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A Simple Machine That Delivers

7/25/2019 5:00:00 AM

Ariens Zenith lawn mower 

Why the Ariens Zenith is delivering in all aspects of a new grounds maintenance venture with Shropshire Council

Steve Powis, school grounds maintenance officer at Shropshire Council and one of the first to own the new Ariens Zenith when it launched in April, tells us how it's already transformed the grounds maintenance business venture 3-months in, in the latest Ariens blog.

Having recently started a new enterprise alongside Shropshire Council, offering schools and other commercial settings, a complete grounds maintenance package; I needed to specify a cutting solution that would suit the operational, financial and logistical needs of the venture.

I’ve been operating horticultural machinery for over 15-years in a variety of applications including grounds maintenance, formal grounds, open spaces, sports and recreational areas. Having used a variety of different machines to maintain the above including zero-turns, I decided to research what machines were available on the market that would tick all the boxes I was looking for. After getting numerous machine packages and quotes, Paul Butter, Contracts Manager at Shropshire Council and I, consulted with Gary Edwards at Wyvern Garden Machinery, explaining that we wanted a mowing solution that would deliver a great cut and look the part. We decided to go-ahead with Gary and use him because of his excellent technical knowledge and demonstrating to us that the machine he recommended, an Ariens zero-turn, would do what he said it would.

Ariens Zenith lawn mower 

Ariens Zenith lawn mower 

Before long we were demo-ing an Ariens Apex 52 zero-turn at one of the schools I manage, not only were Paul and I impressed with what it could do, the school was too. The long grass was 6-12 inches tall, thicker at the bottom where it hadn't been cut since September. The Apex made light work of the grass, leaving a great finish. I knew then that this machine was exactly what the business venture needed. Paul who's also very familiar with mowing machinery available in today's market, commented that he hadn't seen a machine that could cut and leave the finish it produced in one pass.

Confirming with Gary that this Ariens zero-turn was exactly what we needed, he advised that a larger zero-turn with a 60-inch deck would be available imminently. I pre-ordered it straightaway, without even seeing it. If I could have a machine that could achieve the cut and finish I wanted, took half the time of other, more traditional mowers, available in a larger size, I was sold.

Ariens Zenith lawn mower 

Ariens Zenith lawn mower 

I've had the Zenith now since April and have used it every day. What a machine! I maintain several schools and numerous other sites through Shropshire. Everyone has commented on how nice the finish is.

There are so many benefits to the Zenith. As the operator, I need machinery I can rely on. Downtime is a big no-no as I'm not working and subsequently not earning. I purposely avoided cylinder mowers as they're often out of action if the blades hit concealed debris or extreme temperatures distort the blades. I haven't got time to get my tool kit out and bring it back on-cut. I've used the Zenith in a variety of differing weather conditions, it doesn't have a problem in the wet. You do have to take it slower but you're still cutting and keeping your commitments. The Zenith is actually quite light given its size. Lightweight and the large tyres help it to cope well in wet weather, without leaving the grounds in a mess.

Ariens seems to have got it right with how much of the power the engine produces, its directed to where it needs to be i.e. at the business end. The power is directed straight down to the drive and also the independent drives on the motors to the wheels. It is a nuts and bolts product, the deck height is adjusted with the foot pedal, there are no unnecessary sensors and electronics that could go wrong. It's a simple product that just works.

The Zenith is versatile. It can get into small and defined areas which saves me time as I'm not having to strim around trees and bushes as an additional process. Fuel consumption is very attractive. Despite it being a petrol engine, it's very efficient. I can get 3.5 solid hours of mowing with its 20-litre tank. This is increased when the grass is shorter and cut fortnightly. I am can easily cut two schools' grounds in a day. Before it would take me a lot longer.

Appearance is everything! The Zenith looks the business. Schools are very competitive and want to be seen to be doing well, the Zenith fits right in. I like to take pride in what I do and not only does this machine deliver the nice finish but the machine looks good when its mowing. I was asked what my favourite thing about the Zenith was and if I had to pick one thing, it would be the seat. It's very comfortable. As a sufferer of sciatica coupled with the fact that I am mowing for the majority of the working week, I need a seat that offers continuous comfort and support.

As the business venture grows, I can see the possibility of specifying further Ariens products in the future. It's not often you purchase a product that continues to delight. It looks great, delivers a great cut in less time without compromising on quality. It’s efficient and is making money by enabling me to visit more sites per week than I ever have before.

Simple machine—excellent results, I would highly recommend the Ariens Zenith; in fact, Ariens zero-turns in general.

Ariens Zenith lawn mower 

Ariens Zenith lawn mower 

Ariens Zenith lawn mower 

Take a zero-turn for a spin

7/10/2019 5:00:00 AM

 

What’s so special about cutting grass? Nothing usually. It’s just that weekly gardening job we do from spring to autumn, keeping our lawns neat, tidy and British. Out comes the traditional ride-on mower or garden tractor, call it what you will, and off you potter at 3-4mph, mowing away the hours. Not very exciting is it? Enter zero-turn mowing. If you’ve never driven a zero-turn mower you’re in for an experience. It does exactly what it says, spins through 360° on one spot, turning on the proverbial sixpence. ‘So what?’ You might say. Well, it’s all a matter of time. Whiling away the hours doing three-point turns on the garden tractor, at the end of every line, may suit some of us on a lazy Sunday. But as our lives get busier, and time saving becomes more critical, wouldn’t it make a difference if your time cutting the grass was halved?

Zero-turn mowing is fast. You can whizz around at 5-8 mph, and at the end of the line do a one-eighty degree turn, align the deck edge with the row you’ve just cut and keep on going. You’ve reduced cutting time by 50% over mowing with a lawn tractor. What’s more, you’re doing all this without the conventional steering system. Zero-turns are driven and steered by the rear wheels via an independent transmission. Two levers are all you need to drive, brake and steer. Spinning on the spot is achieved by either pushing the left hand or right hand forward, eliminating the need for three point-turns at the end of the cutting pass. Even more time is saved with the wide range of cutting deck options available for zero-turns; the larger the deck the faster you cut.

The next consideration is comfort. So far we haven’t mentioned a product name so now we will. Ariens is one make of zero-turn, originating from the US, now being built in Britain. And they are built to be comfortable with high-back, plush and adjustable seats. The controls are all positioned in ergonomic and easily accessible locations so you can simply enjoy the ride. Zero-turns are generally more durable, built with thicker steel, and Ariens mowers boast a fully welded tubular frame design, much stronger than the traditional C-channel frames of lawn tractors. With options for fully fabricated steel, deep decks, cutting decks are more durable and promote maximum airflow. Fabricated decks on Ariens zero turn models are aerodynamically designed so grass is pulled toward the blades and clippings are discharged evenly. The result is a superior cut quality without stragglers or clumps.

The zero-turn concept is for one and all, from the professional to the semi-professional and the homeowner who wants a fast mow without sacrificing the quality. The best way to discover the benefits of the zero-turn is to visit an Ariens dealer. Ariens is a growing brand in the UK with an extensive dealer network providing full back-up for sales, servicing and parts. For more information contact Ariens on 01844 278800 or visit www.ariens-uk.com.

 

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Introducing the Ariens zero-turn family

6/21/2019 5:00:00 AM

Looking to purchase an Ariens zero-turn but not sure what models Ariens offer? In the latest issue of the Ariens blog we showcase the Ariens range incorporating the ZOOM®, IKON X, APEX and ZENITH to help you understand what features and benefits each model possesses to help you make an informed decision when it comes to specifying.

All Ariens zero-turn mowers are designed, tested and built to provide the toughest, most comfortable ride with the highest quality cut possible. With faster speeds and superior manoeuvrability compared to lawn tractors, zero-turns cut your mowing time in half with no loss of performance. At the end of each pass, it can turn 180° in its own footprint. Eliminating the need for multiple turns or going over cut grass. Find the right zero-turn for you:

Ariens ZOOM®

 

The Ariens ZOOM® has best-in-class speed among other zero turn lawn mowers in its category. Available in two sizes, the Compact ZOOM® has a cutting width of 34" (86cm) making it ideal for smaller gardens or where there are access limitations. The larger ZOOM® 42 has a cutting width of 42" (107cm) with additional power and refinement making this a good choice for a slightly larger garden.

The ZOOM® is fitted with a high-back seat, maintenance-free transmission and a washout port to help clean grass clippings from the underside of the deck. Its lever-adjusted height-of-cut system allows operators to easily change between its 8 cutting height settings. Fitted with a Briggs and Stratton® Twin 656cc engine, the ZOOM achieve speeds of 4.7mph (2.5mph in reverse), ideal for “zooming” around the garden.

Both models come configured to side-discharge, throwing clippings out of the right-side of the deck. An optional conversion kit is available to transform the Zoom® into a high-performance mulcher. The ZOOM® series comes with a 3-year domestic warranty.

Ariens IKON X

 

The Ariens IKON X series is packed with commercial quality features and has gained in popularity since its inception. Available in two cutting width sizes, the 42" (107cm) and a larger 52" (132cm) make this mower ideal for medium-sized gardens. The IKON X series has a 4.5-inch deep, fully fabricated deck allows for premium airflow, resulting in a high cut quality.

Users experience all-day comfort, even when mowing lawns of up to three acres, due to the professional-style plush high back seat and arm rests. Fitted with a reputable Kawasaki® 726cc engine, the IKON X can achieve speeds of 7mph (3mph in reverse), ideal for cutting grass efficiently.

Changing cutting heights between one of 13 cutting positions is done quickly with the turn of a dial. The added durability in its fully welded steel tubular frame is part of why this machine is considered one of the best lawn mowing solutions for domestic gardens. Both models come fitted with side-discharge decks, an optional conversion kit transforms the IKON X into a high-performance mulcher. The IKON X series comes with a 3-year domestic warranty.

Ariens APEX

 

The Ariens APEX series represents the very pinnacle of zero-turn performance and is ideal for larger gardens. This commercial-grade zero-turn is available in two cutting width sizes - 48" (122cm) or 52" (132cm). A foot operated deck lift system ensures effortless adjustment between 15 cutting positions. Also included are fully adjustable handlebars, progressive steering and a plush, padded seat for comfort during day-long use.

There is also a 5.5-inch-deep cutting deck for superior airflow and an 18.9 litre fuel tank capacity that allows operators to cut longer with less refuelling time. The frame on this machine supports a folding ROPS option for added protection for the operator if required. Fitted with a Kawasaki® FR691 726cc engine, the APEX can achieve speeds of 8mph (4mph in reverse), ideal for cutting grass quickly.

As an added bonus, the attractive industrial styling of the APEX series appeals to modern homeowners who appreciate how Ariens has added a stylish touch to the look of mowing. A mulching kit is also available for this machine. The APEX series comes with a 3-year residential or 1-year professional warranty.

Ariens ZENITH

 

Designed with the professional in mind, the new Ariens ZENITH is the largest and fastest zero-turn in the range. Boasting a 60-inch cutter deck and a top speed of 8.5mph, the ZENITH is ideal for cutting large areas of grass. A durable, 10-gauge steel deck is designed with 14cm (5 ½”) depth, providing optimal airflow in all mowing conditions for professional cutting performance.

A high-back, plush seat with padded armrests and seat isolation for all-day comfort comes as standard. Changing cutting heights between one of 15 cutting positions is done quickly with an effortless push of the deck lift pedal and a pull of a pin located within the operator’s reach.

Power from a Kawasaki FX730V 726cc engine, a pair of Hydro-Gear ZT-3200 transaxles makes the ZENITH a robust, durable lawn mower for all serious landscapers. A folding ROPS comes fitted as standard. Ariens’ constant belt tension technology on this mower gives a consistent blade tip speed that results in a cut quality expected of a professional-grade lawn mower. The ZENITH series comes with a 3-year domestic or 2-year professional warranty.

Still not 100% sure which is the right zero-turn for you? Speak to your local Ariens dealer to find the zero-turn that best suits your needs.

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