New Toro system at Kings GC

New Toro system at Kings GC: Kings Golf Club in Inverness has relocated with a brand new 18-hole, 6,600-yard, par 70 layout and a new Toro Lynx central control system and sprinklers to take the club into the next phase of its life.

When the ‘gateway for the Highlands’, the West Link by-pass around Inverness, was routed straight through the existing course, Kings Golf Club, then known as Torvean Golf Club and renamed in 2019, knew it was going to benefit from a new home from the Highland Council who owns the land, and in the summer of 2019, the course, designed by Scottish golf architect Stuart Rennie, opened to great acclaim.

New Toro system at Kings GC

Stevie McIntosh, course manager, says: “The new course is a real accomplishment to all involved. While it was a challenge to get to this point, it’s been well worth it. Throughout construction, which involved creating 16 new holes and completely renovating two from the existing course, we had to ensure there were always 18 holes open for play and timing was tight in accordance to the deadline of phase two of the road construction.”

The new site is located on undulating land to the North West of the existing site and modern day design characteristics have been incorporated, biodiversity has been improved and it benefits from a new layout.

The greens and tees are built on 92 percent sand and 8 percent soil, plus it’s in an open, exposed, breezy location, which gives it characteristics more in line with a links course than inland like it is. That will always be a challenge when it comes to irrigation, but having given the Toro Lynx central control system and Infinity sprinklers on all but the tees, which benefit from the Flex 800 sprinklers, a good run since it was switched on last summer, it’s one which Toro has sailed through.

Stevie continues: “I’m really impressed with the system. It could not be more different to the system on the old course and using it is a real pleasure. An irrigation system is the lifeblood of a course and it’s so important to get it right, you only get one shot! We put our trust in Stuart as well as Declan O’Malley from contractors European Golf Services, and they couldn’t have chosen better. It’s delivered all I would expect and want from a system; it’s easy to use, accurate and we’re getting uniform coverage.”

And with Toro on board, the next phase of the club’s life is off to a good start.

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New Jacobsen launches at BTME

New Jacobsen launches at BTME: Jacobsen is set to launch the brand-new Eclipse 360 ELiTE, Eclipse 2 Lithium and AR730 at BTME 2020.

Exhibition attendees will be able to experience the new machines for the first time in Purple Hall, Stand 422 across the three day exhibition in Harrogate with the Jacobsen team ready to talk greenkeepers through the mowers and their new features.

New Jacobsen launches at BTME

Jacobsen was an early innovator of electric golf mowers, and the ride-on Eclipse 360 ELiTE showcases that unique decade’s worth of experience while delivering the signature Jacobsen quality of cut. That knowledge has also been built into the Eclipse 2 Lithium. A patented true floating head and Classic XPÔ reel combine to produce a lithium powered mower that has already proven itself at the renowned Pebble Beach.

Focusing on the end-user has been an integral part of the 2020 product updates, and the comfort, size and power of the new AR730 make it perfect for mowing hilly terrain with sharp undulations while reducing the chance of scalping.

Ransomes Jacobsen director of international product development, Richard Comely, has been central to the growth of these new products and is excited to unveil them to the industry.

He said: “BTME is always a significant exhibition in the golf industry calendar, and it is the perfect place for us to launch these innovative new models. During product development, we were focused on the end-user and their everyday needs, while also concentrating on the environment they work in. Electrically powered technology is becoming increasingly important for many reasons, and we want to continue providing the industry with electric golf mowers that provide the performance and cut quality needed to produce a world class course.

New Jacobsen launches at BTME

“Harrogate is the ideal setting to welcome greenkeepers onto the stand and show them what we’ve been working on as well as listening to their thoughts on what they would like as an end-user.”

Another example of industry leading battery technology will be on the stand in the shape of the E-Z-GO Freedom RXV Elite with Textron Fleet Management (TFM) installed. This golf car is unmatched when it comes to performance, efficiency, and standard features. Models are available with the option of a 48-volt AC electric drivetrain with patented IntelliBrakeÔ technology or the first of its kind EX1 closed-loop EFI petrol engine which provides unmatched energy efficiencies. Headlights, taillights, brake lights and a modern dash come as standard with the option of rear facing seats and a choice of 13 colours.

The Cushman Hauler 800X Elite, Cushman Truckster with mounted Turfco 1550 Top Dresser and Smithco Ultra Lite Roller will also be on the stand to showcase the full range of Jacobsen turf maintenance equipment.

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Royal St George’s trusts Toro

Royal St George’s trusts Toro: Royal St George’s Golf Club has trusted in Toro since 2013. First came a fleet deal and then last year a new irrigation system was installed making it a Toro Total Solutions customer in time for the club to host the Open Championship for the 15th time.

Consistently ranked among the best golf courses in the world, Royal St George’s decision to opt for Toro machinery yet again for another five years was in large part down to its technological advances and product development.

Royal St George’s trusts Toro

In 2013 it was the very latest in green technology in the shape of four TriFlex Hybrid 3420 riding greensmowers with electric reel cutting units which particularly appealed to course manager Paul Larsen. This time it’s seven Greensmaster Flex 2120 walk-behind mowers delivering the ultimate finish.

“All the machines we chose last time have been so effective we’ve pretty much gone for the same again for our second five-year agreement,” says Paul. “In the demos, the Toro machines just did a better job on the course than everything else, and since we’ve had them they’ve proved their quality too. Five years later, the machinery from our first fleet is still as good as we wanted it to be.

“However, I’m always on the hunt for new technology, so we added in the Greensmaster Flex 2120 walk-behind mower to this deal. The results from which have particularly impressed me. The floating head prevents scalping and leaves a smooth finish every time, and we’ve seen an improvement to the greens.”

It was this faith in the brand, combined with the “brilliant service we’ve had from Reesink Turfcare” and a successful demo that resulted in the installation of a Lynx central control system and over a thousand Toro sprinklers last year. Here we take the opportunity to hear how the system’s performed since it was turned on in the spring of 2018 and faced one of the biggest tests for any irrigation system – a record-breaking heatwave!

Royal St George’s Golf Club is a traditional links course set amongst sand dunes, so of course its soil is naturally dry and fast-draining. “Hot, dry weather affects us anyway and the impact of having an old system had taken its toll over the last few years, so not only did the new system have a job in hand to bring the course back to the standard it was, but to bring further improvement too, all in the face of excessive dry weather,” says Paul.

“Despite all that we noticed instantly the difference precise and accurate control made to the course. Since we had Toro Lynx control and Toro sprinklers installed last year, we’ve been able to irrigate more precisely and, in the process, we’ve seen huge water savings and a big improvement to the course.”

Such is the relationship with Toro and Reesink that during The Open this year Reesink will be loaning the club more machines to keep up with the maintenance a tournament demands.

“We’ll start really gearing things up a couple of weeks before the tournament and then be out cutting every day during the event. Having the extra Toro machines on loan will be a huge help and is another step further strengthening our relationship with Toro and Reesink,” concludes Paul.

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University enjoys H&S benefits

University enjoys H&S benefits: Agria UK’s remotely controlled agria 9600 hybrid bank mower makes lots of friends in high places. Recent converts include the 16 members of the University of Aberdeen’s grounds’ team, all now fully trained and regular users.

Bruce Reid, Grounds Officer in the University’s Estates and Facilities Department, said he knew instantly it was a machine that suited their purpose:

University enjoys H&S benefits

“It works well for us because it’s not complicated; it is so H&S focused and does a thoroughly good job. Tending steep banking both safely and quickly is imperative and that’s why the agria 9600 stood out. On first view at its demo, it looked like a high climbing miniature tank patrolling the grounds. We were an early adopter and purchased one of the first in July.”

“We have our fair share of extreme slopes and banked areas. There are three distinct campuses.  King’s College campus, is over 500 years old, and dominates the section of the city known as Old Aberdeen.  It lies approximately two miles north of the city centre.  To the west, there is the more recent Foresterhill campus, next door to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and home to the School of Medicine and Dentistry, as well as the School of Medical Sciences and then to the east is Hillhead campus which is predominantly student halls. Together with research and lecture buildings, all sites have bespoke grounds, sports facilities and green areas. Hillhead in particular, has purpose built student residences set among landscaped areas which house several thousand students.  Typically, it’s here where we have many steep slopes, gradients easily in the 30° to 50° range, all at varying heights. We try to cut and mulch these fortnightly during the growing season,” continued Bruce Reid.

With its low centre of gravity and rubber caterpillar tracks, the agria 9600 powers safely through heavy duty work on high slopes to 50°.  The operator uses a joy stick on a light, hand held LED display control panel to manage six key mower functions. The display shows travel speed, cutting height, hours of operation, the battery charge status, the radio signal strength and an on / off switch.

Range is an impressive 300 m at a generous forward speed of 10 km/ hr allowing some of the most difficult and awkward-to-reach terrain to be tackled from a healthy distance. Should frequency be disturbed, the remote control changes to a different band frequency automatically.

A Hybrid drive concept means the agria 9600 combines a petrol engine with being electrically driven. This set up is therefore more environmentally friendly than hydraulic systems. The petrol engine powers the mower and generator while the generator produces electricity in Safety Extra Low voltage (48V) for driving.

In two widths, 112 cm and 80 cm, it cuts and mulches in two directions and is effortless on a variety of applications, including fine turf.

“The main thing for us is health & safety,” continued Bruce Reid.  “We don’t want operators walking behind mowers on any of our banked areas. It is infinitely safer to have a remote machine perform these tasks. Like everyone else, we have risk assessments for all grounds care activities and right away, a remotely controlled mower minimises risk.

“Ours is the 80 cm wide version. It’s a very straight forward machine yet versatile. The whole team took part in a familiarisation and training session given by Agria UK so everyone is now extremely confident. They feel safe because they don’t need to remain close to the machine nor do they need to set foot on the bank. It’s surprising light machine to transport, it can be popped on a trailer and moved with an ATV which helps save time and transport costs.”

Edzard Michalsky, Product manager for Agria said: “The beauty of this machine –and indeed all remote controlled agria mowing systems – is that there are no hand-arm vibrations to factor. Everyone deserves a healthy working environment and this machine means you can spend a whole shift engaged in cutting and mulching.”

Wilson Morrison, Sales Manager from dealer Fairways GM, who distribute Agria UK products in Scotland, said: “Bruce and his team put H&S at the top of their list. The agria 9600 gives them a head start. For example, if for any reason the transmission signal between machine and operator is lost the machine automatically shuts down.  Both the machine and the remote control offer emergency shut off switches and safety flaps giving protection against thrown objects, this has been tested independently by industry experts. At 420 kgs theirs is a light easily transportable machine. Running time is approx. 15 hours on each charge.  Each unit comes with a replacement battery and charger which almost doubles the working time.  Fuel consumption is around 20 litres per six hours run time. Developments like these help future proof the industry.”

See the agria 9600 at BTME on Stand RED 202 alongside sister company, Wiedenmann UK on 218.

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Engcon’s part in the first Cat® 330

Engcon’s part in the first Cat® 330: The tiltrotator manufacturer Engcon is an important part of the world’s first Cat® 330 Next Gen equipped with both a front blade and a tiltrotator – which has proven to be a successful combination.

A one of a kind excavator
Behind the controls of this unique excavator is Kristoffer Westman from Sundbergs Åkeri, a Swedish plant and transportation company. He puts the excavator to work on constructing a forest road, taking advantage of the greater flexibility and efficiency the combination of the front blade and tiltrotator bring.

Engcon's part in the first Cat® 330

At the end of 2018, Caterpillar launched the next generation excavators in the 30-ton class – 330 and 330 GC. When Sundbergs Åkeri chose equipment for its newly acquired Cat® 330 Next Gen in early 2019, among other things, a tiltrotator and grading bucket from Engcon were selected.

Together with a custom-built excavator blade from Nyströms Verkstadsservice in Edsbro, Sundbergs Åkeri now has a one of a kind excavator that delivers significant improvements in efficiency with the company’s road construction work.

“From just scooping up material which I then have levelling with the bucket, I can now plan where to place the material with the front blade. This means that I now roll the material in front of the blade, which results in larger stones falling to the bottom and finer material settling on the surface. It also makes the road easier to adjust before gravelling” says Kristoffer Westman.

A successful combination
Up until now when building forest roads it has been uncommon to use an excavator with a tiltrotator, but for Kristoffer it has so far brought only benefits, especially in combination with the front blade.

“I haven’t driven more than a couple of hundred hours, but this is how an excavator should be. The tiltrotator complements the front blade very well as I can use it to rotate the grading bucket to a position where it acts as a wing along the front blade. That way I can either steer in or out of the ground from the embankment” says Kristoffer Westman.

Kristoffer Westman goes on to say that his new Cat® 330 is also equipped with Engcon’s automatic quick mounting system with EC-Oil.

“Thanks to EC-Oil, it only takes 10 seconds for me to hang the tiltrotator and switch on the tooth bucket in case I need extra breaking power. This without me even having to leave the cab to connect some hoses” Kristoffer concludes.

The new excavator is currently being used in the construction of a new forest road west of Örnsköldsvik in the northern part of Sweden. The front blade is controlled via Engcon’s proportional joysticks MIG2, which means that Kristoffer does not need to change the grip to dig or excavate. The control of the tracks is also connected to Engcon’s control system DC2.

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FM48 Flail Mower redesigned

FM48 Flail Mower redesigned: Managing fields and meadows can be a difficult task once the growth hits a certain height. It doesn’t take long before grass, nettles, brambles, and all sorts of nasties make it impossible for a lawnmower or strimmer to bring it back under control.

A flail mower is ideal for maintaining rough grassed areas where a conventional mower would get clogged up and struggle to cut.

FM48 Flail Mower redesigned

The FM48 is a powerful, towed, long grass cutter with a working width of 1220mm (48″). A reliable 13Hp Honda engine with an electric start drives two ‘V’ belts and 42 cutting flails. These sharpened flails are easily replaceable to extend the lifetime of the machine.

As of 2020, the FM48s transport wheels situate at the rear of the machine, instead of the side. By mounting the transport wheels in the new position, the mower cuts closer to the edge and can squeeze through narrow pathways.

Mounted at the rear of the cutter is a one-piece roller. This roller is easily adjusted to fine-tune the cutting height and alleviates scalping by ensuring the flails lift above the highest peaks on uneven ground.

A screw jack effortlessly raises or lowers the transport wheels, allowing you to travel two and from storage on pneumatic wheels, before dropping the mower onto its steel roller. This steel roller flattens and neatens the ground behind it, it protects the user from the rear of the flail mower, and it is invulnerable to punctures, unlike rival mowers which operate on wheels.

The tow bar is typically mounted central to the mower, and it can be offset to the side of the vehicle when it’s desirable not to flatten the grass by running it over.

The safety of the operator is very much in mind when designing this type of machine. The throttle control and engine emergency stop switch are reached easily from the tractor seat. Full skirt guards are provided to stop the operator’s feet from being accidentally offered to the flails.

A jockey wheel is mounted onto the tow bar to help manually move the 245kg machine in and out of storage.

The SCH FM42 Flail Mower is identical in many ways to the FM48, however instead of having a width of 48″, its width is (you’ve guessed it) 42″. This compact machine is ideal for towing vehicles with less pulling power and smaller areas to manage.

For a free 80 page brochure featuring over 200 British built machines, contact SCH on 01473 328272, email sales@schsupplies.co.uk, or visit the website www.schsupplies.co.uk

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SISIS success at Colliers Park

SISIS success at Colliers Park: Two SISIS machines are helping to keep the natural grass pitches clean and healthy at Colliers Park according to Dylan Thompson, grounds maintenance manager.

Colliers Park in Gresford, Wales has recently benefitted from a major renovation following the FAW’s acquisition of the site. It has now transformed into an elite training facility which boasts two full-size training pitches and a synthetic pitch.

SISIS success at Colliers Park

Dylan embarked on his new role in March 2019 and found himself with an arsenal of brand-new turf maintenance equipment at his disposal. The new equipment was based on what the grounds staff use at Dragon Park (the FAW’s other football development centre) and there were two machines which particularly caught Dylan’s eye.

“After using them for the first time I could immediately see why both the SISIS Quadraplay and the SISIS Multitiner were high priority,” said Dylan. “They are both superbly built and can carry out a wide range of tasks.”

As Dylan says, the multi-functional SISIS Quadraplay single pass maintenance system is perfect for busy groundsmen as it incorporates a mounted frame for up to four implements such as grooming rakes, spikers, slitters, rollers and brushes. The implements can be fitted to the mainframe in any order and can be independently adjusted to achieve the desired effect. Compact, robust, versatile and with the ability to carry out up to four operations simultaneously – the Quadraplay makes life a lot easier for many groundsmen as Dylan explains.

“We’ve got the four implements and we mainly use it for brushing and raking. When we are brushing, we will have the slitter down and go as low as we can go just to provide a little aeration – it is great at breaking up the surface algae if we have any. The roller is used to give the pitch a light roll, rather than compacting and is perfect for a nice presentation. With regards to raking we will vary the depth depending on how aggressive we want to be. We’ve done a lot of raking this summer because there was a lot of thinning out required. It has kept the pitch nice and clean so that it is not suffocating.

“I would say that we use the Quadraplay at least once a month – it’s nice and easy to use and changing the depth of the implements is incredibly simple. It is one of those machines which you can get on and complete a number of tasks within a short timeframe.

“Likewise, the Multitiner has 3-point linkage, no hydraulics and there is no messing about – it is quick, simple to set-up and effective.”

For further aeration requirements Dylan relies on the SISIS Multitiner 1.8m – a tractor mounted drum-type aerator. It has three drums with independent rotation and its interchangeable tines with a maximum depth of 100mm ensure excellent turf care when the time comes to aerate.

“The amount we use it all depends on the amount of pitch usage and the weather conditions but we have a general rule of trying to use it on a fortnightly basis,” said Dylan. “On the fibresand pitches we try and keep the structure firm so we will use the Multitiner just to give us a bit of surface aeration.

“Ultimately it keeps the turf healthy and clean and that is exactly what I want.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact SISIS on 01332 824 777 or visit www.sisis.com

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow SISIS on Twitter @SISISMachinery and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/SISISMachinery. You can also view the latest SISIS videos by visiting www.youtube.com/SISISMachinery

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GKB Vstrong impresses again

GKB Vstrong impresses again: Based in Woolpit, Suffolk and with over 35 years of experience and knowledge, Parkers Pitches added a GKB Vstrong to their range of robust and dynamic machinery, through GKB’s distributor Ernest Doe.

Parkers Pitches have a passion for sports pitches and knew the perfect partner to support their passion was the GKB Vstrong. The sports turf management company, run by hands-on Owner Will Parker, have been impressed with the performance of the machine so far, stating: “We pushed the machine very hard this Autumn renovation season with over 40 cricket square scarified in 3 directions.“

GKB Vstrong impresses again

The beating heart of the machine is the CombiRotor, with its generically developed 3mm carbide scarifying blades. “The heavy duty nature of this machine has meant this year we have managed to scarify deeper and with closer blade spacings than in previous years, due to this we have seen great results with superb germination and coverage at all pitches renovated” Will adds. Thanks to the blades being rigidly attached to the rotor, the GKB Vstrong allows you to easily attain an operating depth of 5cm, not to mention it has a working speed of up to 10 kph.

Always completing high-quality work to improve and maintain surfaces and pitches the GKB Vstrong was a perfect match. Will explains “With the great results seen from a machine that is faster and cleaner than any we have previously used, we are in no doubt the Vstrong is the best machine on the market for cricket renovations and many other tasks.”

By scarifying and letting the material fly when you collect afterwards with a vacuum or a cut and collect mower, you are collecting less material. This leaves the soil behind and just takes the green waste off the top.

GKB Vstrong impresses again

Parkers Pitches Vstrong features an optional collection box. This is specially designed for work on golf green and cricket squares.

For more on GKB Machines and their reliable and robust range of machinery for natural, hybrid and synthetic turf, please visit www.gkbmachines.com or contact Tom Shinkins on 07495 883617.

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New SCAG stand-on mower

New SCAG stand-on mower: The V-Ride is a stand-on mower designed for professional use; the compact machine size, ease of manouevering and clear view for the operator have lead to the V-Ride becoming increasingly popular for intricate mowing areas. 

The Ride-On SCAG machines, because they are purpose-built for grasscutting, place the operator directly above the cutting deck, and one of the main features on the new V-Ride is that the revised configuration of the stand-on deck follows the same concept, placing the operator nearer the centre of the machine. 

New SCAG stand-on mower

The new version of the original V-Ride was announced in 2017 and had revised features that exhibit SCAG’s policy of continuous improvement and response to operator feedback, which combine to make them such a successful machinery manufacturer. 

The latest machine in the range addresses the need for gate-access: the V-Ride 32. 

The full model name is the V-Ride 32A-16FX: 

  • 32” Advantage Deck
  • 16HP Kawasaki FX
  • Electric start
  • Drive wheels: 20x6.5 – 10 
  • Fuel capacity: 4 gallons
  • New style 2020 V-Ride operator pad
  • All other features as on the 36” V-Ride

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Prince’s GC chooses innovation

Prince’s GC chooses innovation: Prince’s Golf Club recently underwent an extensive renovation process to all three nines on the 27-hole property, which saw developments made to bunkers, teeing grounds and a number of greens, with plans in place to make further improvements in 2020.

In order to produce work of the highest quality and keep the fine links turf as healthy as possible, the club made significant investment into to the latest Bernhard grinding systems.

Prince’s GC chooses innovation

The specialist grinders are designed to keep the mowers as sharp as they can be, allowing Course Manager, Sean McLean and his team to prepare the golf courses in perfect condition all year round.

Machinery Manager at Prince’s Jon Bartlett was keen to achieve more efficient accuracy and speed of work. The Express Dual 5500 and the Anglemaster 4500 provided Jon with versatility and uncompromised performance upon testing and were installed in the club’s new facilities in November.

The automated reel surveying on the Express Dual 5500 allows for maximum precision and helps to determine wear and assist with the resolution of “coned” and “barrelled” reels. With a host of features, this innovative piece of equipment allows the user to achieve the highest precision grind in the industry.

Commenting on the new Bernhard grinders, Course Manager, Sean McLean said: “We are delighted with the new set of grinders. We are always striving to achieve greater accuracy and consistency on our courses and particularly the greens.

“Being able to maintain a precise quality of cut through the automated fleet set up is saving us time and will be financially beneficial for us in the long run.”

Machinery Manager, Jon Bartlett added: “Working with such precision machines makes my job even more enjoyable. We now know that we can keep our machines updated through the remote assistance at the press of a button, which is extremely reassuring when dealing with a large fleet of machinery.”

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