Inlon introduced the first commercial remote-controlled mower for slope mowing in 2006. Since then, the technology has developed, and new manufacturers have entered the market. The latest developments include telemetry systems to provide remote support and high performance EFI engines, both of which are offered on the new Agria 9600i mower.
In addition to the safety of removing the operator from the machine and its potential rollover hazard, remote-controlled mowers have proven to be the most productive method of maintaining slopes and mowing areas with limited access and height constraints (for example, solar farms).
Low impact footprint and hybrid drive
Introduced in 2019, the Agria 9600 is a tracked remote-controlled mower with unique innovations in its Low-Impact Track Mechanism and Hybrid Drive System. Other tracked mowers dig into the ground when turning, which is problematic when turning on slopes. The Agria Low-Impact Track Mechanism does not dig in or disturb the ground, reducing subsequent erosion and creating less ground pressure than a human foot.
The Hybrid Drive System is a conventional petrol engine driving a generator that provides the electrical power to control and drive the tracks and other functions. This Hybrid Drive System is seen as a stepping-stone to full plug-in commercial mowers of the future. The hybrid drive is at the heart of its lightweight design, requiring fewer components.
The latest model Agria 9600i has a Kawasaki EFI engine. Although it was introduced to meet ever-increasing emission standards in Europe and the USA, the EFI system brings a new level of engine performance that is ideal for slope mowing applications.
Testing has shown that the EFI engine provides a 30 per cent productivity improvement. That means reduced mowing time for the same area and vegetation level from the same rated engine horsepower. How is this possible? With a conventional mechanically-governed engine, when a heavier workload is encountered, the rpm drops to pull on more fuel to meet the increased load. Rpm loss means reduced blade speed and cutting performance. However, the EFI engine delivers the fueland maximum power without rpm loss, maintaining blade and ground speed for maximum productivity.
Cloud Telemetry brings sophisticated machinery down to earth
The increasingly sophisticated engines and electrical and electronic systems on commercial mowers are perceived as a challenge for the traditional small plant technician accustomed to carby engines, gearboxes and belts. However, this is where telemetry makes the difference.
The latest Agria 9600i has a comprehensive telemetry system that measures key parameters and events each second and transmits the data via the internet to a cloud service. Events such as high impact collisions, overheating, insufficient engine maintenance, deck belt slippage, operating speeds, workload, working angles, GPS location and system diagnostics are recorded each second, stored and transmitted to the cloud as mobile coverage allows.
Using this data, Inlon advises the technicians on the ground, which issues need to be addressed and servicing requirements. This technology enables centralised and expert know-how to be utilised effectively in remote locations and assists with faster resolution of issues.
Inlon is the national distributor of a range of remote-controlled commercial mowers under its Civiline brand.
Further details at www.inlon.ag/923 or call 1800 945 090.