Sport is an important part of the curriculum at Belfast Royal Academy, and a Dennis Premier cylinder mower plays an essential role in maintaining its high-quality grass surfaces.
Playing Field Supervisor & Games Coach, Denis Robinson, recently took delivery of a new Premier machine for the School, supplied by local dealer Cyril Johnstone Ltd. It replaces another Premier that has given an astonishing 32 years' service.
"The Premier is a simply wonderful machine and is second to none," says Denis Robinson. "We obviously looked carefully at other mowers on the market, but nothing compared with it in terms of reliability and performance."
The mower is used mainly for cutting cricket squares, outfields and pitches for a wide range of sports, including rugby and football.
The machine's weight of 343kg (765 lbs) is a considerable asset, since it enables the rugby pitches to be rolled flat in order to make cricket wickets. In this way, the Academy obtains year-round use from the turf, for two different sports. The Premier is also used to cut the playing fields short, making them into outfields with an excellent aesthetic appearance.
Belfast Royal Academy chose a 36in version of the Premier, which is also available as a 30in model. Height of cut is precisely adjusted from ¼ to 2 ¼ in and the 6-blade cylinder configuration that throws clippings evenly into the grass box. The machine gives 100 cuts per metre (90 cuts per yard).
Denis Robinson specified the Premier with hydrostatic drive for reliable forward and reverse operation, with simple controls mounted on the operating console. The cast 3-section, iron ribbed roller gives positive traction, while a steel geared differential in an oil bath allows manoeuvrability without scuffing. Steering brakes are fitted as standard for easy turning and electric start is incorporated.
The Premier is popular throughout the world for cutting football, hockey, cricket, tennis and rugby surfaces, as well as ornamental lawns, by groundsmen seeking the best turf presentation.