BEEAs Winners: C34 Evolution

The winner of the Mechanical Product of the Year is Allett,with its C34 Evolution lawnmower.

Category Sponsor: Eureka!

Headline Sponsor: Distrupol

Judges' Comment: "In a bold move for an established company, Allett has developed a battery powered cylinder lawnmower that saves on emissions and energy costs and moves the business forward in a sustainable way."

The C34 Evolution is a battery powered cylinder lawnmower for cutting and maintaining sports turf and large fine lawns. The target markets are sports stadia worldwide which includes the sports of Football, Rugby and Baseball as well as private colleges/Universities and large private homes. Its professional customer base are fanatical about grass stripes, precision cutting and are very knowledgeable about grass care.

The mower has an 86cm (34”) wide cutting width and the cutting cartridge can be easily removed and replaced with several options including: a turfrake, brush, verticutter and sorrel roller. These options allow the user to carry out turf maintenance tasks with one machine in order to achieve the very best grass surface.

There are several innovative elements on this product, in fact it has three patents pending. The first patent is for a handle-mounted switch that controls the speed of the mower when turning, this reduces the forward speed conveniently without adjusting any operator settings.

Second is a handheld backlapping switch that when plugged into the mower engages the cutting cylinder drive at a slow speed in reverse. Backlapping is a maintenance technique used on cylinder mowers to keep the blades in perfect condition. It involves applying grinding paste to the cutting elements which poses an operator risk, with the backlapping switch being hand held and “hold to run” this greatly improves the safety of the operation and the convenience to the customer.

The 3rd innovative feature is a cylinder mode switch, this allows the user to select the best of 3 modes for the cylinder or maintenance cartridge to operate at. Linked with the variable speed self propelled drive, this mower can always operate at the best performance for the task or conditions.

Another innovative feature is the chassis, on this type of mower the chassis is critical to maintain the required accuracy of the machine. It designed the chassis to minimise welding and remove the associated distortion. The chassis is a bolt together assembly that utilises Aluminium CNC machined side plates and square box section cross rails that fit into milled pockets. This ensures the assembly of the mating components is maintained precisely and offers a lightweight solution.

The height of cut is altered by moving the front roller up and down, this is achieved with an adjuster that requires no tools yet maintains the accuracy and rigidity needed.

The feedback from customers has been extremely positive for this product launch. The product has given the target market the opportunity to mow and maintain sports surfaces with zero carbon emissions as well as establishing a much improved operator experience.

The product contributes to a safer working environment for the operator, in particular due to the quietness and hugely reduced levels of vibration and emissions being produced by the lawnmower. Not only this, but due to the attention to detail in the design of the product, customers are report improved cutting and collection as well as an even better Allett stripe. Customers are able to carry out turf cultivation and maintenance activities at the exact parameters/speeds to make a good job/maximise benefit to the turf.