Equipment

Attachments Give Dedicated Mowers Year-Round Use

May 2013, Government Fleet - Feature

by Brittni Rubin

At A Glance

Advantages to utilizing a dedicated mower with year-round ­attachments are:

  • The ability to downsize fleet and cut labor costs.
  • Flexibility during season transitions.
  • Flexibility with the completion of more challenging tasks.
  • Increased maneuverability to function on diverse terrain.

In a time of tight budgets and limited government spending, new vehicles and pieces of equipment can be difficult expenses to justify. But, in the case of grounds maintenance, there are purchasing solutions that can allow fleets to reduce the overall number of units it needs.

By incorporating different implements that attach to a dedicated mower — turning the vehicle into a part-time snow plow or debris blower — fleets can broaden the use of one unit, sparing thousands of dollars.

Many government entities with basic mowing needs are transitioning toward these compact multi-functioning vehicles that reduce maintenance costs as well as the need for expensive stand-alone equipment that would otherwise sit idle for months at a time.

Benefiting From Year-Round Use

Grasshopper's 930D model features 3-cylinder diesel performance for reduced fuel consumption and accepts Grasshopper's complete line of year-round implements. 


 


Photo courtesy of Grasshopper


 


 
Grasshopper's 930D model features 3-cylinder diesel performance for reduced fuel consumption and accepts Grasshopper's complete line of year-round implements.  Photo courtesy of Grasshopper

Year-round implements, which can attach to a dedicated mower in place of its out-front mowing deck, provide flexibility for agencies during season transitions.

At any time throughout the year, units can be equipped to perform a number of tasks including: mowing and collecting grass in the summer; aerating and removing debris and leaves in the fall; clearing snow and ice in the winter; and dethatching and fertilizing in the spring.

Naturally, dedicated mowers are built with mowing needs in mind — but because implements attach to the front of the vehicle, visibility and ease are increased for other tasks as well.

“Tow-behind units are hard to see and maneuver compared to front-mounted attachments, which make it easier to get into tight spaces and greatly reduces the time it takes to get the job done,” said Bryan Holby, product manager for turf equipment manufacturer Jacobsen. “We know [agencies] have much more to do than just cut grass. Employing implements can make the machine as versatile as any site requires.”

Another advantage of using the same power unit perennially is that the engine is constantly ready for use. With attachments, the mower doesn’t sit idle for several months and requires significantly less maintenance and preparation time.

A weighty concern with using these vehicles year-round is their true functionality during colder months. Being smaller vehicles, mowers are generally exposed, or uncovered. However, some vehicle manufacturers now give agencies the option of integrating a detachable climate-controlled cab that protects the operator from harsher weather conditions for year-round use.

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