Dvorak, the Czech Republic-based manufacturer of the Spider range of remote-controlled slope mowers, gave a world preview of its advanced prototype Spider 3RIDER at GIE+EXPO.
All of Dvorak´s current machine portfolio is remotely operated, but the new larger 3RIDER provides the operator with the option to sit on and drive the machine. It can be operated by a seated driver on slopes of up to 15 degrees and then, when the slope becomes too extreme, the operator can dismount from the mower and continue to operate it by remote control from a safe position away from the machine.
Following the initial development of this multi-functional mower, long-term testing is now being carried out to determine its robustness in real and varying conditions.
Improving and adding to its product portfolio with new and innovative product developments has been Spider’s focus for some time. For this new concept, it was imperative that the company further developed its unique steering system, known as the DANCE STEP, which has been tested and proven since 2004.
The DANCE STEP is created using a patented chassis design and enables omni-directional mowing without complicated maneuvering: four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering allow the mower to move forward, sideways and backward with unlimited continuous turning of all wheels 360 degrees. The current product offering — Spider Mini, Spider ILD01 and Spider ILD02 — use this four-wheel synchronized steering system.
The 3RIDER uses a more sophisticated steering mechanism that has been enhanced and moved forward by several stages. As each wheel is steered independently, the operator can use different configurations for varying terrains.
The first option is the aforementioned DANCE STEP, where all wheels are steered together in 360 degrees. The second option is the Ackerman steering system, as used on the majority of today’s motor vehicles, which allows the wheels to rotate at different speeds for safe cornering. The final option is zero turn. In this mode, all four wheels can be positioned at 45 degrees, allowing the Spider 3RIDER to turn around its vertical axis without damaging the grass or terrain, helping operators to be more productive as they can turn more quickly. It is the first machine to provide these different steering options.
The axles are independently attached to the main frame, allowing the mower to articulate on uneven terrain. The operator´s seat is centrally located, and the front mowing deck is attached to the main frame at midpoint and kept on the terrain by a torsion bar, which provides the operator with the best possible 360-degree view and allows the deck to float, following the contour of the terrain. The 3RIDER is the first mower to use this type of solution.
There are also some major changes to the mowing system. The front-mounted 5-foot-3-inch deck uses seven small high-speed rotary motors and blades and has proven to be extremely efficient. The front row of four blades rotates in one direction, while the rear bank of three rotates in the other direction. Changing to the mulching option is simple and quick. The standard blades are replaced with mulching blades and a switch on one of the drive motors is activated so that in mulching mode, all blades rotate in the same direction. From an environmental perspective, because the Spider 3RIDER uses smaller blades, it creates less suction beneath the deck and is kinder to the small creatures and invertebrates that inhabit the turf.
The 24.9-hp. Kubota diesel engine is the tried and tested version used across the green industry and provides the power for a high-quality cut of 2.4 acres an hour, even in difficult conditions. As it is below the Tier 4 Final threshold, it does not need the regenerative capabilities associated with larger engines.