Laurence McCrory, Course Manager at Bicester Golf Club, has recently taken delivery of two Jacobsen Eclipse mowers, the latest pedestrian greens mower from Ransomes jacobsen, the Ipswich-based turf maintenance equipment manufacturer. Local dealer Turney Groundforce of Weston-on-the-Green supplied the mower, which is available as a petrol/electric hybrid or an all electric machine and features independent electric drive to the cutting cylinder and rear roller.
"We've selected the version with petrol engine and genset and with a floating head," he said, "because we have highly contoured greens and the floating head follows the undulations superbly. I can cut with the Eclipses at 4.5mm; however our other pedestrian mower scalped the greens at this height and therefore had to be set to 6mm to avoid damage; it just couldn't handle the slopes and wet conditions like the Eclipse."
"We can control both the speed of the drive roller and the cylinder from an LCD screen which allows us to set specific speeds of cut depending on our requirements. Another good feature is the handle adjustment, so the machine can 'fit' the greenkeeper and I also like the way the engine can move backwards or forwards to get the optimum balance.
"I've been particularly pleased with the fuel economy; I originally had concerns about the engine running at a constant speed, as opposed to idling and being adjusted with a throttle. However, this has not been a problem at all, we have comfortably cut 11 contoured greens on a tank of fuel and that includes walking between holes. We don't have the optional groomer attachment, but if we did it would be unbeatable. This really is an excellent mower, so much so, that I've put in a request for another one!"
Both the fixed and floating head machines come with two power options: the drive for both motors can come from either a 4.6hp Honda petrol engine with 48 volt genset or a drop-in battery pack. Just four bolts hold either option in place, making it quick and easy to swap between the two units, if required.