Ransomes Jacobsen, the manufacturer of commercial mowing equipment, has a launched the first two machines in a series of new mowers, manufactured at their European headquarters in Ipswich. Primarily targeted at the municipal sector, the MP range will provide multiple options from a single design platform.
The two machines are the Ransomes MP493 and MP653 wide area rotary mowers powered by 49hp and 65hp Kubota diesel engines and featuring three all new rotary decks - one out-front and two wing decks.
The lightest mower in its class due to its ground up design and use of high strength steel, the MP493 will benefit from significant fuel savings as a result of its reduced weight. The 49hp Kubota engine falls outside the European Stage IIIB emissions legislation making it less complex to maintain and suitable for regions that do have ultra low sulphur diesel.
Using a mechanical over hydraulic drive system, the operator controls feature the same pedal arrangement as the latest Ransomes Highway 3, Parkway 3 and HR300 and the same control unit, which includes a display screen providing real-time feedback plus diagnostic and regular servicing information. An optional road legal lighting kit is available and positioned not to impede visibility to the front cutting deck.
This more powerful 65hp version of the MP has the latest Stage IIIB turbo-charged engine which results in cleaner running and the ability to use advanced electronics for more precise control; it also has enough residual power to support a fully air-conditioned cab.
Using its electronic over hydraulic drive system, the advanced controller facilitates 'drive-by-wire' and cruise control as well as allowing the mowing speed and transport speeds to be adjusted and set using a password code; a crossover from our Jacobsen golf machines using technology first introduced on our Eclipse riding greens mower. The controller has enhanced engine diagnostic features which can be obtained without the need of a laptop.
There are three selectable drive modes on the MP653 - Automatic, Manual and Creep. In Automatic mode a fuel saving system activates when the machine come to a stop; it automatically idles the engine reducing fuel consumption. There's also an electronic interface which maintains the quality of cut when the engine is under maximum load.
In Manual mode all of the automatic functions are disabled and the mower reacts and drives like a standard mechanical over hydraulic drive machine. The Creep mode disables the cutting units and limits the transport speed to 8 km/h, ideal for manoeuvring in tight areas such as workshops and loading ramps.
Manufactured from high strength Domex® steel, these new decks feature direct hydraulic drive to each rotary blade. A 150 mm break-back system on the wing decks help prevent damage, if contact is made with an obstacle. All wearing parts on the decks bolt to the framework and are easily replaceable should they become damaged or worn.
Wing decks come in three sizes, giving class-leading cutting width options of 3.0, 3.3 and 3.5 metres with height of cut ranging from 25mm - 120mm. These new mowers have a transport width of just 1.65 metres with the wing decks folded, making them highly manoeuvrable in tight spaces and readily transportable. The front deck has 160mm of ground clearance for kerb climbing and can be lifted to a service position giving access for blade maintenance.
The decks are fully supported in transport mode utilising a fail-safe hydraulic lock and transfer less load to the machine when travelling at high speed over rough terrain. An added safety advantage when the decks are folded is that they are located behind the operator's sideways line of sight, providing enhanced vision for hazard recognition and avoidance.
Ransomes Jacobsen's design engineers have ensured that regular maintenance is kept to a minimum, reducing the number of greasing points and ensuring that all routine maintenance items can be accessed with ease.
Operator comfort and safety
All round visibility from the ISO-mounted operator's platform is excellent with positive sight lines to each deck and a comfortable suspension seat ensuring long days of productive mowing. A foldable ROPS keeps the operator safe and allows manoeuvrability in low access areas such as trees and height restricted access points. It also has four dedicated tie down points for anchoring to a trailer when transporting between jobs.
The deck lift and lower controls and weight transfer button are located on the armrest with the remaining controls and information screen located in removable console on top of the fuel tank. A tilt adjustable steering wheel completes the operator platform.