Less than a month since its delivery, the Head Groundsman at Framlingham College claims the Progressive TDR-X contour mower has exceeded the expectations of him and his team. Jason Wright explains how the TDR-X is ticking the boxes of build quality, manoeuvrability and high standard of finish since taking charge of the cut and presentation of close to 80 acres of college grounds.
Once part of the castle estate, Framlingham College now comprises of two sites – the main college catering for students aged 13-18 and the Prep School, four miles down the road at Brandeston Hall, taking pupils from the age of three. Sport plays a big part in the student experience at both sites, with Jason and his team of three full-time grounds staff maintaining athletics, cricket and hockey surfaces in the summer, then switching to rugby during the winter months.
After encountering some age-related faults with their previous mower, the time came for Jason to explore the alternatives. “We wanted something that would be quicker, easier and cheaper to maintain while still giving us a quality finish” he explains. “We demonstrated various makes and models but agreed that the Progressive was the most manoeuvrable and would be the most versatile to use on both our sports and wildlife areas. It also suited us weight-wise to work alongside our existing tractor and fleet of equipment.”
The Progressive TDR-X, exclusively available from Vanmac UK, features three independently floating decks which promise to closely follow undulations, delivering a total cutting width of 3.2m and easily adjustable cutting height range of between 10mm and 85mm. Along with other machines in the Progressive range, the TDR-X features Pro Lift-N-Turn™ technology, which enables the operator to temporarily lift the decks with the PTO still engaged, increasing overall productivity.
“Tomlinson Groundcare Ltd delivered our TDR-X at the end of June and after some very good training, we put it to work straight away. We’ve found already that set-up and changing the height of cut takes less than five minutes to do, where previously this would have taken half an hour. We’ve also used it in the wet with impressive results which wouldn’t have been feasible before.” Jason adds, “In addition, it gives us the ability to lift the height to maintain our rough areas which has been another plus – the versatility we have with this as an all-around machine versus our previous fine turf mower.”
“People have been commenting on how well presented the site is, which is a big compliment for the Progressive, given the rise in quality we’ve achieved since switching from a cylinder to a rotary cut!”