The brainchild of Canadian inventor Jeff Buchko, MagKnife is a revolutionary new system for attaching the bottom blade to a greens or fairway cylinder mower. By bringing huge increases in productivity it will change the future face of mower maintenance.
Exclusively available from Ransomes Jacobsen, this new system uses powerful magnets with a force exceeding 19kgm (140 ftlbs), together with special locating dowels, to position the bottom blade firmly. With this new patented technology there are no screws to remove and the time required to replace worn or damaged bottom blades is reduced from hours to minutes.
Traditionally, the bottom blade is held in position by up to 18 retaining screws which, as any golf greenkeeper or maintenance technician will confirm, are notoriously difficult to remove, particularly on older machines. When a new bottom blade is fitted using the traditional system, tightening the screws distorts the blade, which then has to be ground true.
Using location dowels and a series of extremely powerful natural magnets MagKnife, the screwless bottom blade, is held firmly in position on the backing plate by a uniform pressure along its full length, eliminating the tedious and time consuming need to grind true using the ‘old‘ system.
During extensive laboratory and field tests in the US, an unexpected benefit of the new design was discovered. Fairly substantial objects such as broken tees, twigs, small pebbles, discarded spikes and even coins passed between the cutting cylinder blades and the bottom blade without damage to either during the extensive testing period.
The magnets, with their powerful field, provide enough strength to hold the bottom blade securely to the frame but let it ‘give‘ when an object is encountered, allowing it to pass through harmlessly before snapping back into place.
MagKnife was shown to a group of British and European greenkeepers who were guests of Ransomes Jacobsen at the GCSAA Show in Atlanta last February. Although sceptical at first, when they witnessed the force required to remove the blade, there was genuine amazement. A typical remark was “When can we have it?” and one course manager went as far to say, “I don‘t care how much it costs, I want it”.
A special patented removal tool is required to break the magnetic hold and, once done, the process of refitting can be achieved in seconds.
Speaking at the Saltex launch David Withers, sales and marketing director at Ransomes Jacobsen, said, “We are convinced that MagKnife will revolutionise the maintenance of golf mowers as we know it. We have the exclusive use of this patented technology, which has been extensively tested in the USA.
“Jacobsen has always been known for innovation, launching the first hydraulic greens triple, the first lightweight fairway mower, the first and still the only true turf groomer, FlashAttach reels and now, MagKnife.
“We are committed to providing productive, environmentally-friendly products as a continuing company policy and we believe that MagKnife will enhance the productivity of golf courses around the world. You won‘t believe it until you try it!”
As an indication of the timesaving that can be achieved using the MagKnife system, a time study was undertaken in the UK by a Ransomes Jacobsen dealer technician using standard workshop equipment and a unit from a Jacobsen Greens King VI complete with Groomer. Total changeover time was 31 minutes. Assuming all three units are changed at the same time, the total changeover time would be 1 hour 33 minutes. Allowing one minute for each Magknife change the total changeover time of the blade is a mere three minutes – a huge time saving..
Apart from the ability to change the bottom blade quickly with the resultant saving in man-hours, additional benefits are:
- The use of thinner bottom blade for even lower height of cut
- No bottom blade truing is required
- Magnetic ‘give‘ allows foreign materials to pass between the cylinder blade and bottom blade with minimal damage to either
- Fewer cylinder blades and bottom blade damaged
- Less frequent cylinder blade and bottom blade grinding
This system is being offered as a replacement kit for Jacobsen cutting units. By offering this technology as a kit, the customers will see following benefits:
- They can update current Jacobsen cutting units.
- They have a choice a choice when ordering new Jacobsen machines.
- They can have their local dealer install this system as new.
- Customer demand will determine if the technology will be standard equipment.
Ransomes Jacobsen www.ransomesjacobsen.com