Back in 2006, Alastair Brooker founded ANB Groundcare with just £20,000 in the bank and an uncertainty of which direction to take the business. Today, the Berkshire-based company is well on its way to a £1 million-a-year turnover, a feat achieved with dedication, hard work and a diverse fleet of machinery.
The site team has now grown to seven, with Alastair’s wife Lucy in charge of the brand design and website and financial support, whilst fellow colleague Bronwen provides office management and admin to an ever-growing office. Originally aiming to pursue a career in farm management, having studies that for four years at University, Alastair soon came to realise that without a family background in agriculture, this ambition would be very difficult to accomplish.
After leaving his job with an agricultural contractor, he bought a mower, trailer, hedge cutter, strimmer and hand tools before placing an ad in the Maidenhead Advertiser. Soon after, Alastair started to obtain his first handful of clients.
The business, based at Waltham St Lawrence, has grown significantly over the last ten years, along with it’s large fleet of specialist machinery. This includes a number of machines from Kubota’s groundcare range including a 36-hp STV36 mid-range compact tractor with a lightweight chassis, front linkage and extra hydraulic services, an RTV-X900 utility vehicle and a G26 II high-dump rotary collection mower with a 54-inch cutting deck.
Expressing his thoughts on the Kubota equipment, Alastair said: “I am a firm believer that Kubota is the brand that stands out in groundcare equipment. It’s backed up by just how many contractors speak highly of the Kubota machines and in turn purchase the equipment for their fleet.
“I love the fact that the STV-36 is user-friendly, with everything in the right place and no overstretching or knees knocking. It travels well, turns well and has a great power to weight ratio. All of our groundcare equipment is matched to that tractor and it’s proved its worth time and time again and can be relied on no matter how tough the job within our industry.”
Another part of ANB Groundcare’s business is that of winter gritting and they initially used a quad bike to pull one of the salt spreaders for covering footpaths, before Alastair recognised the driver’s need for better protection in tough weather conditions. Replaced by a 21-hp RTV-X900 which now assists with log deliveries and grounds maintenance and estate duties, the latest vehicle has been an all round invaluable asset to the company’s operations.
Looking forward, Alastair expects the domestic grass cutting side of the business to slow down in order to make way for bigger jobs with commercial clients. With ANB enjoying particular success with clients needing sites cleared ahead of development followed by the laying and maintenance of turf on the same area. This season alone ANB has sown almost 80,000 square metres of seeding and laid almost 50,000 square metres of turf in big roll format.
Alastair believes the company will continue to go from strength to strength given the wide range of services offered by ANB Groundcare.
To find out more visit www.kubota.co.uk