Choosing the Right Machinery for the Long-term

Major Cyclone demonstrates reliability, safety and performance for Hertfordshire-based agricultural contractor Jamie Burrows of DT & CI Burrows.

With multiple businesses to handle, Jamie Burrows appreciates the long-term impact of doing the job right from the beginning. Alongside his family’s 160-acre Sandridgebury Farm, he works on some 2,500 acres of mainly arable ground around St. Albans in Hertfordshire. He offers a comprehensive array of agricultural contracting services alongside grounds maintenance work through DT & CI Burrows that he jointly owns. One of his contracts is Heartwood Forest under the Woodland Trust. This 900-acre site is the largest continuous new native forest in England and Burrows is responsible for establishing and maintaining the open spaces and wildflower meadows.

Major Cyclone replaces flail mower and a rotary batwing

“We used to run a flail mower and a rotary batwing, but we continually had problems with the guarding all breaking off; that was putting our operators at risk,” begins Jamie. “That’s a big issue for me because risking safety is unacceptable.”

The flail’s performance was also lacking. “They are heavy on fuel consumption and they are never wide enough,” continues Jamie. “The flail finish was ok – I was never happy with the end result. It just wasn’t up to our standards and if it didn’t satisfy me, then there was no way it would satisfy my customers.”

While researching the market for a suitable replacement, he saw a video of Irish International Rugby legend John Hayes using a 2.8m Major Cyclone on his Hereford Beef farm in Ireland. For Jamie, a Northampton Saints fan, watching how well the mower performed for John Hayes was enough: he decided this was the machine for his business.

Designed to raze anything in its path, built with premium components

“Let’s face it, almost anything made in Ireland usually comes out built like a brick outhouse,” commented Jamie. “I didn’t have a demonstration but I researched the market and found that the Major Cyclone is a very heavy-duty piece of kit. The galvanised finish and made of high-performance structural steel – it has all the credentials of being a durable and long-lasting piece of machinery. That’s very appealing because it’s important to always make a wise investment for the long-term. I ordered the machine from my local dealer Tuckwells at Maulden.”

The Major Cyclone is built using High-performance Strenx™ 700 MC structural steel, which is lighter but stronger than ordinary steel. The design incorporates a direct-gear drive to the rotors, eliminating the problems related to belt-driven flails.

The Burrows family ordered a 4.2m model, which has 24 blades attached to six rotors spaced 2 ¼ feet apart, double the number of heads found in batwing mowers, to ensure all material is cut cleanly and evenly spread across the width of the machine.

Height of cut can easily be adjusted from 50mm – 170mm and the hydraulic wing folds up for safe and easy 2.5m transport width. The galvanised finish offer extra durability and protection against rust and working in corrosive environments.

Diligent on horse paddocks, conservation areas, parklands

“We use the Cyclone at Heartwood Forest for maintaining the trails and pathways and it leaves an excellent finish,” enthuses Jamie.

“We use the Cyclone at Heartwood Forest for maintaining the trails and open spaces and it leaves an excellent finish,” enthuses Jamie. “In the wildflower meadows, we go in with the Cyclone to cut and mulch all the material before it’s collected at the end of the season.”

“We also have our own livery and riding school and it’s used here to maintain a highly professional finish. Even with the undulating grounds in the parklands, we don’t get any scalping – it leaves a beautifully striped finish. Even the heavy, tufted marsh grass is no challenge. It just takes it all in its stride and leaves the ground looking very well-manicured. I’m very pleased with how the machine is working. And the maintenance is so simple, there’s hardly anything we need to do other than a bit of regular greasing.”

“It’s a brilliant piece of kit.”

Operators favour reliability and easy handling, Clients impressed by finish

“Compared to flail mowers, the Major Cyclone is very competitively priced, uses much less fuel and leaves an excellent striped finish, almost like a cylinder mower and yet, handles virtually everything we throw at it,” continues Jamie. “I’m so impressed with the build quality that I’m looking at acquiring a second, smaller version for some of the contracts that require maintenance in restricted spaces.”

“We take pride in our work and because the Cyclone leaves such a good finish, this is already pleasing our customers.”

One customer is an organic cereal farmer who plants cover crops to improve soil fertility in crop rotation. The mulching blade system on the Cyclone ensures all the clover cover crop residue decomposes quickly back into the soil so the subsequent cereal crop can be planted in time.

“Above all, one thing important to me is reliability and safety. The Major Cyclone is manufactured to a very high standard! It’s very well built and designed to perform and last – even in difficult conditions. Because of that, our operators like using it because it’s solid, reliable and a great bit of kit.”

“With the Major Cyclone I know I have made the right choice and it’s already proven itself in the field.”

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