Perth & Kinross Council's Environment Service in Scotland has bought a new fleet of six John Deere 1565 Series II front rotary mowers from dealer Double A Trading in Cupar, Fife.
The mowers came equipped with full cabs, four-wheel drive and 72in rear-discharge rotary decks, one of which was also fitted with a mulching kit to assess the system's effectiveness in its first season. All six machines will also be used this winter for snow clearance on pavements, fitted with John Deere's hydraulic angling snow blades in place of the rotary decks, thus extending their use all year round.
The six mowers are operating across a typical range of municipal open spaces, including public parks, housing estates and burial grounds, in a very geographically diverse region, from highly populated urban areas to the Highlands. Crieff, Aberfeldy, Blairgowrie and Kinross have one machine each, and two are based in Perth. These were the first John Deere machines to join the council's grass cutting fleet, and assistant operations manager Nigel Taylor explains why they were chosen:
"We were previously using a fleet of 13 ride-on triple cylinder mowers for the main grass cutting operations in our area, which covers over 2000 square miles, making it one of the largest of its kind in the country. However, like many councils we needed to reduce our operating costs and therefore decided to choose rotary deck models as replacements, as part of our overall budget drive.
"Of the different mowers we tried, the John Deere 1565s were the machines we preferred, from the point of view of both the purchase price and ongoing maintenance.
"We've had plenty of wet weather to contend with this year - it's been the wettest here for a century - so in these conditions you want to avoid clumping of the grass, which looks untidy. The quality of cut we get from the John Deere mowers is of a perfectly acceptable standard compared to cylinder machines, and we've had no real complaints to speak of. Generally the public don't seem to have noticed the difference, which is a good thing.
"One of the six machines was fitted with a mulching kit, and this has worked particularly well. It's definitely helped to improve the quality of cut, by providing a cleaner finish, so we plan to fit the same kit to the other five mowers for next season."
John Deere Limited
Tel: 01949 860491