IoG Saltex 2014 - Dream machines

Sally Drury previews the wide range of products and services that visitors can look forward to seeing at IoG Saltex .

Out-front mower: Kubota F3890 with 37.3hp diesel engine will feature among machinery displayed by Lister Wilder - image: Lister Wilder
Out-front mower: Kubota F3890 with 37.3hp diesel engine will feature among machinery displayed by Lister Wilder - image: Lister Wilder

With so much to see at this year's show, get ahead of the game by reading an expert summary for each key sector by Sally Drury.

Grass cutting

Grass cutting is a sizeable chunk of any outdoor open-space management operation. Not surprising then that, with an emphasis on productivity and performance, wide-area mowers are increasingly popular. A new model this year, the ProLine RMX 500 Tri-Deck from Wessex, has been designed to offer cost-efficiency and a finish equal to a cylinder mower on fine turf. It boasts a 5m working width and requires a tractor of 70hp plus.

Also new on the Wessex stand are the FRX professional out-front flail mowers for use with Kubota and John Deere machines. These all-rounders should appeal to contractors and local authorities needing to cut long grass on roadside verges as well as those who want a premium finish on sports turf.

As a major grounds care dealer with seven locations across central southern England, Lister Wilder is well placed for the supply and servicing of Kubota equipment. At Saltex, the company is showing the new F90 out-front mower - an upgrade of the Kubota F80 range - with 30.6hp (F3090) and 37.3hp (F3890) diesel engines, and 60in and 70in cutting decks with rear and side discharge on both. Also offered for the F3890 model is the 100in flex deck for mowing undulating terrain. One option on the F90 series is a fully-demountable 900-litre capacity grass collector with hydraulic tip.

Lister Wilder also plans to show the new Baroness LM2400 lightweight, five-unit fairway mower with features including on-board back-lapping and a low centre of gravity for stability. Group sales director Phill Hughes says: "The LM2400 embodies all the great qualities for which Baroness is well-known. It offers quality of cut, durability, long service life and low service costs."

Also from the Baroness stable is the GM1700 ride-on rotary slope mower. With its low centre of gravity, pivoting seat and 40in belly-mounted three-pan contour deck, this mower is designed to tackle difficult embankments and slopes.

Costing just £3,449 including VAT, the Tourno Pick-Up is bound to attract attention. The newest member of the Cramer family, this out-front mower is equipped with a quick-folding mower deck with optional rear discharge and a working width of 90cm. The deck is made of pressed steel, with the blade bosses machined from solid aluminium. An Easy Motion System allows the deck to be raised into the cleaning and maintenance position in just 20 seconds.

Power for the Tourno Pick-up is provided by the 9.9kW S3 INTEK single-cylinder Briggs & Stratton engine. To extend the use of this machine to all year round, the mower can additionally be fitted with a 120cm foldable snow blade or a 100cm sweeping broom.

Providing the flexibility to mow, aerate, brush, de-thatch, groom, level, scarify and top dress from one system of cassettes, ATT's TMSystem can be seen fitted to a light fairway mower display on the The Grass Group's stand.

Well-known for its professional range of cylinder mowers, Allett Mowers comes to IoG Saltex to unveil a brand new product - but no details until the show opens on 2 September. Allett sales directors Leigh Bowers says: "We're looking forward to seeing people's reactions at the show."

Grounds care

Off-road transport highlighted by Lister Wilder includes Kubota's new four-wheel drive RTV400Ci and RTV500 all-terrain utility vehicles. Designed for exceptional handling and maximum control in even the toughest conditions, both include an electronic fuel injection system for on-demand power, responsiveness and optimum acceleration.

The compact RTV400Ci has a heavy-duty platform and incorporates a high-revving 16hp air-cooled petrol engine, along with Kubota's CVT Plus transmission with inertia clutch to keep the vehicle's double-cogged, wide-belt drive system tight at all times. The RTV500 is similar in power but its 15.8hp two-cylinder petrol engine is liquid cooled for low noise and vibration, and features VHT Plus hydrostatic transmission.

Electric-powered transport options are displayed by Lister Wilder in the form of HDK's electric utility vehicles and golf buggies. Included in the line-up is the HDK Express 2 series with 48V power source running a 4kW motor. The range spans from a two-seater buggy through to work and flat-bed vehicles capable of ground speeds between 16mph and 25mph.

"The simplicity and quietness of electric vehicles are big attractions for everything from golf courses to hotels, wildlife reserves and schools," Hughes points out. "HDK has refined the whole concept of the electric vehicle, making it a very rugged and yet comfortable option. It makes great sense in today's environmentally conscious world."

The batteries used in these units are gel-filled and maintenance-free. Features include Curtis controller and ADC Advance motor, 10in aluminium wheels, reverser beeper, parking brake, headlights and turn indicators, while full weather enclosure and rear tow hitch are optional. A road-legal utility is also available, as are fourand six-seater people-carrier versions.

There is more battery kit on Makita's stand, this time in the form of the Twin 18V LXT 55cm double-sided hedge trimmer with variable speed and five-position adjustable handle and the Twin 18V LXT brushcutter with bike handle, grass blade with reverse action and again featuring variable speed.

Cobra, a range of powered garden machinery launched earlier this year by Henton & Chattell, is already reportedly becoming an established brand in the UK dealer network. According to managing director Peter Chaloner, sales are "well ahead of budget and orders continue to flood in". He adds: "Our ultimate goal is for Cobra to become a name that gardeners can trust for dependability and quality for all their gardening needs."

Believed to be the largest single range of domestic and professional lawn care and powered garden equipment - all designed for UK conditions - Cobra consists of more than 70 products, and more are expected to be introduced at Saltex. Also on show will be the GardenCare kit range, Billy Goat land maintenance and clearance machinery, including brushcutters, sod cutters and vacuums, plus Briggs & Stratton products such as generators, pressure washers and pumps.

The wide range of kit from Hyundai continues to expand. This year you can expect to see brushcutters, mowers, hedge trimmers, blowers, washers, pumps and generators as well as three easy-start chainsaws with 38cc, 46cc and 56cc engine options and 16in, 18in and 20in Oregon bars and chains.

The public expects a clean and tidy outdoor space in which to pursue their leisure. To this end, at Saltex a number of companies are introducing vacuums and sweeping equipment. For use on turf and reflecting the current "lean" manufacturing methods of lower-cost production, the four new Trilo vacuum sweepers from The Grass Group feature a modular build so that options such as axle set up, implements and hitches, hose configurations, body types, attachments and fittings can all be easily incorporated. The latest machines - the S8, S12, S16 and S20 - join the S3 and S4 launched last year and extend the range from 4cu m up to 20cu m.

Featuring a top-of-the-range turbine, the Cramer LS 4000SW commercial push vacuum is powered by a 3.4hp Honda GX 160 engine to run with less noise while still maintaining full suction power even at low revs. The Silent Wings turbine is made from Qst 690 steel, which is lighter than conventional turbine wheels. A working width of 80cm and a 240-litre collection bag, which is emptied via a drawer release system, make this vacuum suitable for schools, universities, parks and shopping precincts.

Also showing on the Cramer UK stand, the KM HVR range of sweepers have brushes of 40cm diameter and offer 100cm or 120cm working widths to tackle large quantities of dirt or even snow. Designed for manoeuvrability, these sweepers have a forward and reverse hydrostatic drive. Brush rotation and operational speeds can be adjusted separately to suit specific work conditions. A version is also available with a Sulky seat and a box for spreading salt in winter.

Having winter management systems in place before the first snow arrives pays dividends, so while you are at the show be sure to see the latest kit for clearing snow and ice. SnowEx is displaying a wide range of models from truck-mounting units to pedestrian spreaders. Completing the line-up are brine sprayers for use on pathways.

A Gritex gritter displayed by Loadlift, the SHPE 1000 compact can be mounted onto a range of donor vehicles or be trailer mounted. It has a low unit weight of 155kg and a capacity of 750kg, making a total gross weight of 905kg fully loaded.

Manufactured in the USA by SaltDogg, the vehicle is made of heavy-duty double-walled polymer and is electrically powered from its in-cab controller. This allows the operator to control the auger speed - and hence the density of grit - the spinner speed to alter the gritting width and the vibrate motor to prevent bridging.

Continuing to improve safety for spray operatives, the public, wildlife and the environment is a vital part of effective weed control. Targeted application is essential and Nomix will be exhibiting a range of products to make application as simple and precise as possible. Included on the company's stand is Ecoplug Max (680g per litre glyphosate) - the sealed plug treatment to control regrowth on cut stumps - and Nomix Total Droplet Control ready-to-use herbicide packs that connect directly to the applicator to eliminate any risk of spillages. For Japanese knotweed control, Nomix Stem Master is an injector system that delivers a targeted dose directly into the stem of the plant.

If tough or invasive weeds are the bane of your working life, note that Progreen Weed Control Solutions is on hand to give advice at Saltex. The focus of the company's stand is control of those nightmare weeds - including Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam, mare's tail and giant hogweed - and Progreen is showing suitable products along with the Kplus water conditioner that not only improves herbicide performance by up to 20 per cent but also delivers quicker knockdown of target weeds.

Stem Injection System (SIS) returns to Saltex boosted by a recent partnership deal with Sherriff Amenity to enhance the distribution of its stem injection equipment throughout the UK market. With stem injection now commonplace on a significant number of riverbank, parkland and amenity projects, SIS has continued to develop an improved range of equipment and accessories for contractors and grounds maintenance teams, all of which will also be available through Sherriff.

Japanese Knotweed Control (JKC) has traditionally used Saltex to highlight examples of successful treatment case studies and comes to this year's show on the back of another prestigious order from The Royal Parks in London. Renewing a partnership that goes back some six years, the company was recently appointed to treat knotweed infestations at the water's edge in Kensington Gardens.

JKC joint managing director David Layland says: "We have seen customer knowledge and awareness of Japanese knotweed grow year on year at IoG Saltex and visitors to our stand are now more savvy about the various treatment options available and considerations needed when choosing a treatment partner."

Responding to a growing need for improved standards, accreditations, legislative compliance and quality training throughout the amenity industry, Cityscape Academy's focus is on practical courses adapted to suit client needs and delivered in-house or on-site in live applications. With the treatment of non-native invasive plant species being a particular specialism, the safe use of pesticides and full compliance to C&G, NPTC, PA1, PA6 and PA6AW standards are core to the training package, but the company also offers courses ranging from the safe use of chainsaws to hedge trimming and mower operation.

A one-stop stop offering hand and power tools, machinery including mowers and chainsaws, agro-chemicals, turf-care products, line-marking equipment, irrigation, traffic control items, outdoor furniture and more, Tudor Environmental is attending Saltex for the first time.

Turf care

Likely to appeal to landscapers and turf managers as well as the hire market, the new RotaDairon Seed-Car also makes its debut on The Grass Group's stand. A compact, pedestrian unit, it is described as being perfect for small spaces with narrow or difficult access and will allow seeding in all the "corners" of the ground.

If you missed the Redexim Double Disc Overseeder when it was launched at BTME in January, now is your chance to view it on Charterhouse Turf Machinery's stand. Capable of burying seed as deep as 20mm, and with a disc spacing of 30mm, the range contains three machines of 1.4m, 1.83m and 2.2m working widths.

Having recently acquired the Graden product line-up, Charterhouse Turf Machinery is also showing the Contour Sand Injection (CSI) scarifier/aerator. With the ability to scarify to any depth from 1mm to 40mm, while simultaneously backfilling the grooves with either sand or a sand/seed combination, the CSI reduces play downtime.

Tracmaster is introducing a scarifier this year. Based on the Camon professional scarifier, the walk-behind LS14 is a lighter-weight, smaller model suited to the domestic market. It has 15 fixed blades, a 42cm working weight and is powered by Honda's new GP160 engine.

UKS drop-spreaders, seen in the UK for the first time on Kuhn Amenity's stand, feature an agitator shaft to allow accurate flow rates from a few kilogrammes per hectare to 1,500kg/ha at a speed of 8kmph and can spread salt and sand as well as fertiliser products. Available in widths of 80cm, 100cm or 120cm, the spreaders can be powered hydraulically or by the power take-off and have a hinged stainless steel base for easy cleaning and maintenance. Extensions, cover, lighting kit and remote shut-off are available as extras.

Atom Edgers for kerb use and lawn maintenance are now fitted with Mitsubishi engines. You can see them on the DJ Turfcare stand, along with the Bushranger edger, Plugger aerators and Viano organic fertiliser range.

Landscaping

Likely to attract the attention of landscapers, Access Platform Sales is showcasing two new minimal-disturbance, crawler-mounted products. The Hinowa HS701 is a stand-on, 9.4hp diesel-powered tracked dumper with a two-speed gearbox, 550kg capacity and high-tip mast that enables it to empty straight into skips.

It is joined by the Hinowa TX2500 TraXporter, a tracked dumper with a swivel skip that has the advantage of being able to operate while the vehicle is in motion. The 180 degs rotating seat and controls mean the operator can always face the direction of travel. Top speed is 7.5mph.

There are more dumpers on Tufftruk's stand. Launching at the show is a range of articulated four-wheel drive pedestrian models designed and manufactured by the company at its factory in the Peak District. Under the brand name TRUXTA 4x4, these dumpers provide load capacities from 300kg to 450kg. Power options are Honda petrol or Yanmar diesel engines or 24V DC electric. All models have ground-friendly flotation tyres as standard, although turf tyres are optional. Prices start from £3,200 + VAT.

There are demonstrations of bed edging, trenching, sweeping, mowing, raking and snow clearance by GroundsCare Products, sole UK importer of TurfTeq, but there will also be an opportunity to see how the ZipLevel survey level can help landscapers and garden designers single-handedly add precision to their work. The machine will work round corners and obstacles, and can store up to 137 plots to be recalled later.

Also showing the advantages of Laser surveying, first-time exhibitor Stabila is introducing the LAR 250 automatic rotation laser. Waterproof and dust-proof, the self-levelling horizontal and vertical rotation laser features remote operation and eight functions to provide accuracy when marking out horizontal lines over large distances.

Look too for Stabila's extendable 106T spirit level. Described by the company as "making light work of aligning patios and decks", the level is available in two sizes to extend from 183cm to 315cm or from 213cm to 376cm.

Known for its wide range of grounds care, landscaping and sports turf machinery, BLEC Global is showing a new compact version of the Blecavator that comes complete with a series of attachments for collecting stones and other material while preparing seedbeds.

There are lots of aggregates and soils on display at Saltex, but do you know where the materials in British Sugar Topsoil's Landscape20 fertile sandy-load and Sports10 dressing come from? The products are produced from the soil that adheres to the sugar beet delivered to British Sugar's factories and, as such, they come from the best agricultural soils in the country.

Arboriculture

Saltex is also a magnet for those responsible for tree care and new products mean this year's show should not disappoint. With all the features of the much-admired Arborist 150, GreenMech's new Arborist 190 has been designed to offer greater productivity through a 190mm chipping capacity.

The generous 970x790mm hopper is intended to aid bushy brash reduction and is coupled with a 190x280mm letterbox-style infeed throat to enable heavily forked branches to be fed into the machine. The power is supplied from a 45hp Kubota turbo diesel engine.

Also introduced on the GreenMech stand, which incidentally is to be found in a new location near to the central catering area, the ArbTrak 190 is the latest addition to the family of tracked Arborist woodchippers. Built to get to those hard-to-reach locations in which arborists frequently find themselves working, it features the same hopper, throat and engine as the Arborist 190 but has a tracked chassis system to provide a high clearance of 274mm and allow easy access over rough terrain. Tracking speed is 3kmph.

Powered by a 9hp Honda engine, Tracmaster's new own-brand Camon C100 chipper is described by director Alex Pitt as "extremely tough, robust and reliable yet more compact than other models of this specification currently available". The gravity-fed machine features a heavy-duty chipping blade, is capable of reducing 10cm branches and has a removable chute that should see the unit appeal to on-the-go landscapers. For tidiness, chippings can be collected in a removable bag. The chipper will be available from February 2015.

Stump removal is demonstrated by Orange Plant as the company - established nationally in the hire, sales and servicing of arboriculture machinery - shows off the full range of Carlton stump grinders. Making its debut for Orange Plant is the new Carlton SP5014 tracked unit, a compact stump grinder with a short track base and radio remote control to provide access in tight areas without compromising on power or safety. It has a 50in cutting arc and 14in cutting depth.

Also on show are the walk-behind Carlton SP2010 with 0.5in-thick, 19in-diameter cutter wheel and the SP4012 self-propelled four-wheel grinder with dual speed ground system that makes it a fast mover. Carlton's most powerful grinder, the 7015 series, completes the display. Orange Plant has seven depots covering the UK, from Glasgow in the north to Burgess Hill in the south.

Play

For action and adventure, head to Wicksteed's stand. The company invites visitors to enter a visually eye-catching space through a Castle Tree House, where a myriad of imaginative, multi-play and stand-alone products are displayed.

"It is widely known that improving fitness and general well-being is vitally important across the nation and Wicksteed has been encouraging outdoor fitness for all, so six different units from the Fitness Legacy Zone will be positioned down one side of the stand for everyone to have a go," says commercial director assistant Hannah Elliott.

Wicksteed's design team has also created naval-themed multi-play units to fire the imagination, including the Golden Ghost Ship, as well as timber-led challenging products such as The Crusoe and Takamata Tree House, all of which will create a magical, mythical mood.

Designed to enable children to engage their imagination and enjoy play through a story-telling manner, while developing and socialising with their peers, Proludic's new TEMA range is compact and offers an all-in-one play solution to optimise space in even the smallest play areas. These multi-play units for children aged from two to eight are offered in three themes - TEMA Adventure, TEMA City and TEMA Metropolis.

"The idea behind each TEMA theme is to inspire play development and imagination in the children using the equipment," explains Proludic managing director Michael Hoenigmann. "There are plenty of opportunities for children to laugh, play, dream and interact, as well as developing motor skills and stimulating imagination."

Natural playgrounds that harmonise with the environment, create challenging and enchanting spaces and support education through play lie at the centre of the display by Infinite Playgrounds. The company, which is the exclusive UK distributor for Norwell fitness equipment, also creates canopies that radiate colourful shadows when the sun shines through.

To streamline inspection procedures, from site visits through to secure data storage, The Play Inspection Company is unveiling its new iOS version of the mobile play inspection app, making it available for both android and iOS platforms.

Developed to assist playground owners and operators to retain inspection records for their play areas, the software will help local authorities and contractors ensure compliance and work smarter. Inspections are carried out on a tablet and data is then uploaded when Wi-Fi is within reach.

Portable fuel tank

Safe and legal transportation of diesel on public roads and dispensing fuel on-site is made possible with the Transfuel portable fuel tank from Southern Tank Services. The carriers, which allow 430 litres of diesel to be transported, are plastic-in-plastic bunded tanks complying with UN, ADR and Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) Regulations (2001).

Heavy-lifting solution: Nursery Tree Mover

Moving trees, big pots, slabs and bags of sand or aggregate around a site can be troublesome, if not risky. SCH (Supplies) believes it has a solution in the Nursery Tree Mover. Designed to move trees and other heavy items, the unit runs on pneumatic wheels and can be adapted for towing if required.


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