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First all-electric tractor at SALTEX

First all-electric tractor at SALTEX: The industry’s first all-electric tractor, Farmtrac’s FT25G, makes quite the debut at SALTEX 2021 having been named as a finalist in the Environmental/Sustainability category of the SALTEX Innovation Awards.

Ever since it hit the market in 2019, the FT25G has hit the headlines and generated much interest from those wanting a clean energy alternative for their grounds.

First all-electric tractor at SALTEX

First all-electric tractor at SALTEX

Revered for its efficiency on sought-after green credentials, Farmtrac’s flagship model is powered by a 72v lithium-ion battery and onboard charger. It can be charged from any domestic socket to 100 percent in eight hours, and with seven hours of charge it won’t run out of power in the middle of a job.

It boasts a 450kg lift capacity and can be paired with a front loader, making it a versatile workhorse suitable for a range of tasks from lifting and towing to transporting.

The only tractor on the market to feature a lithium-ion battery means costly diesel fuel is cut out along with the complicated maintenance that comes with diesel engine machinery, so customers see real savings in the long-term.

Cutting-edge and cost-effective, choosing the Farmtrac FT25G electric tractor means choosing zero emissions and less noise and making the conscious decision to reduce carbon footprint without compromising on productivity.

Steven Haynes, tractor sales manager at Reesink, says: “By now news of the industry’s first all-electric tractor from Farmtrac is widely known. With its compact size, it can manoeuvre between narrow spaces and has all the functions and features of a compact tractor, with the benefits of quiet, clean electric power.

“This environmentally-friendly model in the Farmtrac range is undoubtedly its flagship model, but it’s just the start of all that is good and innovative about Farmtrac’s offering.

“Performance and value while being simple and intuitive to operate. Not only that, but it had to be from a brand that paves the way with its product development. All of these points are evident across the Farmtrac range, but none more so than in the effective and innovative electric model.”

The SALTEX Innovation Awards take place at SALTEX on 3 November. To find out more about Farmtrac, visit stand K078 at SALTEX, where customers can see a selection of electric options for their grounds.

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First tournament with synthetic bunkers

First tournament with synthetic bunkers: The Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, which takes place this week on the new Dumbarnie Links course in Fife, will be the first tier one professional event in Europe ever to be played at a venue with synthetic-edged bunkers.

Dumbarnie, which was designed by Clive Clark and opened last year will play host to its first major event as the Ladies European Tour descends on the course as part of a two-week links swing that will be completed by next week’s Women’s British Open at Carnoustie.

First tournament with synthetic bunkers

First tournament with synthetic bunkers

“Dumbarnie features some really impressive, bold revetted bunker walls, some of which are in the region eight to nine feet high,” says Richard Allen, CEO of EcoBunker Ltd. “Back in 2007 my original aim was to invent a resilient and affordable system for low edge bunkers, but soon I was designing solutions for higher and higher links style bunkers. The change in design parameters prompted me to invent a new construction method, which is now Patent Pending, using a cement modified backfill for increased stiffness and stability. It was the perfect solution for Dumbarnie, and the EcoBunker walls built by our team in 2018 are maturing naturally and beautifully.”

The course’s fairway bunkers are built in a naturalistic style, with a ragged fescue edge, but the majority of bunkers are hard against greens, or surrounded by short grass, and these are fully revetted using EcoBunkerʼs synthetic solution.

Dumbarnie, promoted OB Sports and Landscapes Unlimited, was one of EcoBunker’s first and largest contracting jobs. Construction manager Llewelyn Matthews – like architect Clark a former Walker Cup player – led a five-strong construction crew to build the bunkers, over a eighteen week period.

EcoBunker CEO Richard Allen, the inventor both of synthetic revetting and of the later Ecobunker Advanced method, says: “All our team look back with immense pride on the Dumbarnie job. It was truly the job on which Llew Matthews came of age as one of the world’s best bunker builders, and we are delighted to have played a part in the construction of such a stunning course. To see the world’s leading women professionals playing over the course this week will be wonderful, and I’m prepared to bet that course manager Grahame Taylor will spend less time worrying about his bunkers than most people who are hosting a tournament of this stature.”

Richard Allen, the inventor both of synthetic revetting and of the later Ecobunker Advanced method, adds: “All our team look back with immense pride on the Dumbarnie job. It was truly the job on which Llew Matthews came of age as one of the world’s best bunker builders, and we are delighted to have played a part in the construction of such a stunning course. To see the world’s leading women professionals playing over the course this week will be wonderful, and I’m prepared to bet that course manager Grahame Taylor will spend less time worrying about his bunkers than most people who are hosting a tournament of this stature.”

Architect Clive Clark says: “As the golf course matures, seeds fly into the tiny crevices in the bunker walls, and just like a natural sod bunker, you get grasses in the face that dominate. If 100 golfers played this course, I doubt if five would notice that the bunkers weren’t natural sod.”

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A first from Ariens

A first from Ariens: Ariens has introduced the APEX 48 RD rear discharge, petrol zero-turn mower, designed specifically for the European and UK markets. Manufacturing the APEX 48 RD with rear discharge deck shows the company’s firm commitment to their European presence, says Ariens. They will build the new model in their Oxfordshire factory.   

A rear discharge zero-turn offers the professional operator significant benefits, especially for council, local authority and amenity work. There is less risk of objects being ejected from the side and hitting pedestrians or causing damage to cars and property, which may incur compensation. The operator can also trim on either side of the deck without the need to change direction in order to avoid discharging grass cuttings on the road, pavement or flower beds. Containing the clippings behind the wheels and dropping them in the zero-turn’s path saves time and cleaning up.

A first from Ariens

A first from Ariens

The APEX 48 RD boasts the same class-leading specifications as Ariens APEX 48, but with the 122cm (48”) rear discharge deck which is fully fabricated, 10-gauge, and offers superior airflow with exceptional cutting performance. The deck lift system is foot-operated, and a spring-assisted lift allows you to adjust effortlessly between 15 cutting positions. The industry-leading solid and fully welded frame supports the overall design and an optional ROPS (Rollover Protection System) can be fitted to order. Large tyres, 55.9cm (22”) rear and 33cm (13”) front, provide solid traction and a comfortable ride. All-day comfort is also emphasised with the high-back plush seat and padded armrests. Power comes from a Kawasaki FR691 V-Twin engine and a self-adjusting belt drive minimises wear and tear with little to no maintenance required.

The APEX 48 RD comes with a 4-year or 500 hours warranty and a range of other optional accessories is available. For further information on the APEX 48 RD, contact your dealer or visit ariens-uk.com

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Putting service first with Makita

Putting service first with Makita: In a move that reaffirms its commitment to delivering outstanding customer service, leading power tool manufacturer, Makita UK is delighted to unveil its new Factory Service Centre (FSC) in Blakelands, Milton Keynes.

Makita UK has relocated its Milton Keynes Factory Service Centre site (located at the company’s headquarters), to a new, larger location to house regional servicing activity. The new 20,000-sqft premises in Blakelands, which is scheduled to officially open on April 6th, will enable Makita to bolster its customer repair and service support commitments and completes a portfolio of three dedicated centres in London, Glasgow and Milton Keynes.

Putting service first with Makita

Putting service first with Makita

Makita’s Factory Service Centres deliver an exceptional service and repair offering for end-users. Products covered under the company’s warranty agreement can be posted (by arranging a collection) or dropped off (with prior booking), at each FSC for Makita’s technical experts and engineers to perform product servicing, detailed diagnostics and high standards of repair work when needed.

With a focus on improving levels of technical knowledge across the construction sector, the new larger premises in Blakelands will also be used to host Makita UK accredited service training, as well as Authorised Service Agents (ASA) workshops and seminars. Furthermore, Makita will use the new site to host apprenticeship training sessions focusing on the electrical and mechanical service requirements of Makita tools.

Speaking on the FSC opening, Tony Coleman, Technical Manager at Makita UK commented: “Opening this new, larger site is testament to the growing popularity of our tools, as well as our long-lasting commitment to delivering exceptional customer support. We’re now in a better position than ever to deal with service and repair demands, as well as to promote high-quality industry training. The spacious new centre also provides us with ample opportunity to continue growing our operations as we look to develop into new sectors and industries.”

All three of Makita’s FSC sites are currently following COVID-19 guidelines and customers are advised to follow the most up-to date guidance on arranging servicing or repairs, published on the company’s website.

For more information about Makita’s FSC sites, services and procedures please visit: www.makitauk.com/factory-service-centres

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Kawasaki launches industry first

Kawasaki launches industry first: Kawasaki Motors Europe has launched a resource on its website that makes it easier and quicker for professional gardeners, landscapers and groundsmen to find machines and equipment Powered By Kawasaki wherever they are in Europe.

In an industry first, Kawasaki Motors Europe has introduced a section on its website to showcase participating OEMs ranges of Powered By Kawasaki machines. Meanwhile having a section of the website dedicated to OEM products means customers can see the range of Kawasaki powered machines available from different OEMs all in one place.

Kawasaki launches industry first

Kawasaki launches industry first

Louise Topp, Marketing Manager for Kawasaki Motors Europe who has co-ordinated the unique project, says: “What we wanted to do is streamline the purchasing process for customers. We appreciate how busy professional gardeners, landscapers and groundmen are and how any way to work more efficiently is valued. This is a resource that brings value to both the distribution network and its customers. It’s the only place online where customers can go and see what Powered By Kawasaki product lines are available, from which brands and from where, all on one website. It saves time researching their next purchasing decision and makes the process so much easier and quicker.”

In a nutshell, this resource removes the guesswork, as Louise explains: “If you are looking for a specific brand of mower or brushcutter with a Kawasaki engine you can rely on, then this new functionality makes finding it so much simpler. It can even help you find a brand using a specific engine type, such as Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) engines.

“When the customer identifies a brand and product line they’re interested in, it’s only a couple of steps to enquire and be led to a dealer locator. There’s also the option to enter an ongoing prize-draw to win a powerful brushcutter.”

Most of Kawasaki’s European OEMs are participating, says Louise: “When we explained the concept to them, they responded really favourably, and within weeks over 80 percent wanted to be involved. We have a wide-reaching European professional audience network and we wanted to be able to bring that together with us and our customers. We’ve got a strong platform to do this and it’s been well received. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

One of the OEMs involved is Husqvarna. Kawasaki powers an impressive range of lawncare products from Husqvarna – professional lawn mowers, garden tractors, ride-on mowers and commercial front mowers; and all these lines appear on the Kawasaki website.

Michael Axelsson, Product Marketing Communication – robotics and wheeled of Husqvarna, said of the pages Kawasaki produced for Husqvarna for the initiative: “This looks really good! Impressive ambition from your side – I hope it will be successful for both of us!”

Alongside Husqvarna, taking advantage of this service are many other industry leading turfcare brands.

Louise concludes by saying it’s all about working in partnership: “It’s great working together like this, we have a common goal to make sure customers get the machines they need in the easiest way possible and this provides that.”

The resource is supported by Kawasaki with an advertising and social media campaign to help inform professional gardeners, landscapers and groundsmen across the continent. To find out more visit Kawasaki-engines.eu/en/powered-by-kawasaki

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Spring into the first cut with Countax

Spring into the first cut with Countax: As soon as the ambient soil temperature rises in spring our British lawns put on a growth spurt and it is time for the first cut. Which could mean considering a new mower or, if you have a large grass area or even a paddock, a ride-on garden tractor.

Making the sizeable investment in one needs careful consideration. Will your choice of ride-on be used only for mowing? Or could it be an all-year-round workhorse, performing a wide variety of garden tasks from spring through to winter? To make the most of your investment it is worth looking at a Countax garden tractor to fit the bill in all respects.

Spring into the first cut with Countax

Spring into the first cut with Countax

Firstly, it is designed for the British garden and built in Britain for the vagaries of our weather. Secondly, it will make gardening life a whole lot easier. The first spring mow needs to be at a high height, gradually lowering the cutting deck as the season progresses. This is easily done with the Countax deck height setting ranging from 101mm/4” down to 12mm/1/2”. There is a choice of cut and collect, mulching using an optional mulching kit or a High Grass Mulching deck for rougher areas. For those of you who like a striped lawn, you cannot better the Countax Powered Grass Collector (PGC) and roller system, powered by the tractor’s Power Take-Off (PTO). Which brings us to the PGC+, the accessory that transforms a Countax C or B Series into that multi-use, year-round workhorse.

The PGC+ is a cassette system that allows you to quickly and easily switch accessories. It means you only need one machine to maintain the lawn, paddock, drive, path and other garden areas. The Grass Sweeper cassette comes as standard and clicks into place with brushes that rotate at over 1100rpm to sweep grass clippings, fallen leaves and other debris into the hopper, even when the grass is wet.

Spring is also a good time to scarify the lawn to rid it of winter accumulated moss and thatch and that is simply done by switching to the easy-to-insert Scarifier cassette. Which means you don’t need to spend money on a separate scarifier.

So, all-round a Countax will work for you through the seasons. Using the PTO you can also drive other accessories such as a powered broadcast spreader, which is ideal for spreading salt and grit on paths and drives to keep them ice-free. Choose a B Series Countax and you have the benefit of the unique 4TRAC four-wheel-drive system giving you a ‘go anywhere, mow anywhere’ garden tractor capable of tackling slopes, mud and rough ground. It also makes the perfect partner for a snowblade to clear your way in the depths of winter. Find out more by contacting Countax on 01844 278800 or visit www.countax.co.uk/find-a-dealer/ to find your local dealer.

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EGO’s first cordless mower with multi-blade system

EGO’s first cordless mower with multi-blade system: As a leading provider of cordless gardening tools, EGO Power+ is on a mission to deliver products that will surpass even the expectations of professional gardeners. With the introduction of their latest product – the LM2130E-SP 52cm Self Propelled Mower – the company have created a product that delivers precision mowing with a host of useful features.

At 52cm, the extra wide cutting width is ideal for covering large areas quickly, while the 70-litre cutting bag with fill-level indicator means less time-consuming trips to the compost heap.

EGO releases first cordless mower

EGO releases first cordless mower

The Select Cut™ multi-blade cutting system consists of an EGO Upper Blade used in combination with a lower blade to slice the grass into fine fragments; this greatly enhances cutting performance with all grass types. The Bagging Blade supplied with the mower is a heavy-duty blade that ensures cut grass is collected and thrown efficiently into the grass bag. The Mulching Blade set which can be purchased separately is ideal for weekly mowing, giving you the cut quality and run time expected from a high-end petrol mower. Both blades can be used interchangeably based on the desired cut.

EGO’s Self-Propelled Touch Drive™ Technology comes from years of research and development. Touch Drive™ Technology puts complete control of the self-propelled system in the palm of your hands by using pressure to engage the system. Easily control the variable speed with a dial positioned at your fingertips for safe and convenient operation.

For those looking for a pitch-perfect finish, centralised height adjustment at 25/32/40/51/64/77/90mm makes achieving precision well within reach. With lower noise output, less vibrations and zero emissions, the mower is cleaner, safer and quieter than its petrol-powered rivals.

With a dual deck system crafted out of high strength polypropylene, users benefit from impact, corrosion and weather resistance which outstrips metal equivalents. The lightweight deck also reduces the overall weight of the mower, easing the strain on both the lawn and the operator alike. Sturdy and robust wheels with double ball bearings offer a longer life and smoother glide over rougher terrain.

Powered by industry leading 56V Arc Lithium technology, you won’t need to worry about being constrained by cable length and won’t have to deal with petrol or refuelling. The 7.5Ah battery can cut up to 1000sqm on a single charge, while the market-leading rapid charger can get you moving again quickly, with a recharge time of just 60 minutes.

With the LM2130E-SP 52cm Self Propelled Mower (RRP £849), EGO has added to its market leading range of cordless equipment, offering a greener, cleaner alternative to petrol power.

EGO Power+ products come with extended domestic warranties up to five years when registered within 30 days of purchase. For more information, visit www.egopowerplus.co.uk.

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STIHL launches first climbing helmet

STIHL launches first climbing helmet: Offering the highest levels of safety for arborists and tree surgeons, STIHL has launched its first multi-norm helmet, the X-Climb. Designed for use on the ground as well as climbing, it offers full ear and face protection.

Ideal for professionals working both on the ground as well as in trees, the well-balanced X-Climb features a high visibility all-round reflective strip, plus large side and rear helmet openings for better ventilation. The four-point chinstrap with innovative magnetic buckle makes for quick-fastening when suiting up and the headband is easily adjusted using the rotary knob to find the best position.

STIHL launches first climbing helmet

STIHL launches first climbing helmet

The nylon visor provides sturdy eye protection even in the toughest working conditions and the ear-defenders feature high insulation hearing protection capsules with a value of SNR 28 (H: 35, M: 26, L: 16).

Conforming to both EN 397 for industrial safety helmets (or “hard hats”) and EN 12492 for climbing and mountaineering helmets, the X-Climb is compatible with a number of accessories, including the BT ear defender adapters and rain and debris neck protection scarf.

For more information on STIHL’s extensive range of Personal Protective Equipment, please visit www.stihl.co.uk.

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GMA announces first ever #GroundsWeek

GMA announces first ever #GroundsWeek: Grounds Management Association (GMA), the leading not-for-profit membership body for grounds professionals and volunteers, announces the launch of #GroundsWeek.

The inaugural celebration week will take place March (1 -7 March 2021) and will celebrate and highlight the vital role of professional grounds staff, volunteers, and the turf sector play in making sport possible.

GMA announces first ever #GroundsWeek

GMA announces first ever #GroundsWeek

Following a difficult year for the sector, due to the impact of Covid-19, the GMA aims to showcase grounds staff and the amazing work that they do – and have continued to do – despite sport coming to a grinding halt. It also comes after a year where parks and green spaces have been valuable to the public’s health – with increased use for ‘daily exercise’ and physical activity.

Grounds management continues to be challenging beyond 2020 due to limited resources and budgets, coupled with more varied and unpredictable weather conditions that makes planning tasks more difficult.

Geoff Webb, CEO of the GMA, said: “We know that the skill involved is often misunderstood. We want to inspire sports fans and the general public to celebrate alongside us and get even more people to enter the profession and lend a helping hand at pitches across the country.

“Without the vital work that grounds staff do, many sports would face cancellations and potentially closure. This is a chance to recognise all the hard work that goes into making sport possible and keeping green spaces accessible.”

The GMA’s campaign will encourage individuals and organisations across the industry, whether they have a career in grounds management or volunteer for an hour a week, to get involved both on the pitch and on social media.

Further details about the campaign will follow in February, alongside #GroundsWeek graphics and content for wider use. This will include top tips and a social media pack for organisations wanting to get involved. Businesses can also get involved by pledging to be a #GroundsWeek partner.

Geoff continued:

“Grounds staff are vital and the work they do is essential to getting the nation active – from professional athletes to local communities. After a really tough year, we’re launching this celebration week to raise awareness and give our members the opportunity to get the recognition they deserve.

For more information about the GMA and the important work they do within grounds maintenance, visit: https://thegma.org.uk/

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AH75 the solution to excessive first cuts

AH75 the solution to excessive first cuts: With the impending difficulty some green space professionals will soon be experiencing from a delayed first cut, many are turning to the Etesia Attila AH75 brushcutter as a solution. 

The Etesia Attila AH75 brushcutter offers ride-on performance in a pedestrian machine and has been designed to work in the toughest of conditions. This powerful workhorse effectively deals with clearing vegetation from a wide variety of sites – long grass, weeds, bracken and brambles on woodland paths or orchards. Ease of operation and manoeuvrability ensure total efficiency and high output.

AH75 the solution to excessive first cuts

AH75 the solution to excessive first cuts

At a time when many will be facing excessive first cuts, green space professionals – particularly those working for local authorities and landscape contractors, will find the Etesia Attila AH75 a cost-effective solution. At just £3,200 plus VAT, this reliable and powerful machine has been proven to outperform many of its counterparts at a fraction of the price.

The Attila AH75 is powered by the Honda GXV 390 engine and fitted with a T3 transmission combining differential lock and front wheel locking system with a simple height of cut adjustment from the new handle bar design which allows movement into offset for use on slopes.

Efficiency

  • Heavy-duty brush cutting (up to Ø30)
  • Mowing on the most difficult slopes (up to 20°) thanks to the hydraulic transmission with a differential lock
  • Two idlers that can be locked without a tool for improved stability on slopes
  • Possibility to fit two wider rear wheels as an option
  • Cutting height adjustment with three positions from the new handle bar design
  • Handle offset control from the operating position with three working positions and one transport position

Comfort

  • High manoeuvrability thanks to the hydraulic transmission – three forward speeds and one reverse speed
  • Differential lock can be engaged without interrupting movement
  • All operating controls are available from the operating position for convenience and safety
  • Central handle bar that allows easier access to low controls (parking brake, forward transmission bypass, engine starter), with full protection for cables
  • Parking brake for safe immobilisation
  • Anti-vibration rubber handles

Ruggedness

  • Machine can be moved into vertical position to gain access to the cutter blade for maintenance and cleaning
  • Maintenance-free hydrostatic transmission with forced-air cooling, integrated expansion vessel
  • Flail blades: reversible, protect the blade transmission system, low maintenance costs
  • Rugged and reliable engine: Engine crank shaft mounted on bearings.

A full two-year commercial warranty comes as standard.

You can view a video of the machine in action: https://youtu.be/LDpj7a013Ys

For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit www.etesia.co.uk.

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

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