IoG Saltex 2015: Kit solutions

Mowers, turf care kit, seeds, fertilisers, grounds maintenance, landscaping, arboriculture and play equipment will all feature at Saltex, Sally Drury reports.

MP Series: wide-area mowers use bat wing rotary or five-gang cylinder formats - image: Ransomes Jacobsen
MP Series: wide-area mowers use bat wing rotary or five-gang cylinder formats - image: Ransomes Jacobsen


Whether mowing gardens, verges, pitches, golf courses or cemeteries, there are plenty of new solutions to be seen at Saltex. Toro grounds care has a brand new mower, exhibited by Lely — Partners in Turfcare, and although details are being kept under wraps the company does say the unit will appeal to councils and contractors looking to increase productivity and efficiency to help save money by increasing the time between cuts.

Also on display will be the highly productive heavy-duty Toro LT3340 triple and the Groundsmaster 360 zero-turn mower, noted for its Quad-Steer all-wheel-drive steering.

Ransomes Jacobsen comes to Saltex to showcase the latest in its MP Series wide-area mowers. Combining two alternative power units with prodigious output using either a bat wing rotary or a five-gang cylinder format, the MP series has been designed from the ground up with communality in mind.

John Deere is represented at Saltex by regional dealers Farol, Henton & Chattell, Tallis Amos Group and Turner Groundscare. The joint display includes the new X950R rear-discharge diesel lawn tractor with mid-mounted mower deck and rear high-tip collector. The deep decks available for this machine are designed to cope with both very low and tall grass, and to allow a constant grass flow. A single multi-function hydraulic lever makes for convenient operation of the collector and deck, and also controls front-mounted implements.

Also new from John Deere is the 1580 TerrainCut out-front rotary mower with two-speed hydrostatic transmission, operated by TwinTouch pedals, making it suitable for rough terrain and tough grass. A faster working speed and a transport speed of up to 15.5mph (25kph) can be achieved. Front-mounted attachments such as brush or blade add versatility for applications throughout the year.

Dedicated to minimising downtime, cutting operating costs and improving performance, John Deere’s biggest zero-turn, the ZTrak Z997R, is introduced at the show. Based on a heavy-duty frame and featuring a shaft drive to minimise deck-belt replacement, this mower also has flat-free front tyres.

IPU returns to Saltex this year and promises a series of videos showing the incredible feats possible with Ferris and Wright mowers, including the Stander and Sport Rapid Height. One clip even shows a Ferris IS 5100Z ride-on mower turn through 180° while still on the trailer.

More zero-turns can be viewed on Ariens’ stand as the company attends Saltex for the first time and displays its new IKON-X. This ride-on has a fully fabricated steel frame for extra strength, a commercial-grade cutter deck constructed from 10-gauge steel and will, of course, fully rotate within its own footprint.

If you are concerned by mowing steep areas and embankments, check out the credentials of the latest Climbers from Grillo UK. Powered by 22hp or 27hp B&S engines, these four-wheel drive ride-on brushcutters feature 13-litre fuel tank, electromagnetic clutch, pedal-operated diff lock on the rear axle, tow hitch and lights as standard. Cutting width is 98cm and cutting height is adjustable from 35mm to 135mm.

Viking mowers are exhibited by Stihl, including heavy-duty models designed with professionals in mind. Noteworthy is the MB 756 YC with 80-litre fabric grass catcher, high-torque hydrostatic drive for variable speed control and a "monocomfort" handlebar for easy emptying.

Pedestrian mowers come under the spotlight on the Dennis stand as the company caters for a wide range of customers, from sports turf managers to National Trust gardeners, with the launch of the Dedicated G-Series range. Designed and built following the same concept as the popular Dennis G860, the new models come in 34in, 30in and 26in cutting widths and incorporate a large diameter eight-bladed cylinder for performance in short and long grass.

Should you be looking for replacement mower parts, particularly cutting cylinders and bottom blades, British manufacturer Crocodile Precision is making its Saltex debut with a wide range of products engineered to fit popular pedestrian and ride-on machines.

Green, cleaner and quieter, battery power continues to make inroads into the turf and grounds care markets and this year sees Bosch introduce professional kit based around weatherproof 36V lithium-ion batteries, including the GRA 48 lawnmower. Claiming to be 50 per cent quieter than petrol alternatives, this 48cm mower joins the Red Dot award-winning GRA 53 model.

Mowing meets turf care on ATT’s stand as the company exhibits the new INFiNiSystem 30 to bring fine turf quality to sports turf and provide flexibility and performance for sports facilities. Configured as a mower, the system gives a quality cut, but coupled with SMART cassettes for turf management it also provides functionality.

A bigger brother to the existing 22in and 26in models that are more at home catering for the needs of golf, this new 30in system shares the same ability in changing between hybrid power and pure battery and is designed to allow groundsmen to calibrate the unit specifically for their situation.

A floating head design on the INFiNiSystem 30 sees the cutting unit independent of the traction unit so the combined weight of the mower is spread to aid end-of-line turning and decrease overall ground pressure, but without affecting striping. In addition, the grass-catcher weight is transferred to the traction unit, ensuring consistent height of cut irrespective of how much grass is in the basket.


Saltex promises a great opportunity to get up to date with the latest in turf maintenance. Now in autumn, many turf managers will be thinking of the battle against compaction. Aerators are on display. For starters, the ProCore SR72 — light enough to be used on sensitive turf but tough enough to handle the most compacted soils — illustrates Toro’s aeration range and can be viewed on Lely’s stand, while Wiedenmann is featuring its XD8 and Gxi8 Terra Spike aerators. Ransomes Jacobsen is displaying turf maintenance kit from the Turfco and Ryan brands.

Charterhouse Turf Machinery is demonstrating the benefits of the Redexim Verti-Drain 1513 aerator. This is at the smaller end of the Verti-Drain range yet is a fast and versatile machine capable of working down to a depth of 150mm. Just 1.3m wide, the unit can be connected to a low-horsepower tractor or used with the self-propelled Redexim Carrier.

For overseeding, Charterhouse has an extensive range of kit, including the 1.4m Double Disc Overseeder 1430 launched last year and designed to deliver seed into soil via discs, spaced at 30mm, and bury the seed up to 20mm deep.

From the Graden portfolio, Charterhouse is showing the Contour Sand Injection (CSI) unit. This is the flagship Graden machine and has the ability to scarify to any depth between 1mm and 40mm while simultaneously backfilling the grooves with either sand or a combination of sand and seed. The CSI is powered by a 20hp V-Twin Honda engine, has hydrostatic drive and a 100kg sand hopper.

Vitax Supaturf promises something big in terms of line marking, but we have to wait for the show to open to catch a glimpse of what is heralded as "ground breaking technology". We do know, however, that visitors can see the recently launched TFS-25 tank-free spray marking machine, a clean and convenient way of spraying direct from the drum, TXE606, EvenSprey Club and Briteliner Arrow. A new Supaturf paint system will launch that claims to confine the challenges of artificial-pitch marking to history.

Another advance in line-marking application and paint technology is promised on Rigby Taylor’s stand, but again there are no details just yet.

Folding to an easily transportable size, the all new 4.6m Terra Rake from Wiedenmann boosts an output double that of the original. It can be seen alongside a 1.7m electric trailed draw bar option that eliminates the need for linkage attachment.

Featured on the SISIS stand is kit including the Rotorake TM100 tractor-mounted scarifier and linear aerator, Rotorake 600HD pedestrian scarifier and the Quadraplay single-pass maintenance system for up to four implements from slitters and spikers to grooming rakes, brushes and rollers.


Returning to Saltex after a long absence, DLF Trifolium’s technical team is on hand to discuss the company’s range of sports turf mixtures, including Johnson’s new 4 Turf Tetraploid Perennial Ryegrass cultivars Double and Fabian. Combined, these deliver high levels of disease resistance, increased wear tolerance and recovery compared with regular diploid ryegrasses. Tetraploids also promise fast establishment, exceptional turf quality and good year-round colour.

For training grounds and high-wear areas, especially where irrigation is restricted, the DLF team is highlighting Johnson’s J Pitch. Alongside is the camera-friendly J Premier Pitch with exceptional visual merit and wear tolerance. All Johnsons Sports seed and Masterline mixtures are pre-coated with GroMax biostimulant to maximise plant development.

More tetraploid technology, this time from Top Green, is featured on Rigby Taylor’s stand.
An impressive range of grass seed mixtures can be found on Limagrain’s stand, including MM50 and MM60. The latter is a 100 per cent ryegrass formula, ideal for divot repair, being fast to germinate and having high wear tolerance. MM50, suited to cricket squares, tees, fairways, outfield and even golf greens, is also fast to germinate, a hard-wearing mix with high shoot density and tolerance to close mowing. Mixtures in the MM range are treated with Limagrain’s Headstart Gold.

A new product that promises to "make the lives of groundsmen, stadium and facilities managers easier than ever" is expected to be launched by Barenburg, but you will have to visit the stand to find out more. While you are there, have a go at cracking the six-digit combination on the Barenbrug safe — there is £15,000 inside.

A reinforced natural grass, Xtreme Grass, is introduced at the show by Act Global. A high-performance product designed for pitches, it has synthetic fibres to help stabilise and protect natural grass, reduce playing damage and offer more playing hours than natural grass alone. The system can be used for full-field installations or to reinforce target areas such as football goalmouths.

Familiar faces appear under a new name as the transition from Everris to ICL paves the way for an expanded product portfolio and a strong emphasis on innovative solutions for healthy grass, plants and crops. On the stand, visitors can find out more about the company’s Turf Rewards scheme, which offers customers the chance to earn points from purchases and convert them into a range of valuable agronomic or educational items. Should you be looking to improve your turf, be sure to ask about how you can get a tailored iTurf programme specific to your site.

Introducing the new professional lawn and turf care ranges, together with the current consumer lawn care products and organic rose and plant food for fruit and vegetables, the Viano brand is featured by DJ Turfcare. The new professional range is split into Turf Professional, comprising TurfProf Start, TurfProf Autumn, Fairway and Greenboost, together with MO Bacter and Growers Turf Professional, which is split into organic-based MixProf and 100 per cent organic MixProf Bio.

Fertilisers to cope with the demands of modern sports turf feature on Headland Amenity’s stand. Highlighted is Xtend, in granular, liquid and soluble form. Billed as one of the most cost-effective sources of nitrogen, it is suited to coarse turf such as pitches, race tracks and polo fields. Both Xtend Soluble 46-0-0 and Xtend Liquid 34-0-0 provide field longevity of two-to-three months.

To help managers carry out multiple tasks in a single spray, Xtend can be tank mixed with many other Headland products. A compatible mix could be with a low-rate iron product such as Elevate Fe. Bound in a nitrogen complex to facilitate fast uptake and green-up, Elevate Fe does not stain turf and can be applied right up to key events.

Plant nutrition, plant health and root development are some of the topics featured on the Agronomic Services stand, where two new products are unveiled. Osiryl is a root development stimulator made from naturally occurring plant extracts and designed to protect auxins from enzyme deterioration. The result, says managing director Jo Snowden, is rapid root growth, reduced stress, optimised nutrition and increased nematode resistance.

The other new product is Raider Plus, a spray adjuvant that improves the uptake, absorption and performance of any systemic/foliar applied liquid. If you want to know how to get the best out of your root zone, improve the efficiency of your soils and reduce surface algae and black layer, attend David Snowden’s talk at 1pm on 4 November.


At Saltex, grounds care contractors can find everything from tractors and utility vehicles to handheld kits such as brushcutters and blowers, with a number of first-time exhibitors and new brands. Having recently been appointed sole importer and distributor for South Korean-built Branson Tractors, the Compact Tractor Centre (CTC) is focusing on a 21-74hp range suited to use by grounds care contractors, local authorities and amenity turf professionals. Prices start from £9,600 + VAT.

"We are confident in the Branson Tractor UK name," says CTC managing director Nathan Walker. "Every new tractor carries a two-year warranty that includes engine, driveline and all original equipment. Also, we have the UK stockholding of a complete range of spare parts with the backing of a larger stock in mainland Europe." The company is looking to appoint dealerships nationwide.

If you have ever wondered what makes the TYM T503 compact tractor so popular, there is an opportunity to find out on Lely’s stand as the company shows the unit’s big-project features such as hydrostatic power steering, projection head lamps, dual air filter, foldable ROPS and rear wiper.

On John Deere’s stand a 3045R mid-chassis compact utility tractor can be seen equipped with an AutoConnect drive-over mower deck. This tractor has JD’s automatic e-Hydro transmission, combining a three-range electronic hydrostatic unit with the simple-to-use TwinTouch forward and reverse pedals. This transmission also features the combination of LoadMatch, MotionMatch and SpeedMatch operating modes to boost performance and productivity in a wide range of tractor tasks.

Options include ComfortGard quiet cab, front hitch with power take-off (PTO) and materials collection system. A standard joystick control is also available to operate mounted implements, including the new John Deere H Series front loaders.

Offering between 27hp and 47hp, the Boomer 50 Hydro and Boomer 35 tractors exhibited by New Holland should appeal to grounds care staff and landscapers alike. The units feature fuel-efficient three- and four-cylinder engines and have powerful rear linkage and PTO combinations with lift capacity up to 1,250kg. Landscapers will also be interested in the E25 mini excavator and L230 skid steer loader from New Holland. Both are compact machines ideal for working in tight spaces.

Developed to suit a wide range of user requirements and ideally suited for use by golf clubs, landscape professionals, local authority maintenance contractors and sports clubs, the new Grand L40-II Series deluxe tractor is displayed by Kubota. Top specs include features for operator comfort and increased productivity, the tractors having HSP Plus hydrostatic transmission advanced technology.

Kubota grounds care division business development manager Adrian Langmead says: "Our ride-on mowers and compact tractors have always been popular with maintenance specialists working in the turf care and landscaping sectors, so the launch of the Grand L40-II Series will further enhance our position as we continue to invest in new product development."

Also exhibited is the 34hp STW 34 tractor — specifically designed to take on an extensive list of jobs ranging from mowing to loading work — the 60hp M6060 with 18x18 multi-stage transmission and hydraulic shuttle and the economical 26hp B2650 compact with HST or manual transmission. Construction is also included with the spotlight falling on Kubota’s KX019-4 mini excavator.

For on-site transport, the Polaris Ranger diesel has secured a place as a hard-working utility vehicle, while the Sportsman UTE provides a solution in hilly areas and on steep terrain. Both are exhibited, along with the world’s first true electric 4x4 — the Ranger EV — by Polaris Work & Transportation.

There are more on- and off-road vehicles on the Quadzilla stand, with quads starting from £3,199 RRP, while Lister Wilder focuses on the HDK range of electric vehicles that, due to their low cost, long battery life and minimal maintenance are appealing to sports and leisure venues across Britain. The HDK range includes a choice of adaptable, versatile utility vehicles and golf buggies that are able to carry up to eight people.

"Electric is certainly the way forward and I think many golf courses, holiday parks and other venues that are still running petrol-powered utility vehicles will now make the switch," says Lister Wilder grounds care sales director Phill Hughes. "It is particularly significant that HDK has developed batteries that can last up to 80km [50miles] on a single charge and are totally maintenance-free. Removing the chore of continual distilled water top-ups can save a lot of staff time as well as the associated costs."

Lister Wilder is able to offer the HDK golf buggy at £3,150 + VAT and electric utility vehicles capable of 25mph (40kph) at £4,850. The absence of fuel and filters means the vehicles are virtually maintenance-free, with little more needed than to check rear axle oil levels every six months. Hughes calculates that the cost of £700 for a complete battery replacement will be more than offset by fuel and maintenance savings and by the fact that an electric vehicle does not cost you downtime when undertaking engine maintenance.

Well into autumn now, the clearance of leaves and debris is on the mind. Taking a new direction to blowing, Wiedenmann’s Mega Twister can be viewed with two new options — a goose neck spout attachment to set the wind nozzle parallel to the floor for optimal output, and electrical operation of the nozzle. The latter allows tractors with just one double spool valve to operate the left-to-right swivel action hydraulically and the up-and-down motion via an electric ram.

A solution to removing debris from gutters is presented by first-time exhibitor Spinaclean. Eliminating the need for a perilous ascent up a ladder or the expense of hiring a cherry picker, the SkyVac is a high-reach gutter vacuum that uses lightweight carbon fibre poles and a wireless camera system to enable gutters to be cleaned from the ground. Launched at the show is the budget-friendly Atom package — a commercial-grade machine ideal for the clubhouse that could also be a lucrative supplement to garden-maintenance rounds.

Trafalgar Cleaning Equipment comes to Saltex with three machines that have strong environmental credentials. The first is the Battery Ram commercial battery-powered leaf and litter collection machine. The Eco City Sweeper precinct machine is a walk-behind, stand-on or ride-on sweeper powered by batteries. Finally, the Trafalgar WeedKiller makes its debut. It uses boiling water, no chemicals, so no licensing is required for the operators. The machine doubles as a gum and graffiti removal system.

For grounds care and horticultural operations, Makita is introducing more tools powered by twin 18V lithium-ion batteries. Adaptor plates were previously needed to facilitate the delivery of 36V, but now new machine bodies will directly accommodate the two batteries. Included in the range is a 300mm chainsaw running at 8.3m/s, a two-speed leaf blower, 550mm hedge trimmer, bike-handled brushcutter, loop-handled line trimmer and 380mm lawnmower with six height settings from 25mm to 75mm.

The new BGA 100 backpack blower exhibited by Stihl boasts the highest force of all the company’s handheld blowers — 14N at its most powerful, approximately 70 per cent higher than its predecessor the BGA85. Yet it only weighs 2.5kg excluding battery and has a sound power level of 90dB(A). Key features include EC motor, three distinct power stages plus a "power boost" mode and 36V lithium-ion PRO battery. The blower can be partnered with the new AR 3000 backpack battery to ensure running time up to 160 minutes off a single charge — 25 per cent more than the AR 900. There is also a new backpack blower with 2-MIX engine and adjustable blower tube and control handle.

The much anticipated FSA 90 brushcutter is also displayed by Stihl. A powerful machine with a cutting blade and bike handle, it is powered by a 36V lithium-ion PRO battery to give runtimes of up to 39 minutes. Ecospeed load control extends battery life. Watch out for the introduction of the 90R, a loop-handle version with auto cut head.

Even more cordless tech is exhibited by Bosch as the company marks its start in professional products powered by weatherproof 36V lithium-ion batteries. Permitting users to work in noise-sensitive areas, the products come with an IPX4 rating and have low vibration levels. Included in the line-up is the GFR brushcutter, which Bosch calculates saves users £1.65 per hour in running costs, GRA 48 and 53 lawnmowers, GBL 780 leaf blower, GHE hedge cutters and the GEN 1500 — the world’s first lithium-based portable power unit providing 1,500W of constant power in all weather conditions.

More power tools, this time fuelled by petrol, are featured on DMMP’s stand and come with what is probably the industry’s longest warranty. Items in the Maruyama outdoor power range are backed by five-year commercial warranties.

Spare parts are to be found on several stands but if you want tyres make a note that as the UK’s sole official importer of Carlisle tyres Tyre-line has an impressive stock for virtually all lawn and garden, ATV, UTV, compact tractors and grounds care machines. Key new products include Turf Smart tyres engineered for zero-turn mowers and Wand Aramid puncture-resistant tyres in sizes from 15x6.00-6 to 26x12.00-12.

As well as supplying a comprehensive range of mower replacements and workshop tools, Spaldings is also well known for grounds maintenance kit and personal protective equipment. This year it is introducing the Spadlings Essentials GM hand tool range.

As well as new products, Saltex also sees the launch of a new service. Complete Grounds Maintenance (CGM) from Complete Weed Control (CWC) aims to deliver a comprehensive range of services on a national scale. CWC, established in 1972, has more than 50 regional offices throughout the UK and Ireland. It also offers to eliminate snow and ice worries through Complete Ice Control.

Grass cutting, weed and moss control, grass growth retardation, shrub pruning, litter picking, the installation of Baseguard rubber crumb surfaces and winter maintenance will all be offered by CGM. The launch will be welcomed by those who have to search for various contractors for each service.

"A lot of our operatives are already doing work that isn’t necessarily just weed control," says CGM managing director Ian Graham. "Many of our customers are already benefiting from a number of additional services such as clearance, repair work to gates and fences, grass cutting and pruning. We wanted an all-round solution where we’ve got service provision covered from top to bottom. We have this with CGM."

Landscaping and arboriculture

Developed with the landscaping industry in mind, a new ultra-compact tool carrier is unveiled by regular Saltex exhibitor Avant Tecno (UK). Despite its diminutive size and weighing less than 1,000kg, the new machine has many of the features found as standard across the Finnish manufacturer’s range.

The unit can be transported on a small trailer and should prove ideal where work space is at a premium. See it alongside examples of larger models and some of the latest 150-plus range of attachments including a collector mower and redesigned hedge trimmer.

Designed to replace wooden stakes and allow trees to naturally establish, the Root Ball Kit from Gripple is simple and fast to install. It features underground anchoring to reduce trip hazards and, because there is no sign that the tree is newly planted, could deter vandalism.

Also on Gripple’s stand is the Professional Trellis Kit, a system for attaching to walls, fences and posts to create a strong yet discreet framework for a range of garden plants. The trellis is available in zinc, aluminium or stainless steel and is engineered to work with increased loads of up to 225kg.

Chippers of all sizes are featured by GreenMech, including the CS100, which at just 760mm wide is suited to spot chipping in restricted or tight spaces. For arborists, the company is also showcasing the 150 and 190 woodchippers.


A range that integrates play, dexterity, balance, exercise and sociability, combined in striking and modern styling, is featured by Streetscape as it introduces Tribox. Also on display are outdoor fitness products for single or multiple users. The company’s offering in multi-use games areas and sports facilities for football, basketball, hockey, netball and cricket are also featured.

Notts Sport comes to Saltex to display its new ShockWave tiles, so called because their wave-like contours slot together like jigsaw pieces. The company has successfully used a similar tile system as part of its ChildsPlay solution and has now enhanced the product for use in sport, with an upgraded thickness and density.

The lightweight units, having gone through full laboratory testing at Loughborough University, are said to be simpler and quicker to install than traditional Tarmacadam or stone bases. With the correct usage and maintenance, the system is guaranteed to provide a minimum of 20 years’ service.

A broad selection of Redexim VertiArt maintenance kit, from brushing to infill cleaning, is displayed by Charterhouse.

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