Posts tagged: turf works

ATT FOR TGG

By , April 21, 2010 3:09 pm

The Grass Group has picked up the sole UK sales for Advanced Turf Technology’s TMSystem®.

The TMSystem® is the only complete modular fine turf management tool in the world today.  With eight individual cassettes, it is fully interchangeable between all main stream makes of triplex greens mowers and light weight fairway mowers.

 

John Coleman of ATT, in announcing the tie-up, said “I’m very pleased the product line has gone to Tim Merrell and his Grass Group.  We had discussions at BTME and I was impressed with his understanding of the market and his approach to business.”  Tim was equally as happy by saying, “The TMSystem® is a unique and an extremely well made UK product.”

The TMSystem® was previously sold in the UK under the TurfWorks® banner, with several systems in use across a number of Golf courses.  The Grass Group will also be the contact for spare parts and additional cassettes for those TurfWorks® badged units.

Voulez Vous Rota Dairon? Yes, says The Grass Group

By , March 29, 2010 3:49 pm

The Grass Group have been appointed by the French company RotaDairon as its sole UK importer.

The company’s portfolio encompasses soil renovators and stone buriers to prepare the ideal seed bed and create a fine soil surface.  Extra material, such as compost, fertiliser, sand, or fibres can be blended in, and seeding can also be accomplished with the addition of a seed box to the machine.  The rolling capacity completes the ‘one pass’ capability.

 RotaDairons’ turf seeding and turf care machines are the most comprehensive seeding and grass renovation products on the market – for not only primary seeding (construction), but also over-seeding, slit seeding, scarifying and de-thatching.  Versions are available as pushed or pulled handy seeders, as well as self-propelled seeders or 3 point hitch seeders for tractors.  Drop seeding is catered for in compact forms, and for wider applications a pneumatic air seeder completes the line up. 

 Tim Merrell, The Grass Group’s MD, is particularly pleased with the appointment as he started his career in France, “My early days as an Agronomist were spent on a farm in France where I first came across RotaDairon.  Their range of products fit very nicely within our existing portfolio and helps us to put together a complete range of equipments for the Turf Care professional.”

 RotaDairon’s products find applications in almost every turf care situation, including local authorities, landscapers, turf producers, sports grounds, golf courses and research centres.

Would you buy a seeder from Tesco?

By , March 29, 2010 3:42 pm

The Grass Group’s MD, Tim Merrell, considers how this might become a reality.

The ground care industry has a diverse range of equipment, from a diverse range of companies, manufactured in many countries.  Purchasers have been able to avail themselves of many different techniques to carry out specific tasks.  This is because of the innovations brought about by an entrepreneurial spirit that seems to have been prevalent in our industry.  But this could all change if the large multinationals continue to swallow up these unique products in the name of ‘a complete portfolio’.

 

The demands of our playing surfaces have changed over the years.  To keep pace with this change Groundsmen and Greenkeepers have been able to work with innovators bringing new ideas to market.  New ideas that would mean low volumes of machines until the product was established.  Volumes that would be too small for the multinational, but not for the specialist.  In this case developments are end user driven, using their experience to direct the manufacturer to make any necessary modifications to the product to ensure it does the job the Grounds Professional wants.  Even if the need is not universal, there is flexibility to “tailor make” machines to meet unique situations or conditions.  These types of manufacturers are extremely adaptable, especially able to respond quickly because there is no long chain of management to overcome, and no over inflated profit targets to reach.

 For example, The Grass Group handles the Progressive range of trailed mowers from Canada.  The range was more suited to the large landscapes found there, but for us in the UK Councils have to deal with smaller roads to transport on.  Then of course there are obstacles almost everywhere – ruts in the roads and speed humps which meant the TDR15 mower would transport better if it could be modified.  Progressive are small and adaptable enough for us to work with to affect a number of modifications to help make the product more acceptable for our UK customers.  The wheel and hub sizes were increased to cope with the road undulations; the back deck was raised to reduce the towed length; transport brackets were modified to assist with stability during transportation and the whole unit fitted with mud guards and lights, mandatory in the UK.  These were just logistical improvements, but we were able to go further with Progressive in order to suit the product better for local authorities.  For this type of use local authorities would already have a tractor in place to carry out the operation, but it would be of a high horse power size in excess of that required for the TDR15.  The fitting of a dog tooth clutch solved that problem and didn’t hinder operation of the unit with lower horse power tractors that might be found on Golf Courses.  Being able to work so closely with the manufacturer has enabled a new model to be introduced more suitable for use with lower horse power tractors.  All the above modifications have been incorporated in the new TDR12 model that sees a respectable width machine (12’) without the need for collapsible wings and an associated large horse power tractor being needed to raise and lower them.

 What we’ve seen over the past few years is not wholesale company takeovers as much as we’ve seen ‘cherry picking’.  A single product family is extracted from its mother and found a new home.  But not all the family members curry favour with the new parent, so those with not a sufficiently large enough volume are cast adrift.  This ‘cherry picking’ creates several effects.  Firstly it creates confusion in the market place with previous dealers being abandoned, sometimes overnight, and the new owners’ corporate machine taking over.  In many cases the new people responsible are not fully briefed in time because the transition has been too swift.  Product support and spare parts becomes a nightmare for anybody owning a machine in the ‘old colours’.  Next one finds that the reduction in the family range has killed choice; the product has becomes homologous and the client has to “make do”.  But the real, and sad thing, is that it kills new and developing products to the range and loses skilled innovators, and all their experience and knowledge that goes with them.

 And what about the UK dealer/importer that previously handled the range?  As a result of many years of input to the manufacturer, and gleaning information from the Grounds Professional, there is a lot of detailed product knowledge within their staff.  As a specialist supplier he was able to hold stock of machines for an entire UK distribution, working with the manufacturer to ensure short lead times – and when it came to parts be able to maintain a large parts stock with knowledgeable parts staff.

 So what, some people might say.  One or two big suppliers offer simplicity; one point of contact; chance to do deals on packages, etc.  But are those things worth the price of diminished choice where these big suppliers can decide what is in their range regardless of what might suit you better?

With diminished choice, who sets the prices; keeps them in check; stops the formation of a cartel to maximise profits?  Diminished choice leads to a monopoly, as in the big suppliers restricting their dealers from offering any sort of similar products from another manufacturer – products that could perform better or cost less.  Then there’s the Golf Course tied into a sole supplier deal unable to search the market for just the right kind of equipment for its need or its pocket.

 Sounds familiar? Been to Tesco lately and tried to buy anything other than the brands they want to sell?  Or gone to the high street to try and buy that Television you saw reviewed on some website or other and found no specialist TV or HiFi shops?  Tesco have the market sown up with run of the mill, one size fits all, consumer goods.  Great if that suits, but not if you want something a bit out of the ordinary.  And ever tried asking any questions about the specification of the product?  If it’s not on the point of sale material, don’t bother. 

 That’s not what we want for our industry, the tail wagging the dog, but Grounds Professionals keeping us manufacturers and dealers on our toes, coming up with new products to keep the playing surfaces tip-top.  In spite of this ‘cherry picking’ there are still a good number of independent manufacturers ready to respond.  There are requirements for many niche products in this demanding, but professional, industry that are not volume sellers, so I’m sure the market has not seen the last of innovative turf maintenance equipment yet.  

 The Grass Group, for one, is committed to working with such manufacturers to bring these products to market.

Smooth performance from Progressive

By , March 29, 2010 3:06 pm

 Cutting large areas productively on the golf course can be a challenge due to the varied contours and the requirement for a quality finish.

 The Progressive Pro-Flex 120 from The Grass Group has what it takes to deliver a superb cut on the most undulating terrain, using five rotary decks with independent float fore and aft to closely follow ground contours. Generous cut width of 3m helps the busy greenkeeping team stay ahead of the game, while anti-scalp rollers prevent any damage to the turf on the steepest of descents.

 Incorporating the proven pto shaft, running gear and blade spindle assembly from Progressive’s Tri-Deck rotaries, the Pro-Flex 120 is built on a full frame to allow mowing to continue while backing up. Solid construction with 5mm deck material and the heavy duty frame ensure a long life with the most demanding of workloads.

 Decks are equipped with shock absorbers to prevent bouncing even at cut speeds up to 10kph, boosting productivity while maintaining the quality of cut. The appearance of the sward is enhanced by the high blade tip speed, and an open rear discharge allows for even dispersal of clippings.

 Height of cut is adjustable from 20 to 82.5mm in 5mm increments. Outer wings fold to give a transport width of 2.43m, and the three inner decks can be operated in this position, allowing access to more confined areas on the course and giving a 1.83m cut.

 Golf course workshops will find this mower straight forward to maintain – decks lift hydraulically and lock into the transport position for servicing, while spindles are greaseable from the top side without removing the belt shields and spindle assemblies can be removed from the deck without disassembly.

The compact trailed chassis makes for easier turning and reversing; power requirement is from 30hp at the pto.

 A visit to stand A38 for close inspection of a mower that really lives up to its brand name is a must for course managers and greenkeepers at BTME.

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