An Avant 635 compact tool carrier is proving to be a winner for Essex Waterways on the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation where the machine is being used to tackle a variety of tasks previously undertaken by hand operated mowers and strimmers.
The main job for which the Avant was purchased is to keep some 14 miles of grass footpaths alongside the rivers cut and tidy using a combination of mower and flail attachments.
According to navigation manager Graham Brown, “The Avant is proving to be absolutely superb as it enables us to cover a much greater area in a much shorter time compared with our old methods.”
In addition, Mr. Brown is delighted with the outstanding versatility of the machine as, besides grass and hedge maintenance work, the Avant has been ordered together with attachments for stump grinding and digging as well as a bucket and pallet forks for general maintenance duties.
Essex Waterways, a volunteer led organisation and part of The Inland Waterways Association, has also obtained a winch for the machine to enable it to help with the regular harvesting of willow trees lining the river banks when other vehicles are unable to gain access. The felled willows are then removed and used in the production of cricket bats.
The 635 model chosen by Essex Waterways is powered by an efficient Kubota diesel engine and features hydrostatic all-wheel drive, an articulated chassis for tight turns and a lift capacity of 1000 kg. In addition it is equipped with an offset, telescopic self-levelling boom which not only ensures excellent handling capabilities but also provides the operator with an unrestricted view of the attachment in use.