IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

Mowers, turf care, battery equipment, seeds, arboriculture kit and weed control will all see a wide range of new releases at Saltex, Sally Drury reports.

Contoura: self-aligning spherical bearings allow decks to follow ground contours - image: Major Equipment
Contoura: self-aligning spherical bearings allow decks to follow ground contours - image: Major Equipment

Grass-cutting is likely to be the most frequent operation for any grounds maintenance team so it makes sense to get the most suitable equipment — something that shouts productivity and gives the quality of finish required.

Large areas need equipment that will cover the ground with speed and get the job done. This is where wide-area and tractor-mounted mowers come into their own, kit like the Contoura from Major Equipment.

This 3.6m trailed mower will take centre stage on the firm’s stand and is primarily aimed at amenity and golf applications.

General manager Eoin Murphy says: "The mower has been well received by our customers and we have had a very positive first season with it." With self-aligning spherical bearings the three decks of the Contoura follow ground contours.

Said to elevate productivity to new levels and working longer between stops, the new Toro Groundscare rotary displayed by Reesink has a 41-litre fuel tank, 810-litre hopper and features on-the-go change of cutting height. National sales manager Jeff Anguige says it should appeal to councils and landscape contractors looking for minimum downtime.

"The fuel tank is large enough to power a full day’s work, while the increase in the hopper’s capacity is accompanied by a sensor, which alerts the operator when the hopper is full," he explains.

With a 3.2m cutting width, the HM600 from Ransomes is built on the foundations of the company’s wide-area platform mowers but provides users with three heavy-duty flail mowers that use mulching technology from Muthing.

Fingertip control of the individual units makes for easy trimming around obstacles while folding the wings gives access to confined spaces. Also new from Ransomes is the TR320, one of the lightest machines on the market, designed for the sports turf and landscaping markets, where its slope and challenging-terrain capabilities should be useful.

Bahia will be available as fully electric - image: Etesia

Environmental protection and a commitment to sustainable development are key concerns for Etesia and this year it will be focusing on Greener City equipment with the world’s first fully electric ride-on, cut-and-collect mower on show at Saltex, the Bahia M2E.

It shares the chassis, 80cm cut and 240-litre collector of its petrol brother but is powered by four acid/lead batteries producing 48V, 115Ah. Located under the seat, the batteries take six hours to recharge.

Being previewed ahead of its 2018 launch will be the Bahia Hydro 80 MKHP4 E-Connect ride-on mower. Etesia will also be displaying its petrol-powered 124cm Buffalo 124 HVHPX four-wheel drive (4WD) ride-on mower working at rates up to 15,000sq m per hour and battery powered N-Ergyrange of collecting pedestrian rotaries with cuts from 41cm to 46cm.

Turbo 4 Fifty - image: Gianni Ferrari

Last year Gianni Ferrari unveiled the Turbo 4 Fifty ride-on mower, complete with four-cylinder,
50hp Kubota diesel engine, self-cleaning radiator, permanent 4WD, a maximum speed of 24kph and a 1,400-litre collector. This year the machine will be coming back with an array of attachments such as
the 150 Dual-Cut mulching and rear-discharge deck, flail mower, sweepers and winter maintenance kit.

Also on show will be the 40hp Turbo Z 440D zero-turn mower with 160cm deck.

The FD900, a new out-front from Grillo, is a small, compact, 4WD machine with full road kit and 15kph top speed. Power comes from a three-cylinder 26hp Yanmar diesel engine. The 126cm cutter deck has three blades, the two main ones being equipped with steel fans to increase collection performance, while the 750-litre high-tip collector has a reciprocating baffle to ensure even distribution of clippings. A clever trick sees the chute being cleaned each time that the collector is emptied.

With a focus on slopes and other areas where no operator should tread, the remote-controlled mower market sees Bomford Turner strengthen its grip with the introduction of two new Flailbot models — a compact 40hp and a much larger Supreme 70hp machine. Each has independently extending tracks to give a wider footprint for stability on inclines up to 55°. Both machines have Perkins engines, floating heads and tool-attachment options including stump grinder, trench cutter and earth/snow-moving kit.

Recognised for its agility on slopes, the Spider remote-controlled rotary mower can be seen on the
TH White stand, but watch out for the Spider 3Rider. This newest machine gives the option of using it as a 24.8hp ride-on mower for slopes up to 15° as well as a remote-control mower when conditions get steep. Also on the stand you will be able to see productive zero-turn riders by Ferris, Stander and Sport by Wright plus Jensen chippers, for which TH White now stocks all parts.

New technology shines at this year’s show. With autonomous technology at its core, AMS (Automated Management Services) has been transforming the way we think about outfield maintenance for the past four years and this year will attend Saltex to display the BigMow robot.

Chief executive Philip Sear says: "The BigMow robot provides an automated alternative to traditional grass-maintenance equipment and a great addition to your workforce, allowing you to free up personnel and resources to other areas of your business. Overall, we believe that the robot mowers are the future of turf care and maintenance."

BigMow can cover up to 2ha, making it ideal for sports fields, golf courses, parks and large gardens. The robot works within an underground wire boundary and has a total of 15 cutting blades to clip grass finely for best mulching effect.

Hayter will be displaying its entire rear-roller mower range but the focus, no doubt, will be on the brand new Harrier 41 Pro. Also on its stand will be a huge line-up of kit from Toro’s Consumer and Landscape Contractor range, sold in the UK through Hayter.

Should you need more of a jungle-buster, check out Canycom ride-on brushcutters. Hand built in Japan and with blades made from the type of steel once used in samurai swords, the company is celebrating rapid growth in sales. "2016-17 has seen sales soar, not just due to the performance, quality and strength of the products but also due to the appointment of major quality dealers," confirms Bedford-based importer ICB Plant & Machinery managing director Ian Staniforth.

Caring for turf

Keeping your facility in prime condition can be a tough challenge, but there will be plenty of solutions at Saltex. On the Dennis & Sisis stand the air-injecting Sisis Javelin Aer-Aid 1500 tractor-mounted vertical-action aerator will be returning with rave reviews from trials at STRI. Under scrutiny was the effect the machine has on turf hardness, root depth, water infiltration and disease. Results were positive.

STRI research manager Dr Christian Spring says: "Following successful trials on an established sand-based golf green, this aerator, when used as part of an integrated turf-management programme, would be a very useful tool for managing soil and plant health. It became obvious that the Aer-Aid improved maximum root and depth within the soil profile and also had the benefit of increasing the depth of average rooting mass."

GKB Machines has kit for natural, synthetic and hybrid facilities and will be coming to the show to unveil the Combiseeder — capable of working at a rate of 1,500 holes per square metre — and the new Renovator with five rotating brushes for use on synthetics. Believing that scarifying is the route to chemical-free weed management, GKB will also show the latest GKB Vstrong.

Scarifying to 45mm is possible with the Graden GBS 1200 1.2m straight reeled unit from Charterhouse Turf Machinery. Mounting to 20hp+ tractors, it has 1mm- or 2mm-wide tempered-steel, tungsten-tipped blades and is suited to sports pitches, cricket squares and tennis courts. Also on display will be the Rink DS800 top dresser. The Verti-Top cleaning and maintenance machine should appeal to anyone tending synthetic turf surfaces.

Exhibiting at Saltex since the very beginning, SCH (Supplies) offers kit for natural and synthetic surfaces and will be displaying a selection of sweepers, rakes, drag mats, brushes and sprayers. Managing director Andrew Rodwell says: "We continue to develop our 3G products to keep in line with the fast-moving, evolving sector and we work with artificial-surface maintenance contractors to ensure our machines are perfect for the job as well as being affordable."

One such contractor is ETC Sports of Maldon in Essex. Maintenance manager Rory Wells says: "We have been working with SCH (Supplies) for several years and we continue to be impressed with their ability to interpret our requirements and produce machinery which does an excellent job at an affordable price."

Travel and transport are just one theme that will be presented by John Deere as it introduces its new 23hp diesel Gator XUV 865M utility vehicle with CVT transmission and a top speed of 50kph. Offering the company’s quietest cab to date, more room for driver and passengers, an efficient heating system and windscreen defrost facility, this new full-size Gator should help to maximise year-round productivity
as well as comfort.

High capacity: latest backpack battery - image: EGOPower+

Quiet power

Battery powered tools continue to dominate new introductions this year, with Oregon’s cordless range expanding to include the LM400 lawnmower with side- or rear-discharge or collection. The 40cm mower, which is stored upright to save space, can run on one battery but has capacity for two where a longer running time is needed. Fitted with Oregon’s new 6Ah battery, up to 10,000sq ft can be cut on a single charge. Oregon will also be launching a multi-tool system that works off the 40V MAX battery, boasts variable-speed trigger and attaches to pole saw, hedge trimmer, brushcutter or line trimmer.

A pioneer in battery powered tools for the professional market, Pellenc will have the Cleanion brush on display. With a large working width, adjustable speed and direction control, plus a long operating time, the brush is suitable for removing debris from natural or synthetic turf and hard surfaces, and can be matched to attachments such as a snow plough. All Pellenc products come with a three-year commercial warranty.

It has only been in the market for three years but already EGO Power+ has made quite a stir with its 56V cordless system. Now it is upping the stakes again with the launch of the x-series for professional use. Featuring at the show will be a hedge trimmer, line trimmer and blower as well as a new high-capacity backpack battery. 

Speaking of the x-series, EGO European marketing director Steve Roskell explains: "The professional market is perfect for our battery technology and was born out at recent trials with a local authority
in the East Midlands, where the petrol-matching performance and incredibly low ‘in-use’ vibration across the range gave us a major competitive advantage."

Showcasing its ever-growing range of battery powered outdoor tools, Makita will be in the BALI zone this year where it will promote its 18V platform. Makita UK business development manager Mark Earles confirms: "Our cordless range will be taking centre stage but visitors will be able to learn about the entire range, including our petrol and electric models."

There will be more cordless kit on the Stihl stand. Head of marketing Simon Hewitt says: "The popularity of cordless tools continues to rise and exhibiting at Saltex provides us with the perfect opportunity to highlight to contractors how our Lithium-Ion PRO range can handle even the toughest of jobs."

Makita: growing range of outdoor tools - image: Makita UK

Seeding

For bowling greens, golf greens and surrounds, Limagrain’s new MM7 is a mix of fine-leaved ryegrass, fescue and bent blended for situations where extreme wear-tolerance is needed. MM7 will be shown alongside the respected MM60 winter sports pitch mix and the hard-wearing, rapidly germinating MM50 for cricket squares, courts, tees, fairways, outfields and even greens. All MM mixtures are treated with Headstart Gold.

Chart-topping, ultra-fine ryegrass Cabrio (right) will be the hot topic on the Germinal stand. "As predicted 12 months ago, Cabrio entered the 2017 Turfgrass Seed booklet at the top of the Series L table, thanks to its class-leading fineness of leaf score," points out Germinal amenity sales manager Richard Brown.

"At 8.8 it easily outperformed its nearest rivals and gives groundsmen, greenkeepers and turf growers an excellent opportunity to produce a harder-wearing sward that not only tolerates a close mowing regime but also gives good ball roll or bounce and will be very attractive aesthetically."

Latest breeding innovations from DLF/Johnsons Sports Seeds include 4Turf Tetraploid ryegrass, ideal for autumn and winter overseeding, and the new turf type annual ryegrass Quickston.

Present in J Rescue Stadia mix, Quickston sees a significant improvement in the colour, fineness of leaf and shoot density of turf-type annual ryegrass. Germinating at soil temperatures as low as 3.5°C, Quickston should prove to be popular for winter and spring repairs.

Arborist 150p: comparable performance to higher-horsepower diesel engine unit - image: Greenwich

Tree work

Arborists should head for the Oregon stand, where the SpeedCut chain and bar (above) will be introduced. Designed for pro use, the SpeedCut guide bar is lighter, stronger and longer-lasting than previous models thanks to its aluminium core, laminate bonding and new heat-treatment process.

The chain has a reshaped cutting surface and narrow kerf for a faster, easier cut, and it is sharper. In addition, Oregon is adding a 6Ah battery, giving its cordless range more appeal. The CS300 self-sharpening chainsaw, for instance, will now provide up to 600 50-75mm cuts on a single charge.

Impending changes to engine legislation are going to affect many machines regularly used by arborists, landscapers and estate managers, with the next step limiting diesel-engine emissions coming in on 1 January 2019. Current diesel engines can be used after that date but only Stage V diesel, or alternative fuelled engines, can be supplied on new machines. Saltex is the perfect place to find how manufacturers are providing solutions, such as the extending low-emission petrol family available from Timberwolf.

Sales and marketing director Guy Marshlain says: "We have developed this exciting series of machines in anticipation of the new legislation to ensure that we can continue to offer the comprehensive choice of productive and user-friendly, high-quality chipper that customers have come to expect. Any concerns about the suitability of petrol power for chippers will be instantly allayed by these powerful, economical machines, which we believe will offer users outstanding service for years to come."

Greenmech is also responding to the up-and-coming legislation and at Saltex it will be unveiling its new Arborist 150p. An alternative to the diesel-powered version, the 150p is fitted with a 37hp Briggs & Stratton engine and is said to offer comparable performance to the higher-horsepower diesel engine
on the existing Arborist 150 but at a much-reduced cost.

Chainsaw trousers will come under the spotlight with the launch of the Solidur brand from France. Designed to be lightweight, comfortable, protective and visible, the range so far comprises Infinity, Authentic and Comfy trousers — all Type A, Class 1 (20m/s). Materials include Kevlar, Armortex, Cordura, Teflon and Coolmax. The various styles incorporate elasticated waists, detachable gaiters, buttons for braces, high backs plus pockets and loops for plug spanner, tape measure and hammer. Weights come in at 1.05-1.35kg for a medium size.

Controlling the weeds

With significant experience in the weed-control sector and noted for its flazasulfuron Chikara and Katana herbicides, Belchim Crop Protection will be attending Saltex with a new offering. With 500g/l pelargonic acid, Katoun Gold is a non-selective contact for use on amenity vegetation — bare soil around trees and shrubs — and is a natural product of plant origin. Purity is >95 per cent, it has a low rate of use at 22.5l/ha and it can be applied four times a year through a knapsack.

"Katoun Gold gives users a much needed additional option in a market where there are limited alternatives available, particularly in more sensitive areas," says Belchim technical specialist William Weld. "It is a contact-acting product that rapidly breaks down the plant cuticle wax layer, leading to loss of water by evaporation. Visible symptoms are evident after only a few hours with complete control of smaller weeds after a few days."

Should you want to understand the advantages of Total Droplet Control (TDC), visit the Nomix Enviro stand to see the technology in action. You will also find details of Ecoplug Max for controlling regrowth on cut stumps and the Nomix Stem Master targeted injection system for the control of invasive weeds such as Japanese knotweed.

Controlling invasive weeds, including Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed will also be the theme presented by Stem Injection Systems as the company will be attending Saltex to further develop international distribution channels on the back of recent deals with two new European agents — Vos Capelle in the Netherlands and INVAR Biosecurity in Ireland. INVAR director Tom Donovan explains:

"Knotweed is a growing problem for many councils and river authorities over here, particularly in special areas of conservation, and stem injection is recognised as a very environmental treatment solution."

Non-chemical weed control is the focus of Oeliatec. Delivering a low-pressure treatment at up to 120°C, the company’s machines use 100 per cent hot water to destroy the cellular structure of weeds and kill off the plants. As an added bonus, the kit also tackles graffiti and chewing gum. 

Twiga Compact Reach Arm - image: Spearhead Machinery

Twiga 360 and 460

Mowing slopes and verges, along with hedge maintenance, will feature on the Spearhead Machinery display as the company shows off the Twiga Compact Reach Arm (pictured). New are the compact 360 and 460 units, which have been designed for front-mounting to a compact tractor or utility vehicle and so optimise visibility from the cab. Both models incorporate longer reaches to extend the working area around the machine. The addition of an offset pivot position also allows work in tighter, higher spaces.

In Brief: more new products showing at Saltex

Worried that flat tyres will cause delays at work?

Air-Seal Products is launching a new eco-friendly, heavy-duty sealant. As well as increasing tyre life, the product can save fuel by eliminating slow leaks and, of course, correctly maintained tyres mean safer working.

The latest T393 tractor with air conditioned cab and the TS25 built for mid-duty grounds-care applications will feature on the TYM stand along with a range of attachments from Sicma. Aqua-Aid will be talking about Worm Power (pictured), Oars and Verde-Cale, which have reportedly seen a surge in use across golf, football and racing across the UK as well as Europe.

One-stop shop Tudor Environmental has more than 5,000 products in its catalogue, including tools and sundries, and is respected for its customer service and next-day delivery. Visit the stand for a 20-per-cent-off voucher. Replacing the line on trimmers and brushcutters can be a pain, but Oregon promises a 20-second process with its Gator SpeedLoad — a redesigned head that takes refill discs and should fit most petrol-run units on the UK market. Nematode-control product Nema-Go will be introduced by Agronomic Services, which also supplies Oxy-Rush and Osiryle & Eon Bio.

Cleaning up will be the theme on the Trilo stand as the company highlights the benefits of its S3 (pictured) and SU40 vacuum units as well as the B7 leaf blower. Service dealers should check out the all-in-one management software package from Evopos.

The latest version includes quick and easy point-of-sale software, comprehensive stock control, workshop organiser, hire contract module, accounting package and automated SMS and email marketing — all available in specifically designed dealer packages. Appealing to landscapers and maintenance contractors, the hydrostatically driven Turf Teq walk-behind tractor plus mowing, edging, trenching, cultivation and sweeping attachments will be shown by GroundsCare Products along with the ZipLevel altimeter, an alternative to rotary lasers.

Benefits of zeolite include enhanced cation exchange capacity, reduced water needs, balanced nutritional uptake and removal of toxins. Find out more on the Gordes Zeolite stand. Turf health and management will feature on the Headland Amenity stand as the company details its range of nutrition products as well as Bayer’s Dedicate contact/systemic turf fungicide.

Image: Sherriff Amenity

Stress relief for turf

Recognised for delivering outstanding results, Sherriff Amenity’s GoGreen liquid and granular iron products will this year be joined by GoGreen Energy for all-year use. Formulated to assist plant health and relieve stress in amenity turf, it is a low-NPK biostimulant containing seaweed, plant sugars, simple carbohydrates and trace elements complemented by wetting and spreading agents. A second addition to the range is GoGreen Select, a green-up complex iron sulphate for use alone or in fertiliser or herbicide tank mixes.


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