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SALTEX – back in style

SALTEX – back in style: After a year’s absence, SALTEX roars back into life and celebrates a very memorable 75th anniversary.

Put back a year due to the pandemic, the buzz was certainly back on the show floor as SALTEX 2021 reunited the industry and brought together almost 7,500 attendees across two days.

SALTEX - back in style

SALTEX – back in style

It was apparent among exhibitors and visitors that Europe’s largest annual turf management event was exactly what the grounds management industry needed.

The annual exhibition organised by the Grounds Management Association (GMA), offered visitors a fantastic opportunity to witness the largest product and service showcase in grounds management, including many new innovations being unveiled for the first ever time at this year’s vibrant show.

New and inspiring technology was celebrated through the SALTEX Innovation Awards; a prestigious hallmark for products showcasing the future of groundscare. From robotics to battery-powered mowers, tractors to utility vehicles, grow lights to chain saws, the entries included a wide variety of high-quality products, services and equipment.

Judged by an independent panel of industry experts, the following innovations at this year’s awards ceremony took the glory.

Innovations continued to flourish throughout the event and the ever-popular Eco Village attracted a large amount of footfall. Visitors were able to see cutting-edge sustainable technology in action by GroundWOW, Dennis Mowers, Allett Mowers, Campey Turf Care Systems, Overton UK, Toro and Avant UK.

Every person who registered for SALTEX was in with a chance of winning the battery-powered E6 compact loader from Avant UK on loan for a period of six months, and after being selected by random on the first day of the show, Richard Mason from Sedbergh School was handed the keys to his new prize.

Elsewhere on the show floor, Learning LIVE, SALTEX’s all-encompassing education programme featured over 30 sessions and a number of high-profile speakers who tackled a number of key issues such as the future workforce, climate change and mental health.

Other show features on the GMA Hub, including Pathology and Soil Science Live, Ask The Expert and the Job Clinic, offered invaluable free advice and career progression opportunities.

Many exhibitors reported that a substantial number of visitors were high-quality buyers with serious intent. Commenting on the vast number of business leads he received, Rupert Price, managing director of UK importer Price Turfcare, said: “At the end of the first day at the show, we were returning to the hotel and reflecting on the high level of business and number of visitors that we had seen. Honestly, we were sceptical about the possible visitor numbers prior to the show but were very pleased with the footfall across the stand and the number of demonstration requests received.”

Echoing Rupert was Caroline Shaw, European marketing manager at Trimax Mowing Systems: “SALTEX is about is all about getting people together,” she said. “It is a great opportunity for us to network with our dealers, existing customers and new potential customers. SALTEX is a great place for us to entertain, which is always really important.”

The overwhelming consensus was that SALTEX 2021 successfully re-united every corner of the grounds care industry and demonstrated to newcomers just how great the sector is.

“I have been coming to SALTEX for many, many years and I never get bored of it – it is a great opportunity to see what is out there in the industry,” said Ted Mitchell, national facilities development manager at the Rugby Football Union (RFU). “This year has been great, and particularly because we have gone through a restructure at the RFU, and we have new members of the team. SALTEX has really opened their eyes to the sector and the wider industry.”

Geoff Webb, Grounds Management Association (GMA) CEO, reflected on what may well have been the most meaningful SALTEX yet. “On behalf of all of us at the GMA we really want to extend our thanks to all our exhibitors and visitors that have showed their support for SALTEX this year. It has been a turbulent period for us all and we are delighted that we got the opportunity to celebrate the 75th edition with so many of you.

“I believe SALTEX 2021 has brought hope for the future and has showcased what our industry is capable of overcoming.”

For more information visit www.gmasaltex.co.uk

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SALTEX 2021 a success for Ariens

SALTEX 2021 a success for Ariens: AriensCo, an industry leader in outdoor power equipment, couldn’t be happier with its participation at this year’s SALTEX. Not only did it showcase its professional petrol and battery powered zero-turn mowers, it also connected with thousands of landscaping professionals and hosted an exclusive Lawn Care Legends booth takeover.

During the two-day event, Ariens met thousands of turf professionals, landscapers and local authority representatives and showed exactly how its fully commercial, heavy-duty line-up can support them at every stage of lawn care. From young, fledgling entrepreneurs to established businesses, Ariens was able to identify their needs and find the right mower and tools to get the job done.

SALTEX 2021 a success for Ariens

SALTEX 2021 a success for Ariens

Products on display included its upgraded ZENITH, an industry leading, fully commercial zero-turn with enhanced operator comfort options and rear discharge deck. Excitingly, the battery-operated ZENITH E was also on show, along with a concept stand-on mower, ARROW.

Additionally, Ariens’ also exhibited its powerful and precise APEX zero-turn as well as its IKON XD zero-turn, loaded with commercial-style features. Meeting the needs of its UK and European customer base, the APEX and ZENITH models now come with rear discharge deck options, while all Ariens petrol powered zero-turns are manufactured at its factory in Oxfordshire.

In an Ariens first, its stand was also taken over by the Lawn Care Legends, a community of aspiring and professional landscapers. More than 80 Legends came to see and hear about the star of the show, the ZENITH E and the rest of the Ariens line-up and left giving positive feedback.

Brad Stiles, Sales and Marketing Director, EMEAA said, “This year’s Saltex was hugely successful for us. Not only did we get to hear from some of the industry’s finest and get taken over by the famous Lawn Care Legends but reaction to our heavy duty, commercial line-up was truly fantastic. Our low noise, low emission ZENITH E was also a smash hit, so we know it’ll be driving change for years to come.”

To find out more about Ariens’ commercial line-up of battery and petrol powered zero-turn mowers visit ariens.eu. If you’d like to join the growing network of Ariens dealers, email: mwilson@ariensco.com

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‘Mr SALTEX’ inducted into GMA Hall of Fame

‘Mr SALTEX’ inducted into GMA Hall of Fame: The Grounds Management Association (GMA) today announces that SALTEX Operations Director, Derek Walder, also known as ‘Mr SALTEX’, will be the third inductee into its industry Hall of Fame.

This latest honour, the most significant gesture of appreciation the GMA can award, follows Derek’s Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 and is being awarded to Derek as an acknowledgement of an illustrious career in the industry spanning more than half a century.

‘Mr SALTEX’ inducted into GMA Hall of Fame

‘Mr SALTEX’ inducted into GMA Hall of Fame

Derek’s career has seen him involved in many corners of the groundscare sector, including 26 years as the grounds manager at Wimbledon Football Club’s training site during a legendary period in the club’s history which involved working alongside the notorious group of Wimbledon players known as the ‘Crazy Gang’.

Derek first got involved in SALTEX operations in 1970 as one of many members dedicating their own time in order to ensure SALTEX was a success. His time involved in SALTEX has seen him deal with many important moments in the show’s history, like when the show moved from outdoor venues to an indoor one and, most recently, the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring the safety of visitors at this year’s show. This year, marks his 40th delivery of the annual trade exhibition.

His induction into the GMA’s Hall of Fame means that Derek is just the third inductee, joining legendary grounds managers, the late Eddie Seaward MBE, former Head Groundsman at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club and Steve Braddock, Head of Grounds Management at the Arsenal Football Club training centre. His award represents the many crucial roles being played behind the scenes that keep the sector, and its events, running.

GMA CEO, Geoff Webb, commenting on Derek’s latest honour, says:

“Our Hall of Fame recognises outstanding contributions to the industry and Derek’s achievements go far beyond turf management by bringing together the groundscare sector successfully under one roof year on year. Derek has shown unswerving dedication to the success of SALTEX, and this award is richly deserved.”

On receiving his honour, Hall of Fame inductee, Derek Walder, says:

“There’s no ‘i’ in ‘team’; I am surrounded by a great bunch of people who consistently commit 100 per cent to the show. I’ve been delivering SALTEX for a long time, but at the end of the day we’ve got a good team and that’s what makes it a success.”

An in-depth feature on Derek, and his journey in grounds management which led to his induction into the Grounds Management Association Hall of Fame, was published in the Winter 2021 edition of the GMA’s member magazine, Grounds Management, a preview of which you can read by clicking here.

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Successful SALTEX for Ventrac

Successful SALTEX for Ventrac: Returning from a very successful SALTEX show, Rupert Price, managing director of UK importer Price Turfcare, says that Ventrac has now been accepted as a relevant brand in the UK groundscare sector.

“At the end of the first day at the show, we were returning to the hotel and reflecting on the high level of business and number of visitors that we had seen. Honestly, we were sceptical about the possible visitor numbers prior to the show, but were very pleased with the footfall across the stand and the number of demonstration requests received. The discussion with the first visitor set the tone for the day with a demonstration arranged for late November.

Successful SALTEX for Ventrac

Successful SALTEX for Ventrac

“It occurred to us that we were being perceived in a different way than at previous events; we had become an accepted and credible brand in the sector. Instead of having to explain who we were and what the machine could do, we were talking to an audience who had seen it on social media, in the trade press and at events and now understood the benefits that it could bring to their business.

“For me, this change of perception was a very pleasing and a testament to the efforts of the small team here at the company. They have worked tirelessly to promote and demonstrate the machine across the UK for the past six years. We have come from nowhere in 2017, when we launched at BTME and with the incredible support of the manufacturer, Venture Products Inc, we have gone from a presence of zero machines to over 200 today. The forward order book is healthy, we are getting regular shipments of machines and are now looking at larger premises for the new year.

“The atmosphere at SALTEX was very positive; people were really pleased to be meeting up with the industry again. It was just a good feeling to see customers, prospects and former colleagues in a positive environment. There were many discussions about supply chain issues, the inevitable price rises that we are all experiencing and the state of the sector, but all-in-all, it demonstrated the robustness of UK groundscare. For us, a great show!”

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ET Lander wins SALTEX Innovation Award

ET Lander wins SALTEX Innovation Award: The Etesia ET Lander utility vehicle has won the SALTEX 2021 Innovation award within the vehicle category, while also finishing second within the environmentally friendly category.

The SALTEX innovation awards were introduced to reward companies launching innovative and technologically advanced equipment within the grounds management sector. Since its launch in 2018, the awards have grown year on year, with 2021 now boasting several different categories for exhibitors to enter.

ET Lander wins SALTEX Innovation Award

ET Lander wins SALTEX Innovation Award

A panel of expert judges chose the Etesia ET Lander as the standout product within the vehicle category, which also made its first UK appearance at the NEC, Birmingham on 3 and 4 November.

Built for use on road and off road in both the town and countryside, the ET Lander is 100% electric, spacious, well-equipped and user-friendly. It is built on a robust chassis and has an array of options including a three-way tipper bed with dual control from the fully-fitted two-seater cab or by remote control when outside the vehicle.

With a length of just 3.72 meters, the ET Lander is very compact. Thanks to the power steering, the short turning radius of 4.40 meters and 360 ° visibility, it goes anywhere. Fitted with lead acid batteries (72V 220 Ah – producing 15.8Kw), the autonomy of the vehicle lasts for a full working day – without noise pollution.

The ET Lander can transport loads of up to 940kgs and can also tow up to 750kgs. With its all-road tires and powerful transmission, it is a real all-terrain vehicle for use in a variety of conditions on slopes and difficult terrain. Furthermore, life is made easier for its users through the integrated loading ramps – which allow for the transport of materials, ride-on mowers and other grounds maintenance equipment.

For more information, please visit www.etlander.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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Agrimetal debuts at SALTEX

Agrimetal debuts at SALTEX: AgriMetal makes its debut at SALTEX 2021. The range of debris blowers and collectors will be represented by the tractor-mounted BW3500 blower, alongside TYM tractors, on stand M080.

The BW3500 attachment, for tractors with more than 35hp at the PTO, completes debris management tasks effectively and with little noise disturbance.

Agrimetal debuts at SALTEX

Agrimetal debuts at SALTEX

Steven Haynes, tractor sales manager at Reesink, says: “As the leaves start to fall, maintenance work increases significantly, and this is work that can be made easy with the three low decibel three-point linkage mounted leaf and debris blower from AgriMetal.

“Having an impellor made of aluminium requires less energy at full throttle, delivering a quieter, smoother and vibration-free operation whilst also increasing airflow CFM by around 25 percent compared to other products on the market. This will have sure-fire appeal to golf courses and urban sports ground, for example, where it is important to keep noise pollution to a minimum.”

Steven continues: “The lightweight construction reduces the sudden loading on the driveline and helps reduce belt wear as the PTO is engaged. The large roller on which the blower rides lets you work in the worst conditions without marking or compacting the turf, particularly useful for sports surfaces, especially on turns. In fact, in contrast to the competition, the roller will often smooth out imperfections on the turf.”

This low decibel series of tractor-drawn blowers has been designed for maximum productivity and minimum maintenance and the option to fit caster wheels, which allows the machine to switch to hard surface application, makes them a good option for public schools, colleges, universities and large estates for driveway clearing too.

Steven concludes: “The BW3500 is efficient and reliable in a range of settings and the high cubic feet per minute output means it’s really productive, making light work of what can be a laborious task.”

To find out more about the AgriMetal range, which also includes high-capacity collectors, visit stand M080 at SALTEX, where customers can see the BW3500 with the T395 tractor to demonstrate the perfect partnership for easy autumn/winter maintenance.

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The next star player at SALTEX

The next star player at SALTEX: Representing the future of the turfcare industry and on stand K078 at SALTEX for the first time will be Reesink e-Vehicles’ new STAR player, the Capella Work Machine.

This all-electric and versatile model from the award-winning brand STAR EV is the latest plug-in electric utility vehicle for the UK market, purposefully designed to help move people and equipment around grounds quietly, safely and efficiently.

The next star player at SALTEX

The next star player at SALTEX

The Capella Work Machine is powered by a 48v 5kW motor comes with a choice of two high powered lithium-ion batteries charged via an on-board Lester charger. With a 450A AC Curtis controller and direct drive, the Work Machine offers a range up to 60 miles of travel going at a maximum speed of 20mph for the ultimate productivity from an electric workhorse. Plus, it has a climbing ability of 20 percent meaning it’s just as good on the hills as it is on the flat.

This noiseless and emissions-free utility buggy can take two passengers at a time and has a hydraulic lift rear cargo utility box with an impressive 670kg (1477lbs) carry capacity.

It features carefully selected components for a smooth ride: there’s a double A-Arm independent suspension with adjustable shock absorbers, a double-ended self-compensating ‘rack and pinion’ steering and QDS drive system with temperature protection.

In addition to the key features above, the little things also matter and all the details that make for comfortable operation have been considered: there’s Bluetooth, a dashboard with digital display, holders for drinks, golf balls and tees and an LED lighting system.

The Capella Work Machine represents a range of 28 lithium and sealed battery-powered utility vehicles from STAR EV and available from Reesink e-Vehicles, which includes electric passenger buggies and small, medium and large capacity electric UTVs and people carriers for up to 23 people. All come with a rapid charge, good mileage per charge, and an extensive warranty – up to six years on batteries.

On stand ready to introduce this exciting buggy option will be Dave French, Reesink e-Vehicles’ new electric vehicle expert. He says: “Wherever you are and whatever sector you’re in, the ability to work more quietly, earlier and for longer will be an advantage. Specifically, urban sports stadiums and training grounds and golf courses and resorts with guest rooms or neighbouring residential areas will notice a big difference by switching to electric power.

“STAR EV is a brand that delivers strong technology, innovation, breadth of range, value proposition and, importantly, peak performance. Electric-powered technology is a fundamental part of the future; it’s growing rapidly, with customers keen to switch and the arrival of the STAR EV range brings more choice.

“The Capella Work Machine is a standout model for any maintenance team looking to get around the grounds easily and efficiently all day long all on a single charge and is well worth a trip to the Reesink e-Vehicles stand at SALTEX.”

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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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PSD Groundscare back at SALTEX

PSD Groundscare back at SALTEX: PSD Groundscare are geared up for Saltex which will see a stand that is bigger than ever before, a first look at commercial E-Power Equipment and the unveiling of an all-new PSD rebrand.

Visitors will have the opportunity to view for the first time a fantastic range of innovative new machines from AS Motor, Koppl and Eliet, as well as the RoviMo robotic mower, designed specifically for the maintenance of sports fields and stadiums.

PSD Groundscare back at SALTEX

PSD Groundscare back at SALTEX

As the industry sees a substantial growth in the use of electric machines, professional users can now benefit from the developments which are the future of the landscaping industry, offering them a high performing e-power solution capable of cutting long grass without compromising on performance.

Highly innovative AS Motor manufacture specialist mowers for long grass, steep slopes and difficult terrain mowing along with mechanical weed removal solutions. The latest additions to their range and showcasing at Saltex includes a range of new commercial eco-friendly E-Power solutions including lawn mowers, long grass mowers, mulching mowers and weed removal.

Award winning implement carrier and attachment manufacturer Koppl are also continuing to develop their range of commercial e-power equipment by building on the already popular Compact Easy E-Drive power unit with the recent introduction of the larger Compact Comfort E-Drive. This new model offers a powerful power unit for operating a range of landscaping attachments suitable for the rigorous use in the professional market.

Belgium manufacturer Eliet specialise in manufacturing solutions for green waste and lawn and turf care and previewed at Saltex will be the new Vector Green Waste Shredder which will be available for purchase during Spring of 2022. This shredder fills a gap in the range and is capable of shredding material into Bio Chips up to a diameter of 8cm and promises performance to match the other machines in the range.

Also making its first appearance at Saltex following its successful trials at MCFC training ground is the Ronovatec RoviMo, the world’s first intelligent electric vehicle capable of mowing patterns autonomously according to the guidelines of national football associations, UEFA, or FIFA.  Operated simply and efficiently remotely via an app, RoviMo® can also be used for mowing other large green areas with further development planned for golf course use.

In addition to the large exciting range of new innovations, there will also be a selection of existing key products being showcased and visitors are invited to come and meet the manufacturers behind the products first hand and speak direct to the experts.

Visitors will also get a first look at PSD’s recent rebrand, designed to take the business into the next era. The sharp new logo has been created to demonstrate the businesses constant strive for innovation, while keeping elements of the original logo and its values.

Stuart Mercer Sales Director of PSD Groundscare said:

“We are exceptionally excited about our attendance at Saltex this year, and it feels great being back exhibiting and we are very much looking forward to unveiling many innovative new products on our bigger than ever stand as we have more than doubled the size of our stand to reflect the extensive range we are showcasing.

The expansion of the range of e-power 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 and we can’t wait to get demonstrating to our customers. We believe that the new additions to our range will ensure we continue to be able to offer machinery that revolutionise groundscare and maintenance”.

PSD Groundscare will be exhibiting on stand E081

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Win a Turf Tank robot at SALTEX

Win a Turf Tank robot at SALTEX: Leading robotic line marking company, Turf Tank is bringing the revolutionary Turf Tank One back to Saltex 2021.

Everyone who comes to the stand will have the chance to enter a draw to win a rent-free robot for:

First place – Turf Tank Robot for 6 months

Second place – Turf Tank Robot for 4 months

Third place – Turf Tank Robot for 2 months

The line marker will be on Stand G085 at the NEC in Birmingham for the two-day event, along with the Turf Tank UK team.

Win a Turf Tank robot at SALTEX

Win a Turf Tank robot at SALTEX

Throughout the past year, schools, contractors, and professional and amateur sports teams have transformed their line marking operation with the Turf Tank One. Exceptional accuracy using a base station, customisable templates for pitches, logos and numbers, and huge time savings have set the robot apart from alternative methods.

In August 2021, Bromsgrove School began marking their fifteen rugby pitches across three sites using the Turf Tank One, and for Head Grounds person Richard Hare, it has been a revelation.

“When I first saw the Turf Tank One at the demo, I was absolutely amazed, and having used it, it’s revolutionary,” Richard begins.

“It just makes the job a hundred times easier, all the lines are dead straight, and there’s no mess, that’s the other important thing, it’s clean, and it is good to use, it’s easy, and for us, it’s been really, really good.”

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