Kubota keeps Kingston pristine

Jane Carleyin Machinery & Mechanics

Kubota's new F-series mower is playing an important role in Glendale Services' new contract in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, which involves the maintenance of parks, housing, verges and highways.

"We take care of grasscutting on everything from verges to sports pitches, along with sportsfield renovations and preparation," explains supervisor Richard Leadbeater.

"The contract is based on cut-and-drop, and we are using three Kubota F-series mowers plus a G series compact mower for smaller areas, supported by electric strimmers and blowers."

Richard comments that the team has recently switched from another brand and the process has been seamless.

"The controls are slightly different, but the mowers are very easy to drive, which is important as we often have new starters on the team."

The F-391 mower chosen by Glendale is powered by the latest 38hp four-cylinder Kubota stage V engine, with hydrostatic transmission and on-demand four-wheel drive. It is fitted with a 1.52m (60in) rotary deck and has a 61 litre fuel tank for reduced downtime.

"We like the straightforward nature of the mower - it's easy to repair if it gets damaged by our working environment and we can rely on the parts supply."

The mowers are used from March to September for at least five days a week for six hours, cutting on a two-week cycle. They are required to handle anything from long grass on verges to closer cuts in parks and playing fields.

"The Kubotas are proving very durable and we have not had any issues," he says.

Cut height is adjustable via the castor wheels, generally from 20-70mm for this contract.

"Although the mowers need to be productive, cut quality is also essential, especially for housing work, as residents place great importance on the appearance of their surroundings," Richard points out.

For operator Xavier Alsina Bartolome, the manoeuvrability offered by the mowers, which have power steering as well as a top speed of 19.6kph, is a major advantage.

"I can work really tightly around trees and posts which reduces the amount of strimming needed and makes the team more efficient," he comments. "It's well designed for roadside work with good forward speed and even at 20mm cut height the deck rides well over drain covers and other obstructions. It's also very comfortable to drive over a long day."

With the contract set for seven years, durable and quality machinery will be key to offering the best service, and Richard says: "The Kubotas are working really well and we would certainly expect them to last the life of the contract."

Neal Harper, Machinery Manager for Glendale, comments: "We have partnered with Kubota for a good many years now and have found their product range robust, of good value and suiting most applications that our contracts come across. Kubota is approachable as a manufacturer and willing to work with us to find solutions to our needs, backed up by a professional and reliable dealer network across the UK."