Attachments, Business Feature, Earthmoving Equipment, Features, Mulchers

Ag-Pride supplies mowers to Transport for NSW

For contractors and councils looking to manage extensive sections of roadside vegetation, the Bomford Turner range of reach arm mowers for tractors provides both accuracy and reach. We take a look at the innovative design of a set of 6m Bomford Hawk mowers that recently joined Transport for NSW

Newcastle-based Ag-Pride is a family-run specialist business focused on implements for the construction and agricultural industries, distributing a variety of products from manufacturers such as Berti and Bomford Turner, as well as producing its own range of attachments.

Among these many products is the range of reach arm mowers for tractors developed by UK-based Bomford Turner. Ag-Pride product manager Lance Hills says the Bomford Turner range is most often utilised by contractors and councils, with the manufacturer’s reach arm design particularly useful for undertaking mowing on embankments and over guard rails.

“We are the national distributor for Bomford, which is a company that’s been around for over 100 years,” he says.

“They initially started off making hedge cutters and now they also produce reach arm mowers. These range in size from three metres up to eight metres in reach, so there are various sizes to suit most forms of tractors. They also offer both front and rear mounted units.”

Having developed the first arm mowers back in the 1940s, Bomford Turner has continued to refine its design to suit varying applications and reduce operator fatigue.

“Their latest design is what’s known as a variable forward arm, which places the cutting head adjacent to the tractor so the operator can see where the head is when they’re cutting vegetation,” Hills says.

“With these machines you can reach up or down embankments but, more importantly, over railings. We sold one to a contractor doing the embankments around a prawn farm, which was interesting, and we’ve done a couple into mango orchards with saw heads on for pruning branches.

“There are several contractors that use these mowers for their work in national parks, keeping the trails and roads open. Managing vegetation on access tracks, particularly for bushfire mitigation work, is one of the biggest things that we’re currently seeing. We sell other mulching attachments that also assist with this, which go on skid steer loaders and other machinery, depending on how big the tracks are and what access is like.”

One recent delivery for Ag-Pride was for a set of five Bomford Hawk Evo VFA 6m mowers. This particular model is suitable for tractors from 85 horsepower (63kW) with a minimum weight of  5.6 tonnes.

Transport for NSW fleet inspector Ashley Hocking says that they will be used for vegetation management along highways in the mid north coast and the far north coast, maintaining growth along the M1, Bruxner, Gwydir and Oxley highways to ensure that road signs remain unobstructed.

“It’s all part of the ongoing work undertaken by the regional maintenance crews,” he says.

“The distance covered would vary day to day but they’ll be operating anywhere between Port Macquarie up to the Queensland border for eight hours a day.”

When asked why Transport for NSW chose this particular mower, Hocking says it comes down to a valuation process undertaken by the department, with a focus on aftersales service, reliability of the machine, safety features and its productivity.

“The forward arm gives us the reach we need,” he says.

“It’s also about keeping people safe. With this, they can stay inside the tractor and mow alongside it rather than having to get out and use a whippersnipper. They’re also useful for mowing on batters.

“We do use skid steers and excavators, but the tractors we find cover more ground and suit the lighter vegetation that we are managing.”

In addition to the advantages of the arm reach design, Lance Hills says that with the mowers being belt driven rather than hydraulically driven for reliability, the mower head is kept compact, improving mower access.

They also come with a variety of attachments for different vegetation types, such as flails, circular saw blades, slashers and a debris blower, and are available across Australia.

“Through a national distribution of dealers, we have representation in every state,” Hills says.

“The engineering on the Bomfords is certainly first class – they are well engineered and well built.”

For more information on the Bomford Turner range of mowers available through Ag-Pride, visit: www.agpride.com.au

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