The latest golf course machinery

By Tania April 20, 2018 06:54 Updated

New or improved products are set to attract much interest from the nation’s greenkeepers as the new golf season gets underway, writes Andy Waple

The RG3 from Cub Cadet, the well-known MTD subsidiary, is the only autonomous greens’ mower in the world. By placing four beacons around the perimeter of the green, the machine can triangulate its position. It accomplishes this through the use of ultrasonic transducers that continually measure signals between the beacons and the machine as it traverses the green. The level of accuracy is such that exceptionally straight, evenly spaced mowing lines can be accomplished.

The perimeter cut is achieved slightly differently. A wire is placed 10 to 12 inches in the ground exactly matching the shape of the green. A low voltage electrical current is passed through the wire and during the clean-up cut, a receiver senses the wire and positions the RG3 exactly to match the perimeter shape of the green. This results in an ultra-defined edge to the collar and the green and completely eliminates greens’ creep.

The RG3 also offers a consistency of cut that is impossible with a conventional walk mower. No foot traffic, inconsistent distribution of weight on the mower handles through human interaction and the fact that RG3 rolls at the same time as it cuts makes for a super smooth surface every time. Higher and more consistent green speeds are also achieved without the need for additional rolling or reducing the height of cut.

The most obvious effect using an autonomous mower is the increase in productivity that can be achieved. A single operator can deploy an RG3, set it to work and perform tasks such as hole changing, bunker raking, bunker edge trimming, tee marker placement and pop up trimming at the same time as the green is being mown. When compared to a traditional maintenance crew set-up, RG3 permits far more attention to detail on the course when using the same amount of personnel.

A number of innovations have been introduced by Jacobsen to aid the work of the golf greenkeeper.

Firstly, the new Jacobsen TR series features two new triplex cylinder mowers that replace the TR-3 and Tri-King machines. Created with usability in mind, the new machines are built on a common platform for ease of servicing and operation, and are offered in both standard and premium models. The premium model, the TR330, has integrated AdaptiShift technology which allows cutting units to move side-to-side to mow hard-to-reach areas and effortlessly shift cutting reels to either side of the machine, creating up to 45.7cm of offset to trim bunkers with ease. It also features and on-board backlap function, on-board diagnostics with full colour display screen and an adjustable mechanical suspension seat.

The standard model, the TR320, has a common platform for ease of servicing and operation, a 1.63m transport width, 1.83m width of cut and a heightened quality of cut on slopes, hills and undulations.

Meanwhile, the two models in the new AR series replace the AR-3 rotary mower. Both are 3WD rotary triple mowers, featuring a 24.8hp Kubota® diesel engine, an ergonomic control arm, electronic parking brake and a brand-new rotary deck design. Available in standard or premium models, the top of the range AR331 also features AdaptiShift, allowing the decks to glide effortlessly side-to side to keep operators safe when mowing around edges and bunkers. In addition it features a superior comfort suspension seat and a digital display screen.

The standard model, the AR321, has an easy-to-read analogue information display screen, ergonomic fingertip control and a fully adjustable control arm.

Finally, the new super lightweight SLF530 mower delivers the legendary Jacobsen quality of cut and provides superior protection for turf under all conditions; wet, dry or stressed. It also features Jacobsen’s patented double pivot float mechanism, which allows the cutting units to hug the contours of undulating terrain with ease. The SLF530, perfect for mowing or verticutting fairways, surrounds, greens and tees is available as 3WD or 4WD and features the 24.8hp Kubota® diesel engine, Jacobsen Classic XP™ reels and a FlashAttach™ cutting unit mounting system, reducing maintenance time with tool-less removal and installation.

Toro’s new Workman GTX might be light but it offers loads of utility. With over 300 configurations, this turf and grounds crossover utility vehicle is the industry’s most versatile platform with more power, improved steering and an exclusive suspension and braking system, also making it the most practical and comfortable in its mid-duty class.

Jeff Anguige, the national sales manager of Reesink Turfcare, the exclusive distributor in the UK and Ireland for Toro professional turfcare machinery and irrigation products, said: “The GTX is an exceptionally versatile and powerful machine. A host of additional features means the new model meets high power and performance standards, while also being incredibly comfortable to drive. Being more compact and lightweight means it’s kind to turf, power hasn’t been substituted for a light tread; this machine has both.”

Available in petrol or electric versions, the adaptable Workman GTX is first in the range to offer the option to seat four, working as a personnel carrier as well as materials carrier, and does so “without compromising on power, comfort or control,” said Jeff: “It’s a worthy addition to the range and really complements the existing line-up of Toro heavy-duty machines.”

Machine spec:

Power: 429 cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder Kohler or 48volt brushless AC electric

Steering: Manual rack and pinion. 2.75 turns lock-to-lock

Turning clearance circle: 6.30m. Inside turning radius: 153cm

Brakes: Front- and rear-wheel hydraulic disc

Suspension: Front modified MacPherson strut. Rear-articulating swing arm with adjustable coil springs

Suspension Travel: Front 88.9mm. Rear 101.6mm

Fuel capacity (petrol): 18.9 litres

Transport speed: Variable up to 16mph/25.6km/h

Ground clearance: Front: 21.6mm. Rear: 15.5mm

Tyres: Front and rear 20×8 –10 four-ply turf tyres

Outline dimensions:

Vehicle – width by length by wheelbase:

2-seat with bed: 1.20m x 3.00m x 2.20m

4-seat with bed: 1.20m x 3.60m x 2.90m

2-seat with 1.80m flatbed: 1.20m x 3.00m x 2.90m.

The SISIS Rotorake TM1000 is a tractor-mounted scarifier and linear aerator with collection which now features a new interchangeable reel system.

The redesigned product is now available with five quick release interchangeable reels to aid the removal and control of thatch and help reduce standing surface water by improving water infiltration.

Like other scarifying machines in the SISIS range, the Rotorake TM1000 works on the successful contra-rotating principle for a clean, consistent performance with a selection of blades to suit key seasonal tasks. This system ensures minimal surface disturbance thus reducing any disruption to the playability of the greens.

Unique features of the Rotorake TM1000 include a floating unit to follow ground contours, a range of five quick release interchangeable reels and optional spacing for scarifying, linear aeration, verticutting and brushing and a ‘no tools required’ depth setting ensuring fast, simple adjustments can be made.

One club that has seen excellent results using the TM1000 is Leamington & Country Golf Club in Warwickshire. Jason Cooper, head greenkeeper, commented: “We wanted the best product on the market for our scarifying needs and the TM1000 suited us down to the ground.

“Our previous scarifier just wasn’t doing the job we wanted it to do. The TM1000 has an excellent collection facility and fits perfectly on the back of our tractor. We have seen a significant progression since using it.

“The best feature on the TM1000 is the hydraulic tip – it just makes the job so much quicker.

“No one is lifting heavy wet boxes; you just go over to it, flick a switch, off it goes and you’re on to your next load.”


By Tania April 20, 2018 06:54 Updated