“We quite literally mow everything from tall tropical grasses to playing fields and parks with our Toro mowers. So far they are the only brand that has stood up to our conditions,” says John Appleby from Appleby Mowing in Moree, NSW. “We use a combination of Toro mowers and we get maximum efficiency from all of them. They are great machines.”
John and his son Daniel, who is part owner of the business, operate all the machinery in their business themselves and use skilled casual workers from time to time. All servicing and maintenance is done in-house, and each operator is responsible for their own machines. “It makes for better operators who have a good knowledge of their machines, and thus we do not have as many stoppages,” says John.
In 2000, John bought a small lawnmowing contract with an annual turnover of $40,000 and was mainly maintaining residential lawns. Now Appleby Mowing exceeds that figure every month, and often doubles it in very wet years. Most work is with The Moree Plains Shire Council, as well as other groups and properties spread out across an area that is bigger than some European countries. “We are able to mow in excess of 150 acres a day and have the capacity to take on big jobs at a moment’s notice and frequently have to,” says John.
Appleby’s Mowing currently uses two Toro® Groundsmaster® 7210 mowers with 72 inch rear discharge decks. These are used for all the heavy work and mowing in awkward areas. When John says heavy work, he really means heavy work as they regularly have to mow very tall and dense tropical grass!
The Groundsmaster 7210 mower cutting decks have the industry’s toughest deck and spindle assembly, and are 33% thicker and 75% stronger than competitive decks. The unique bull-nose bumper design provides durability and minimises blowout of grass and dust. The leading edge is raised 6.4 mm so grass stands up straight for a cleaner cut.
One of the company’s 7210s has had in excess of 4000 hours on the clock and still cuts like a new machine, according to John. He finds the bull nose decks are extremely strong and reliable and the machine is great to use in tight spots.
Appleby Mowing also uses two Toro® Groundsmaster® 360 mowers, one with a 72 inch rear discharge deck and the other with the new 254 cm (100 inch) deck.undsmaster360 has a faster ground speed compared to other out-front mowers. The 100" (254 cm) cutting deck equals a “lower cost to operate”
In John’s experience, the 360 mowers are very good at curb climbing and on steep slopes, and he notices a real savings in time and fuel with the new 254 cm (100 inch) deck. The company also uses a Toro® Groundsmaster® 4000-D.
“When mowing the outlying villages that have large areas of parks, playing fields and wide streets, we use a combination of the Groundsmaster 360 and 4000-D and save about 3 hours in every 10 in time plus a reciprocal saving in fuel.
“We get at least 10 hours of continuous operation from a tank of diesel on the 360s and about 7 hours from the 7210s and 4000-D mowers. In wet seasons, we put up to 1000 hours per annum on each of these machines,” says John.
Air ride seats are always fitted to all the machines for operator comfort. Appleby Mowing makes their own canopies, which are capable of pushing branches and such out of the way and give added safety to the operators. The canopies have cool top fans fitted to the roofs for air circulation. Something that is definitely needed as they often mow in 40o C plus in summer and they also assist in blowing dust and debris away from the operator’s face.
“A lot of work we do once used to be done with tractors and slashers. The Toro mowers mulch the grass better and do not windrow as badly. When you mow really tall and heavy grass, we run over it twice and it looks like lawn. The Toro machines really are built tough and reliable,” says John.