Customer report: Out of the danger zone with the AS Sherpa RC mower
Citizens who feel comfortable – this is the top priority for the employees of the Bauhof in Woert, a small community in the south-west of Germany. Since the middle of last year, part of the well-equipped vehicle fleet has included a ride-on mower with remote control, an AS 940 Sherpa 4WD RC.
The scope of duties of Bauhof Woert employees is manifold. “In winter, of course, we are very busy with the classic winter road service, after all, all roads connecting the communities have to be cleared by six o'clock in the morning. And these are just a few, our community has 17 sub-towns, hamlets, mills and individual farms," says Manfred Hopfensitz, group leader at the Bauhof. "Tree management also plays an important role at this time of year. When spring comes along, we start with cleaning work such as cleaning the ditches and various construction measures. At Easter, everything must be sparkling bright again. In spring, summer and autumn we are mainly busy with the maintenance of our facilities", the trained carpenter describes the main tasks during the course of the year.
Made for difficult terrain
The entire sports area with two sports fields, a camping site and a brand new, pump track already covers seven hectares. In addition, there are five playgrounds, meadow orchards, other leisure areas, the outdoor area of the primary school and the sewage treatment plant. "All this must be mowed, kept clean and in good condition." So there is a lot to mowing in the everyday life of the four employees of Bauhof Woert, who have all learned a classic craft profession. The large areas are mowed with a compact tractor with attached mower and blower. For all other mowing work, we use an AS ride-on mower. "Whenever the terrain becomes more difficult, we take our AS 940 Sherpa 4WD to mow, i.e. on slopes, embankments and in rough terrain."
"The remote-controlled ride-on mower from AS-Motor already convinced us during the test drive. Anton Berger from the company Berger from Rechenberg - our dealer and partner for numerous vehicles and devices – demonstrated us the AS Sherpa RC and gave us the opportunity to test Sherpa ourselves. At first we steered the mower manually and were really enthusiastic up to which growth height it mows without any problems and still with pretty clean cutting finish", Mr. Hopfensitz describes the first experiences with the machine. "When it came to mowing nettles up to one and a half meters high, we tested the remote control. That convinced us once and for all. With other mowers you always get the full load, no matter whether it's nettles, dust, flower seeds, hanging branches or thorns. With the remote control, you can work comfortably from a safe distance.
Safety aspect convinces
"The positive decision of our mayor Mr.Thomas Saur and the local council to purchase the machine is mainly due to the safety aspect", says Hopfensitz looking back on how the purchase of the ride-on mower came about. "On extremely steep slopes, you are out of the risk zone using the remote control. The tilt sensor helps to steer the mower safely. If it gets too steep, it honks a signal horn and you can adjust the angle to the slope in time." Bauhof Woert employee Steffen Rief adds: "With the remote control you also have a better view on the mower, for example when you want to mow close to a stone or something similar. The surfing mowing deck, which can move freely vertically upwards, ensures that you do not mow in uneven ground or that you can drive over hilltops much better.
The trained locksmith has only been with the team at the Bauhof Woert for half a year and has worked a lot with the AS Sherpa RC right from the start. "The AS Sherpa is my machine", he says with a smile. "Not only is it great to work with, it's also a lot of fun!" When asked how complicated it is to switch from manual to remote-controlled operation or vice versa, Rief answers: "It's just a simple operation and done in no time. Yes, and there are indeed situations in which manual operation makes more sense. For example, if you have a large area to mow, you're definitely faster when you sit on it. "It is also very important that the result is not only suitable in terms of the very high area output. "The cutting finish is great, the cuttings are well mulched up and evenly distributed," he appreciates. Since the cut grass stays longer in the closed mowing hood and is ejected to the rear, the machine does not run over the mulched grass.
"Another point in favour of the Sherpa is that you sit well! The suspension seat is very comfortable and you have plenty of room for your legs," adds Hopfensitz. "No comparison to the past. If you mowed embankments there for a week, you were done on the weekend. With the Sherpa it's simply a very pleasant work now." Health is also an issue that Mayor Saur is very concerned about among his employees. "You're not getting any younger," he said," says Bauhof manager about his discussions with Saur when it came to purchasing a new mower. When it comes to health issues, however, the Sherpa RC not only scores points with its adjustable bucket seat with suspension and damping, the ergonomic arrangement of the controls and the great freedom of leg and movement. A further positive point in this respect is the remote control. "If you don't know which insects are buzzing around on embankments or hedges, we preferably work with the remote control. Unfortunately, we have experience with insect bites. It wasn't all that long ago that one of our colleagues had to spend a night in hospital after a hornet attack," says the senior officer.
Light and off-road
A very important issue in the municipality of Woert are the so-called FFH areas, i.e. areas that are subject to the European Fauna-Flora-Habitat Directive and serve the protection and preservation of wild plants and animal species. "We have a lot of wetland biotopes alongside the Rotach, the river that flows through our district further towards Middle Franconia. The beavers therefore also feel very comfortable in our community. We estimate the population to be about ten families. And they do not only give us pleasure. For example, the animals use their dams to close drains, make ditches overflow and gnaw on trees. In agreement with the district administration office, there is often a lot of work on the agenda to ensure road safety or prevent flooding. Mowing work on wet ground in Woert is therefore not only carried out in nice weather. And the Sherpa RC can also convince here. "The Sherpa is light and very versatile. If I get stuck with the mower in a very wet spot, I simply switch on the differential lock and then get out again without any problems. The agricultural tires also ensure that the tread doesn't get smeared on wet ground."
"In summary, we are completely satisfied with the AS Sherpa RC," Hopfensitz concludes and his colleagues unanimously agree.
Quotes - AS 940 SHERPA 4WD RC
"The Sherpa RC is not only great to work with, it's fun too!"
Steffen Rief, Bauhof employee in Woert
"The remote control puts you out of the risk zone."
Manfred Hopfensitz, Head of the Bauhof Woert
Interesting facts about Woert
The municipality of Woert (german: Wört), with a total area of 1817 hectares, 700 hectares of which are woodland, is a Wuerttemberg border municipality in the rural area of the Ostalbkreis and bordering on the historic Bavarian town of Dinkelsbuehl.
A community in which the number of jobs is almost as high as the number of inhabitants, which is not often the case. A branch of a company specialising in plug connections and sensor technology, a special education and advice centre with an attached boarding school and a handful of good medium-sized companies provide around 1300 people in the community of Woert with a secure job. A great number with currently 1450 inhabitants.