To keep large-scale solar parks in tip-top condition, Tythegston, Glamorgan-based contractor David Knight operates a fleet of Kverneland flail mowers.
“We maintain around 3,000 acres of renewable energy sites around the UK,” explains David. “And those sites will get a couple of cuts through the growing season to eliminate shading issues from long grass, which can impact on energy production.”
Supplied by Edwards Machinery, the flail choppers include a pair of 2.8m wide FRO models, and three FHS models – two of which are 2m wide and one is 2.3m. And his machinery selection could soon include an FHP Plus model, offering greater versatility for mowing banks.
“We operate a variety of widths to suit the many different sites we manage, and also to utilise available tractor power and physical size,” says David. “Some sites dictate that smaller tractors are required – and a pair of NH Boomer models and a vineyard-spec New Holland TN then provide the power where space is a premium.”
"Side-shift means the FHS models can be slid under the edge of panels," David Knight, contractor
“For larger jobs, and site clearance tasks with brambles, bracken and other overgrown vegetation, we run the 2.8m FRO models with up to 200hp, thanks to a New Holland T6080 and a JCB Fastrac.”
He says the quality of the finished cut is superb, and flail life can be up to three years which contributes to low running costs.
“We’re cutting through material that can look like first cut silage that’s gone to seed,” he says. “The flails really do mulch this large bulk of material into a useful suppressant that is absorbed back into the soil.”
“What I like about the Kverneland flail mowers is that belts and flails are common across the range,” he says. “It makes parts stocking simple and affordable. And it becomes very easy to manage your machinery when it’s this straightforward.”