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12/2/2008 12:00:00 AM
Compiled by FacilitiesNet Staff
Decks are the most obvious lawn mower attachments for use with mowing
vehicles and tractors. Operators can mount decks in front of or under a
piece of equipment, or workers can pull the deck behind a vehicle.
Rotary mowers range in width from 36 inches to 25 feet. Many decks are
winged to provide flexibility and efficiency for mowing larger areas.
Some have independent floating decks or articulating decks for better
cutting quality on slopes and uneven ground.
Gang-reel mowers attach to a tractor and are ground-driven. They can be
efficient for cutting large areas that do not require the
highest-quality cut, but they can provide a quality cut if the grass is
not too tall.
A flail mower also is pulled behind a tractor and is power-take-off
driven. This mower is useful in rough areas, tall grasses, weeds,
brush, or naturalized areas, such as prairies and wildflower meadows.
Flail mowers are available in widths up to 25 feet.
Each year, manufacturers improve deckquipment and add features to
enhance quality, durability, safety and efficiency. One such
improvement is quicker, no-tool adjustments of cutting heights, which
workers can change from 1.5 inches to 6 inches in seconds. Mowing
height can be critical to the turf’s health and appearance. On sites
with varying types of grass with different cultural needs, a deck that
operators can change easily is very valuable.
Decks with mulching kits can decrease the need for bagging. These
mowers cut grass blades into small pieces left on the lawn, saving
bagging time and disposal costs. The units also can help with leaf
Using a mulching mower to chop leaves makes them suitable to disperse
on the lawn, as well as easier to bag and haul. Floating decks and
decks with extra rollers or larger-diameter caster tires can prevent
scalping and smooth out bumps when mowing uneven ground and shorter
Other lawn mower attachments include snow blowers, blades, trailers,
rotary brooms, debris and leaf blowers, vacuums, bed shapers, aerators,
dethatchers, line trimmers, pavement edgers, stump cutters, sprayers,
Accessories include a variety of tires for various terrain, roll bars,
light kits for working in the dark, hour meters to help track routine
maintenance, hitch kits for pulling trailers, and canopies or cabs to
protect operators from the elements.
It is essential when specifying lawn mower attachments that managers
pay close attention to compatibility between attachments and the
equipment that carries them. Manufacturers can guide managers in
identifying lawn mower attachments they can adapt to a department’s
existing fleet. Some lawn mower attachments are particular to a
specific model from a manufacturer, while others are compatible with
several models. Also, some lawn mower attachments, such as aerators and
spreaders, are universal, meaning they are compatible with most
Ensuring an attachment delivers the intended benefits to the
organization goes beyond simply using it. Proper inspection and
maintenance are vital components in its success.
When workers share equipment, it is easy for one to let others assume
responsibility for routine maintenance and fixing breakdowns. To avoid
scheduling conflicts, one person should take responsibility for the
equipment, and anyone wanting to use it must check it out. Often,
several workers share utility tractors, mowers and lawn mower