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Gentlemen, start your mowers!



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Steve Stoll, owner of Burdick Street Landscape Supply & Equipment, blew all the other riding mowers away on his Scag Cheetah, which can travel as high as 16 miles per hour. Photos by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
August 24, 2011 - On your mark, get set, mow!

Blades of grass fell fast and furiously at Seymour Lake Township Park Tuesday evening as riding lawn mowers raced against each other across a lush green soccer field during an event put on by Burdick Street Landscape Supply & Equipment.

"It's a fun thing for us to do as a company and it's a good morale-builder for our staff," said Koula Christi, co-operator of the power equipment store, located at 43 E. Burdick St.

Burdick Street used the event to showcase and film for YouTube one of its newest products, the Cheetah.

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"It's amazing. It's totally state-of-the-art," Christi said. "Everybody falls in love with it when they use this machine."

Manufactured by Scag, the Cheetah is the fastest zero-turn mower on the market, according to Christi.

It's been clocked at speeds up to 16 miles per hour.

"Most mowers go about 12 miles an hour," Christi explained. "To have an extra 4 mph is a lot. It's hard to walk at a 4 mph pace."

The Cheetah was so fast, it easily blew away its racing competition, which included three other Scag models and an Exmark.

Even when the others were given significant head starts, the Cheetah caught up and passed them in no time.

All that extra speed isn't just for kicks.

It translates into mowing more acreage in less time.

At 12 mph, a riding mower can cut 6 acres an hour with a 61-inch-wide deck. At 16 mph, a Cheetah with the same size deck can mow 8 acres an hour.

"We let landscape contractors demo it and the guys said it took an hour-and-a-half off their route. That's huge," Christi said. "These guys work an average of 10-12 hours a day, so an hour-and-a-half is the difference between seeing daylight (at the end of a workday) or not."

Burdick Street started carrying the Cheetah earlier this year and customer response was immediate.

"The first Cheetah we got in, we sold within 30 minutes," Christi said. "It was that sought-after. Thank God we had the foresight to buy a lot of them."

Although the Cheetah won all of its races Tuesday, the big winner was the taxpayers of Oxford, who got one of their soccer fields mowed and paid nothing for labor or gas.

Now that's a prize!

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