Radio-controlled slope mower gains interest

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Tough new Workcover regulations spark renewed interest in the Spider ILD 02 radio-controlled slope mower.

Radio-controlled slope mower gains interest
The SPIDER ILD 02 radio-controlled slope mower is intended for the maintenance of steeply sloping areas.

With a recent reduction in working angles allowed for ride on mowers, the OH&S benefits of Czech-developed technology, the Spider ILD 02 slope mower, is gaining the attention of corporate projects such as WestConnex in Sydney and Melbourne’s Ring Road.

A remote controlled self-propelled mower, the Spider is intended for the maintenance of steeply sloping areas typically managed by teams of brush-cutter operators or tractor-powered reach mowers.

Australian distributor Inlon says the Spider is capable of cutting slopes up to 40 degrees utilising four-wheel drive lugged tyres and up to 55 degree slopes with its optional winch system.

According to Inlon Spider product manager Glenn Dwyer the Spider is the "best kept secret" in light of current OH&S requirements.

"As most of its components are made of alloys, the Spider’s light-weight construction gives it a high power to weight performance," he says.

Dwyer claims the Spider eliminates the heightened risk of rollover operators face when utilising ride-on mowers on slopes above water courses.

 "The patented design of the machine ensures excellent stability, even when changing driving directions on a steep slope," he adds.

"In areas with rapidly changing contours where other machines can hardly move, the Spider’s so called ‘dance step’ is absolutely unsurpassable.

 "Coupled with its unique drive system this is an ideal machine for the maintenance of areas surrounding water reservoirs, rivers, waterworks and dams and wetlands with soft boggy ground inaccessible to other machines.

Dwyer says although the Spider is referred to as a mower, the comment he most often receives at demonstrations is that it performs more like a remote-control slasher.

"It’s capable of cutting waist-high growth, thick and wet kikuyu, weeds and small shrubs and plants," he says.

The Radio-controlled Spider ILD02 is the third generation of the product originally developed in 2006 by Czechoslovakian company Dvořák - svahové sekačky Ltd.

"The Spider ILD 02 resembles its predecessor both conceptually and technologically, but it has many innovations and improvements," Dwyer says.

For example, the newer drive system enables a skid steering option, which allows rotation of the mower around its vertical axis to significantly simplify positioning.

 "The Spider ILD02 model is currently the most popular, having won many awards all over the world including the prestigious Red Dot Award for product innovation in 2006," Dwyer says.

Climbing ability and operational safety can be further increased by the installation of the Hydraulic stabilising winch HSN02, a patented accessory which enables the safe operation of the machine on slopes up to 55 degrees.

"This value cannot be matched by any competitive machine," Dwyer says.

"The winch works automatically as it is synchronised with the wheel drive for ease of operation."

As Spider mowers can replace a large number of brush-cutters or heavy machinery, their use delivers lower capital and operating costs.

"Daily productivity is much greater with the use of Spider mowers than manually handled machines as the operation is not physical and tiring for the operator," Dwyer says.

"The dimensions of the machine allow its transportation even on a regular car trailer or inside utility vans and trucks," he says. "The mower can thus be easily and quickly transported."

The Spider is utilised in Australia from the far north in Darwin and Weipa, through to Victoria and Adelaide, South Australia; in situations as diverse as military bases mowing hangars and ammunition bunkers, waste facilities, dams and roadside mowing.

The Spider is ideal for mowing contractors, public works authorities, councils, special farming applications and large estates.

"Councils and other government authorities are adopting this technology for its safety, productivity and cost benefits," Dwyer says.

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