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Reform Metrac H75 launched into market

Reform Metrac H75 launched into market: The Stuart Taylor International dealership has recently supplied the first two new model, compact, hydrostatic drive, Reform Metrac H75 multi-functional tool carriers into the UK, to Cheshire based contractor Ray Britland and Lancashire based contractor Ontrack AGM.

For Stuart Taylor International, Tom Taylor said, “the new Reform H75 model is proving to be a real hit with customers for a wide range of tasks” while for Ontrack AGM, Robert Carter added “the new H75 is a superb all round machine for our business”

Reform Metrac H75 launched into market

Reform Metrac H75 launched into market

Simon Richard, UK Agent for the Reform range added, “improving a tried and tested product is always a special challenge but the new H75 model meets all end user requirements, including versatillity, efficency and both user and environmental friendliness. Hydrostatic drive with electronic control offers two speed ranges, two terrain gear reductions and foot and hand drive modes. When four-wheel steering is active, the front and rear wheels run exactly in the same line, ensuring tension-free traction on more difficult terrain. Front, rear, four wheel and crab steering as well as offset four-wheel steering can easily be switched at the push of a button. The system is completed by the electro-hydraulic spring brake with an auto hold function which allows smooth and judder-free setting off on slopes.

The 75hp Perkins common rail diesel engine delivers 300Nm torque and the newly designed all-terrain chassis delivers four wheel drive, a four wheel steering system and five steering modes. The new H75 also offers powerful working front and rear hydraulics with 1500kg lifting force and standard weight compensation and the high efficiency of the electro-hydraulic power shift PTO provides power precisely when needed.

Operator comfort is catered for with a newly designed cab which has been completely decoupled from other vehicle components. This results in a major reduction in noise level and significantly lowered vibrations. The ergonomic armrest with it’s central controls forms the basis for easy operation of the new Metrac H75. It is attached to the driver’s seat, allowing fatigue-free working on any terrain, without interference from vibrations or slopes. The multi-function joystick combines all functions for driving and for controlling attachments The focus here was on logical and intuitive operation.” For more information visit www.slopemower.co.uk

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A glimpse into the future

A glimpse into the future: PSD Groundscare, the UK distributor for AS Motor, is delighted to offer a glimpse of several innovative, new machines from the AS Motor range including an exciting range of eco-friendly battery mowers, being introduced during 2022.

AS Motor have built an unrivalled reputation and core competence in the market of long grass and steep slopes mowing since it was founded back in 1959. The last 60 years has seen continued development in technological advancements and these new machines are no exception.

A glimpse into the future

A glimpse into the future

AS Motor announce the introduction of 2 new product lines – the AS 1000 Ovis Remote Controlled tracked flail mower and a new range of Battery electric mowers capable for cutting long grass without compromising on performance. (For further details on the new machines please see the attached).

PSD Groundscare is the exclusive UK distributor of niche specialist landscaping equipment, with an extensive range of products from market-leading names and innovative European manufacturers AS Motor, Eliet, Koppl & TS Industrie.  The business has a strong commitment to being an eco-friendly organisation and has a commitment to improve its green credentials even further. The electrification of the AS machines is in perfect keeping with this philosophy.

The Colne -based organisation already boasts an impressive record for environmental awareness and over the past year has undertaken several new measures including investing in renewable energy, reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions and helping improve air quality locally.

PSD Managing Director Chris Gibson said:

“We’re extremely excited by the introduction of the new AS 1000 Ovis RC as it emphasizes our commitment to remain at the forefront of safely cutting grass and brush on the steepest of Slopes. The machine will be showcased at Saltex 2021 and available for sale during 2022”.

“The expansion of the range of battery powered equipment with extended run times will provide our customers and dealers with high performance professional low noise machines that produce zero emissions and lower hand arm vibration. Meaning they’re a win-win for customers, operators and the environment that we can’t wait to get demonstrating to our customers”.

FOR FURTHER DETAILED PRODUCT INFORMATION PLEASE SEE ATTACHED PRESS RELEASES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT SCOTT GRIEVE AT PSD GROUNDSCARE

Tel: 01282 856813 Email: scott@psdgroundscare.com

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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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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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Spring into action with Makita

Spring into action with Makita: Leading power tool manufacturer Makita UK has launched a new garden machinery redemption scheme. From 1st February 2021, consumers can claim free 18V LXT lithium-ion batteries or body only LXT blowers with the purchase of selected 18V and Twin 18V (36V) machines.

The demand for cordless products is ever growing – and with its new redemption scheme, Makita is helping end users expand their collection of cordless garden machinery for a safer, more efficient job site. With the purchase of selected 18V RT, RTE, RT8 and RTX models, customers can claim a free 5.0Ah lithium-ion battery or 18V LXT blower (DUB185Z – body only). The offer is further extended with purchases of Twin 18V (36V) PT2, PT4, PG2 and CT2 machines, where consumers may redeem either two 5.0Ah 18V LXT batteries, an 18V LXT blower (DUB184Z – body only) or a Twin 18V LXT blower (DUB362Z – body only).

Spring into action with Makita

Spring into action with Makita

The exciting offer is available to consumers who purchase from a wide selection of eligible cordless models, including hedge trimmers, linetrimmers, brush cutters, blowers, chainsaws, lawn mowers and split shafts, as well as the DDG460T2X7 earth auger.

Kevin Brannigan, Marketing Manager at Makita said: “The future of garden machinery is shaping up to be a cordless one and this is no surprise given the improved safety, ease of maintenance and high power that our cordless models offer. With our LXT range of products, users benefit from industry-leading run times, reduced charge times and improved on-site efficiency as they can easily change between tasks and equipment with over 270 LXT products from garden machines, power tools and many personal items that work using the same batteries. With our Spring 2021 redemption scheme, end users can expand their cordless range with an additional battery or tool for ultimate flexibility across a variety of tasks and projects.”

Makita’s redemption scheme launches on 1st February 2021 and will run until 31st May 2021. Customers who purchase any of the qualifying models will have 28 days to register their purchase and claim their free battery or tool within this time period.

For more information on the promotion and terms and conditions, visit: www.makitauk.com/redemption

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Stadiums converted into hospital wards

Stadiums converted into hospital wards: Leisure centres and stadiums are being transformed into emergency hospital wards in Wales, as part of measures to tackle the unprecedented challenges placed on the NHS.

Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli, Carmarthen Leisure Centre and the Parc y Scarlets stadium in Llanelli are among those being used to create hundreds of additional hospital beds.

Stadiums converted into hospital wards

Stadiums converted into hospital wards

Parc y Scarlets is the home of Pro14 rugby union club Scarlets, which made the decision to hand over its venue to help relieve the strain on services after discussions with Carmarthen County Council and the Hywel Dda University Health Board.

“Community has always been a huge part of what we are about and in unprecedented times like these communities stick together,” said Scarlets general manager of rugby Jon Daniels.

“The health service and workers are doing an incredible job in challenging circumstances and we are happy to be offering help and support in any way we can.”

As well as handing over the keys to the main stadium, Scarlets has also made the Juno Moneta Indoor Arena available to the NHS.

Dr Phil Kloer, medical director and deputy chief executive at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “Delivering these additional beds for patients will be essential to help us manage patient flow over the coming weeks and we are extremely grateful for all of the support that we are receiving from our local authority partner to help make this happen.

“We have followed the situation in Italy closely to learn where possible and to help our planning. Our European colleagues have provided feedback that patient flow and throughput is a critical factor in response to COVID-19 pressures.”

Councillor Jane Tremlett, Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board member for health and social care, added: “It’s only through working together that we can meet these challenges. I would like to thank Llanelli Town Council and Parc y Scarlets for their support.”

In addition, the Welsh Rugby Union has made its Principality Stadium available to the Welsh Assembly government and the NHS to aid the fight against the pandemic.

Other sports venues which are currently being utilised in the fight against COVID-19 include the Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland, which is being used as a drive-by test clinic by the Irish government.

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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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Insight into the Emirates

Insight into the Emirates: In conjunction with DLF Seeds, over 40 Grounds Professionals from schools, colleges and sports clubs across the country were recently invited to a behind-the-scenes tour of Arsenal FC’s Emirates Stadium.

Visitors gained an insight into the grounds programme that keeps the surfaces performing at elite levels, and how new technologies are playing an ever-increasing role in monitoring and maintaining these professional standards.

Insight into the Emirates

Head Groundsman Alan Russell, assisted by Deputy Lee Blythe and Assistant Jack Bayford, led the day which included a pitch walk, a tour of the machinery workshop, as well as a look around some of the off-pitch highlights including the Home Dressing Room and Managers Office. The Arsenal Grounds Team took questions throughout the day, with DLF Technical Manager David Rhodes and Regional Support Manager Craig Spooner on hand to provide advice on the topics of turf and seed.

Daniel Negus, Head Groundsman at Devonshire Park Tennis Club, was one of those in attendance. He said, “The day was a fantastic opportunity to see how one of the leading Premier League stadiums operates both on, and off, the pitch. It was hugely beneficial to hear the first-hand experiences of Alan and his team, meaning we all came away with an understanding of the knowledge and practices that they employ.”

Craig added, “The dedication, professionalism and knowledge of the Emirates grounds team is a real credit to the Club. A big thank you must go to Paul Ashcroft, Grounds Manager at the Emirates Stadium and Hale End Academy for hosting us and making it such a successful and informative day for all of those that attended.”

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An insight into Yokohama Stadium

An insight into Yokohama Stadium: What an exciting tournament it has been so far! With just over a week until the final, let’s look into the incredible stadium where the final is taking place – International Stadium Yokohama.

The Rugby World Cup Final 2019 will be held in the International Stadium Yokohama, with the finalists still to be confirmed after this weekend’s semi-finals. This remarkable venue has a bespoke Bolt-Down Bottom Hinge System which is similar to that designed for the “Sliding Pitch” in the Sapporo Dome. Harrod Sport’s Design Team worked closely with our Japanese distributor; Kofu Field Co. Ltd to create these innovative designs ready for the tournament.

An insight into Yokohama Stadium

The biggest challenge encountered in the Yokohama Stadium was that there had previously been a smaller set of rugby posts in place. So, we had to develop something that could be installed over the original sockets, but with the added complication of needing to increase the foundation strength to cater for the greater forces imposed by the 17m tall posts. This was overcome by designing the Bolt-down Hinge Assembly installed with 6 of M20 Stainless Steel Indented Foundation Bolts at each upright.

Also, our unique Winched Rugby Lifters were used at all World Cup venues to ensure that the 17m posts could be erected without the use of any powered vehicles or lifting system.

These posts had to satisfy earthquake requirements. In Japan, it is stated in the Building Standards Act that when you want to install any permanent or non-permanent architectural buildings/objects that exceeds the height of 15m, the owner needs to submit the building certification to the government and that includes tiresome data of the installation site and structure calculation data, CAD drawings (with detail materials and dimensions stated) of the installed building/object.

An insight into Yokohama Stadium

If we had not provided the adequate information and drawings, we would have not been allowed to install 17m rugby posts in Japan. Also, all drawings and structural analysis documentation needed to be interpreted into Japanese for approval by the Japanese Government!

Innovation is at the forefront of what we do at Harrod Sport, and we are privileged to have worked on such a historic and thoroughly entertaining tournament.

For further information please contact Molly Spring (Sales & Marketing Coordinator) on molly@harrod.uk.com or 01502 583515.

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Toro Takes Northamptonshire GC Into The Future

Toro Takes Northamptonshire GC Into The Future: Toro and Reesink Turfcare are delighted to welcome Northamptonshire County Golf Club as a Toro Total Solutions customer.

The Open Regional Qualifying club in the Midlands has committed to Toro as it brings back the feel of its past with Toro machinery and thinks to the future with a Toro irrigation renovation.

Toro Takes Northamptonshire GC Into The Future

Course manager, Rob Hay, who has been at the club for five years says the reason behind the commitment is twofold: “Over the years the course had been managed as a parkland course which it wasn’t designed to be. We’ve been working towards returning the course to its original heathland state as designed by Harry Colt, opening up each hole and giving it a flavour of the old days. Toro machinery is key to that.

“This is our first fleet lease deal, but we’ve been using Toro since before I started, and Toro is instrumental in this vision taking shape. Toro has made a big impact and brought about noticeable change in the direction of the course’s maintenance and members are seeing the difference. Many have commented on how the course now looks like they remember it from the early 1970s and plays with a true running heathland style from those days too, which we’re delighted to hear.”

When it comes to the irrigation, Rob says the club’s commitment to Toro is a nod to the future: “We’re not in a predicament with our current system, but we’re forward planning so we’re ready for a seamless transition when the time comes. What we noticed in the heatwave of last year was that there are areas that could be improved upon, more efficient and better managed. In the midlands we’re water scarce and as we irrigate from a local river the goal is to get ourselves into a position where we’re using our water better and utilising every drop. We believe Toro is the partner to make that happen.

“I’m conscious this is a big outlay – one of the biggest a course can make – and it’s important we get this right. We’re currently working with Reesink and Adrian Motram finalising the plans for what’s exactly needed and if the quality of the irrigation system is anything like that of the Toro machinery, I know we’ll be in for a great experience using Toro Irrigation.”

As one of only 13 Regional Qualifying courses in the UK, Northamptonshire County Golf Club has high standards to maintain, plus the challenge of an unusual 21-hole layout to contend with. “We appreciate we’re in the company of a select few being a Regional Qualifying course and take great pride in the fact that we resumed our status last year for the 147th Open,” says Rob.

Retaining that position comes with hard work and dedication, which Rob and his greenkeeping team of nine have in abundance. “Every year there are new projects to undertake and as a team we look forward to this as much as we do the usual high season maintenance work. It’s a good challenge for us all and having Toro on board has really made a difference.”

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