DRIVING IMPRESSION: The small Swiss company, ARB-Tec, caused quite a stir last year when it debuted its self-propelled mower, the 11m cut Cutaro SR1100. We get behind the wheel to see whether it can take on the likes of Krone’s Big M.

Bright sunshine, cow bells, panoramic mountain scenery and the constant buzz of the new Cutaro SR1100 self propelled mower as it makes another pass across the grassy field in Switzerland. We managed to catch up with the ARB-Tec as it dropped 11m of Italian ryegrass on every bout, pushing through the bulky crop
at up to 12km/hr.

It’s not the easiest of climbs to get onboard and up into the cab — at least when the three mowers are in the headland position, as the left-hand arm hampers access to the cab. Once you’ve boarded the machine, you soon realise that this is Claas accommodation. It provides a good view of the mowers, whose hardware incidentally also comes from Claas — more on that in a moment.

Yet they’re not all bought-in components — the joystick is designed by ARB-Tec itself. A quick tap on the centre rocker sees all three mowers lower into the 11m wide working position. Then push the joystick forward and the work begins. Tap the same rocker in the other direction, and the mowers lift up into their headland position.

If you just operate the switch until you feel a little resistance and stop, only the front mower is raised — the perfect solution for controlling the lift-out sequence. If you then press the rocker all the way down, the side mowers are raised as well. It’s just a matter of tipping the switch; you don’t need to hold it. The side mowers can also be raised up independently. This action can be done by operating the left or right rocker to avoid an obstacle, for example.

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