AS 1040 YAK 4WD – engineered for hard professional use
Harald Josef Ernstberger – an authority on the entire AS-Motor product range – tested the professional ride-on mower AS 1040 YAK 4WD in hard practical use. His assessment of this major innovation was clear: "The new mower from AS is a genuine professional device. You can work at high speeds even in extreme conditions and save a lot of time. The cutting results are absolutely clean and impressive."
"My employees and I are familiar with the entire AS-Motor product range, from hand-operated to ride-on and flail mowers," says the trained landscaper. He adds: "We have tried other brands, but if you use mowers as intensively as we do, there is no alternative to AS-Motor. Our machines run on average between 300 and 600 operating hours per year." Based in Ebermannstadt in the area known as fränkische Schweiz (Franconian Switzerland), Joe's Forstservice's application areas are diverse. On one hand, the medium-sized company is involved in classic landscaping, while forestry often requires them to fell trees with rope-climbing technology.
No fear of extreme conditions
In the summer, caring for green areas is first and foremost on the agenda, with a specialty in solar fields. "We are responsible for just under 400 hectares of green areas. We generally mow twice per year for a total of just under 800 hectares annually. And the conditions are not easy. We often mow to the edge of scrub where growth is up to a meter high and interspersed with small bushes and a lot of weeds. It's hard work to get through there," explains the 39-year old. "In order to thoroughly test the new mower, we operated it primarily in these difficult conditions. And I must say that the ride-on flail mower is superior to other mowers. It cranks things up a notch", states Ernstberger, convinced after his intensive endurance test. "If you drive the disc mower into these areas, you must reduce the speed and even then you notice the engine reaching it limits. But these conditions do not affect the new flail mower. I drive it full-throttle and still achieve absolutely clean mowing results."
The AS 1040 YAK 4WD's uniform cutting results are delivered by a newly-developed 100 cm wide flail mower deck and a 23 hp Vanguard engine transmitting its force directly to the flail rotor via a belt drive. Moreover, the mower deck is arranged asymmetrically. "With the flail mower there is no need to overlap – you can mow absolutely flush and it makes things tip-top clean. The work rate is unbeatable. I would say the flail mower's work rate is at least 25% higher than that of a classic ride-on mower."
Ernstberger cites other advantages: "The moveable flails' Y-shape significantly reduces stone impact. With a disc mower, a rock can be shot out a distance up to 20 meters; with the new flail mower, a rock rolls only a few meters away from the mower. This is a significant advantage for us when caring for solar plants." In addition, the movability of the flails makes them much less susceptible to wear and the mower unit much more robust. "With a disc mower I sharpen the blades every 40 to 50 operating hours. I have now tested the flail mower for 40 hours and the cutting capacity has not diminished to any degree, nor has the cutting pattern worsened. I estimate that the blades should be reversed after approximately 150 hours." Appropriate service cut-outs and openings provide easy access to all maintenance points; the flails and drive belts are quickly replaced. "For all AS machines, you can change the belts, blades and flails by yourself with no problem. This means I don't have to take the mower to a specialised workshop, nor do I have to take the machine apart."
In addition to his work on solar fields, Harald Josef Ernstberger or Joe, as his friends call him, also uses the AS 1040 YAK 4WD for classic green care on industrial and commercial areas. While on solar fields the primary objective is to eliminate shade, appearance plays a major role in industrial and commercial areas. "The cutting pattern is outstanding. The professional ride-on mower mulches grass very finely, achieving completely uniform results," he enthuses.
In the summer Joe's Forstservice team is often on the road for days or weeks at a time, mowing solar fields and other green areas throughout Germany. Thus, comfort is also an advantage. "The new seats offer optimal suspension and you can adjust them to each individual operator. They are very comfortable," Harald Ernstberger adds with a smile: "You imagine you are sitting in a Golf or an SUV. The new professional ride-on mower is the SUV among mowers."
"Its low centre of gravity also qualifies the new ride-on mower for use on extreme inclines. The engine is absolutely high-torque and high-traction and shows no weaknesses, even as the terrain becomes more difficult. 4-wheel drive and limited-slip differential perform in wet conditions and help get you out of anything," is Harald Ernstberger's clear answer regarding the mower's suitability for slopes and difficult terrain. "Overall, the new ride-on flail mower from AS-Motor succeeds in every aspect of hard professional use."