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Award for John Deere mowers

Award for new John Deere mowers: After a successful launch in 2019, John Deere’s 2700 and 2750 PrecisionCut and E-Cut hybrid electric triplex mowers have been honoured as a 2020 AE50 Award winner by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).

Each year the AE50 awards highlight the industry’s most innovative designs in product engineering, as chosen by a panel of international engineering experts. The development of these new John Deere cylinder mowers was based on customer needs and challenges – most importantly, the struggle to find quality labour and tight operating budgets.

Award for new John Deere mowers

Award for new John Deere mowers

With this in mind, the mowers are equipped with the proven, advanced TechControl system, which is passcode protected and allows course managers, technicians and other trusted supervisors to input commands that control nearly everything regarding the operator’s performance. This includes frequency of clip, turn speed, clean-up pass speed and how fast the cutting units raise and lower.

The engines on all models are electronically controlled and include an Eco mode that automatically reduces engine speed when mowing, saving up to 30 per cent in fuel and reducing sound levels by up to 3dB(A). The lightweight, open platform design, with a low centre of gravity, ensures excellent stability and traction performance. The mowers offer a 62in (157cm) mowing width and speeds of up to 6mph (9.7kph) for increased productivity.

“Our customers are battling a variety of challenges, from labour to budgets. The 2700 and 2750 triplex mowers have been designed to directly tackle these concerns and take the stress out of mowing,” says John Deere Golf product manager Brad Aldridge. “From the innovative TechControl system to the open platform design and excellent cut quality, these machines deliver a precise, uniform cut, regardless of who’s driving – now every operator can be your best operator.”

ASABE is an international scientific and educational organisation dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food and biological systems. Each year the Society announces and presents the AE50 awards at the ASABE Agricultural Equipment Technology Conference held in Louisville, Kentucky in February.

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Obituary – John Shepherd

Obituary – John Shepherd: It is with great sadness we announce that John Shepherd has passed away after an 18 month battle with cancer. John fell asleep peacefully for the last time with his family at his side on Sunday 2nd February 2020.

John was a close friend and colleague to me and many people in the irrigation industry. He was always positive and had a smile looking for the best solution for customers.

Obituary - John Shepherd

Obituary – John Shepherd

John started his career, after studying at Myerscough College, at Turf Irrigation Services (TIS) Ltd and this is where we met for the first time. John was a Technical Sales Engineer/Designer and I was a junior in the drafting office preparing design and as laid plans for projects undertaken by TIS. He always had time to spend with me. Indeed without the kind opportunities, education and experience given to me by Robin (Hume) and John I would not be where I am today. The irrigation and indeed turf industry seems large to many on the outside, however, it is actually a small and personal industry.

John once told me that when he started working for TIS he was conscious of his stammer and that he spoke to Robin about this. Robin responded in saying “People recognise me for my size and people will recognise you for your stammer”. Indeed Robin once told me that people would recognise me for my red hair, something which many still do, and I know many will always remember John’s stammer.

In his career John also spent many enjoyable years working for Hunter Industries as a Technical Sales Manager in EMEA [Europe, Middle East & Africa] before returning back to his roots to finally setup his irrigation design company, Irrigation Project Management [IPM], and working closely with myself at RHA.

Football was a passion and often a topic of conversation with many who knew him.  He was an avid supporter of Preston North End with a season ticket and seat on the nose of Tom Finney.

John is survived by his wife Nicholette and two children Chrissie and Joseph. His funeral will be held at Crewe Crematorium on the 27th February at 13.45 followed by a wake at the Hunters Lodge in Crewe. All are welcome to celebrate John’s life. John requested no flowers, and that any donations made in his memory will go to Macmillan Cancer Care and Help for Heroes.

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John Deere dealer Sherriff acquires Greenlay

John Deere dealer Sherriff acquires Greenlay: John Deere agricultural and turf dealer Thomas Sherriff & Co Ltd, whose headquarters are based at Haddington in East Lothian, has bought the professional turf business of Greenlay Ltd in Cramlington, south Northumberland.

This development extends the dealership’s trading area and takes to seven the total number of Sherriff outlets serving customers from the River Forth in Scotland, down through the Borders to Durham in north-east England and reaching out west to the Cumbrian border.

John Deere dealer Sherriff acquires Greenlay

Sherriff’s head office site at Backburn in Haddington, which replaced the previous facility in Dunbar at the beginning of 2017, brought both the dealership’s agricultural and turf divisions under the same roof for the first time. The other Sherriff outlets are based at Alnwick, Coldstream, Hexham, Jedburgh and Stow.

All 17 Greenlay employees have transferred to the renamed Sherriff Cramlington business, with outlet manager Eric Pattinson continuing to lead the dealership’s experienced sales, service and parts team.

“Originally founded by David Lowes and his wife Judith in 1972 before becoming John Deere Limited’s first professional groundscare dealer in 1986, Greenlay is а well-established, successful family business,” said John Deere Limited division sales manager Chris Meacock. “We would like to thank the Lowes family and especially Geoff Lowes for their commitment to John Deere over the past 33 years – it’s great to see this positive outcome for his team.”

Sherriff managing director Colin Weatherhead added: “This is а key addition to our business and а great fit for our organisation. Following the development of our head office at Haddington as part of our overall expansion and restructuring plans, this latest acquisition represents another considerable investment in our business, allowing us to expand our geographical presence in the north-east of England and the Durham area.

“Most importantly, this means that we will now bе serving our total John Deere area of responsibility with both agricultural and turf equipment, from the Forth to Teesside and out to the Cumbrian border. It ensures that we can maintain the highest level of support to our customers in both the important business sectors of agricultural and professional turf equipment sales and service.”

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John Deere training sets record

John Deere training sets record: A record-breaking total of 66 young parts and service technicians are being trained in this year’s John Deere Ag Tech, Parts Tech and Turf Tech advanced apprenticeship programmes, the highest total intake since the first Ag Tech induction in 1992.

The group includes for the first time apprentices from Ireland, the John Deere Forestry division and the Wirtgen road construction business, which Deere acquired at the end of 2017, as well as more female apprentices than ever before (five altogether). These annual, award-winning programmes are run in partnership with the dealer network and national training provider ProVQ at the purpose-built John Deere Apprentice Training Centre in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire in the UK.

John Deere training sets record

“There’s never been a better time to consider an apprenticeship with John Deere,” says the company’s training centre manager Allan Cochran. “The increasing levels of automation used throughout our products, including artificial intelligence, advanced electronics, satellite guidance systems and telematics, give us the ability to diagnose and repair machines without even laying a hand on them. All this technology, as well as cutting edge engine and transmission design, means the need for skilled people within our dealerships is ever present.

“It’s not just about the machines either – sophisticated parts and service systems require the same skills too. The John Deere dealer of tomorrow is a challenging business, with a wide range of opportunities and exciting prospects for talented, enthusiastic people from any background.

“Like all apprenticeships, the programmes combine on-the-job training with paid employment at the dealership, leading to nationally recognised and valued qualifications. Apprentices undergo fully supported training, assessment and guidance, gaining valuable workplace skills by undertaking practical tasks and experiencing real-life challenges. They also spend eight weeks each year at the John Deere Apprentice Training Centre and at our head office in Langar.

“We are delighted to expand the programmes for the first time to our dealers in Ireland. This will allow us to deliver the same consistent, high quality apprentice training across the UK & Irish network, to the benefit of all our customers in both countries.”

John Deere’s three-year Ag Tech and Turf Tech and two-year Parts Tech apprenticeships involve students being trained in engineering, electronics, hydraulics, diagnostics, communication skills, computing, sales and marketing. The programmes lead to IMI Level 2 & 3 Diplomas in Landbased Engineering and Vehicle Parts Competence, and registration at LTA Intermediate level in the industry’s Landbased Training Accreditation scheme.

In subsequent years qualified technicians undergo further education and adult training within the John Deere University programme, on a career path that can ultimately lead to the highest possible LTA Master Technician accreditation.

Now in its 28th year, Ag Tech was the first such scheme to be introduced in the UK and won a National Training Award at the end of 1997, the only one ever made to an agricultural machinery apprenticeship programme. John Deere is also the only agricultural and turf machinery company to have been recognised as one of the best 100 employers for school leavers in the UK.

Since the first Ag Tech programme started in 1992, approaching 800 apprentices have graduated through the three main schemes and are now working in the company’s nationwide dealer network. Further details of the apprentice training programmes and other career opportunities can be found on the following ProVQ and John Deere websites:

http://apprenticeshipfinder.co.uk/john-deere and https://www.deere.co.uk/en/our-company/john-deere-careers/

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John Deere expands fairway line-up

John Deere expands fairway line-up: John Deere has announced two new additions to the economical 6000A Series fairway mower line-up, which will be previewed at BTME 2020 in Harrogate from January 21-23.

Sharing technologies with the award-winning A Model mower range, the 6080A and 6500A E-Cut hybrid electric fairway mowers feature high-performance electric reel drive, which greatly reduces the number of potential hydraulic leak points to ensure maximum productivity and performance. In addition to their economical price, these new mowers can be operated at lower engine speeds, which further reduces operating costs by decreasing fuel consumption.

John Deere expands fairway line-up

“We’re excited to bring the E-Cut hybrid mowing system to the 6000A Series fairway mowers,” says John Deere’s European turf sales & marketing manager Carlos Aragones. “Powerful and full of premium features at an economical price, the 6080A and 6500A combine our proven E-Cut hybrid electric technology with the popular 6000A Series model design.”

John Deere was first to market with its electric reel drive system in 2005 on the 2500E triplex greens mower, and this was added to the fairway mower range in 2009 with the 7500 and 8000 E-Cut hybrid models. By removing all hydraulics from the reel circuit, the risk of hydraulic leaks has been reduced by over 90 per cent. In addition, the hybrid system is powered exclusively by an alternator, which offers consistent performance without additional batteries to maintain.

Equipped with a powerful 24.7hp (18.4kW) diesel engine, the 6080A and 6500A E-Cut hybrid mowers feature a three-wheel smooth tyre configuration on a durable chassis, with premium performance and comfort features for all-day mowing. Width of cut is 80in (2m) on the 6080A and 100in (2.5m) on the 6500A, with 18 and 22in (46 and 56cm) QA5 cutting units respectively.

These new models include the proven eHydro transmission and LoadMatch as standard, which maintains a high quality cut even when working on slopes. A mowing speed of 8mph (13kph) on both models allows operators to be more productive by covering larger areas in less time.

Another advanced technology feature adopted from the existing A Model range is the innovative, password-protected TechControl display. This gives turf managers and technicians complete control over cut quality and performance by enabling them to input commands such as mowing speed, transport speed and service times, while also capturing on-board service diagnostics.

Cut quality on the new John Deere 6080A and 6500A E-Cut hybrid electric fairway mowers is further enhanced with rear-attaching yokes on the cutting units and standard hydraulic down pressure, which can tackle even the toughest mowing conditions. Additionally, the hybrid reel drive system allows more power to be available for the standard GRIP all-wheel drive traction system, to further improve performance on slopes.

Other operator friendly features include internal hydraulic wet disk brakes, which eliminate linkage adjustments and grease points in the brake system, and a comfortable operator station with CommandArm-mounted controls that move with the seat.

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John Deere Launch New Battery Mower

John Deere Launch New Battery Mower: John Deere is launching its first commercial electric battery powered walk-behind rotary mower at Saltex 2019 at the NEC in October.

The new PRO 43B not only produces zero emissions, but also offers intuitive handling, fast charging and a high level of operator comfort. It is designed to enable professional users to easily cut smaller grass areas and clean up edges in public spaces, without the disturbance and nuisance caused by noise and fumes.

John Deere Launch New Battery Mower

Built around an aluminium mower deck with steel reinforcement and alloy wheels for extra durability and reliability, the PRO 43B has shown impressive cutting and bagging performance in pre-production field tests, says John Deere, with no compromise in performance compared with petrol engine driven mowers.

The 36V mower’s new Powerhead carries two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and switches automatically to the second battery when the first one is empty. Charging capacity is 6Ah as standard, with a full electric charge taking 2 hours 20 minutes and providing up to 500m2 mowing capacity. A spring-loaded battery release system adds to the ease of operation.

Cutting width of the PRO 43B is 43cm and there is a choice of seven cutting heights from 22 to 80mm, easily set by a central lever. The mower comes with a 45-litre capacity grass bagger that features a simple TurboStar ‘bag full’ indicator flag, and a height adjustable handlebar that can be folded for storage. Overall weight with an empty bagger is 32kg.

The new John Deere PRO 43B commercial battery mower will be sold with a two-year warranty (one year on the batteries), and will be available from UK and Irish dealers in 2020.

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John May Elected By Deere & Company

John May Elected By Deere & Company: The Deere & Company board of directors has elected John C May as a member of the board, effective immediately, and to the position of chief executive officer, effective November 4, 2019. May has served as Deere’s president and chief operating officer since April 2019.

“John’s record of success and proven leadership skills make him highly qualified to lead Deere and guide its success in the years ahead,” said Samuel R Allen, chairman and chief executive officer. “His experience in precision agriculture, information technology and overseas operations will be instrumental in driving the company’s digitalisation journey and extending its success in agricultural and construction equipment.”

John May Elected By Deere & Company

Allen will continue as chairman of the board of directors after he steps down from the CEO position. May becomes the 10th chief executive in the company’s 182-year history.

The 50-year-old May joined Deere in 1997 and became part of the senior management team in 2012 as president, agricultural solutions and chief information officer. Last year he was named president, worldwide agriculture & turf division, with responsibility for the Americas and Australia, the global harvesting, turf & utility and crop care platforms, and the intelligent solutions group.

Earlier in his career, May headed the company’s China operations, served as factory manager at the Dubuque (Iowa) Works, and was vice-president of the turf and utility platform.

A native of Maine, May holds a bachelor’s degree in health information management from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Maine.

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John Ledwidge Talks Groundsmanship

John Ledwidge Talks Groundsmanship: John Ledwidge always wanted to work on a football pitch. But rather than dreaming about becoming a star striker, he a wrote a letter to his local club, Coventry City, to ask about gaining work experience as a groundsman when he was just 13.

The 28-year-old is now head of sports turf and grounds at Leicester City Football Club (LCFC) and says there is a lot more to being a groundsman than he first thought. “It’s often stereotyped as men in flat caps and ride-on mowers, which is completely off the mark,” he says.

John Ledwidge Talks Groundsmanship

“In reality, we’re scientists, horticulturalists and project managers all rolled into one. You nurture the pitch like it’s your baby. It becomes an obsession to have everything from the markers to the pH balance of the soil pitch perfect.”

Mr Ledwidge left school at 16, against the advice of a careers advisor, and started working full time at Coventry City, having volunteered at the grounds for the previous three years. He later moved to LCFC and decided he wanted to be a groundsman at a Premier League club by the time he was 30. That happened for him when LCFC were promoted from the Championship when he was 24.

‘It becomes an obsession’

“The standout moment of my career, and that of the entire club, was winning the Premier League in 2016. We stood together at the sidelines and watched the team lift the trophy from what we felt was the best seat in the house. Of course, this meant that Leicester City were in the Champions League the following year too.

“We had to act as the players in pre-match rehearsals and lined up in the tunnel and walked out to the iconic music. It was a dream for anyone who loves the game.”

Before a 3pm kick-off, Mr Ledwidge arrives at the grounds at 6.30am for pitch preparation. He works with a team of 14 others, and hopes to take on more people next season through the club’s apprenticeship scheme.

The first task of that day is to brush the pitch to remove the dew that settled on it overnight. Grounds staff monitor moisture levels every day. Afterwards, the grass is cut to 22mm with a pedestrian mower for a high-quality, even surface.

“Accuracy is more important than ever with this year’s introduction of video assistant referees (VAR) and marking perfect white lines is integral for the calibration,” he says. “This is a big part of goal line technology too. High standards are key with almost 10 million people watching worldwide.”

Every groundsperson stays fit by walking about 35,000 steps a day ahead of a match and 25,000 on a regular day.

“Once the referee test is complete, we’ll give the pitch a final water to give the ball the speed and slickness required for a Premier League game. Finally, before kick-off, I relay test results and conditions to coaching team and sports scientists, so the players know what to expect.”

He is not just based in Leicester. A surprising amount of time is spent travelling the world, he says. “Grounds staff and volunteers have a great network with international clubs, so we’ll visit one another to share knowledge and help boost the quality of professional and grassroots grounds. This month, we’re going to Thailand to help educate local communities in turf care and management at a grassroots level.”

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John Deere Acquires OnLink

John Deere Acquires OnLink: Highlighting the company’s focus on golf course technology solutions, John Deere has announced the acquisition of OnLink, an industry-leading golf course performance optimisation software platform based in the US. As a result, John Deere will acquire the OnLink platform and service agreements with all existing OnLink customers.

OnLink is a cloud-based golf course management platform that enables golf courses to collect data and manage equipment, labour, water, chemicals, nutrients and playing conditions.

John Deere Acquires OnLink

“We know that data-driven decision making is key to improving agronomic outcomes and financial returns for our golf customers,” says Manny Gan, John Deere’s director of global golf sales and marketing. “This acquisition allows us to continue developing the OnLink platform with the data knowledge we’ve already built, to deliver insightful information to our customers.”

John Deere first began its relationship with OnLink in 2017 when it announced a collaboration with the company. With this acquisition, OnLink will become integrated into John Deere’s suite of technology solutions.

John Deere Acquires OnLink

“We are proud and honoured to have an industry leader acquire our software platform,” says Walt Norley, OnLink founder and CEO. “Current and future OnLink users will have the benefit of John Deere, and its strong dealer network, to scale up the platform for further value and efficiency.”

To learn more about John Deere Golf and OnLink services, visit www.JohnDeere.com/Golf.

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John Deere & CMAE Organise Workshops

John Deere & CMAE Organise Workshops: The recently formed Club Managers Association of Europe – Middle East & North Africa Region (CMAE MENA) has held its first club education seminars under the title ‘Building confidence in communication’, to train golf course and other managers for new challenges. John Deere supported this initiative by bringing in communication expert Bill McFarlan to deliver several seminars earlier this year.

Bill McFarlan has a passion for helping people build their confidence in communication, having been a broadcaster for 25 years with some of Britain’s top radio and TV stations. Sharing what he’s learned from broadcasting and business, he helps create and deliver passionate presentations on how to conduct interviews confidently with the media and at work.

John Deere & CMAE Organise Workshops

As clubs are becoming bigger, more diverse and more demanding, communication skills are more than ever a key requirement for managers at all levels. Using practical workshops, Bill McFarlan shared top tips and techniques on how to be relevant to any audience, deal with complaints and arguments, and recover difficult situations. The workshops were held at Education City Golf Club in Qatar, Al Mouj Golf Club in Oman and Dubai Creek & Yacht Club.

The events were also a great opportunity for John Deere to be involved alongside local dealers Progressive Trading Qatar, Oman Technical Agencies and Orient Irrigation Services, to meet the CMAE MENA members and support the team.

Carlos Aragones, John Deere’s Manager Sales & Marketing, Turf & Golf for Europe, CIS, North Africa, Near & Middle East, said: “Continued education is a core pillar of the John Deere philosophy, and through this partnership we are committed to making ourselves available to the association’s membership for advice and support.”

Michael Braidwood, General Manager at Education City Golf Club in Qatar and former CMAE Director of Education, said: ”CMAE MENA was delighted with the support John Deere offered us to be able to have our first educational seminars in the region. Without this support, the events would have not been possible. Over 60 club industry professionals benefited from Bill McFarlan’s expertise. It is great to partner with an organisation like John Deere, who have similar values to our own, and we look forward to working with them to deliver more first-class club executive education in the future.”

CMAE’s broader vision is to become the leading organisation for club management educational programmes, and John Deere is delighted to support the Association to achieve its goals.

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