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Makita tools power the Eden Project

Makita tools power the Eden Project: Makita UK has exclusively supplied the Eden Project with a range of its cordless outdoor power equipment to assist with the maintenance and redevelopment work at the famous site.

By adopting Makita’s battery-powered machinery, Eden Project is able to reduce emissions and ensure the maintenance team can work safely and efficiently – even when visitors are on site.

Makita tools power the Eden Project

Makita tools power the Eden Project

The Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall is an educational charity and visitor attraction dedicated to showcasing the power of nature and inspiring visitors to think more sustainably. The site is famous for its bubble-like Mediterranean Biome and Rainforest Biome that house a wide range of plant life that all require regular care and maintenance to thrive.

As well as the Biomes, the Eden Project Living Landscapes team are responsible for maintaining the over 20 acres of outdoor gardens and over 140 acres of nursery grounds, parking areas, woodlands and wildflower fields. In order to do this, the team require a range of reliable, durable and high-power machines that can tackle any task, as well as allow the flexibility to move around the large site with ease.

Robin Lock, Head of Living Landscapes at the Eden Project explains: “At the Eden Project we are dedicated to using sustainable methods which is why we wanted to update our tool kit with more environmentally friendly alternatives. With Makita’s expertise in battery-power and its wide range of high-quality garden machinery and construction tools, we are able to complete day-to-day maintenance tasks in a safer, quieter and more efficient way.

“With battery-powered machines there is no need for the team to transport petrol around site and no emissions are produced, which is key. What’s more, the machines also produce lower vibration levels so the team can comfortably and safely use the machines daily and for extended periods. With no fuel or power leads to worry about, the machines can also be used when visitors are on site – and the low noise levels mean disruption is kept to a minimum.”

For example, Makita’s DUH601RT LXT 18V Hedge Trimmer is used to ensure the 100s of metres of hedge at the Eden Project remain neatly trimmed back. With such a large area to cover, the DUH601RT is ideal as the team require a lightweight, low vibration machine that is safe to use for extended periods of time. The DUH601RT features a five-position rotating rear handle so operators can easily adjust the angle of the machine to make the work easier and safer.

What’s more, the DUH601RT includes Makita’s triple-edged asymmetric blade design. The back tooth is square, which means it can easily hold the material and the front tooth is at an angle to ensure that it can easily slice through and create an efficient and clean cut. In addition, both top and bottom blades have sharpened edges and the whole system is double reciprocating to reduce vibration. The curved blade profile also reduces friction resistance so less energy is lost through heat production and run time is increased.

In addition, the DUB363 LXT Twin 18V Blower is ideal for keeping pathways clear of leaves and debris to ensure visitor safety. As there are no trailing cables, the team can use the DUB363 across the whole site – even in the Biomes. It is powered by two 18V LXT batteries, so operators can experience high air volume and speed, as well as long run times for maximum efficiency. The DUB363 is also compatible with Makita’s PDC01 and PDC1200 backpack batteries which offer extended run times for larger tasks, such as clearing pathways throughout the Rainforest Biome.

Mark Earles, Business Development Manager for garden machinery at Makita said: “We are delighted to be working with Eden Project to assist the team with everyday maintenance and larger redevelopment work at this prestigious site. With over 270 models in our LXT range alone, the team have a huge selection of our battery powered tools and equipment to hand, to tackle any task with the simple switch of a battery.

Our partnership with Eden Project is also a great opportunity for us to get feedback on how our machines perform in unique environments like the Rainforest Biome – and we are excited to be able to utilise this as part of future product development to ensure that the Makita products can perform at their optimum, regardless of the conditions.”

To find out more about how Makita’s machines have transformed groundscare at Eden Project, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kucXboNDi_M

To find out more about Makita and its range of cordless machines visit: www.makitauk.com

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Kubota tractor supports the air ambulance

Kubota tractor supports the air ambulance: A new Kubota L1-452 HST tractor has joined the armoury at the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

A charity that relies on generous donations from the public, Wiltshire Air Ambulance has been supported by local Kubota dealer Howard & Sons, who have gifted the brand-new Kubota tractor for the next two years.

Kubota tractor supports the air ambulance

Kubota tractor supports the air ambulance

The 45hp tractor, which is powered by the latest Kubota Stage V emissions legislation-compliant engine, will be used to transport the fuel bowser around the base for refuelling the helicopter.

It will also aid the upkeep of the charity’s land, with a 1.5m cut Kubota FA 1500 finishing mower used to cut the large final approach and take-off (FATO) area and the option for a snow plough in wintry conditions. The tractor’s hydrostatic transmission makes for ease of operation, while its 1750kg rear linkage lift capacity can be matched to a wide range of implements.

Devizes-based Howard & Sons is a family company which has been involved in the agricultural industry for three generations.

The business sells farm machinery and tractors across the UK and exports worldwide. Howard & Sons have been preferred Kubota suppliers for the past three years.

Sales Manager Jason Howard said: “Wiltshire is an extremely rural area and we know the air ambulance is regularly called out to incidents on remote farm land and involving machinery.

“We wanted to play our small part and, having spoken to the staff at the airbase, it was felt this new Kubota tractor will be important for their work.”

Wiltshire Air Ambulance ground base manager Richard Miller said: “We can’t thank Howard & Sons enough for their support with the gifting of this tractor, as well as taking care of its servicing and insurance.

“It will be a huge help to our team as we look to carry out our lifesaving service up to 19 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

Each year it costs £4 million a year to keep the air ambulance flying and the charity receives no regular direct funding from the Government or National Lottery grants.

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Makita continues to provide the power

Makita continues to provide the power: As part of its new October product releases, leading power tool manufacturer, Makita UK has revealed a number of new 40VMax cordless machines that have been added to its exciting XGT range.

The new high-powered products provide a one-battery solution to handle the most demanding jobs and environments, without sacrificing run time.

40VMAX LS004G XGT MITRE SAW

Driven by a 40VMax brushless motor, this XGT 260mm Slide Compound Mitre Saw provides a no load speed of up to 3,600rpm for high power cutting that is comparable to corded machines.

Makita continues to provide the power

Makita continues to provide the power

The rail-forward design allows users to maximise workspace as the machine can be positioned next to a wall and its single sliding system enables smooth operation to produce superior cuts.  Its 48o bevel range and 60o mitre range are easily adjusted with quick lock and release, making it simple to achieve the cut required.

This impressive tool is also packed with safety features including Auto-Start Wireless System technology (AWS), enabling the machine to connect to compatible dust extractors via Bluetooth. When applied, the dust extractor is powered on and off while the saw is in use. An LED light improves task visibility, and for greater safety, an electric brake stops the blade in seconds.

80VMAX UR012GZ04 XGT BRUSH CUTTER

Delivering up to 6,400rpm and a maximum power output at 2.0kW, the powerful 80VMax (40Vx2) XGT Brushless Brush Cutter provides users with performance similar to a 40cc class engine grass trimmer, making this machine ideal for heavy duty applications.

Users can adjust speed according to the task with 3-stage control, and thanks to Makita’s innovative Automatic Torque Drive Technology (ADT), which adapts the cutting speed according to the load conditions, users can trust that the machine is always working at its optimum.

The UR012GZ04 also features Active Feedback Sensing Technology (AFT) that shuts down the tool if the rotation speed suddenly slows, protecting the user against kickback. And the useful reverse switch removes any material that gets stuck in the blade, reducing user downtime.

On the announcement, Kevin Brannigan, Marketing Manager at Makita UK said: “Our XGT platform was designed to provide professionals with even more power to meet high demand applications with ease. All of our XGT solutions are engineered with built-in programming, that provides digital communication between the battery and the tool, so that both work together for optimum performance and sustained power.

“We are pleased to expand the XGT range with our latest 40VMax and 80VMax equipment and tools, so that professionals can fully experience a truly cordless job site.”

To find out more about Makita and its wide range of products visit: www.makitauk.com.

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Facing the future

Facing the future: To say we live in challenging times is somewhat of an understatement. The impact is being felt everywhere and in so many directions. The Amenity Forum Conference & Exhibition has long been regarded as a must attend event for those involved in or with an interest in amenity management. This year its significance is even greater.

The event being held on 21st October at the Pirelli Stadium at Burton on Trent has a range of specialist speakers set to cover the key issues of the day including important policy updates and how they are to impact. There will also be leading practitioners giving their views and much more. The exhibition area also provides valuable networking opportunities.

Facing the future

Facing the future

John Moverley, Independent Chairman of the Forum said ‘’ throughout the years, the amenity sector has shown its ability to innovate and respond and I have no doubt that this will continue. What happens in amenity management impacts upon all of us every day, no more emphasised that in recent COVID times. Our conference this year is a major opportunity to update and should not be missed’’

To secure your place, contact Kate at Admin@amenityforum.net .  At a price of £95 per delegate, thanks to our supporters, it provides excellent value. The full programme can be found at https://amenityforum.co.uk/conference/the-amenity-forum-conference-2021/

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Ventrac package for the RAC

Ventrac package for the RAC: Iain Dye, the Courses Manager at The RAC in Woodcote Park, has taken delivery of a Ventrac 4500 with Contour deck and Tough Cut deck, to help maintain the two downland golf courses and surrounding estate.

Situated within the rolling Epsom Downs in Surrey, the Old Course, designed by the renowned William Herbert Fowler, was opened in 1915, while the Coronation Course was inaugurated in 1953, occupying the site of the club’s former New Course, which had been ploughed up during the Second World War.

Ventrac package for the RAC

Ventrac package for the RAC

Commenting recently Iain Dye said,

“I first saw the Ventrac during a demonstration at Tandridge Golf Club and although very impressed, we didn’t have the budget at the time to purchase it. However, the recent construction of our new reservoir prompted me to ask Rupert Price of Price Turfcare for demo here.

“It really comes into its own when mowing the steep sides of the retention walls. It would take a huge number of team hours to strim this area, so it’s saving a lot of time that can be used productively elsewhere on the courses.

“Apart from some utility vehicles we are a Toro fleet, but this Ventrac is unique and extremely versatile. We can use it for woodland management with the Tough Cut deck to get into the margins to clear brambles and brush. The health and safety aspect was an important factor in the purchase; nobody likes strimming at the best of times, but on steep slopes it’s a particularly onerous task. The Ventrac can operate on slopes of 30 degrees in complete safety; it seems to go anywhere!

“The Contour deck articulates well on uneven terrain, reducing scalping on high areas and we’ll be using it on our fairways during the winter to protect our fairway units from any worm casts. Also, it can go out in wet weather as the eight tyres produce only 6 psi, so it won’t mark the finer turf areas.

“We can now raise the presentation around the courses, maintaining steeper banks which we were unable to manage previously. These areas can be mown regularly and therefore become even more manageable over time.”

During the summer months Iain has a team of 27 including two Deputy Course Managers; Gary Stewart is responsible for the Old Course and Simon Glover for the Coronation Course. He also has two full-time mechanics and a mechanic/greenkeeper, who all ensure that the machinery works well at all times. He joined the RAC in June 2020 from Tandridge Golf Club, where he spent 14 years, initially as Deputy Course Manager before being promoted to Course Manager in 2013. After studying at Elmwood College, he joined the greenkeeping team on the Jubilee Course at St. Andrews in 1997 and worked on the Old Course from 2001, before moving from Scotland to take the job at Tandridge.

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Coombe Wood GC the ‘best in decades’

Coombe Wood GC the ‘best in decades’: Coombe Wood Golf Club in Kingston Upon Thames is reaping the benefits of a tailored turf management programme from ICL and a dedicated greenkeeping team – according to Course Manager Laurence Fennemore.

“I knew the course needed a lot of work when I joined, but I saw it as an opportunity,” said Laurence. “It was a chance to test myself and put my name on the map. It helps having a great team around me too.”

Coombe Wood GC the ‘best in decades’

Coombe Wood GC the ‘best in decades’

Laurence always wanted to be a Greenkeeper – ever since embarking on work experience at a local golf club at the age of 15. He has been an apprentice, a deputy and now he finds himself in the top seat at Coombe Wood Golf Club – which he admitted is not without its challenges.

“It is like managing two different courses,” he said. The top half of the course consists of 10 very gravelly holes and the lower half, holes 11-18, is on clay which hold a lot of water. As soon as I came here in 2019, we had a very wet winter, and the lower half of the course wasn’t open at all.

“I found that the grass had died off on the fairways and had been overrun with weeds and there was quite a lot of disease on the greens.”

Laurence explained it was at this point that he got in touch with ICL.

“My old Course Manager worked with an ICL turf management programme, and I saw the successful results from that first hand. With this in mind I got in contact with ICL to see how they could help me out.”

Matt Nutter, ICL Technical Area Sales Manager, worked with Laurence to put a specific programme together for a full season that was within his budget. “We needed to focus on the greens and fairways and take into consideration that it is a very wet site, without any irrigation,” said Matt. “The aim was to apply some controlled release granular fertilisers as base feeds; get some good growth and give the golfers a course that they could use.”

Starting with the greens, the programme first saw Laurence apply Greenmaster Pro-Lite Turf Tonic 8-0-0 – a micro-granular fertiliser before going onto a fortnightly tank-mix consisting of Greenmaster Liquid CalMag, Vitalnova Stressbuster, Primo Maxx II plant growth regulator and Syngenta’s Ryder turf pigment. As part of the programme, Laurence also relies on monthly applications of Vitalnova SeaMax liquid seaweed extract and H2Pro TriSmart wetting agent.

“The greens have seen a big improvement and there is a lot more grass coverage,” said Laurence. “Primo Maxx II is controlling the growth and we are not taking large amounts of clippings off every time we cut; we have a nice tighter sward, and Ryder has really helped visually – it gives the turf a fantastic green colour.”

Matt was in agreement and added that he feels that the tank-mix has been integral to the results on the greens: “This mix is so consistent,” he said. “You don’t get a massive flush of growth and you don’t see the colour dipping off – you get the full 14 days out of it until it is ready for the next application.”

When it came to the fairways, Laurence applies Sportsmaster CRF Mini fertiliser and monthly applications of H2Pro AquaSmart wetting agent.

“The plan was to get moisture in the ground and to make the most of the wet in the spring,” he said. “AquaSmart at 10L/ha every four weeks from March until June really helped to keep enough water in the ground when the dry spells came in August and September. As a result, we didn’t lose any grass coverage.”

Without any irrigation, Laurence was forced to apply AquaSmart when it rained and that meant that he had to be flexible.

Coombe Wood GC the ‘best in decades’

Coombe Wood GC the ‘best in decades’

“We had the plans and everything in place but if it didn’t rain on the day I wanted to apply AquaSmart, then I needed to apply it as close to that day, within the four week window, as possible. This often meant coming in on my days off, but it was worth it because we have a nice even growth now and the moisture meter readings are proving that we have a high percentage of water being retained in the fairways.”

Buoyed by the successful results, Matt is now devising a new programme with some additions and tweaks. In the meantime, Laurence is not the only one to be impressed at Coombe Wood.

“The members are very happy with many commenting that it is the best it has been in decades,” said Laurence. “It is reassuring to have ICL and Matt on-board – I am always asking for suggestions and he is happy to talk it through and give me his opinion.

“It’s great to be able to bounce ideas off one another and the fact that I can have a tailored maintenance programme to suit my budget is invaluable.

“I would also like to add that my team have worked incredibly hard to turn the course around. Some of their practices have really maximised the results of the ICL programme.”

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

For more news and insightful views, you can follow ICL on Twitter @ICL_Turf

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Baroness makes the cut

Baroness makes the cut: Cowglen Golf Club, based just outside of Glasgow, run a fleet of Baroness Machines to help keep their greens in perfect condition for their customers.

Their fleet includes the LM2400 Fairway Mower, the LM315 Greens Triple Mower, the LM66 Pedestrian Tees Mower and the LM56 Pedestrian Greens Mower.

Baroness makes the cut

Baroness makes the cut

Local dealer, the Hamilton Ross Group, speak to Course Manager, Michael Slack, to find out how the Baroness Machinery makes the cut for Cowglen!

Can you tell me a bit about what you use your Baroness machines for?

“We use the LM 66 Pedestrian Tees Machines for cutting tees three times a week.

We use the 56 for mowing greens three times a week, the LM315 for mowing greens three to four times a week and the LM2400 for mowing fairways two to three times a week.”

How has the machinery helped with your day to day tasks?

“The quality of cut saves time and offers golfers a better experience by presenting nice greens.”

What made you choose Baroness?

“I have a good relationship with Paul, and he introduced me to Baroness. I liked the machinery, and it gave a really high quality cut. The price and availability played a factor as well and the machines are all user friendly and easy to operate.”

What kind of finish do you get with the Baroness Machinery?

“A lovely finish on our tees and fairways.”

How did you first become aware of the Hamilton Ross Group?

“I have been dealing with Paul for 14 years as we inherited a fleet of machines from Hamilton Brothers.”

How has the sales and service support been?

“Really good, Paul has always been there to help straight away when we need him, and the response time is speedy.

Overall, Paul makes us feel like an important customer, which is great.”

We wish the team at Cowglen all the best with their Baroness Fleet!

Looking to find out more about the range? Get in touch with the Bishopton depot today on 01505 862010.

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phs Greenleaf sweeps the board

phs Greenleaf sweeps the board: phs Greenleaf has won five industry-leading awards, including a special ‘Good Will Leaf Award’ for its unique rainbow Christmas tree which was created during the pandemic to bring hope and raise money for a mental health charity.

The Plants at Work Awards, run by the association representing interior landscapers, also awarded phs Greenleaf with gold awards for its maintenance work at the Trafford Centre in Manchester and its Christmas designs at Studley Castle Hotel in Warwickshire. It awarded silver awards for its design and installation work at Barton Square in Manchester and its contract work with Sodexo across the UK.

phs Greenleaf sweeps the board

phs Greenleaf sweeps the board

The coveted Good Will Leaf 2020 award was presented to companies whose work had a positive impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ahead of Christmas 2020, despite a difficult trading time, phs Greenleaf tasked its staff with designing a Christmas tree that could act as a symbol of hope during the lockdown festive season. The Rainbow Tree was created from the winning design and was quickly commissioned by Nationwide Building Society, which put one in each of its offices across the UK, raising over £1000 for MIND in the process.

phs Greenleaf was also awarded gold in the Christmas category for its elaborate festive designs at Studley Castle Hotel in Warwickshire. The Greenleaf team created over 20 different exterior and interior Christmas trees, as well as countless Christmas displays, each designed to match the existing themes of the hotel’s rooms.

They ranged from traditional red and golds, to an Alice in Wonderland theme and even a pink feather tree for the hotel’s unique flamingo-themed room. The trees, which ranged from 20ft to 7ft and were both live and artificial, were carefully sourced, designed and decorated by phs Greenleaf’s dedicated Christmas designers and operators, who curated items from around the world to ensure guests experienced that special ‘wow’ factor from every room.

The third gold award was for maintenance services at the Trafford Centre in Manchester where the team care for over 250 different plants and trees over 207,000 square feet in one of the UK’s busiest shopping centres.

Emily Vernon, Managing Director at phs Greenleaf, said: “We are incredibly proud of our team. They work very hard to provide our customers with the best possible designs, installs and servicing and it’s wonderful to see that recognised with these fantastic award wins. 2020 was a difficult year for everyone so it’s great to see the positives being celebrated.”

phs Greenleaf took silver awards in the design and installation category for its work with Sodexo, planting in three large government buildings in difficult circumstances, and for its work at Barton Square, an extension to the Trafford Centre, ensuring the design carefully matched and complimented the original shopping centre, including 36 large interior palm trees.

phs Greenleaf has been providing planting and landscaping services to businesses for over 25 years, including indoor and outdoor plants, artificial and live planting, living walls, grounds maintenance and Christmas trees and decorations.

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Future proof the UK’s green spaces

Future proof the UK’s green spaces: There is an urgent need to recruit young volunteers to care for and maintain UK parks if they are to meet the needs of current and future generations, according to Future Proof Parks – a partnership between Groundwork, Fields in Trust and National Youth Agency.

They say it is vital that we act now to recruit the next generation of volunteers, representative of the communities that enjoy and benefit from the UK’s parks and green spaces. A new series of free How-To guides have been published supporting friends of parks groups to recruit more young volunteers.

Future proof the UK’s green spaces

Future proof the UK’s green spaces

Our parks are amazing places. Across the country, volunteers work tirelessly to care for and protect their local green spaces, improving our towns and cities. They have been crucial as places to exercise, meet friends and relax during the Coronavirus pandemic. As council funding becomes further stretched, more work maintaining and improving our precious parks is being picked-up by friends of parks groups. However, these volunteers are not always representative of the whole local community that use the park – and they could benefit from a wider range of volunteers to support their growing workload.

Future Proof Parks is a National Lottery Heritage Fund programme – part of the £10m ‘Kick the Dust’ initiative –which aims to get more young people involved in preserving their local park and green space heritage. Throughout the programme young people have learned about their local historic parks and have been encouraged to join their local ‘friends of’ groups, volunteering to preserve the local spaces that matter to the communities they live in.

The project is also working with friends’ groups to give them the tools, encouragement, and support to get more local young people involved in their work and benefit from cross-generational working. To support volunteers inexperienced at involving young people, a series of How-To guides has been published introducing Friends of Parks working with young people in green spaces. The in-depth How-To-Guides which look at key areas including Recruiting young volunteers, safeguarding young people and how to fundraise with young people.

Fields in Trust Chief Executive Helen Griffiths said: “We are all thankful to the volunteers who helped maintain our parks throughout lockdown and now, coming out of the pandemic, we can all play our part to make sure local green spaces will remain a healthy part of the local environment contributing to our wellbeing, our community connections and mitigating the impact of climate change. Local parks have been vital over the last year, we must make sure they will always be there for the whole community and for future generations – helping to restore the natural world and providing safe places to meet friends and neighbours. To make that happen we have to ensure the next generation of volunteers are included and empowered to get involved now and become future leaders”

The wellbeing value associated with frequent use of parks and green spaces is worth £34.2 billion per year to the UK adult population and is estimated to save the NHS around £111 million per year through a reduction in GP visits. Parks are one of the most universal of our public services used by all members of our communities and multiple generations – so it is important that they deliver something for all the groups that use them.

Earlier this year, a report published by Groundwork drawing on contributions from 23 organisations recognising the need to reimagine parks for the 21st century, found major inequalities in people’s ability to access parks and other open spaces.

The ‘Out of Bounds’ report demonstrated the extent to which certain groups are not getting the benefit of regularly accessing ‘urban nature’ – citing evidence that girls and young women feel unsafe in public spaces, some disabled people feel uncomfortable in parks and young people from minority ethnic backgrounds have fewer opportunities to connect with green spaces.

The How-To Guides are available for free download www.fieldsintrust.org/future-proof-parks

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Dunblane New replaces the old

Dunblane New replaces the old: Dunblane New Golf Club’s course is located in the centre of the cathedral city of Dunblane in one of the most picturesque areas of Perthshire. The course’s elevated position provides beautiful panoramic views over the Forth Valley, the Campsie Fells and beyond, including Stirling Castle, the Southern Highlands and the peaks of Ben Lomond and Ben Ledi.

The ‘New’ name came about because until 1922 golf was played on a small nine-hole course adjoining the River Allan on what is now a public park. History states that play started on the new course in April 1923, after a horse, cart and harness with a roller box and two mowers were bought and Mr J C Ross was appointed as greenkeeper at £3 10s a week.

Dunblane New replaces the old

Dunblane New replaces the old

Almost 100 years on, course manager Wes Saunders has taken delivery of 11 new machines from local dealer Double A, the club’s first John Deere fleet deal, as part of an ongoing landscaping and maintenance programme designed to continue the enduring quality and appeal of the course to members and visitors.

The latest fleet comprises two 2750E triplex and three 220E walk-behind hybrid electric greens mowers, two 7700A PrecisionCut fairway mowers, 9009A and 7400A utility TerrainCut rotary mowers, plus a Tru-Turf RB70 greens roller and a Campey Turf Care Air2g2 air injection machine.

These were bought using a tailored John Deere Financial agreement with six-year PowerGard Protection plans for full maintenance and servicing, allowing the club to have a fixed machinery budget with no extra costs. This is the first part of a replacement programme that Wes and Double A’s golf key accounts manager John Bateson are working through together, with tractors and utility vehicles being looked at this year to complete the fleet.

Originally hailing from Sydney, Australia where he did his greenkeeping apprenticeship at Elanora Country Club north of the city, Wes Saunders has 27 years’ experience working on golf courses across the world. After leaving his home country, he spent several years in the US and Canada before joining Dunblane New Golf Club six years ago as course manager.

“I first put a proposal to the club two years ago to update the equipment fleet, but the timing wasn’t quite right for the finance so the idea was postponed for a year,” says Wes. “The board then agreed what we could spend on a monthly basis and we held a competitive tender with the main manufacturers, bringing in various machines for demonstrations and assessment by the greenkeeping team.

“We made the decision based on whether the kit was fit for purpose, our likes and dislikes, serviceability and previous history with the suppliers. We chose John Deere, not just on price – although that was a prime consideration – but also on the key aspects of quality and reliability of the equipment and, most importantly, the strong relationship with the Double A dealership and their parts and service backup. The terms from John Deere Financial were also very flexible, which enabled us to get what we needed to meet the club’s budget.

“All the machines were in place by the end of April this year, and everything’s working out a treat now. We use the 2750E hybrid electric triplex mowers to cut the greens for most of the year, and the 220E walk-behinds for special tournaments when we need a little more refinement in the finish, then these are used on the greens throughout the winter.

“The new A Model mower technology is also proving particularly useful – even though we’re still experimenting a little with its capabilities, the use of the programmable TechControl system to achieve the desired results consistently across the course is proving to be a game-changer.

“Overall I am very pleased with the performance of the new machines. We have quickly seen improvements to the course as well as labour savings with the extra control provided by the new mowers’ advanced technology features.”

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