The 8700A is one of the John Deere’s 2015 range of A Model golf course mowers equipped with the new TechControl digital display and OnCourse Technology brings improved overall performance and reliability, better diagnostics and increased operator comfort, says John Deere.
"Fuel consumption on this new machine means we get 18 fairways cut per day and use less than 50 litres of fuel," says course manager Andrew Halfpenny. "The previous model would probably use about 70 litres for the same task, and would only manage 12 fairways each day.
"As an 18-hole ‘pay-and-play’ course we have wider fairways than normal, which adds to the mower’s workload – and the new 8700A has a bigger engine with a smaller fuel tank than the previous model, which makes its fuel efficiency even more impressive. The new QA7 quick-adjust 7in diameter cutting units are also an improvement on the older machine, so we are winners all round."
Ombersley Golf Club has run a complete range of John Deere greens, tees and fairway mowers since it opened in 1991, and the current fleet also includes a 2500E hybrid electric mower, as well as compact tractors and Gator utility vehicles.
"With a busy course all year round, and so many visitors, we are very focused on quality of presentation," says Halfpenny. "With good, free draining land, we have built our reputation on year-round capability regardless of the weather. Quality of finish is about quality of input, and our John Deere machines reflect exactly that policy. The mowers not only leave a perfect finish but they are also very reliable, day in, day out.
"We have a John Deere 2500A triplex greens mower that we bought in 1999 – it now has over 9600 hours on the clock and it performs just like it did when it was first delivered. We find the same level of reliability on all our green and yellow machines, we just don’t get many breakdowns. TAG also offers regular operator clinics so we can be sure to get the best out of our machinery, and that’s priceless."
Ombersley originally bought its John Deere machines from dealer Parks & Grounds Machinery, which is now part of TAG. Specialist teams of sales, service and parts personnel are responsible for golf course, commercial and homeowner machinery throughout the West Midlands, and the group was recently listed by the London Stock Exchange as one of the UK’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’.
"Having the back-up of TAG close by has been an absolute feather in the cap," says Andrew Halfpenny. "I find it hard to put it into words, but they have an amazing after-sales back-up service that other companies just don’t have. They will always go the extra mile when we need it and the parts team is just so efficient and helpful. Couple that kind of service with the latest John Deere 8700A fairway mower, which is leaps and bounds above anything else on the market, and you have a recipe for success."