro Groundsman 7200.
PHOTO COURTESY OF TORO.

When it’s time to go mower shopping, there is a laundry list of factors that field managers should consider before pulling the trigger. Acreage, desired quality of cut and types of areas to be maintained (fields, park areas) all play a role in choosing the right machine for the job. Budget, of course, also factors into the equation, and a multifunction machine may provide the most bang for your buck.

Kevin Conry, marketing manager at Toro (www.toro.com), said field managers are looking for mowers that can do more than cut grass. “They want to have less equipment and less labor to do the same amount of maintenance. … They also want mowers that can work year round. They are purchasing units that can be outfitted to blow leaves in the fall and remove snow in the winter,” he said.

Jacobsen

Jacobsen’s LF510 reel mower.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF JACOBSEN.

Because many field managers must maintain multiple fields for multiple sports, more than one type of mower may be necessary to get the job done.

Jacobsen’s Eclipse 322.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF JACOBSEN.

“Facilities who are mowing at lower heights and desire a highly manicured appearance will typically use reel mowers to maintain their turf,” said Rachel Luken, product manager for Jacobsen (www.jacobsen.com). “Higher heights of cut are better maintained with rotary mowers.”

Seago

Seago’s Masport Olympic 660.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SEAGO.

With the progression of the sports field industry, and technology in general, comes increased expectations from players and spectators. Scott Sweeney, president of Seago (www.seagousa.com), notes that HDTV and other forms of viewing offer such a clear, close view that every detail of the field can be scrutinized.

“The demands on the grounds crew are so much higher, especially at the more elite levels/stadiums/ events, than before that they must sweat every detail. And it isn’t just the pros either; college and high school fields are being seen on TV more, so viewersand players are more demanding of great conditions,” he says.

The Masport Rotarola.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SEAGO.

The Masport Olympic is a 26-inch-wide reel mower with a six-blade reel and bedknife to reel adjustment. A split drive roller with internal differential provides maneuverability. Cutting heights range from .25 to 1 3/16 inches and are adjusted with a single handle. Also from Seago, the Masport Rotarola, which has a 21-inchwide aluminum deck and a solid steel rear roller in place of rear wheels.

Wright

The Wright Sport X.
PHOTO COURTESY OF WRIGHT.

For sports field managers looking for a riding mower with options, Wright (www.wrightmfg.com) has introduced the Sport X, which gives users the choice of standing or sitting while operating. The Sport X is equipped with a deck-lift system and Wright’s new AERO CORE deck design. Available in 48, 52 or 61-inch widths, deck height can be adjusted on the fly. The fold-away seat is positioned so the operator can step off and the mower stops immediately. An operator presence switch on the foot platform stops the blade and engine, and the control levers return to the neutral position when the operator lets go.

John Deere

The John Deere 8000 E-Cut Hybrid.
PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN DEERE.

Increased speed and productivity are the driving factors behind new product creation, and John Deere (www.deere.com) has developed new technology to produce some of the most efficient mowers yet. The Speed Link height-of-cut adjustment system ties both sides of the rear roller together, allowing operators to make height-of-cut adjustments just by adjusting one end of the rear roller. Electric drive systems have been another area of advancement for the company.

Cub Cadet

PM Page 1 Cub Cadet’s Tank SZ.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CUB CADET.

Designed with maneuverability in mind, the Tank SZ zero-turn mower from Cub Cadet (www.cubcadet.com) features a sloped-nose cutting system that allows grass to rebound into the cutting edge of the blade for a clean cut. Four-wheel steering and steering wheel control provide stability and maneuverability, while the Elasticity Vibration Control (EVC) comfort control seat with armrests ensures operator comfort.

For versatility, the Tank SZ can be fitted with a variety of attachments, including a 72-inch snow blade, mulch kit, triple bagger with power assist and more.