0 The end of an era as the last Ransomes Commander rolls off the production line

The final Ransomes Commander 5-gang cylinder mower has rolled off the production line at Ransomes Jacobsen's manufacturing plant in Ipswich

Last Commander 3283A stalwart of wide area mowing for municipal authorities, local councils and groundscare contractors for over 20 years, the first incarnation of the Commander was produced in 1994 and since then it has had numerous upgrades and improvements.

Destined for a customer in France, this last machine is a tribute to Tony 'Mr Commander' Dunnage, one of Ransomes assembly technicians who sadly passed away last year. A special memorial plate has been inserted into the engine compartment by his colleagues on the line to recognise Tony's contribution to the production of the machine.

At a short ceremony to celebrate the completion of this last machine, Operations Director Simon Rainger provided a brief overview of its development stating that at launch it cost just over £27,000. Today's replacement, the recently launched Ransomes MP495, costs in the region of £48,000.

He also paid tribute to the assembly technicians who, for the past three months, have been building both the old and the new versions as the Commander was being phased out.

To applause from the assembled staff, the last machine drove away from the line to the strains of Gracie Field's popular song from World War 2 "Wish me luck as you wave me good-bye". A fitting tribute to the fine 'old lady' of municipal mowing.

For more information, visit www.jacobsen.com.

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