As turf contractors begin gearing up for a new season, they are continually looking for ways to boost efficiency and in turn ramp-up productivity. This is where mower attachments and accessories can really shine.
Greg Franklin, director of fleet and facilities for Ruppert Landscape, headquartered in Laytonsville, MD, says the right attachments can have valuable benefits.
“Our goal is always to be as efficient as possible,” he says. “Mower attachments allow us to have multiple tools available to utilize our equipment to their highest capacity while also maximizing on our capital expenditures.”
Joseph Barnes, marketing director for Yellowstone Landscape, headquartered in Bunnell, FL, says that attachments can help maximize the use of a single piece of equipment. And these days, there are attachments for nearly every task.
Of course, it boils down to choosing the best options.
“Choosing the right attachment or accessory for a mower can be essential to enhancing operation, ride quality, and productivity on certain jobs,” says Chase Tew, John Deere Commercial Mowing. “Select attachments can help the operator to simplify tasks and get through jobs more quickly.”
Turf spoke to several mower manufacturers to find out what’s new in smart attachment choices for a mowing operation in 2021.
According to Tew, John Deere offers two types of material collection systems, including a three-bag option and a dump-from-seat solution. With the three-bag system, materials are placed in the attached bags, which the operator can empty after the job is complete. For its Z900 ZTrak™ Zero-Turn Mowers, Deere recently launched the new Dump-From-Seat Material Collection System. With this launch, Deere redesigned the system, moving the fulcrum of the dump lever closer to the operator for easier operation.
“Three newer attachments for the Z900 ZTrak Commercial line also include a string trimmer rack, cargo tray, and tool carrier,” Tew continues. “The string trimmer mount enables the operator to keep hand-held string trimmers on the machine for easy access, saving them time from having to go back and forth for the tool. With the cargo tray, operators can store up to 20 pounds of small, hand-held items, providing more storage on machines. Lastly, the tool carrier allows for standard yard tools—like a rake or a shovel—to be carried on the mower, improving efficiency while completing jobs.”
Kubota Tractor Corporation has several new mulch kits coming out for their new Stand On mowers. According to Tom Vachal, Kubota Turf senior product manager, the mowers have new adjustable baffle cutting decks that allow the landscaper to customize the deck to yield the best cutting performance possible.
“We have also redesigned the attachment and improved the durability of the Z700 Grass and Leaf Collector,” adds Vachal. “The new collector is quickly becoming a much needed tool for the landscaping professional. Many landscapers use mulch kits for one of two reasons. The cost for clippings disposal is very high or may even be prohibited in certain areas. Plus, grass and leaf collectors help the landscaper to deliver a debris/grass-less environment. Many customers do not want the clippings or debris being tracked into homes or businesses.”
Husqvarna has announced four new Zero Turn attachments for the 2021 season. These include the trimmer rack mounting system, the bucket & grabber mounting system, the tow behind striping kit, and the deck mounted striping kit. Nicole Braswell, Husqvarna’s product manager for service parts and wheeled accessories, says the driving force behind these new offerings is to make the Zero Turn products more versatile in the field for end users.
“Our aim is to help our customers increase their efficiency by minimizing downtime and providing flexibility for our products while cutting lawns,” she says.
According to Braswell, the trimmer rack mounting system is designed for Zero Turns with Roll Over Protection (ROPS) systems to allow commercial landscapers increased efficiency by performing two tasks easily. It is designed to have a secure fit with two attachment points—on the ROPs bar and on the front wheel caster—to provide safe transport of the trimmer while on the machine.
“We seeded this product with major landscapers, and the feedback was incredible,” Braswell says. “One landscaper stated that his crew was much more efficient with the use of the Trimmer Rack attached to the Zero Turn.”
The bucket & grabber mounting system is designed to hold a five-gallon bucket with an adjustable bucket ring for debris collection while mowing the lawn. Landscaper feedback indicated this product reduced the amount of downtime the operator typically experienced while mowing and manually picking up debris on the job site. The system has a toolless grabber holder to allow for multiple positioning customization.
Finally, Braswell says the new striping kits provide solutions for both residential and commercial applications.
Toro has introduced three new attachments for use with the Toro GrandStand MULTI FORCE Stand-On Mower. This includes the MULTI FORCE Snow Blower and Leaf Plow, and the BOSS® 48″ Plow. These three new attachments join a family of six previously available attachments.
The two new snow solutions add even more versatility to the MULTI FORCE Stand-On Mower. At 48″ wide, the MULTI FORCE Snow Blower is ideal for sidewalks, but is also large enough for work on driveways and parking lots. The BOSS 48″ Plow can clear standard sidewalks in a single pass while also offering capability for snow removal in tight spaces. With low-flow hydraulics, lifting the blade and adjusting the angle on the fly is made easy.
The Leaf Plow allows landscapers to clear large areas. At 55″ wide, it can quickly move a large quantity of leaves. The high-strength galvanized steel construction ensures long-term durability while also providing strength to push heavy, wet leaves. And the stainless-steel tines won’t damage grass or turf. When finished, the plow folds up over the deck so it can fit on the trailer.
The Cub Cadet PRO Z attachments and accessories include: bagging systems, mulching kits, deck-mounted striping kits, light kits, snow attachments and accessories, an electronic-powered deck lift, and ultra-traction tires. The newest attachment, the PCS-1900 Three Bag Collection System comes from the demand of bagging performance with a robust mounting system. Once the collection system is mounted, landscapers can easily go from bagging to side-discharge. Mounting points along the machine hold components when they are not in use, saving the hassle of storage.
“Accessories and attachments enhance the performance of the mower and the overall results,” says Allen Baird, product marketing manager, Cub Cadet Professional. “[They] can help save time and money in instances such as clean up, trimming along the edge of a property, or using a grass collection system to leave a yard looking manicured.”
According to Ron Scheffler, senior product manager for Bobcat Mowers, the company has plans to expand the lineup of products this year. He says all Bobcat commercial mowers come with the innovative AirFX deep profile deck—including the ZS4000 stand-on mower. The airflow of the AirFX deck provides clippings disbursement and a cleaner deck at the end of the day.
Scheffler says one of the most important mower kits is the BOSS-Vac Collection System, which allows the operator to empty clippings, debris, and leaves without having to leave their seat.
“The system is equipped with a large, durable blower fan and a molded, large diameter polymer glass tube, which increases operator efficiency and limits unnecessary downtime due to clogging,” he adds.
Another mower kit to note is the Mulching Baffle Kit. “With our eliminator mulching blades, combined with the AirFX deck airflow, grass clippings are cut and recut into fine pieces that returns nutrients to the soil, and provides the customer with a lush lawn,” Scheffler explains.
Finally, the Bobcat Deck Striping Kit is also available and easy to install and disconnect. It mounts to the rear of the deck and is adjustable.
Getz is an award-winning freelance writer based in Royersford, PA.
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