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An offer not to be refused

An offer not to be refused: Leading power tool manufacturer Makita UK is giving end users the chance to get their hands on a free DMR110 DAB+ Site Radio or MR002GZ01 XGT Bluetooth Radio when they purchase selected garden machines between 1st October and 31st December 2021.

Makita radios are fantastic for keeping you entertained on site or at home in the garden – and thanks to the company’s latest redemption offer end users have the chance to redeem a free DMR110 DAB+ site radio when they purchase from a chosen selection of 18V LXT and Twin 18V LXT garden machinery products. In addition, those who purchase any of the qualifying XGT 40VMax outdoor products can redeem the MR002GZ01 XGT Bluetooth Radio.

An offer not to be refused

An offer not to be refused

The DMR110 is compatible with Makita’s LXT, CXT and 7.2V Li-ion batteries, making it the ideal addition to any professional’s existing collection of Makita products. It features a two speaker stereo system for maximum output and has an easy to read digital tuner with an LCD display for ease of use. This model has also been designed to endure tough on-site conditions with elastomer bumpers to protect it against knocks and scuffs – and it is IP64 rated for being dust and shower proof.

Alternatively, the durable and easy to use MR002GZ01 Bluetooth Radio is compatible with Makita’s XGT, LXT, CXT batteries. Thanks to its Bluetooth capabilities, the MR002GZ01 can be easily connected to mobile devices within a 10m range – it even has a USB output port for charging devices on site. Impressively, the MR002GZ01 can run for up to 27.5 hours when powered by a 4.0Ah XGT 40VMax battery.

Kevin Brannigan, Marketing Manager at Makita said: “The DMR110 and MR002GZ01 are the perfect job site companions and we are delighted to be able to offer end-users the chance to add some entertainment to the working day. Thanks to the DMR110 and MR002GZ01’s clever design, professionals can use their existing XGT, LXT or CXT batteries to power the radios for convenience.”

Makita is running this promotion from 1st October 2021 until 31st December 2021. Anyone who purchases and registers a qualifying Makita garden machinery product from an authorised Makita dealer during this period can claim a free DMR110 or MR002GZ01 radio. Simply register the claim and proof of purchase within 28 days of purchase, via a dedicated microsite. On successful application, customers will receive their free gift after 30 days.

To find out more about Makita’s latest promotion, including the full list of qualifying products, how to claim and terms and conditions visit: https://makitauk.com/freeradio

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An insight into GKB’s Distributors

An insight into GKB’s Distributors: GKB Machines, the company behind sustainable, reliable and robust maintenance machinery for natural, synthetic and hybrid turf recently caught up with one of their loyal UK distributors, Balmers GM Ltd.

UK Operations Director, Tom Shinkins has worked for GKB since GKB Machines Ltd was founded in 2015 and a key part of his role is to work with the UK distributors throughout the year. Andrew Meeks, Commercial Sales Manager at Balmers GM Ltd has been with the company for 20 years and has fallen in love with GKB machines.

An insight into GKB's Distributors

An insight into GKB’s Distributors

Offering some insight into what it’s like to be a GKB distributor, Tom discusses with Andrew why they decided to become a distributor, what their customer experience has been like and ultimately what their favourite machine is!

What do you like about GKB Machines?

To put it simply, their build. We like the fact that these machines are built by contractors for use by like-minded people. Built robustly and to last, simple and easy to operate. The machines that we use are so reliable, we trust that they will get the job done everytime. Our ethos here at Balmers is perfectly matched with GKB’s. We want to supply our customers the best machines for use and reliability, as well as getting the support from the manufacturer which GKB offer exactly that. The question should be what do I not like about GKB Machines because then I would struggle to answer!

What do your customers like?

Our customers’ minds work like ours so, what we like, they tend to like too. They like the fact we are providing them with the best machines that they can rely on time after time.

How long have you been a dealer for?

We’ve been a dealer for nearly three years but knew about the products way before that. The way GKB keep bringing out new innovations and technologies to make their machines even better really excites us. We look forward to working with GKB for many years to come.

What is your favourite GKB Machines and why?

Now this is a difficult question! It’s almost like asking who’s your favourite child.  I love the SP100 Topdresser, it’s the machine that started our relations and outperforms the competition hands down. The GKB Combiseeder is also high on the list again for its ease of use, its simplicity and ultimately its performance and result.

Why did you become a dealer?

We became a dealer because we were looking for a mounted topdresser to supply our customer base with that fitted the John Deere ProGatorTM. We had supplied other manufacturers previously and were not happy with various things. We wanted a product with a direct line to the manufacturer rather than via the importer, simply to reduce the supply chain and improve communication. As we deal directly with the manufacturer now we’re able to provide customer feedback right to the people who built the product. On a typical wet and windy English weather day, Tom brought a demonstrator for us to try and we were blown away by its performance. The product range suited our portfolio and the rest is history.

What’s your customer experience like from GKB?

If I had to use one word it would be fantastic. Tom has been invaluable, providing a vast wealth of knowledge and support. We also spent time with the guys over in the factory in Holland, which really helped to build relationships. Ultimately for us, it’s a company and a product range that’s growing which we thrive on. They are constantly innovating without creating solutions to problems that aren’t there. For that, we thank GKB.

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

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Makita makes an impact

Makita makes an impact: Leading power tool manufacturer Makita has expanded its XGT 40VMax line up with a new brushless impact wrench. The TW004G is an incredibly powerful machine that can deliver up to 4,000 impacts per minute, for optimum performance.

Powered by Makita’s 40VMax XGT technology, the TW004G (which follows on from the TW001G) is an incredibly versatile machine that reliably delivers the power needed to tackle mid-range torque applications with a maximum fastening torque of 350Nm and nut busting torque of 630Nm. The TW004G also has a half inch Square Drive (C-ring), making it ideal for automotive applications.

Makita makes an impact

Makita makes an impact

Operators can choose from four power settings and six application modes – so the output can be easily adjusted depending on the task and for ease of use, the TW004G features a forward and reverse mode for tightening and loosening nuts effortlessly. To improve user safety, the TW004G includes an electric brake and Makita’s Auto-Stop system to make fastening and unfastening bolts much safer. The constant speed control function ensures smooth operation.

Kevin Brannigan, Marketing Manager at Makita explains more: “The new TW004G impact wrench benefits from our 40VMax XGT technology, that provides operators with high output, tough design and fast charge times – to maximise user productivity and keep the machine working at optimum efficiency for longer. Powered by a brushless motor, the TW004G is also incredibly durable. As there are no moving parts within the motor causing friction, wear and tear and ongoing maintenance costs are minimised. No friction also means that no energy is lost through heat production – which increases run times and reduces the need to regularly stop to replace or recharge the batteries.”

The TW004G benefits from a compact design that makes it suitable for use in tight and awkward spaces. It is also lighter in comparison to alternative models, reducing user fatigue and improving productivity. The in-built LED job light ensures clear visibility (and improved safety) when the machine is in use.

To find out more about Makita’s expanding 40V Max XGT range visit: www.makitauk.com

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An insight into Agrovista Amenity

An insight into Agrovista Amenity: “My hope for Agrovista Amenity is that the industry welcomes what it’s trying to be – a science-based company offering real solutions to customers and adding value wherever possible.”

John Marland has been integral in the development of the newly formed Agrovista Amenity. With more than 25 years’ experience in the industry, John claims that the launch of the new company is his proudest moment yet.

An insight into Agrovista Amenity

An insight into Agrovista Amenity

In this exclusive Q&A, John explains what Agrovista Amenity truly represents and why the industry should start getting excited.

Q: Now Agrovista Amenity has officially launched, how do you think it’s going so far?

JM: We’re right in the depths of integration now, and that always presents a challenge, but it’s going as well as we expected. There’s a great team within the Agrovista business, and this isn’t the first integration project that they’ve worked on – they’re well versed in integrating businesses into our internal system.

We’ve had a fantastic reception from both customers and suppliers – people really understand why we did it and what we are trying to do. It’s not about buying another business, it’s about finding the right business that helps you to create what you’re trying to achieve in the industry – a business that can service all the marketplace whether it’s online, by telephone or by face-to-face.

Q: What does the new organisation look like?

JM: As you can imagine, there were two existing structures that needed to come together, and we’ve certainly made progress. It may well be early days, but the thing that excites me is that we have a national sales team that rivals any in the market. As we start to turn the strategy into reality there will be a whole new level of customer support, whether that be internet support, field sales or telephone support.

Q: What does this mean for customers?

JM: Customers come first and that’s the primary motivation – not just for Agrovista Amenity, but for Agrovista as a whole.

There’s no need for us to radically hike prices just because two businesses have come together – that’s not a consequence or a motivation. The industry regulates the industry and we are part of that. We hope that our uplift, if you like, will be increased by efficiencies and bigger critical mass. We’re not expecting the customer to finance us – it will just be a case of being better at what we do.

Q: What are your hopes for the Agrovista Amenity business and in turn, your role?

JM: My hope for Agrovista Amenity is that the industry welcomes what it’s trying to be – a science-based company offering real solutions to customers and adding value wherever possible. Inevitably there will be changes within my role, but I just want to see this group of people maximise their potential and help them to become all they can be.

An insight into Agrovista Amenity

An insight into Agrovista Amenity

Q: What do you think are the current industry challenges?

JM: It’s a lack of solutions for challenges. I think soil-borne pests are becoming a real issue. We’re really starting to witness the effects of a lack of chemistry and an expediential rise in issues caused by the likes of leatherjackets and chafer grubs.

Also, I think we still face the same challenges that arise due to a lack of investment in green spaces, or government provided green spaces. I would love to see this market come together and try and approach government to increase standards in local-level sports facilities. I have coached youth football for nearly ten years now, and I’ve seen that although people work hard, the standards just aren’t good enough because there isn’t enough money there.

I think that we need to work harder as an industry to raise our profile and the value of what we do. However, as I sit here today, the weather is top of the agenda. I’m very conscious that the greenkeepers and the grounds people of the industry are adept at facing challenges from weather, but the constant wetness is becoming unbearable.

Q: Do you see any potential growth areas?

JM: I think there needs to be an acknowledgement of the fact that amenity has a lot of markets within it, and we see fit to grow in all of them because we just need to be better than everybody else out there.

Q: Is the development of Agrovista Amenity a career highlight?

JM: I’ve been in the industry for more than 25 years but seeing Agrovista Amenity launch to the team and the market must be one of my biggest career highlights. This is because of the size, scale and magnitude of the business that we now have.

Also, in terms of highlights, I take huge pleasure in seeing how far some of the younger members of the team have progressed. Seeing people succeed within the business that we have is really a highlight. I don’t think you can take too much value in personal achievement. It’s more about what we have achieved collectively over the time we have been in the marketplace.

For more information, visit www.agrovista.co.uk

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An R&A appointment for ETL

An R&A appointment for ETL: ETL, a Labosport Group company in Central Scotland, are proud to announce that they are now the official testing laboratory for The R&A, supporting testing for all Professional & Amateur event venues.

Sharon Singleton-Bruce, Managing Director of ETL says “this is an amazing opportunity for the laboratory, and we are looking forward to working with The R&A’s agronomists, Alistair Beggs, Richard Windows and Adam Newton.”

An R&A appointment for ETL

An R&A appointment for ETL

Testing for The R&A includes several of ETL’s Golf Green Health Testing (GGHI) tests using bespoke sampling kits. This service is providing course managers and agronomists with data for the performance of their golf greens, including undisturbed infiltration rates, organic matter content at incremental depths and nutrient analysis.

ETL is A2LA-accredited in the field of “Geotechnical, Putting Green Materials” since 1997, with an unrivalled experience of testing venues from all over the world. Adhering to the rigorous protocols of the accreditation provides the industry’s most reliable laboratory data.

Alistair Beggs, Head of Agronomy at The R&A said “we are delighted to be partnering ETL laboratories, and we are looking forward to working with Charles and Sharon who are able to give us the supporting information and knowledge we need to ensure the venues we use are maintained optimally and provide first class surfaces for member and championship golf. “

About ETL

European Turfgrass Laboratories Ltd (ETL) provides an independent and unbiased service for the analysis of soils, sand, peat, gravel, rootzone and other materials specifically for the turfgrass and landscape industries.

Formed in 1996, we have been testing materials for many of the world’s leading golf clubs, football clubs, national stadiums, racecourses and other natural grass sports surfaces
ETL’s market began in the UK and Ireland and has rapidly expanded across Europe into Africa, Middle East, Australasia and South America.

Golf course architects, agronomists, material suppliers, contractors, local authorities and government agencies use our testing services extensively during project planning and construction to ensure that all materials are conforming to their project’s specifications.

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Need an instant boost?

Need an instant boost?: Ignition is a brand new AGS exclusive plant-health-solution specially formulated to provide ultra-rapid foliar uptake even in the colder months.

This special formulation of Nitrogen, Calcium and Magnesium provides an all-round turf strengthening package. The Nitrogen is delivered in a form that is instantly available for use by the plant giving this product the perfect characteristics for use throughout the autumn, winter and spring.

Need an instant boost?

Need an instant boost?

  • Boosts growth, recovery and health in stadiums and training grounds during cooler weather.
  • Encourages Poa growth in cold springs to aid mixed Poa/Bent greens to grow evenly during this awkward cool period.
  • Enhances winter and early spring growth of fairways, tees and outfields to improve sward density and health following high use.
  • Pre-tournament green-up and health boost for greens, tees and fairways.

Calcium is known for its cell strengthening properties alongside improving nitrogen uptake and stress tolerance. Magnesium gives good colour without lush growth and helps plant sugar production and new leaf development.

Apply at 10-20lts per Ha with 200lts-400lts water volume. Can be used 12 months of the year. Available in 5lts & 200lts containers. Can be tank mixed with a range of products.

For more information on this product or to enquire about ongoing opportunities to join the team please call 01183-914540 or email info@advancegrass.com.

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Don’t score an own goal with your borehole

Don’t score an own goal with your borehole: Last November Norwich City Football Club was named joint fifth in a sustainability league table of all 20 Premier League clubs. 

The table was compiled by BBC Sport, working with the United Nations-backed Sport Positive Summit, and one of the reasons for the club’s success was the fact its Carrow Road pitch is watered via a borehole and the training ground recycles the water from the pitches.

Don’t score an own goal with your borehole

The reality is that many football clubs and other sports facilities, such as golf courses and racecourses, rely on boreholes for the critical irrigation of their sports turf.

Having your own private water supply delivers guaranteed water delivery and keeps costs down, but it also comes with the need to meet certain goals, says Mike Deed, Managing Director of Geoquip Water Solutions, experts in borehole management.

“A lot of the big football clubs have several wells which provide water to their network of training pitches and main ground,” he said.

“It is absolutely essential that playing surfaces are irrigated to the best possible standard and remain in tip top condition throughout the season. If water quality or quantity is affected by borehole problems, then the impact can be wide-ranging.

“Investing in a borehole is a significant capital investment, but given the cost of mains water and the fact that a typical borehole will be expected to deliver a return on investment in less than four years, it can also be very worthwhile – providing you take good care of it.”

The trick, he says, is to make sure that an ongoing monitoring and maintenance programme is built in from day one.

“All too often, borehole owners take a ‘fit and forget’ approach in that they fit the borehole and expect it to continue delivering maximum yield without any proactive maintenance.

“In football terms, it would be like fielding your best team for every single match without addressing their physical or mental needs or considering how they might be able to keep delivering their best without any care or attention.”

Typical borehole problems are likely to include reduced yield, a change in the quality of water and/ or a drop in water pressure.

All three can be caused by contamination, such as iron-related bacteria, iron oxide, manganese oxide and calcium carbonate deposits affecting the pumps, pipes and motors.

Don’t score an own goal with your borehole

If too much iron in the water is allowed to build up, it can cause brown staining on hard and soft landscaping and infrastructure (such as buildings), another reason why boreholes need to be regularly treated.

Other problems will include the encrustation of casings and pipes, clogging of filters – preventing the free entry of groundwater, and potential damage to the borehole wall or pumping equipment.

A monitoring and telemetry programme, with the installation of bespoke panels and dashboards, enables remote data collection from each borehole, allowing the user to see issues such as draw down, water pressure, general temperature and also the temperature of the motor.

Triggers and alarm points can be added to raise alerts when faults or particular combinations of problems arise, enabling early preventive action to take place.

Downhole cameras also provide a bird’s eye view into the heart of the borehole, allowing images to be taken and, from there, essential decisions regarding maintenance can be taken before the condition of the turf is potentially impacted by poor water quality.

Geoquip works with a number of partners, including Nicholls Boreholes, which recently helped one Premiership club struggling with dwindling yields from its two existing wells.

After site visits and a consultation process, the Nicholls team recommended a BoreSaver Ultra C Pro treatment solution, which now includes a biodegradable marker to guarantee that no chemical residue is left in the water.

A special system was put in place to capture the iron for licensed disposal and the clean water was discharged through the club’s drainage system without fear of causing any blockage or contamination.

As a result, both the club and the Nicholls’ team saw an immediate increase in yield and are now considering a regular treatment plan.

Student greenkeeper an ‘inspiration’

Student greenkeeper an ‘inspiration’: Kyle McClung, who started his career on home turf at Wigtownshire County Golf Club but is now working at Glenbervie, has been named as the top student greenkeeper in Scotland.

The accolade is awarded by BIGGA (British and International Golf Greenkeeping Association) through the Harry Diamond Award in memory of an Ayrshire greenkeeping stalwart.

Student greenkeeper an ‘inspiration’

The award, which is sponsored by the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI), is open to greenkeepers in Scotland who are studying for a qualification to help them progress in their career.

McClung, who lives in Alva, completed an NC in Greenkeeping at SRUC’s Elmwood campus before taking up a work placement at Turnberry, which led to the offer of a full-time position. He then moved to Gleneagles Hotel and completed an HNC in Golf Course Management via distance learning, graduating in July.

“Kyle fought off some really strong peers to win the award,” said programme leader Mike Clark, who nominated McClung, a decent player himself, for the award. “He is an inspiration to all of SRUC’s Greenkeeping and Golf students, demonstrating how the right attitude and application can lead to a successful career.”

McClung added: “It is an honour for me to receive this award and it’s a nice recognition for the hard work I have put into my studies over the years. Thanks to Mike and all of the lecturers at SRUC Elmwood for giving me the platform to further my studies and hopefully progress within the industry.”

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An Update from Scott MacCallum

An Update from Scott MacCallum: The fastest moving month of the year has no doubt caught us all out again as we get to the stage where we have no time left to do so many things we’d put off until later in the month.

I enjoy Christmas. At least I enjoy certain aspects of the festive season. I enjoy the odd Christmas party – although I’m pushing it this year with two on the same day. I enjoy that there is more to watch on TV than in the summer months. I enjoy nibbling on party food and not feeling overly guilty. I enjoy the occasional carol service. I enjoy finding the perfect present for someone.

An Update from Scott MacCallum

I’m not so keen on having to listen to Jona Lewie’s Stop the Cavalry every time I wander into Boots for an entire month. But that’s another matter.

I’m here to wish you all the very best for the festive season and not whinge about what I don’t like.

So, from everyone here at Turf Matters have a wonderful Christmas and a New Year which brings you happiness and fulfilment.

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An update from Scott MacCallum

An update from Scott MacCallum: Well the countdown to Christmas is well and truly underway. We are being bombarded by the usual array of Christmas advertising which, increasingly, is failing to mention any of the products for which the company is known. However, we are all entranced by a dragon who inadvertently fired flames from his ears.

In our industry this time of year is a little weird. For some, golf for example, it is a time for winter renovation programmes. A chance to level that poorly constructed tee or carry out some much needed woodland management. Cricket, too, is off season, and work can be carried out to the pitch or outfield.

An update from Scott MacCallum

For football, rugby and horse racing, however, this is perhaps the busiest time of the entire year. Managers are jumping up and down about over congested fixture schedules, sneaky players are looking for that extra yellow card to give themselves a ban over Christmas and groundsmen are trying to produce surfaces in weather conditions which are not always conducive to the maintenance and growth of grass.

Whatever you are doing I hope that you achieve results you are happy with and can enjoy the run up to Christmas safe in the knowledge that, work-wise, everything is as good as it can be.

Best wishes

Scott MacCallum

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