GreenKeeping reports that The Club Company, which owns and operates 14 Country Clubs across the UK, has taken delivery of a further Ventrac 4500 compact tractor with Contour mowing deck and blower attachments. This latest combination has been delivered to Woodbury Park Hotel and Golf Club near Exeter and brings the total of Ventrac machines within the group to four.
“This is an exceptional machine combination,” said course manager Gareth Tucker. “Unlike some parts of the country, we had a very wet summer and it has continued into the autumn. This has created some challenges for the greenkeeping team, but the Ventrac has got us out of jail on many occasions. With its minimal ground pressure it can go out in all weather. The Contour deck is used on the semi-rough and the quality of finish for Captain’s Day this year was exceptional; we can lift the height of cut and also use it on the rough.”
“SALTEX just gets better and better for us”, says Rupert Price, Managing Director of Ventrac’s UK distributor Price Turfcare
“For the past two years we’ve been coming to the event with the intention of raising the profile of the Ventrac brand, but this year there was a significant change. Visitors now know of us through our marketing initiatives including the social media platforms of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, together with the editorial coverage we have received in the trade media.
“We’re still working exceptionally hard demonstrating the versatility of the equipment and the recent Turf Maintenance Live (TML) event, just a week before SALTEX, was another opportunity to get the product in front of prospects.
“Many of the visitors to our stand were saying that they had seen us on social media and in the trade publications. Now they are wanting to see the equipment that is creating the buzz. At the close of the show, when we analysed the number of demonstration requests we had received, I was quite dumbfounded. With these added to those from TML, we are going to be extremely busy between now and the spring of 2020.
Tom Bailey, Area Sales Manager at RT Machinery, has won Price Turfcare’s Dealer Sales Achievement award and has been presented with £300 worth of store vouchers in appreciation of his efforts.
Rupert Price, Managing Director of Price Turfcare, the UK distributor of Ventrac said,
“As a young company we are heavily dependent on our dealer network and the enthusiasm of their sales teams. RT Machinery has readily accepted the challenge of promoting Ventrac and Tom, in particular, has excelled with some serious sales in his territory. He fully understands the attributes of the machine and its accessories and has targeted large estate owners in his area, with outstanding success.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank not only Tom, but all of our dealers and their sales staff for their fantastic commitment to Ventrac since we launched the business just under three years ago. We have certainly arrived in the UK groundscare market and it is thanks to their combined efforts.”
Tom joined RT Machinery in June 2015 as a trainee Area Sales Manager from the estate management team at SAS UK. He then completed three years of RTM training and has progressed to be one of the company’s highly skilled and dedicated Area Sales Managers
– Trevose Golf & Country Club, situated five miles west of Padstow in Cornwall, is the latest business to appreciate the benefits of owning a Ventrac 4500 compact tractor and attachments. Delivered by local dealer Devon Garden Machinery, the package included the Ventrac 4500 compact tractor, a Contour mowing deck and Power Rake.
Owned by the Gammon family, Trevose is one of Cornwall’s premier golf destinations with 36 holes of golf including the 18-hole Championship course, the 9-hole Headland course and a 9-hole short course. The Championship course was designed by Harry Colt in 1925 and has recently undergone extensive renovations under the work of architects Mackenzie & Ebert. In recent years it has hosted The Brabazon Trophy (2008), The McGregor Trophy (2012) and the English Men’s County Finals (2017). In June this year it is the venue of a Staysure Tour event – the Farm Foods European Legends Links Championship.
Neil Ivamy is the Course Manager and heads a team of 13 greenkeepers. Explaining the decision for the addition to his fleet he said, “We were in the market for a semi-rough mower and Vic Robinson, the Area Manager for Devon Garden Machinery suggested that we look at the Ventrac. I had my doubts initially as I was worried that the width of cut was slightly less than our existing pod mower, which would put significant time on the mowing operations across the three courses. However, the manoeuvrability of the machine was fantastic, reducing turning times and cutting areas we would normally have to strim, leading to improved overall productivity. We had two demonstrations and when these were concluded, I realised that my doubts were unfounded; the finish was excellent. The Ventrac is very versatile; it’s not just a mower. We purchased the Power Rake attachment in the package and that’s how I justified it to management; we can use it to enhance the appearance of the entire property, not just the golf courses.
The Power Rake is a great attachment and can reinstate pathways very easily and without the need to import new material to fill potholes. We have numerous paths around the property and it certainly reduces the maintenance hours. We also use the it when reinstating our turf nursery to rotovate the soil before reseeding. Although we didn’t purchase the Tough Cut deck or the Power Broom, they both performed superbly on demonstration and I will certainly be looking at them in the future. “The machine performs brilliantly on slopes; it can work safely up to 30 degrees, and we are now maintaining banked areas more frequently, including some that would only be strimmed twice a year. We can attach our Wiedenmann TerraRake to the rear 3-point linkage and rake the clippings to the bottom of the slopes for easier collection. Without doubt, this is a very versatile machine.”
Neil began his career at the age of 14 while still at school, working weekends in the Pro-Shop and with the greenkeeping team at nearby Merlin Golf Club, before joining on a permanent basis when he left full-time education. In the winters of 2003 and 2007 he played club cricket in Perth, western Australia and on his return spent two years in the landscaping industry. He joined Trevose as an assistant greenkeeper in 2009, was promoted to deputy course manager in 2012 and course manager in 2015.
East Anglia – The CGM Group is one of the latest landscape contractors to purchase a Ventrac package from Price Turfcare. Supplied by local dealer Ernest Doe & Sons, the package includes a Ventrac 4500 compact tractor and Finishing deck.
Managing director Tim Glover and his wife Julie started the business over 35 years ago carrying out grass cutting for the local authority in West Dereham and now provides grounds maintenance, landscaping, arboriculture, facilities management and pest control services to commercial and domestic customers throughout East Anglia. The Group employs over 180 staff working on a wide range of contracts from local authorities, agricultural processors, housing associations, schools and sports clubs through to one-off hard landscaping projects. CGM Group has bases in King’s Lynn, Norwich, Cambridge and Peterborough and regularly undertake projects in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk.
Explaining the rationale behind the purchase of the Ventrac package, Head of Operations Marcus Glover said,
“We were in the market for a new machine for our contracts with large factories and distribution centres and saw the Ventrac at LAMMA. I spoke to Rupert Price and he arranged a demonstration, which took place in February. It performed really well and we took delivery soon after. At the moment it is used exclusively for these mowing contracts, but we’ll be looking at the Power Rake and Power Brush attachments later this year as we can see more applications that will suit our business. It’s certainly a versatile machine.”
Adrian (Ady) Seymour is the principal operator and has been with CGM for 12 years. Commenting on the attributes of the machine he said,
“This is a great machine for the operator; it’s comfortable, highly manoeuvrable and very easy to use. The hand controls are intuitive and the articulating frame means we can get into tight areas, reducing additional strimming time. A tank of fuel lasts all day and once I’ve finished, I can clean it down with a light pressure washing. The deck flips up almost vertically, so that helps with cleaning, greasing and blade changing. Under the bonnet everything on the Kubota engine is easily accessible and I can easily access the radiator to blow it clear with a compressed air line.
“With its eight-wheel configuration it’s also very safe on slopes and good in wet conditions. The Finishing deck leaves a really nice finish, so much so, that I’ve been complimented by senior managers at several of our customers when I stripe up the roadside verges and entrance roads to their sites.”
Andy Seymour says that the Ventrac is a great machine to operate – comfortable, highly manoeuvrable and very easy to use!