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Advice for mowing a local park

There is a slight possibility that I might have the opportunity of working for a Parish Council. This will involve maintaining the park grounds, which include a football pitch. At present, I have no further information. If it does work out, I anticipate they will want me to start quite quickly. I really could do with some advice  on the best type of mower to purchase. I currently have a side discharge machine, which in my opinion is not appropriate. I do wonder about a mulcher. As always, any advice would be appreciated. Thanks. 

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  • James, this is going to depend on cut frequency, experience tells me that it will be at least fortnightly if not longer due to the amount of money they will spend. If it's weekly (unlikely) you will be able to mulch . The more likely scenario is longer cut intervals so due to the volume of grass mulching will be impractical,  you could side discharge  but a rear discharge deck would be much better as it gets rid of the grass more quickly allowing a higher forward speed. It also depends on how much cut grass is left lying that is acceptable to them. If you are to buy a machine specifically for that job I would want at least a 3 Yr contract to recoup the investment.  We like Toro Titans absolutely bomb proof,  choice of deck size but around 8k with vat and contrary to my comments on mulching will mulch pretty long grass. Congleton garden machinery did have an ex demo / shop soiled one for sale at a discount.The Ariens machines are also pretty good at slightly less money. Hope that helps. 

    • Peter - many thanks for your comments.  Really useful and gives me a better understanding. I hadn't thought about the length of contract and it makes sense. On the plus side, I do have an area if about 6 acres I mow. USD a side discharge for this. Could replace this mower and use one for both jobs. 

      • Get a Toro titan !!!

  • Mulching is more nuanced than just straight forward on or off. I always mulch with both of my ride on machines – Stiga Parks 740 [out front deck] & John Deere Z535m [zero turn]. Both of these are very good mulching machines.

    Most work is fortnightly of course. I have one large job which is weekly and one which is every ten days. A second pass with the mulcher will produce a perfect finish, so weekly cuts are not a necessary specification in order to use a mulching mower effectively. But of course, if you are mowing a five acre plot a second pass is not really appropriate.

    I have a contract which has several playing fields. Any Council, when they cut them, just cut and drop – no mulching. So even if when you mulch it does not mulch perfectly, you have still ‘hidden’ most of the grass clippings anyway, far more so than ‘cut & drop’. So as far as playing fields or large parks are concerned, a less than perfect mulching is still better than the usual required specification.

    Having said all that, the very large playing field that I have, I sub-contract to someone who uses a Ransomes 2250. Three magna cylinder units with a cut of about seven feet. So no mulching on these very large areas [one is 4.8 acres].

    If the football pitch in question is for any serious use, if there is a team that plays on it, then it will probably need more frequent cuts at certain times. Mulching on the actual pitch would likely be of benefit.

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