Etesia’s Pro 46 – the professional’s choice

The upkeep of domestic and amenity turf is a huge source of business for Surrey based contractor Bates Garden maintenance. Reliability of mowing equipment is essential for this work. The contractor, who works across Woking, Guildford and the rest of the Surrey area has the Etesia Pro 46 to handle part of the weekly cutting routine.

Professional end users looking for a rugged pedestrian mower designed to withstand the rigours of commercial use, need look no further than Etesia’s range of pedestrian mowers. Terry Bates, MD of the contracting company explains: “We mainly use the Pro 46 on domestic and commercial jobs where there are groups of  lawns that are on different levels, terraced, up steps or on slopes of which there are a few we maintain. We always use the pro 46 when we have laid a new lawn and it’s time for the first cut because it is light enough to not ‘pull’ any joints apart and always gives a sharp looking cut”.

Pro 46 rotaries are lightweight and easy to transport, making them ideal for use with mobile grass cutting teams. Handlebars adjust for operator comfort and fold for storage and transportation. The cutting height adjustment on each wheel provides a range of settings to suit most applications.

“We use the mower every week to maintain the gardens on a private residential road one day a week. All the rear gardens are terraced into a hill with lawns level with the roofs of the houses which is hard work but the pro 46 has helped massively.

“The pro 46 is well built, solid and reliable. We do own other mowers that fit that description but none we enjoy using as much”.

The single blade Etesia Pro 46 has a 5hp 160cc Honda petrol engine. Cutting width is 46cm, the detachable grass box with ‘full’ indicator has a capacity of 52 litres, and overall weight is just 37kg. Low vibration and noise levels meet all EU legislation and individual wheel height can be adjusted from 25mm to 88mm. There are six models in the range, with options including a mulching facility.

First round of ‘Green Technology’ road shows a success

The Etesia UK ‘Green Technology’ roadshow has reached its first pit-stop, bringing the turf maintenance machinery manufacturer’s spring tour of the country to a successful conclusion.

The recent roadshows held at Merrist Wood College, Guildford and Edge Hill University, Lancashire in late March sandwiched an invitation to speak about environmentally-friendly grounds maintenance equipment at the Plant Network Conference held at the University of York.

Organised in conjunction with their UK dealers, the events were a hands-on, arrive and drive event for all existing and prospective Etesia and Pellenc customers to find out more about the new range of environmentally friendly grounds maintenance equipment and gain valuable advice from the Etesia and Pellenc expert’s on-hand.

“The first series of roadshows was a great success,” says Etesia UK’s General Manager, Les Malin. “We were pleased to show off our latest launches which were the ETMower range of robotic mowers and the electric Bahia M2E, which were both well received by everyone in attendance. There also seemed to be a real buzz around our range of Pellenc battery-powered equipment and we’ve since received several orders”.

The attendees commented that the days had been very informative and that they would be taking many of the ideas back to their respective organisations.

There will be further opportunities to take part in a roadshow near you later this year, with details to be released soon.

Etesia appoints new dealer for Yorkshire

Etesia UK is excited to announce the appointment of Golf and Turf Machinery Ltd (GTM), based in Wakefield, Yorkshire, as their new dealer for the full range of Etesia and Pellenc grounds care equipment, covering the whole of the Yorkshire area.

Etesia Northern Sales Manager, Andrew Roberts, has been working hard over the last few months in recruiting new Etesia & Pellenc dealers and has seen a significant rise in the number of new dealer appointments in his region.

Strategically placed in Wakefield with Depots also in Derbyshire and Tuxford, GTM has a turnover of £5million + in groundscare sales alone. A dedicated showroom with 20 staff in the groundcare division ensure sales, spare parts and hire of specialist grounds care machinery to professional users throughout Yorkshire.

“We had gap in our current product range, so we decided to test both Etesia & Pellenc products extensively before committing to becoming a dealer,” said Glen Saywer, GTM Sales Manager. “We also spoke to customers to get their feedback, before travelling down to Shenington where we were suitably impressed with the Etesia staff’s knowledge and professionalism. I knew Andrew from his previous job and knew we could work with together and trust him.

“We like to think that we are a forward thinking dealer and always looking for new & exciting products on the market which make our customers lives easier. We are always looking at products life-time costs, fuel costs, noise and vibration levels, which are values we also share with Etesia and Pellenc. Both sets of products open new doors for new and existing customers which is also important in the current economic situation”.

The hunt is on!

In 1990, the Etesia Hydro 100 was the worlds very first direct collect ride-on mower. It went on to set the bench mark, not only for the French manufacturer’s subsequent machines, but for the industry as a whole.

Professional end users who were looking for a ride-on mower designed to withstand the rigours of commercial use purchased the Hydro 100 in their droves, ensuring that it became one of the company’s best sellers. Etesia UK are aware that there are some of the original machines still in use today.

The Etesia UK team and their network of dealers are scouring the country to find the oldest working Hydro 100. The ‘winner’ will receive a brand new, state-of-the-art Hydro 100 MVEHH Evolution replacement.

The new Hydro 100 Evolution has a unique concept that cuts and collects grass in all weathers, even the pouring rain. Top quality manufacturing allows mowing, season after season, ensuring that this machine out-performs all other ride-on mowers in its class. A more powerful engine, large capacity 500-litre grass collector which is emptied without leaving the driving seat and more operator comfort sees the Hydro 100 Evolution really setting the standard for all ride-on mowers.

“This competition will make users look at and appreciate their Etesia mowers even more than they do already”, said Les Malin, Etesia UK’s General Manager. “When our customers see how long they have lasted, they will realise the build quality. We always suggest customers examine entire life-time costs and not just the new price when looking at any product”.

For full terms and conditions or to enter the competition, visit www.etesia.co.uk/oldfornew

A prune with a view

A National Trust property in Devon keeps tree and hedge cover in check, quietly and without fumes.

Situated on a ridge above the Plym estuary on the outskirts of Plymouth, the much visited landscaped garden at 18th Century Saltram House is very much exposed to south coast winds. Head gardener at the National Trust property Penny Hammond has the constant task of maintaining screening, yet preserving the delightful views across the Devon countryside. She’s now found a way of achieving this that’s easier and less obtrusive to visitors.

Holm Oaks (also known as Holly Oaks) provide evergreen protection for the garden areas around the House, but the lower branches have to be kept in check to allow visitors to see the surrounding landscape. Previously this was a job done by 2-stroke petrol saws and because of the noise and fumes, the work had to be carried out before 11.00am when Saltram House welcomes its first visitors each day. Since April this year things have changed with the use of battery-powered tree and shrub equipment.

“We’d had Pellenc equipment on trial from Exeter dealer Radmore and Tucker and, because of the way they performed for us, decided we had to add them to our armoury permanently,” said Penny Hammond,”

“I have to make a case for a fixed asset purchase like this, but it wasn’t difficult since it fits neatly into the greener technology policy the National Trust is adopting these days. It means we don’t have to call on contractors for cutting jobs anywhere near as much as we used to.

“The Holly Oaks are pretty tough to prune, but with the Selion pole saw it’s like slicing through butter with a hot knife. We like very much that it can easily be extended and best of all its quiet and there are no fumes. We now do the job more quickly and at any time because there’s no hindrance to visitors. It’s very much opened things up for us in terms of work planning.”

A 300-metre stretch of beech hedge planted six years ago for screening part of the garden area also has to be kept trimmed and a Pellenc Helion hedge trimmer was bought at the same time for this and other hedging work, as was a Pellenc Excelion brushcutter for general ground clearance work. Each of the new machines runs off a single lithium-ion powered battery unit that fits comfortably around the user’s shoulders.

Penny Hammond has three full-time staff in her department and upwards of ten regular volunteers. She says that a real bonus is that the new tree and hedge trimmers are used with ease by everyone involved in the garden work at Saltram.

“In the past there used to be many more gardeners doing the work here, but now equipment plays a much bigger role, so it’s important that what we use earns its keep. These new machines certainly do that. They are a dream to use.”

Town’s green amenities move forward with battery power

The cathedral town of Guildford in Surrey is very mindful of its appearance and well recognised for it, having collected an array of Britain in Bloom and Chelsea Flower Show awards over the years.

It is the latest municipal authority to introduce Pellenc battery-powered hand equipment into the upkeep of its amenity and leisure facilities. The parks department of Guildford Borough Council, which is responsible for all of town’s amenity grass and flora as well as having a contract with Surrey County Council for highways work, purchased a number of Pellenc products from their local dealer Richmonds Grounds Care of Haslemere.

According to the department’s Operational Supervisor, Arthur Kinge, the decision to add this alternative to petrol-powered machines to what is available to its 38 full-time staff was part environmental, part economic. Two of Pellenc’s Airion vacuum blowers, Helion hedgecutter and two pole saws have been in regular use for a wide range of duties in the town for a year now and been well received by operators and the public. The idea is they are very much a multi-use resource and not just for specific tasks.

“We always try to be progressive,” he said. “I first saw Pellenc equipment at SALTEX a couple of years ago and was impressed. Our policy is always to keep trialling new equipment to see if we can do things more efficiently and to find new solutions to problems. It’s part of a conscious effort by the Council to make better business sense of equipment resources rather than cutting back on machines, manpower or jobs. These machines are lighter and cost less to run than their petrol equivalents, but we have a lot of petrol machinery here that functions well, so changing over completely to battery power will be a gradual process dictated by feedback and budgets.

“Hand-arm vibration is one of the biggest issues we have when sourcing equipment. Keeping to within a tally of 400 points per user per machine makes achieving optimum efficiency a constant challenge. The Pellenc equipment is well suited to offering a full day of safe and comfortable usage.

“We always have to be especially mindful of noise levels, especially for work near schools and residential areas. The battery-powered blowers and hedge trimmers have extremely low levels and do efficient jobs much more quietly than petrol machines.”

Within the remit of the Parks and Countryside Service is the 52-hectare Stoke Park and Gardens, now in its fifth year of Green Flag status. This multi-purpose facility dates back to the 18th century and plays host to the Surrey County Show and Guilfest three day music festival.

Etesia announces ‘Green Technology’ Road Show

Etesia UK will shortly be hitting the road, after announcing the dates of their first road show since 2006, with an emphasis on all things green. The 2012 Green Technology Show series kicks off on Tuesday 27th March at Merrist Wood College, Guildford.

Planned as a hands-on, arrive and drive event for all new and existing Etesia and Pellenc customers, the road show will then move on to Edge Hill University, Lancashire on Thursday 29th March, with further dates to be arranged for later in the year.

“Previous road shows we’ve held have been highly successful and extremely well attended,” said Les Malin, Etesia UK’s General Manager. “Commercial users take advantage of the opportunity to try the machines for themselves and gain first-hand knowledge of our full range of products. They will be able to gain advice from our staff and, if required, arrange follow-up demonstrations.”

Open to all, the events, which run from 10am to 3pm, will include the full range of Pellenc environmentally friendly lithium-ion battery powered tools along with Etesia’s electric Bahia M2E, which was first seen at SALTEX last year, the range of robot ETMowers and the 124 Bio Diesel ride-on mowers.

At each event, visitors will be able to take advantage of an on-the-day special offer, which will see them receive a free Pellenc tool. Further incentives and prize draws will also take place. Refreshments and lunch will also be available to all.

In addition to the two road show dates, the company has also confirmed their presence at the Plant Network Conference on Wednesday 28th March at the University of York.

This timely conference will explore horticultural practices in relation to economic, social and environmental challenges that face public gardens and parks today.

Attendance to either of the road show events is free by pre-registration only. Anyone keen to come along should contact their local dealer to book a place, or alternatively, you can register your interest by email. Include your name, company/organisation, which road show you would like to attend, and the number of customers you will be attending with.

Capital Cutting

Launched four years ago Hackney Homes which works in partnership with the London Borough of Hackney Council is responsible for managing council homes in Hackney. A major part of the not-for-profit organisation’s work is to keep the amenity grass in the borough’s 266 estates in top order. Last year, the decision was taken to switch from mulch mowing to cut and collect in an effort to further improve its grounds care service and to upgrade its Audit Commission accreditation from 2-Star to 3-Star, which is potentially a route to higher Government funding.

The organisation bought nine Etesia ride-on mowers – two Hydro 124DN models and seven BLHP’s – from their dealer P. Tuckwell’s of Colchester and the machines are now in full swing across the borough. Here, each of the two models trims the grass at a housing estate in Shoreditch, just a mile from London’s Liverpool Street station. This site, like all the other Hackney estates gets its grass cut once every ten days by the Hackney homes grounds care team.

“There were requests from residents as it is a cleaner and tidy system, so we needed mowers that picked up the grass,” explained Balavant Barber of Hackney Homes, the non-profit organisation, which works in partnership with the London Borough of Hackney.

“The grass we maintain is definitely looking better already.  The job may be taking a little longer because of the collection of clippings, which we deposit at a recycling depot, but because there is no cutting debris it is better for residents and more satisfying for the grounds care team.”

One of the Etesia mowers’ safety facilities – which influenced their purchase – is the protection of the twin blades by two shear bolts. This helps avoid major damage if there is hidden object impact.    

The two larger 25 horsepower 124D machines with the facility for front fitting of hydraulically controlled attachments have multi-purpose adaptability. Leaf clearing in autumn and snow clearing in winter are also on Hackney Homes job sheet, so this added to the mower’s appeal.

The Hydro 100D features a tight 1.1 metre radius turning circle, which Hackney Homes operatives find useful for work on the more restricted sites and for negotiating municipal fixtures like lamp posts. There is no rear axle, so the way is clear for ejection of cuttings.

Both of the new mower models now in use across Hackney have 600 litre grass boxes, which take a lot of filling. They each feature hydraulic lift emptying up to a maximum height of 1.80 metres.

Quietly getting on with things

Charles Rodriguez established Garden Thyme Limited, a grounds maintenance business, to service the Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire, Middlesex and South West London areas twenty years ago. Initially contracts were confined simply to grass cutting and maintenance on the many housing estates that were springing up in the South of England.

Council housing’s grassy surrounds provide a major source of business and as a result Garden Thyme’s involvement in keeping estates green amenities ship-shape has continued to grow. Grounds maintenance remains the core of the business, but in general the associated disciplines include; arboriculture, park patrol, sports field management and planting and designing new borders.

Charles says that there has always been a pride in minimising the intrusive side of the work that they do: “Most of the sites where we work are sensitive in one way or another. As we work in predominantly residential areas, the sound of petrol machines is not necessarily welcome”.

For weeks on end Charles and his team have the daily task of seeing that not only are the residential areas as leaf and litter-free as possible, but that the surrounds of the play areas are safe from fallen leaf hazards and always look in tip-top order.

Charles’ dilemma had always been keeping a balance between controlling debris accumulation and minimising disruptive noise, so much of the work was previously done by hand. When a petrol blower could be used, the operatives needed air defenders, and so residents did not welcome leaf blowing.

Around three years ago he first saw Pellenc lithium-battery equipment at IOG SALTEX and bought his first piece of equipment – two Helion hedgecutters along with battery pack from his machinery dealer, Richmonds Groundcare of Esher. After the launch of the Airion blower last year, Charles thought this could be the answer his problems.

Weighing only 2.6 kg and with a noise level of just 80 db, it is the lightest and quietest professional blower on the market and can be used near sensitive areas such as hospitals and schools. It is very comfortable to hold owing to the soft touch new generation handgrip and is optimally balanced for natural tilting towards the ground.

The Airion has 4 speeds which easily enable the operator to effortlessly optimise and adjust the speed of the air expelled according to its working environment and the site to be cleaned. Keeping the speed selector button pressed instantly selects the booster mode, giving a maximum power of 750 Watts. This function is especially useful for picking up wet vegetation or heavy waste matter.

“At first, one of the residents at one of our sites thought that the blower was actually broken because it was so quiet!  We can now start work on site earlier which also enables us to get on with other tasks.

“All of the operatives like using the equipment because they are light, quiet and are very low vibration compared to the petrol equivalents. Because the machines are battery powered, we know that they will ‘start’ first time, every time with no risk of the plugs fouling or the pull-start breaking.

“The other advantage is that we no longer have to mix 2-stroke fuel and carry petrol cans with us. The reduction in fuel expenditure is a big factor for us. In a single year we must have saved hundreds of pounds”.

Let it snow. Marwell is ready for it.

One of the South of England’s major year-round attractions, Marwell Wildlife in Hampshire, is poised ready to deal with a repeat of last year’s record breaking winter. The 140-acre site, which is home to more than 180 different species and acclaimed for its conservation work, welcomes nearly half a million visitors each year. It managed to stay operational throughout weeks of snow and ice 12 months ago thanks very largely to the acquisition of a snow blade attachment to one of its mowers.

Lance Ingram, Head of Grounds and Plants for the charity, says M & S Turf Maintenance Machinery of Southampton supplied them with a snow blade to fit its Etesia 124D ride-on mower at very short notice when the weather took a hold last year.

“It did a really good job – absolutely brilliant,” said Lance, whose department looks after Marwell’s Landscape and Grounds maintenance.

“We were able to keep much of our pedestrian areas and car parks pretty clear. Visitors were able to get around the park safely, even when the snow was at its worst. Visitor income is vital to Marwell’s conservation work both here in the UK and abroad, so we wanted to be absolutely ready for any sudden cold snap by fitting our Etesia snow blade ahead of the busy school holiday period. We do now have another larger vehicle -mounted snow plough, but the Etesia is one that is so useful in clearing the tighter areas close to visitor facilities.  

Marwell has two Etesia 124D mowers and they are on duty around the calendar – snow or no snow – fine cutting lawns and amenity grass areas. One of the mowers is also appropriately fitted with an all-weather cab. Lance says that grass cutting at Marwell is carried out either before opening at 10.00am. His team of seven ground persons work in close collaboration with the keepers to ensure the maximum welfare of the 1200 plus animals.

Lance, who has been at Marwell for five years, says he is looking to add at some point in the future of other Etesia attachments and was particularly impressed by the scarifying heads he saw demonstrated at SALTEX in September last year.