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philipfish
Posted 8 May 2008
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Posts: 277

Our cricket club has unexpectedly come into some money which we can use to buy a "new" mower. We require something in the price range up to £2500, preferably below £2000

. To date we have been using a 32 year old Paladin (excellent, but tempermental given its age) to cut the strips and have a Hayter cylinder mower which is set to cut the square.

We are looking for a cyclinder mower with a thin base plate that can cut down to 3mm for wicket prep. Should we go down the cassette route with groomers, verticuter etc?. We have no verticutter

Any practical advise would be welcome.

Phil
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Mike
Posted 8 May 2008
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Phil, I have recently purchased a Dennis FT510 along with the verticutting unit. All that I can say about it is that it is a first class product! I know that a new one will be out of your budget, but they do come up for sale secondhand now and again. Keep your eyes peeled, and if you find one within your budget, go ahead and buy it, you won't be disappointed.
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Big T
Posted 8 May 2008
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Just taken a Protea wicket mower out for a spin, I think they're about £1500 brand new. Good Subaru/Robin engine, good build, if a little agricultural in places. Solid and for the money...! Superb. Also have a FT510 with verticutter/brush/coarse and fine cut. They're very nice indeed if you can find one secondhand. Good luck
Regards
T
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Barry Big Shot
Posted 9 May 2008
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Once a muppet.....................

For your price range I would endorse the protea, link on side of these messages, had a demo last year and for the money was very impressed. Company seemed good, no hard sale, service and spares readily available, I know of clubs using them who are pleased with results.
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mario
Posted 9 May 2008 Last edited: 9 May 2008
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Posts: 1967

I know no boundaries.

If the budget won't stretch to a Dennis, how about a new Protea (good warranty etc) and a used Sisis Rotorake (usually to be found on eBay). If it doesn't come with verticut reel a new one is about £250. Would also give you the flexibility to add a brush etc at a later date.

There is one on eBay at the moment with a verticut reel. Still at 99p!
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Austin Jarrett
Posted 9 May 2008
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Posts: 3

Phil,
Understand your dilemma. The interchangeable cartridge system gives you so much verstility from one power unit. You have a choice between Allet Mowers (01889 271503) or Dennis. Both excellent machines.
Personally, I liked Allett so much when I saw their products last year that I bought the company.
Come on Guys, help support us innovative British manufacturers who work so hard to deliver value by producing high quality long lasting products like your 30 year old palladin!
Austin
Turfmech Machinery Ltd
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Steve G
Posted 9 May 2008
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Phil,
Keep looking on ebay and on the used machinery pages here on Pitchcare. Over the years we have picked up a couple of Allett Tournaments, a Paladin and a Dennis 560 contractor, all in good condition.
Austin,
Its good to see that British manufacturers are still in the market and I would all ways look to their products first. However, you may have to meet the new compertition head to head, with like for like products offering even greater value.
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JessicaWabbit
Posted 10 May 2008
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Posts: 191

Life begins at 6,000rpm...

Austin ~ you didn't try the Protea machines ~ maybe if you had you'd have made us an offer instead ;-) ...

To anyone looking for a new machine, my advice is to get us all out on demo. The demo's are free and that way you'll buy what you know's right for you.

Victoria.
xx
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Paul Jackson
Posted 10 May 2008
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Posts: 186

First on the field, Last to leave it.

I would reccomend the Dennis Ft 510. May be worth trying "awards for all" grant scheme to get some money. Ours is 12 years old now, cuts approx. 200 pitches a season, and we've only had to change engine (1 year ago). True what Jessica says though, get demos of all likley candidates you would think do a good job for your club. Good Luck !!!
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jbuddington
Posted 11 May 2008
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Philipfish I bought the protea machine, as advertised down the side of this page. Great value for money and well worth a demo........
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Barry Big Shot
Posted 12 May 2008
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Once a muppet.....................

Austin, I was recently quoted £750 for a sarrell roller cartridge for my C20. This is double the price of similar companies. Given the tight budget expressed by Phil, the choice seems a new Protea or taking a chance on a secondhand british machine. Also Victoria is an absolute delight to talk with. I wonder how they can sell their machines for the price.
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Steve G
Posted 12 May 2008
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Esau
Sarrell roller for a Dennis FT510 is £770.00 (book price), as with many things today you only get quality when you pay for it.
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Big T
Posted 12 May 2008
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£770 quid for a 510 sarrell... ouch dude! We've got one lying around that we barely every use. And a a coarse scarifier reel... We rag the daylights out of the verticutter/fine cut/coarse cut and brushes though...
Enough of that though, the "get some out on demo" suggestions should be more of an order! Get some out on demo! It's the best way to see if a product is suitable (goes for alot of purchases). I've done 10 pitches with the protea now and am impressed. It's not as versatile as the 510 or as precise as a spanking new paladin, but it's very solidly built and fantastic value.
Have fun
T
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Barry Big Shot
Posted 12 May 2008
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Once a muppet.....................

Steve, Sarrell I was refering to is a for a Sisis Auto Rotorake, £350.00. My point was, Phil said he had £2,000 to play with and I can't see him getting a Dennis or Allett for that money.
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Mike
Posted 13 May 2008
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Esau, you would be surprised. Only a couple of weeks ago I saw an FT510 for £1250. If you look hard enough, they do come up for sale in the price range that Phil has to work within. Granted, any secondhand machine is a bit of a gamble, but given the quality and versatility of the FT, it is certainly worth exploring the possibility.
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Barry Big Shot
Posted 13 May 2008
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Once a muppet.....................

Mike, Totally agree that the FT is the best machine on the market for the job. Can't help thinking that a new warranty is preferable, I always wonder why previous owners are selling secondhand kit if they are in top working order apart from those who just renew every couple of years. Suppose it's okay if you are mechanically minded - unlike me, they either fire up or don't!
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jontaylor
Posted 13 May 2008
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The ciderman rolls

The "you only get what you pay for" mentality is utter tosh.

On any product you are paying for materials, production costs (includes design and new plant), marketing costs (includes advertising, reps and distribution amongst others) and brand image (translate this to profit margin?).

I used to work in a global commodity industry where materials represented about 30% of our sales price and labour about 60%. Our labour costs in UK were 20x those in India. The Indian companies had access to the same raw materials and technology as us. Guess which nation had the more expensive products and which nation invested more in new production plant! Clue - they're the nation still in business!

Yes there are duff products out there, and on the whole they are at the cheap end of the price scale. But lower price does not directly correlate with lower quality.

I use a Protea mower and turf groomer. I'm happy with both and I, for one, can see that part of the price differential comes down to labour costs - and perhaps a willingness to enter a mid price range market?. Cheap labour isn't necessarily bad labour.


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Mike
Posted 13 May 2008
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Posts: 2854

Good points that you make John.

My only concern with non-british manufacturing is the service back up. Are parts readily available, do the service agents have a good manufacturers back up. In a previous life I worked as a service technician, and I often found that I had no manufacturer back up, and the person that suffered from this more than anyone was the end user. For this reason, I usually recommend british companies (unless they are known to be a poor manufacturer), and I will only buy a 'foreign' machine if know first hand that I can rely on the 100% backing of the manufacturer.
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womble69
Posted 13 May 2008
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http://www.rtmachinery.co.uk/used.htm

There are a couple of FT510 s here to choose from here.

http://www.compactmachinery.co.uk/

Paladin here.

http://www.lawnmachinery.co.uk/category.do?category=29

A couple of Paladins to choose from here.
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Steve G
Posted 13 May 2008
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Posts: 118

John
I to worked for a global company for 30 years, a Swiss chemical company which was at the time the 13 largest company in the World, yes they switched production around the 56 differant production sites world wide to effect cost efficient production, but production came back to the UK and Germany when quality counted. A tradition of engineering excallence nurtured over time I think !! A Reliant Robin may be a car but so to is a Rolls Royce, you get what you pay for.
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Steve G
Posted 13 May 2008
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May have shot my self in the foot on the last post, did't the old 36inch Alletts have a Reliant engine? but there again the excellant Proteas have Robin power unit.
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RedexR
Posted 13 May 2008 Last edited: 13 May 2008
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Bordering on the insane

Lovely Jubbly Steve ! That Swiss Company...Sulzer per chance ?
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JessicaWabbit
Posted 13 May 2008
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Posts: 191

Life begins at 6,000rpm...

...just to add a hint of gunpowder to this thread; isn't the sellers profit margin also included in the 'you only get what you pay for' selling price????
Victoria.
xx
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Steve G
Posted 13 May 2008
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Posts: 118

RobX
No Novartis and Yes Jess all sales include a profit margin, much reduced I would think with UK over heads, and no I dont now work for Dennis, Allett et al, I just cut crown greens in the Tameside area.
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JessicaWabbit
Posted 13 May 2008
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Posts: 191

Life begins at 6,000rpm...

Steve G ~ Don't get your hanky out for those Dennis boys just yet ~ the jammy lot sell a huge heap of product to Europe in £STG .... and have you seen the Euro recently ... I suddenly need a lie down!
Victoria.
xx
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Steve G
Posted 13 May 2008
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Victoria
You don't by any chance buy your machines from SA in US$ do you? have you seen the exchange rate over the last year £ x $ now its me who has to go and lie down thinking of profit margins.
Steve xxx
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JessicaWabbit
Posted 13 May 2008
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Life begins at 6,000rpm...

Steve ~ If I told you that I'd have to kill you, or worse for you, marry you !xx
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Steve G
Posted 13 May 2008
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Posts: 118

Tell me, tell me, ----- enough of this, I know when I'm beat and after 35 years of surfdom I know my place ( in the shed with the Alletts and the Dennis ) Mr Turfmech and Mr Dennis you can send the free mower to --------
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Mike
Posted 13 May 2008 Last edited: 13 May 2008
Happy days
Posts: 2854

Sorry to interupt you lovebirds, but i have to point the OP in the direction of an FT510 on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/DENNIS-FT510-CYLINDER-MOWER_W0QQitemZ320251573379QQihZ011QQcategoryZ71272QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Falls well within the £2000 budget
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JessicaWabbit
Posted 15 May 2008
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Posts: 191

Life begins at 6,000rpm...

Mike ~ your post did make me laugh! I'll watch that Dennis machine with interest although why they used library pics and not of the actual machine one can only be left wondering.

Steve ~ I was just teasing. We buy in South African Rand. Like most exotics it's very volatile; as they say "up and down like a prozzie's......" hummm..... keep it clean Victoria, keep it clean.... yep, anyway, the Rand is very weak (which helps keep our selling prices low), and we book 'forward' to protect against potentially adverse rate fluctuations.

Victoria.
xx
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Mike
Posted 15 May 2008 Last edited: 15 May 2008
Happy days
Posts: 2854

"Mike ~ your post did make me laugh! I'll watch that Dennis machine with interest although why they used library pics and not of the actual machine one can only be left wondering."

And there was me thinking it was the one in the picture... thought it seemed like good value
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philipfish
Posted 15 May 2008
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Posts: 277

Dear All,
Thanks for the discussion.

We have gone ahead and purchased a Protea 510G from "JessicaWabbit" following excellent endorsements on this site.

I shall keep everyone posted on how we get on with new mower over the next few weeks!

Phil
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jlawrence
Posted 15 May 2008
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Of course there's no bounce, bend your back and put some bloody effort in.

phil, I don't think you'll be disappointed - I was very impressed with the machine when I demo'd it.

For those reading this thread in future:

Before you go and jump at a machine because of price get all the various manufacturer machines in for a demo. Make a list of what YOU want from a machine, then see how each machine matches up to your requirements.
Make sure that each person who will be using the machine tries it - you'll be surprised how one person can get on with one machine and not another. Mowers are very personal bits of kit and it's more than possible you may hate one machine yet love another.
When weighing up a machine you need to decide:
a) can it provide the quality of cut that you need.
b) is it capable of actually doing the job you need it to.
c) can you (afford to) maintain it correctly.
d) is the support available that you need.
e) can you afford the machine

item e) isn't a stupid one. If you really like a machine then you can find a way to afford it.

Phil, I do think it highly likely that you made a good decision. The protea seemed to me to be a well built machine - though personally I would prefer one that hasn't all the rubber vibration reducing crap that H&S insist on. Quality of cut was superb and easily comparable to that of the Dennis and the Paladin. Paladins are good, but I detest the fact that mine only has a single adjuster for HOC. The Dennis is very versatile but ties up too many machines in one chassis imo (fine if you've more than one chassis).
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mario
Posted 16 May 2008
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Posts: 1967

I know no boundaries.

Jon,

"Paladins are good, but I detest the fact that mine only has a single adjuster for HOC."

For me - the one thumbscrew to adjust the height of cut IS the selling point! No tools required. Instantaneous adjustment.

Why do you not like it?
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chrismitchell
Posted 16 May 2008
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Green is not necessarily beautiful.

Surely Mario, to set the height of cut a height bar is used to guarantee accuracy. If there is a discrepency between one side of the mower and the other it is not possible to compensate with a single adjustment. Then again you know from previous posts what I think of the palladin!

Chris
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jlawrence
Posted 16 May 2008
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Of course there's no bounce, bend your back and put some bloody effort in.

Chris - that's the exact reason I don't like the single adjustment. It's a well built machine (imho) but the lack of dual adjustments lets it down.
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Grassman2011
Posted 16 May 2008
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Has anyone ever aquired a Paladin that was not level across its cut ?
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mario
Posted 16 May 2008
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Posts: 1967

I know no boundaries.

I always set and check across the width of the cylinder with the setting bar. The beauty of the single adjuster comes when perhaps I am working with more than one pitch on the square all of which are at different stages of preparation/development. One thumbscrew control to raise or lower as required - no tools etc, etc.

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