Snake makes its mark in Cricklade
Looking good really matters in a place like Cricklade. With a history stretching back to Saxon times and the upper Thames flowing through, the little Wiltshire town has good reason for pride.
In it’s own modest way, the new Trimax Snake mower that Cricklade Town Council has acquired from Lister Wilder’s nearby Cirencester depot now contributes to that cause, delivering the neatness across open leisure spaces that the 5,000 residents have come to expect.
“We are only a small town but we do have a lot of history and we attract a lot of tourists so its important for us to look our best,” says Town Clerk Duncan May. “The open areas are the first places people see when they drive through.”
Ironically, Cricklade has a particular affinity with ‘snakes’ because it also has an internationally significant meadow of scarce Snakes Head Fritillaries known for the snakeskin pattern on their petals in spring. However, the Trimax has no role in the National Nature Reserve that is home to the fritillaries which is cared for by Natural England and undergoes just one annual cut by hand.
But the Snake, according to the council’s Grounds Supervisor, David Osborn, is invaluable for the sports pitches. “When I first started here we had a combination of sports pitches and dog walking fields to look after and we had a set of gang mowers with three decks that could do both jobs to a fair standard but which wasn’t fantastic on the sports side.
“But our work has changed and the dog walking fields are now cut only occasionally as hay that goes to local farmers. So when the time came to replace the old machine the opportunity was there to buy something that was ideally suited to doing just the sports pitches.
“I read about the Snake in the Lister Wilder ‘WildLife’ magazine and also talked to people who had one and they all recommended it, so it was really the only option we considered. I also factored in that our Kubota 5030 tractor had the power to pull it and that it was sufficiently compact for our equipment store.”
The Trimax Snake is the result of over 35 years of accumulated innovation, engineering and customer insight. Suitable for compact tractors like Cricklade’s Kubota, it has been designed specifically for sports turf and golf courses.
One of the most frequent comments from Lister Wilder customers is that it combines the versatility and reliability of a rotary mower with the cutting quality of a cylinder.
The latest Snake Series 2 features improvements such as the Trimax LocTEK Roller Retention System and reduced maintenance. It is now also available in both 3.2m and 4m cutting widths.
Key features include:
- Easy height adjustment
- Three articulating decks that follow contours
- Continuous cutting while turning for productivity
- Automatic belt tensioners
- Full-width rollers that help avoid scalping
- Maintenance free pivot bushes and sealed spindles – (no greasing)
- A three-year warranty
It is, however, the quality of the cut that most stands out for David and his colleagues. “We took delivery of it last summer and the finish it provides has been fantastic on the sports pitches,” he says. “I also like the way it lifts the grass where our old machine rolled it before cutting so never really provided a great finish. It also achieves a good spread of the cut grass.”
The Cricklade team is particularly appreciative of a quick lift system that allows the mower decks to be raised without disengaging the PTO when crossing driveways, paths and pavements. David Osborn says that it also copes well with the odd bits of debris that aren’t spotted. He adds: “When you do need to replace a blade they are really good and tough and yet so much cheaper than on our previous machine.”
He adds: “The fact that you don’t need to drop the rollers every time you want to grease the bearings means that they can be done in 20 to 30 minutes each week, and that saves us a lot of time overall.
“We are very happy with it and have always been happy with the service we get from Lister Wilder.”