Customers Praise AMS Robots

Customers Praise AMS Robots: AMS Robotics are the UK distributors of Belrobotics robot technology, they offer automated turf maintenance and ball management solutions for large green spaces such as golf driving ranges and sport facilities.

Golf clubs and sport pitches across the UK have immensely benefitted from the AMS’s robot technology. Clients both old and new have given their feedback on the significant differences and improvements it has made to their outfields and maintenance methods.

Customers Praise AMS Robots

First to give their input is one of AMS’s oldest customers the China Fleet Country Club, Dean Bennett the general manager had this to say;

“China Fleet Country Club installed the range robots over 5 years ago, in this time we have seen significant improvements in the efficiency in ball replenishment and service as well as a reduction in man hours required to collect balls. We have also seen great improvements in the condition of the outfield as heavy machinery isn’t required any longer.”

The positive assessment of the robotic system highlights how successfully it has integrated into their workforce and is the reason it continues to work perfectly for them and their outfield. As one of AMS’s initial customers China Fleet has been utilising the older Belrobotics Classic Line, this includes the robot ball collector BallPicker along with its sister the BigMow robotic mower. For ball washing and transportation back to the dispenser they are utilising AMS’s automated ball wash and return system.

Key benefits for golf facilities employing robot technology is better ball management resulting in time and cost savings. Improved turf health due to the robot’s lightweight design, minimising its impact on the outfield. Thus, eliminating the occurrence of soil compaction caused by traditional heavy ball collecting and mowing equipment.

Steve Tebbutt, the director at Fernie Fields Football Club was second to comment on how robotic mowing has been working for them;

“We have been highly delighted with the system since installation last August. Throughout the season it has performed beyond our expectation as a replacement for a traditional man and machine. The pitch is in much better condition and the support from Automated Managed Services has been absolutely brilliant.”

Fernie Fields were one of the first football pitches to take on the new Big Mow connected line as a mowing alternative and because it has worked so well for them, they are planning on taking on another BigMow for their training pitch.

AMS’s mowing maintenance packages includes either the Belrobotics BigMow or ParcMow robotic mowers and is designed for large green spaces such as sport pitches. The robotic mowers are a lightweight, quiet, cost and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional ride-on mowers. They constantly mow and finely mulch clippings to promote healthy turf, leaving no green waste to collect or remove.

Next to give their evaluation was Colin Jenkins from Grimsby Golf Club. They have had the system installed for several years.

“I am absolutely delighted with my automated range system. It allows my maintenance team to concentrate on the presentation of the range, rather than the messy expensive business of collecting range balls. The outfield is in much better condition than it was when we picked up using a traditional picker.”

The robots have been a great success for Grimbsy Golf Club and has allowed them to focus their efforts on other aspects of running the facility.

In conclusion, it is clear that the feedback regarding the condition of the outfield considerably favours the robots over the traditional man and machine. This coupled with the cost and time savings, means the AMS robotic system look set to continue to be the most efficient and sustainable choice for any forward-thinking modern facility.

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Campey’s New Uni-Scratch

Campey’s New Uni-Scratch: Campey Turf Care Systems’ latest innovation, the Campey Uni-Scratch, is the ideal solution for those looking for a professional and effective maintenance of natural and synthetic grass surface.

The Campey Uni-Scratch can be used for organic matter removal on natural grass hybrid carpet pitches when carrying out annual renovations.

Campey's New Uni-Scratch

Regularly maintaining synthetic pitches is vital because it prevents infill compaction. When a synthetic surface is regularly used the infill can become lodged and cause uneven hard and soft areas that eventually leads to drainage issues and flattening of the artificial fibres.

To prevent this, the Uni-Scratch has been developed to provide essential maintenance by de-compacting and redistributing the infill. The machine can also be used to evenly distribute the infill in synthetic carpets during installation.

idverde UK who manage a growing portfolio of sports pitches and facilities on behalf of several local authorities, is the first company in the United Kingdom to purchase the Uni-Scratch and operations manager, Steve Tingley, explains why.

Campey's New Uni-Scratch

He said: “We install and maintain a lot of hybrid carpet surfaces and we are always looking at new machines and how they can improve our operation. We bought the Uni-Scratch specifically to speed up and improve our maintenance procedure and it has met the aims we had for it.”

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Edgbaston GC Extend Toro Link

Edgbaston GC Extend Toro Link: Having been at Edgbaston Golf Club for 31 years, course manager Eddie Mills knows more than anyone what’s best for the club, which is why he recently signed a second five-year agreement plan with Toro.

Just one mile from the centre of Birmingham, the course provides golfers with 144 acres of stunning parkland, including a lake and woodland nature reserve, so keeping the maintenance up to a high level is no easy feat.

Edgbaston GC Extend Toro Link

“I’ll have been at the club for 32 years this August and course manager since 2007, so I know the course pretty well to say the least,” says Eddie. “Before we signed our first agreement, we had a real mix of things in the shed, but we always preferred Toro.”

Despite seeing early on the clear benefits of Toro, the club needed to wait for the right circumstances in order to sign an agreement deal. But it was only a matter of time, says Eddie.

“Since our first agreement we’ve had a great relationship with Jon Lewis at Reesink Turfcare and our back up service provider, Redtech Machinery. With the first agreement we saw a real improvement to the course, and I predict we’ll experience the same outcome with the updated fleet.”

The club’s comprehensive fleet is a mix of like for like renewals and some new additions, including three Greensmaster TriFlex 3420 mowers, one of which is set up for surrounds and approaches with universal groomers. Plus, three GR1600 hand mowers, a Reelmaster 3575-D fairway mower with groomer brushes, Groundsmaster 4000-D, Groundsmaster 3500, Reelmaster 3100 Sidewinder, Groundsmaster 7210 zero turn rotary mower, Multi Pro 5800-D sprayer and a new TYM T654 tractor to boot.

“We are constantly trying to improve the club and the course,” says Eddie. “So maintaining and updating the fleet on a regular basis is really important.

“I particularly like the Reelmaster 3100-D Sidewinder, it’s compact, really economical fuel wise and leaves an excellent finish. The new TYM T654 we have is another of our favourites, it’s versatile, robust and really comfortable to use.”

With the club’s 125th anniversary coming up in a couple of years, there are big plans in the works for the future, and it’s likely Toro will be a part of that.

“Now that we’re close to reaching such a milestone anniversary, we’re starting to look at what the next 125 years will look like for the club,” Eddie concludes. “If Toro continues to deliver on performance and price, that partnership has the potential to continue as we take that next step for the future of the club.”

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Rid Slugs From Your Plot and Pots

Rid Slugs From Your Plot and Pots: Slugs can be active throughout the year, but they cause the most damage when the weather is humid and wet.

The slimy gastropods will make a meal of a huge variety of vegetables, even when you think that your plants are large enough to have escaped the threat. They will munch through peas, beans, lettuce leaves and tomatoes, and are partial to underground potato tubers; so even plants that you think are safely buried underground are at risk from the hungry pests. This is because, at any one time, 95 percent of the slug population lives underground, feeding on plant roots and potatoes.

Rid Slugs From Your Plot and Pots

The answer to stopping further damage is easy as watering on a simple, environmentally sound, pest control product – Nemaslug. Not only are nematodes extremely effective when they come into contact with slugs, but they can also reach the places that other slug control methods simply can’t.

When nematodes are watered on, they don’t simply lay on the surface of the soil like pellets and other pest control options do, they travel down through the soil to the pest and attack them before they get a chance to damage your plants. Also, nematodes are naturally occurring worms already present in the soil, so using Nemaslug helps top them up!

Gavin Wood, business development and key account manager for nematodes, said: “Unlike pellets, Nemaslug can be used as a preventative pest control, so even if you are lucky enough to have not seen any damage caused by slugs, treating the garden to a dose of Nemaslug will keep the critters at bay before they become a real problem. All of our nematode products are organic, pet and child friendly and easy-to-use.”

The best time to target slugs is when they are newly hatched, so the period between March – October is ideal. A regular regime of using Nemaslug every six weeks is the most effective way to protect plants throughout the growing season and will help to ensure that your vegetables survive long enough for you to eat them!

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ISEKI Extend Dealer Coverage

ISEKI Extend Dealer Coverage: ISEKI UK & Ireland, distributors of ISEKI compact mowers and tractors is looking to expand its dealer network over the next few years to further increase the customer service and support to end users across the UK and Ireland following an extremely successful 2018.

David Withers, Managing Director of ISEKI UK expressed his delight with the company’s performance over the last year since the direct branch opened: “Since setting up the company in January last year it has been very exciting to see the volume of dealers who would like to represent ISEKI and support our growing sales and share gain across the sectors we serve.

ISEKI Extend Dealer Coverage

“The addition of the new dealers alongside our dedicated, longstanding partners has been instrumental in driving the market share and increases in machinery sales over the last year.  We wish to continue with this for many years to come.

“Our aim is that everybody should be within 30 minutes of an ISEKI dealer as part of our strategy  to specifically target the private homeowner’s who don’t have the tendency to travel far when looking to purchase a new compact tractor or mower for their property.  We continue to have openings for dealers in some areas throughout the UK and Ireland which are still underserved.  We would be delighted to discuss opportunities with interested parties who share our commitment to excellent customer service and relationship building”.

ISEKI UK & Ireland have recently appointed four new dealers;

Farm & Garden Machinery Ltd based in Bridgnorth are an established ATV/ Quad dealer with over 25 years’ supporting their customers.  Alongside this the company has a continuously growing lawn and garden division supplying many well-known brands to their local area, the ISEKI range enables them to offer a higher range of diesel mowers to their customers.

Based in the heart of Fife ISEKI have appointed Meldrums another well-established lawn and garden machinery dealer wishing to extend their range to include a diesel mower offering.

When it comes to horticultural equipment and supplies Hereford Mower Services based in the west of the county have over 40 years’ experience, offering a comprehensive range of products they have now extended their portfolio to include ISEKI machinery.

Forth Grass Machinery are a family run business supporting their local customers near Fife with machinery, parts and service.  With the addition of the ISEKI range it enables them to reach a further customer base requiring higher specification diesel models.

Please visit www.iseki.co.uk for more information on how get in contact, request to become a dealer and join the ISEKI UK & Ireland family.

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Exmouth Pitch In Good Shape

Exmouth Pitch In Good Shape: The football ‘close-season’ is almost at an end as the ‘pre-season’ edges ever closer. Most football teams enjoy an entire month of June recharging batteries before returning in early July for the rigours of pre-season training.

However, the ‘close-season’ is not a period of rest for everyone involved with football clubs.

Exmouth Pitch In Good Shape

One group of club folk who are particularly busy are those charged with looking after the playing surface and, at Exmouth Town that responsibility lies with head groundsman John Dibsdall who is also the club president.

The work that ‘Dibs’, as he is more affectionately known, has undertaken since the last ball of the 2018/19 campaign was kicked, is there for all to see with the Southern Road playing surface currently looking at its pristine best.

It’s clear that, while the June rain has not been to everyone’s pleasure, it has certainly helped in the grass growth at Southern Road as our pictures show.

There is one change to the Town pre-season schedule with news that the warm-up game with Taunton Town, set for Tuesday, July 9 has been cancelled and efforts are being made to set up an alternative match for Kevin Hill’s team.

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An Update From Scott MacCallum

Golden Graemes

As I write we are deep into both the Cricket World Cup and the Women’s World Cup, while we are listening to endless stories relating to the transfer window. Where would we be without our sporting fixes.

And though it all is the weather. This time last year we were in the middle of the finest summer since 1976 and water shortages were the inevitable consequences. This year, completely different. We’ve had a month of rain in the space of a night and today’s forecast talked of temperatures of 45 degrees in France over the next couple of days.

An Update From Scott MacCallum

And through it all you guys have to maintain consistent surfaces and pitches.  For golf it’s replacing the wetting agent and irrigation from last year with squeegees and effective drainage.

For Royal Portrush who will be hosting their first Open Championship since 1951 I wish all the very best for the last couple of preparation weeks and the Championship itself. I know that Course Manager, Graeme Beatt, and his team have been working wonders to ensure the first Open to be hosted off the mainland for 68 years will be a spectacular success. You can be sure that Frankie Molinari, will be trying to defend his title in front of galleries which will be as knowledgeable and enthusiastic as any in the world.

It was also good to see Graeme McDowell, a Portrush lad, hole a long putt to ensure his entry into the Championship. Not to have played would have been hard for the former US Open Champion to take.

Good luck to both the Graemes – Beatt and McDowell – for The Open.

Net World Sports Supply Canadian League

Net World Sports Supply Canadian League: The Canadian Premier League has announced international sports equipment retailer, Net World Sports as one of their official partners. Supplying all seven clubs with training, matchday and ground equipment, Net World Sports has signed a three-year partnership with the new league which will see the UK based ecommerce company provide football equipment to teams until 2021.

As Official Suppliers of the league Net World Sports has shipped more than 1,700 items of football equipment to Canada, including full size 24 x 8 FORZA Alu110 Freestanding Stadium Box Football Goals and revolutionary FORZA Alu110 360˚ Football Goal Wheels that were designed and tested in conjunction with Manchester United’s ground team.

Net World Sports Supply Canadian League

As well as FORZA Alu110 Football Goals, the teams have enjoyed a plethora of smaller training goals too, including the FORZA POD Aluminium Folding Goal which is perfect for matchday prepping away from home ground and the FORZA Alu Mini Target Goal to encourage pinpoint accuracy.

As part of the three-year partnership negotiated by Canadian Soccer Business (CSB) on behalf of the CPL, Net World Sports will receive first right of refusal on supplying equipment to the league and seven clubs, access to media assets, direct promotion through Canadian Premier League’s Centre Circle app and product reviews and endorsements by players.

Alex Lovén, Founder & CEO of Net World Sports comments: “We’re immensely excited to finally be able to announce our three-year partnership with the Canadian Premier League. As an Official Equipment Supplier, the partnership will offer us a great opportunity to showcase our fantastic range of quality football products to thousands of fans of the beautiful game and truly cements our position as global players within the industry.

“A partnership of this scale has been a long time coming for Net World Sports and marks a huge milestone within our company’s history. It’s completely new territory for us, but we’re all about doing the unconventional, taking risks and following our gut instincts. As soon as we were approached by Canadian Soccer Business about the possibilities of entering into a partnership, we instantly knew it was something we wanted to be a part of. This is just the start of a monumental legacy in Canada’s football history and it’s great that we’re able to share this landmark occasion with the Canadian Premier League.”

Net World Sports Supply Canadian League

Net World Sports’ partnership deal with the Canadian Premier League could not have come at a better time for the UK’s number one football goal supplier who is celebrating 10 years of business this year with the introduction of a number of ground-breaking new products across their full sporting range, including football, cricket, tennis, golf and rugby.  Since the start of 2019 alone, Net World Sports has launched six new international websites in three new territories with more currently in the works.

Founded in 2009 by Alex Lovén, Net World Sports offers a range of professional quality flagship football products at affordable prices. The only company to deliver football goals across the world within two days, Net World Sports has been manufacturing their own range of FORZA Football Goals since 2013. In the five years since, the range has grown to now include the hugely popular FORZA Pro Locking Goals, the sturdy Steel42 and premium Alu60 and Alu110 aluminium training and match goals that are FA accredited.

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Wentworth’s New John Deere Partnership

Wentworth’s New John Deere Partnership: Wentworth Club and John Deere Limited have announced a new, exclusive partnership for the supply of golf course maintenance equipment to the world famous West, East and Edinburgh Championship Courses at Virginia Water in Surrey, from spring 2019.

Wentworth Club has been the host venue since 1984 for the PGA Championship tournament, which is regarded as the flagship event on the European Tour. The 2019 BMW PGA Championship is being held on the West Course from September 19 to 22, with John Deere and its supplying dealer Farol Ltd providing additional technical and equipment support.

Wentworth's New John Deere Partnership

The new course maintenance fleet consists of over 140 machines including mowers for tees, surrounds and approaches, fairways, greens and rough, as well as compact and utility tractors, Gator utility vehicles and the latest state of the art GPS PrecisionSprayers.

“We are delighted to welcome the John Deere company to Wentworth as our exclusive partner in the supply of greenkeeping and grounds machinery through its regional dealer Farol,” said Wentworth Director of Golf & Greenkeeping Kenny Mackay.

“This agreement represents a significant investment to ensure our fleet is always at the leading edge of technology and innovation.”

John Deere has been a leader in GPS technology in the agricultural industry for many years and is now developing systems specifically for golf course maintenance use, with Wentworth Club being an early adopter. The new advanced technology sprayer delivers great environmental benefits by applying inputs far more accurately and only to predetermined target areas. This significantly reduces overall chemical usage and can potentially cut spray costs by up to 15 per cent.

Using AutoTrac, the sprayer steers itself automatically to an accuracy of 2.5cm using RTK (real-time kinetic) satellite guidance. It also features individual nozzle control and Wireless Data Transfer, which enables spray records and application maps to be sent from the machine to the John Deere Operations Centre website or mobile app, where they can be remotely accessed at any time.

The new machinery fleet has been purchased on a planned replacement cycle in line with Wentworth Club policy, using a John Deere Financial operating lease specifically tailored to reduce the lifelong cost of ownership.

“The world of course management and greenkeeping is changing fast and John Deere is at the forefront of these developments,” said Carlos Aragones, John Deere’s Turf & Golf Sales & Marketing Manager for Europe, CIS, North Africa and the Near & Middle East.

“John Deere equipment helps to maintain many of the world’s greatest golf courses, and we are honoured to now include Wentworth Club in that prestigious company. We look forward to building a long and productive partnership with the Wentworth team, and to the Club becoming one of our leading strategic partners in the golf industry across Europe and beyond.”

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Battery Power Vs Petrol Power

Battery Power Vs Petrol Power: There was a time when it seemed petrol powered outdoor tools would always reign supreme. Battery powered tools were regarded by professionals and serious gardeners as no competition. They couldn’t match the power and uninterrupted operation of their two-stroke counterparts.

That time has passed. Today’s Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionised the way we work with battery powered tools. Now they can produce the power to equal petrol equipment while producing zero emissions at the point of work. Noise levels are also greatly reduced and the benefits don’t stop there. Vibration is minimised. The lower maintenance costs of battery powered motors lead to substantial long-term savings. Safety is improved by removing the need for fuel filling and on-site storage. There’s no tugging away with recoil starts, with batteries you just charge and go. Instant full power at the push of a button. In many cases one battery will fit a range of tools, interchangeable between a hedgetrimmer, brushcutter, power blower, chainsaw and even a lawn mower.

Battery Power Vs Petrol Power

The traditional argument in favour of petrol and two-stroke, apart from the question of power, was the uninterrupted operation. Batteries quickly ran down and took many hours to recharge. With petrol you just fill up and go. Batteries had a limited life and needed regular, costly replacement. To some extent, operators using outdoor power tools all day long may argue the need to remain with petrol two-stroke for the time being. Professionals arborists need to know their chainsaws are going to work for them all day. Groundcare maintenance contractors and landscapers rely on their petrol brushcutters, power blowers and hedgetrimmers to take the punishment the job demands and maintain productivity. But time is running out for fossil fuels, with legislation and Health and Safety putting the squeeze on the use of petrol power. So it’s good to know there’s an alternative.

Lithium-ion is highly efficient and brings longer battery life, quicker charging times and low self-discharge to the table. The power you need is there instantly, consistently and almost silently. Batteries do need charging but charge times have become greatly reduced using rapid chargers and most people will have a spare battery on charge in readiness. On the subject of replacement, that is easily weighed up against petrol and two-stroke engines needing regular servicing, with associated costs. Today’s brushless electric motor is maintenance-free, producing greener, cleaner energy. Emissions are managed by energy efficient motor controls for speed, power delivery and battery temperature, with the added benefits of improved performance and longer battery life. Using a rapid charger, quick charging also reduces downtime so more jobs can be completed in a day; and there is of course the option of using 4Ah batteries for longer run time.

Battery Power Vs Petrol Power

As professionals know, regular use of handheld petrol-powered tools carries the risk of Hand-arm Vibration (HAV), also known as vibration white finger. This painful condition can be avoided using low vibration tools, which is another benefit of battery powered tools, many of them operating well below the daily 2.5m/s² A(8) Exposure Action Value (EAV) limit.* Other considerations that make battery power a safer option are the fact the operator is not working with and storing flammable liquid. Much reduced noise levels are not only good for the environment in which the work is taking place, the operator is not exposed to high noise levels associated with two-stroke petrol powered machinery.

Taking the arguments in favour of battery power, with the benefits to the environment, the operator, and those in the vicinity, it’s easy to see why many professionals are turning to ‘charge and go’. All the power you need with low emissions, low noise, low vibrations, greater safety and reduced costs. Battery vs petrol? The ultimate choice remains in the hands of the operator and what best suits their needs and working environment.

To find out about ECHO’s range of petrol and battery powered outdoor power tools, speak to your local authorised ECHO dealer, visit www.echo-tools.co.uk or call 0800 597 7777 for more information.

*Daily exposure to vibration is measured by the formula known as an A(8) value. For hand-arm vibration (HAV), the daily ELV is 5 m/s2 A(8) and the daily EAV is 2.5 m/s2 A(8).

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