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Be blown away by Makita 40V

Be blown away by Makita 40V: Leading power tool manufacturer Makita UK has expanded its range of powerful XGT cordless machines with the launch of the UB001G XGT 40VMax Brushless Blower. The UB001G delivers the high output professionals need to tackle more demanding applications with ease.

The UB001G makes light work of high-demand tasks thanks to its brushless motor that means it can deliver high no load speeds (up to 23,000rpm) and air volume (up to 16.0m3min). In boost mode the UB001G also has a maximum blowing force of 17N, which is more than enough to handle larger quantities of garden debris.

Be blown away by Makita 40V

Be blown away by Makita 40V

For optimal operation, the UB001G features variable speed control that allows users to adjust the output depending on the task. In addition, the cruise control function enables users to lock the variable speed control trigger at the desired output level. Constant speed control also works to maintain output and maximise efficiency.

The UB001G has a three-stage telescopic long nozzle, making it suitable for a wide range of projects. Like all XGT machines, it has also been designed so that it is resistant to water splashes, which is ideal for those working outside in unpredictable weather.

The UB001G is lightweight and compact, keeping user fatigue to a minimum and enabling single-handed operation. To improve user safety, the UB001G produces low noise emissions.

Mark Earles, Business Development Manager for garden machinery at Makita said: “This is an exciting product launch for Makita, as it marks the further expansion of our XGT 40VMax range. The UB001G joins a growing range of XGT models directly suited to the landscaping and outdoor maintenance sectors. We are delighted to be able to offer professionals a selection of powerful machines that they can use to tackle more demanding outdoor tasks.”

To find out more and see Makita’s full range of garden machinery products visit: www.makitauk.com.

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Early SCAG mower located – two miles away!

Early SCAG mower located –  two miles away!: A recent chance conversation revealed a homeowner only two miles away from the STM head office in Warwickshire who has a 1992-build STZ ride-on mower.

The STZ was the first Zero-Turn Ride-On SCAG produced, and one is still retained at the plant in Wisconsin.

Early SCAG mower located -  two miles away!

Early SCAG mower located – two miles away!

But Alan Griffith, here in leafy Warwickshire, has one too.

He explained:

“In 2000 we brought the property ‘The Wharf’ in Wilmcote, though the process was unusual.

We made a good offer that was increased twice but still did not secure the property. Eventually we received a tender form because of the high level of interest.

It was not a basic form, though. We had to price everything that was up for sale. Apart from offering a sum for the house, we also had to price separately: the dining table, study desk, hens, geese, peacocks, pot belly pigs and 2 on-site mowers.

The Scag was one of those mowers and it was obvious that it was several years old even then by the knocks it had had to the deck.

We have 4.95 acres of which we cut about 2.5 to 3 acres regularly.  The Scag we use on the heavy areas so over the years it has had to put up with a fair amount of hard work, hitting pot holes, tree roots etc. Over the years the Scag has been used about 2.5 hours per week .

The great thing is it has been very reliable, once battery is charged up at the start of the season.  I have usually serviced the machine every year and no major problems have occurred except that 3 small plates have had to be welded to the top of the deck.   The first bearing on the deck needs to be changed this winter so I will change all 3. Also an oil seal has started to leak on the Briggs and Stratton engine; this is the  first major issue with the engine.

We plan to keep it going as long as we stay at The Wharf.  Can’t think of a better lawn mower particularly as we have so many trees to cut around.”

On the one hand it’s good to know that a SCAG mower has so much life in it.

On the other hand, if everybody kept their mowers that long, we’d never sell any new ones!

We’re grateful to Alan for his story, and to Jake Segrin at SCAG’s Wisconsin headquarters for tracing the manufacturing date.

SCAG machines are available through the STM dealership network. To find your nearest dealer ring 01789 488450, email info@st-mach.com or look at our website www.st-mach.com

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Cees van der Pols passes away

Cees van der Pols passes away: Kioti UK Ltd have confirmed the sad passing of Cees van der Pols.

Patrick Desmond the General manager for Kioti Uk comments that, “For Kioti UK Cees was a great and much loved figure head, mentor and friend. He was well known throughout the Groundcare industry. His contacts went back many years and all have great tales to tell of their experiences doing business with Cees.

Cees van der Pols passes away

Cees van der Pols passes away

The family have been taken back by the high volume and warmth of the messages that have received from across the world. No one can believe that a man who, right to the end was full of so much life and vitality.

Cees suffered a heart attack Wednesday  18th Wednesday  2020. Regrettably he never came to. He died surrounded by his family the following evening”.

Piet van der Pols makes the following statement.

“It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that our father, husband and grandfather Cees van der Pols, passed away on Thursday, November 19th. We feel deflated and words cannot express our loss.

Led by Cees van der Pols, initially with his brothers, our family business, founded in 1933, has grown over the last 40 years into a leading company in the groundscare- and recycling industry. With his entrepreneurship and great business vision, Cees has managed to secure many import contracts for the Dutch market and helped our company to grow to it’s current position.

In 2015 Cees had decided to take a step back and let the next generation take over the business. As passionate and lively as Cees was, he was still heavily involved and working on a daily basis in the company.

Since 2016 one of his pet projects and passions was the launch of Kioti UK. The success of the company was a result of his energy and vision.

Cees van der Pols, a remarkable person, an entrepreneur, a leader, a beacon and above all an example for everyone, is no longer with us. Cees van der Pols reached the age of 70 and will be missed by all.

On behalf of the family and staff,

Piet van der Pols

Director Technische Handelsonderneming C. v/d Pols & Zn. And Kioti UK Ltd.

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The move away from Glyphosate

The move away from Glyphosate: Many UK grounds maintenance companies and county councils are re-examining the use of glyphosate herbicides and seeking non-chemical weed removal.

This is happening amid the continuing debates on the effects of glyphosate on our health and manufacturers’ claims that abandoning glyphosate weedkiller in favour of alternatives will cost grounds care businesses and councils more. Finding a commercially viable alternative to its use in urban settings is the first stage for authorities looking to phase out the use of pesticides and herbicidal weedkillers. The problem is a majority of ground care and landscape maintenance professionals have become reliant on glyphosate in their weed control programmes and many consider the substitute options are limited and, in most cases, more costly.

The move away from Glyphosate

The move away from Glyphosate

Manual removal will most likely always be a part of weed control, but it is labour intensive and therefore expensive. The use of post-emergent herbicides such as pelargonic acid will control small broadleaf weeds but can only partially damage perennial and large annual weeds. Other naturally occurring broad-spectrum herbicides including glufosinate and diquat are similarly only contact active and don’t translocate to the roots of the treated weeds. Acetic acid–vinegar is effective in burning weed leaves but again has no residual activity and overall, the repeated use of herbicides has led to resistance in many species of weed. So where next do you look for the holy grail alternative to the use of glyphosate? Heat kills seedling broadleaf weeds and flame weeding is effective in hardscapes but not practical where flammable materials may be present; and it only causes foliar damage, meaning grasses, perennial broadleaf weeds and sedges rapidly re-grow after treatment. Which brings us to the use of hot water and insulating, biodegradable foam.

Foamstream is a process many UK local authorities, greenspace contractors and municipalities around the world are using daily. It is, in fact, the leading herbicide-free alternative for weed, moss and algae control.  Those in the know will be aware the process was developed to help organisations navigate the change to reduce or remove herbicides from their weed control programmes, and they have been seeing the benefits for a number of years. Notably, these include the London Boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Southwark and Bromley, Glastonbury, the Vale of Glamorgan and Lewes, together with contractors such as idverde and Burleys, and utility companies like Thames Water, South West Water and Welsh Water. For anyone not familiar with Foamstream, it is a proven method now used extensively across four continents. To put it simply, Foamstream works by cooking the weeds it covers. The foam and hot water solution is a 99.5% water and 0.5% foam blend of natural plant oils and sugars which insulate the hot water, allowing effective heat transfer from leaf to root, killing the plant and stopping heat being wasted to the atmosphere.

Quite apart from being a naturally environmentally friendly method of treatment, there are many other associated benefits. Foamstream can be used in all weathers, which is favourable among contractors and municipalities needing to plan their labour force effectively and minimise downtime which, with other methods, may occur as a result of undesirable weather.

The process works to reduce total weed growth in an area by not only killing the weed, but also sterilising surrounding seeds and spores. It can be used on all surfaces, hard, soft, porous artificial and historical. It’s safe and hazard-free for the operator and safe for use around people, animals, delicate ecosystems and waterways. Spray chemical weedkillers in even a light breeze and you risk over spraying and resultant off-target damage.

“Since using Foamstream my health is better. The benefits are for me, for the environment, for everyone.” Says Jason Tomlin, Foamstream operator at idverde. “I’ve never been told I can’t use it – I’ve always been allowed to use it wherever I want because of what it does and its non-chemical environmentally friendly credentials.”

There’s no on-going operator certification, training or protective clothing required, which represents a saving against other methods. Chemical treatments are toxins and as such drive up health and safety requirements and the associated costs. What then are the costs associated with Foamstream?

“There is the initial outlay, as with any system,” says Thomas Hamilton, Foamstream/Weedingtech Commercial Director. “There is the capital cost of machinery to be taken into account. Most operators adopt a phased, integrated approach to their weed management programmes and as an outline Foamstream can be introduced for as little as £395.00 a month. The strategy over time is to be rid of glyphosate with a cost-effective alternative and Foamstream fits the brief perfectly.”

Foamstream also has a multi-function use – it can be used across all departments as a cleaning solution for gum removal, power washing and sanitisation. Depending on the type of paint and surface it can even be used for removing graffiti. The company has just introduced a new entry-level system, the Foamstream L12, with additional functionality for street cleaning, with a water-only rinse mode and high-pressure features.

You can find out more about Foamstream technology by contacting Weedingtech +44 203 09 0050 or visit www.weedingtech.com

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S&B groundsman passes away

S&B groundsman passes away: The name Peter Dury will probably mean little to the current generation of Southport & Birkdale’s players or supporters.

Yet between 1961 and 1965 Dury, who died last month, built a reputation as the finest groundsman in the club’s history.

S&B groundsman passes away

S&B groundsman passes away

Moreover in a working life spanning half a century Dury carved out an impressive career in the sports and landscape industry as an inventor, pioneer of performance standards and a high-quality manager of playing facilities.

In 1961 S&B were still reeling from the sudden death of their groundsman Bert Ball
the previous June. The committee took the bold step to appoint 26-year-old Dury, who had previously been employed by the Derby Parks Department.

As a youngster Peter had been on Nottinghamshire’s ground staff and had even appeared in some second XI matches. He was also a qualified coach but it was as a groundsman that he made an immediate impact at Trafalgar Road.

County cricketers spoke of the excellence of Dury’s wickets and S&B’s historian, the late Ken Porter, wrote of him: “His keen love of the game, motivated by his sense of industry, ensured that the wicket and outfield reached a standard never previously attained. He never spared himself in ensuring that only the best was good enough”.

Dury also played some cricket on the pitches he had prepared.

He was a useful spin bowler and gifted batsman, although his groundsman’s duties largely restricted his appearances to Sunday games.

Nevertheless he scored a century against Crawfords in June 1964 before going out during the tea interval to prepare the wicket for the second innings of the match.

In 1964 Dury was one of only eight men in the country to be awarded the National Diploma of the National Association of Groundsmen.

This was the first of a myriad of awards which he was to earn in the years that followed.

He left S&B in 1965 to take up a more lucrative appointment as site supervisor for the Parks Department of Nuneaton Council and from there his career really took off.

Dury was recognised as a specialist in synthetic turf pitch and playground surfaces, and equally as a leading expert in natural turf pitch construction across the world. His talents were recognised in 2002 when he received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Essex.

In addition he received a life-time achievement award from the Institute of Groundsmanship the following year, when he also received the National Playing Fields Association President’s award.

He received the ECB Award for services to cricket in 2010 and two years later Peter was presented with an MBE for services to groundsmanship.

In 2018 Peter became the only person ever to receive a second lifetime’s achievement award from the Institute of Groundsmanship.

John McPartlin, who first met Peter when just 12 years old, recalls: “He was a lovely man and patiently put up with a few of us haunting the ground every day in the school holidays, following him around and asking him questions.

“At 11am we would all go and have a cup of tea with Peter and sitting around the old battered table he shared his sandwiches and cricketing knowledge, and without realising it, we would all be drawn into the hinterland of knowledge and tradition which makes cricket such a wonderful game.”

Peter is survived by his wife, Brenda and three sons.

His funeral will take place at 1pm on February 10 at Wilford Hill, Crematorium, Nottingham.

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Blown away by the PB-8010

Blown away by the PB-8010: ECHO has launched the most powerful backpack power blower in its class. Introduced in the UK at Saltex 2019, the PB-8010 is built for professionals and is part of the ECHO X Series “Best in Class” range, offering industry-leading power and performance.

The blower’s 79.9cc two-stroke engine produces an air volume of 1818m3/h, an airspeed of 94.5m/sec (211mph) and an industry-leading blowing force of 44N for better performance and increased productivity. Dry weight is just 11.2kg which is made possible by the use of an innovative lightweight carbon fibre frame and fan case. This amount of power combined with lighter weight make the PB-8010 ideal for professional use in quickly clearing greater quantities of wet leaves and debris across large areas.

Blown away by the PB-8010

In addition to the lightweight frame, the other key features to aid the operator and reduce fatigue include the cruise-control throttle, ventilated backpack pad, anti-vibration system and heavy-duty backstraps. These are ergonomically designed to give the user maximum control and all-day comfort.

To make the user’s job even easier there is a heavy-duty air filter which sits at the top of the unit, protecting the engine from dust and debris in the harshest conditions. It’s easily accessible without the need for tools, making it easy for in-field cleaning and maintenance. The metal wear ring at the end of the straight pipe will reduce the pipe’s general wear and tear for increased durability. There is also an intake cover to prevent airflow to the user’ back in the colder winter months.

ECHO products have long been promoted as being designed specifically for professionals who rely on their tools day in and day out, tested in the most extreme conditions to flawless operation and packed with the most advanced features to power easily through the work. The PB-8010 power blower is no exception and as part of the ECHO X Series range, it offers a superior and dependable tool. You can find out more from your local authorised ECHO dealer.

You can also visit www.echo-tools.co.uk or call 01844 278800 for more information.

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Flexibrush Keeps Worm Casts Away

Flexibrush Keeps Worm Casts Away: Oswestry Golf Club head greenkeeper, Gary Barnfield, claims the SISIS Flexibrush has proved to be an ideal solution for controlling worm casts.

Oswestry Golf Club is a mature parkland 18 hole course set in the glorious Shropshire countryside and Gary has been working at the club for an impressive 31 years after joining as an apprentice. Over the years he has worked his way up through the ranks and six years ago he was promoted to the position of head greenkeeper.

Flexibrush Keeps Worm Casts Away

Since taking over as head greenkeeper Gary has implemented a number of changes to the maintenance regimes which has no doubt reinforced the club’s reputation for being in an excellent condition all year round.

However, over recent years Gary claims that he has faced arguably his biggest challenge after a number of chemicals were removed from the turfcare market.

“With the ban of certain chemicals we have not been able to use what was once in our armoury,” he said. “This proved to be problematic, as it no doubt did for every other greenkeeper, but the biggest loss was Carbendazim. Unfortunately the worms came out and more and more casts were appearing so we had to come up with a solution.

“An STRI advisor came to visit us and recommended that we apply some sand to top dress to the areas and also to brush the worm casts and level them off before we cut. We needed to find ourselves a reliable machine that would give the worm casts a rigorous brush and we trialled four brushes from four different brands. The SISIS Flexibrush was the stand out machine.”

The SISIS Flexibrush is a tractor mounted brush which is equally effective to disperse top dressing and remove excess material on natural turf and on synthetic surfaces. The versatile Flexibrush can also be used for dew dispersal and striping for improved presentation. It has a 5.35 metre working width, its brush sections float to follow ground contours and the outer sections fold for transport and storage.

“It’s not only great for brushing the worm casts but it also stands the grass up before we cut – which improves the quality of the cut and gives us better presentation,” said Gary.

Flexibrush Keeps Worm Casts Away

“In fact, the Flexibrush has got multiple uses because we use it for knocking dew off in the mornings and also in the winter months when the turf is not growing so much we will brush instead of cutting to keep the presentation to a high standard.

“Ultimately, we had to do something about the worm casts and the Flexibrush has done a brilliant job. I think it is a great alternative to spraying the worms and I think more greenkeepers will go down this route.

“It has been a cost saving exercise for us too because we used to have contractors come in and spray the worms but the SISIS Flexibrush was a one off payment and we get to keep it for us long as we like.

“It’s such a well-built machine and nothing can really go wrong with it – I think it will probably even outlast me!”

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 or Instagram @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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Former Shrewsbury Town groundsman passes away

Former Shrewsbury Town groundsman and Shropshire cricketer Brian Perry passes away: Former Shrewsbury Town groundsman and Shropshire cricketer Brian Perry has died at the age of 74.

Perry was the groundsman at Gay Meadow for 26 years before the club moved to their new stadium at Oteley Road.

Former Shrewsbury Town groundsman passes away

But before that he enjoyed great success with the county’s cricket side and was part of Shropshire’s Minor Counties title-winning squad in 1973.

The fast-medium bowler claimed the wicket of Ian Botham in a Natwest Trophy match against Somerset at Wellington in 1983.

And he claimed another prized scalp 12 months later as he dismissed Geoff Boycott in Shropshire’s victory over Yorkshire at St Georges in the same competition.

But many will remember him from his time at Shrewsbury, where he often battled the elements brought on by the Gay Meadow’s proximity to the River Severn.

Town chairman Roland Wycherley led the tributes, saying: “Our thoughts and condolences go out to Brian’s family and friends at this sad time.

“Brian was a big part of Shrewsbury Town’s history and a familiar face at the Gay Meadow for many years.

“The conditions at the Gay Meadow meant the pitch was a challenge, but Brian’s hard work and dedication meant that games would go ahead despite those challenges.

 “He continued to work on match day at the new stadium and he will be greatly missed.”

Perry played his club cricket at Wem for many years and clubs around the county have expressed their sympathy.

Bridgnorth CC tweeted: “Such sad news to hear of Brian’s passing. A great character & fantastic cricketer. #Legend.”

Whitchurch CC tweeted: “Such sad news hearing that legend Brian Perry passing away. Our thoughts are with his family & friends @WemCricketClub. Such a top man.”

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