Ransomes remotely operated Spider mowers, supplied by CLS Selfdrive of Guisborough, have resolved concerns by the Environment Agency of how to ensure safe maintenance of local flood defences in the East Midlands. The two mowers are operating across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, maintaining the steep banks that form part of region's flood defence system.
Frisby Lake in Leicestershire acts as an overspill reservoir for the river Wreake and like all flood defences is subject to the Reservoirs Act 1975, which states that flood banks must be maintained in a stable condition. Following a minor incident at the lake, the Environment Agency needed to review the process and equipment being used to cut back vegetation on the steep banks whilst maintaining the flood defences.
Environment Agency specialists discovered the Ransomes Spider following a search on the internet and then contacted A-Plant, the national tool hire company, who is a preferred supplier to the Environment Agency. The suppliers quickly organised a trial of the specialised mower and a demonstration by Ransomes Jacobsen's demo team at Frisby proved that the machines were up to the task. They were subsequently taken on a 20-week hire period.
Commenting on the machines Terry Cross from the Environment Agency said,"The health and safety of our staff is very important to us, so it is essential that we have the right equipment for the job. Unlike other bank mowers, the Spiders have an integral winch, which allows the operators to anchor the mowers and prevent them from sliding into the water. There are no hand/arm vibration issues either as the machines are remotely operated."
"We have two of them and when conditions dictate, we link them in tandem and use one on top of the bank as a mobile ground anchor, while the second machine is mowing the bank, which saves time as we don't have to stop and anchor to a nearby tree or fence. The 20 week hire period gives us the opportunity to give them an exhaustive test, with a view to purchasing machines in the future."