Remote controlled mower (con't)

Fort Malden used the Spider to cut grass on its earthworks, the embankments that were used as fortifications by soldiers during its years as an active fort in the 19th Century.

Recently some of the earthworks were sporting a field looking like tall grass prairie with many plants in flower.

Was fort management deliberately allowing the plants to grow to create a more natural look or as a conservation or environmental measure?

No, said park manager Cari-Lyn Hawksworth.

“It’s not intentional.”

She said the reason the plants had grown that high was because the Spider had been in for repairs and park staff weren’t able to cut them.

Hawksworth said at one time crews with regular lawn mowers would cut the grass using ropes attached to lawn mower handles and continually lower and raise the mowers up and down the berms.

But for safety and efficiency reasons this was changed and the park has had the remote controlled mower for about five years.

The Spider has four wheel drive, is rather square in design, yellow in colour, with a 48 inch cutting width.

It can cut grass on an angle as steep as 40 degrees and if winched to a tractor can cut on an incline as steep as 55 degrees.

The machine is ideal for hills such as at golf courses, or for highway embankments.

“It replaces dangerous manual labour,” and allows for “the mowing of otherwise inaccessible areas,” a company video says.

The Spider can cut vegetation – even small trees – as high as 10 feet, and can be remotely controlled from as far away as 200 metres.

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