Ransomes Jacobsen returns after a year's absence with a host of new products for both the municipal and golf sectors. The Ipswich-based manufacturer is launching the Ransomes Parkway 3, a new ride-on triple mower which takes its DNA from the Parkway 2250 and incorporates many of the features and benefits of the Highway 3, launched at the Show back in 2009.
The standard machine comes with 6-blade Magna cutting units, a swing-out centre unit and maintenance-free rear axle, fingertip controls mounted on an adjustable armrest together with beacon, lights and ROPs. Also on display will be a machine complete with the optional air-conditioned cab and a further Parkway 3 will feature a new cutting system, which is sure to be of interest to contractors and local authority users.
Also on display will be the Ransomes HR300, an upgraded out-front rotary mower with easier access to the operator's platform, improved transmission efficiency resulting in better hill climbing, a choice of wheel width for improved stability, digital screen and controls providing communality with the Highway 3 and Parkway 3. There are 60" and 72" rear discharge cutting deck options and a further display machine will feature the hydraulically-driven Wessex flail.
Also displaying the Ransomes brand is the new Spider 500, a mini version of the dedicated remote controlled slope mower that has proved very popular with utility companies and landscape contractors.
From the Jacobsen brand there are many firsts at this year's event.
The Jacobsen GP400 greens mower appears at the show for the first time. It retains many of the features of its predecessor, the G-Plex III, including a swing-out centre unit for easy maintenance, the legendary cutting units with a choice of 7, 9 or 11-blade cylinders and a Kubota 3 cylinder diesel engine developing 13.2KW at 3200 rpm.
A new tank design incorporates the fuel and hydraulic reservoirs in a single moulded unit and is hinged to provide much improved access to the engine compartment. An all-new ROPS frame, prepared to take the optional dew whip holder, is fitted to a strengthened chassis that reduces vibration to the operator.
Another first is the new range of light fairway mowers, the Jacobsen LF550 and LF570. A smooth uptake of power using the 'drive-by-wire' operation of the digitally controlled traction pedal is a feature that greenkeepers will experience. This helps to prevent wheel spin and the low pedal effort increases operator comfort.
SureTrac, a new traction system provides class leading climbing ability on slopes and a new braking system has been engineered with maintenance-free wet brakes integrated into the front wheel motors.
The undoubted highlight from Jacobsen is the new Eclipse 322 Electric; this is the battery-powered version of this unique hybrid greens mower. The hybrid features a small diesel engine powering a continuous generator, which in turn provides electricity to run all of the onboard systems including reel motors, steering and traction motors. With absolutely no hydraulics there's no chance of an accidental spill.
There's a lot of technology packed into this mower at a competitive cost. It has the ability to control clip rate and for the course manager this means that he can be assured that his greens will be cut exactly the same, no matter which operator is on the machine.
Other equipment includes Cushman branded utility vehicles, the Iseki SXG15 compact tractor mower with new grass collector and the new Turfco CR7 top dresser.
Completing the Ransomes Jacobsen presence at Saltex is the large Demonstration area at the rear of the stand with product demos timed throughout the day and the opportunity to ride and drive various machines.