Exemplifying the best at Newby Hall

Eibhlin Murphyin Machinery & Mechanics

Newby Hall and Gardens purchased the Major Swift Roller Mower to create a perfect finish for its award-winning estate.

Newby Hall and Gardens is setting the highest standards of presentation. Located near Ripon in Yorkshire, the 17th Century house is a fine example of Adam Style architecture. The hall was featured in many films and TV dramas including the blockbuster hit Peaky Blinders. The stunning home and gardens won the coveted "Historic Houses Garden of the Year" award twice.

"The finish from the Major Swift is superior to anything we have used"

"We often get over two thousand visitors during the day at Newby and the minute they enter the estate, they expect the best and that's what we want to give them year-round," begins Assistant Estate Manager Alexander Morrison. "We have over 300 acres of parkland with an inner area of formal gardens covering some 25 acres. Every part of the estate receives the highest level of professional care from our team of seven specialist gardeners and groundskeepers who all bring with them very specific individual skills."

Traditional grassland landscapes, an extensive caravan site and car park sprawl across the outer parkland. "We wanted to give these areas a significant boost by leaving a perfect finish," added Alex. "Our cylinder mower was getting a little long in the tooth, so we acquired a new Major MJ71-400 Trailed Swift Roller Mower. The finish we are getting from the Major Swift is superior to anything else we have used. And, we are covering the grassland areas in half the time it took with the previous mower."

Quality design, build and after-cut appearance

Grounds manager Nigel Allison and his team demonstrated several mower brands on the estate through their local dealer Wilfred Scruton. "The build quality of the Major Swift mower was far superior to anything else we looked at," begins Nigel. "It's a very well put together piece of kit that comes with front and rear rollers, eight rotors and sixteen blades. It has a direct gear drive - so no belts to tension or wear out and it's a very simple machine to maintain. We can also set the height of cut very quickly anywhere between ten (10) and one hundred and thirty millimetres (130mm)."

The Major MJ71-400T is a trailed machine with three gear-driven cutting decks giving an overall width of 5.54m. Two folding wings reduce the width down to 2.40m for transport mode. It comes with a full LED lighting kit and a braked axle for safe and legal road work. The Major Swift range of groundcare machinery is constructed from high-performance Strenx™ 700 MC structural steel, which is 2.5x stronger, yet lighter, than traditional steel. Combined with hot-dip galvanisation, these machines will outlive most machines made from ordinary steel.

Easy height adjustment and roller system suitable for any ground

"When you look at some of the wide areas of grassland we have on the parkland you would think that it looked pretty much like a mill pond," continues Nigel. "But underneath that grass we have some pretty radical undulating ground and that was always a challenge with our cylinder mowers which often scalped the turf."

"The Major Swift handles even the roughest of ground without scalping because the front and rear rollers, coupled with the three cutting decks, means it follows the contours perfectly," explains Nigel. "Since we acquired the Major Swift last year, we have seen a considerable improvement in the quality and lushness of the parkland. We've also seen a more even result with a really beautifully striped finish across all of our grass areas and - a striped finish that was as good if not better than with our cylinder mowers."

Considerable cost savings in terms of maintenance, downtime and labour

"There are several significant benefits that we have seen since we started using the Major Swift mower," Nigel points out. "Firstly, our maintenance, downtime and cost of replacement parts has drastically reduced compared to the significant costs on the cylinder mower. Secondly, we have cut our mowing time by fifty percent (50%), which means we can employ the tractor driver on other meaningful tasks, while reducing our labour costs. Since we get across the ground quicker, we don't have to cut the grass so short, so we are seeing an improvement in the overall finish and the impression it gives our visitors."

"I've been very impressed with the service back-up we get from Scruton's our dealer and from Major," added Alex. "Our decision to buy the Major Swift was based purely on build quality and mowing finish, and our experience has shown that we definitely made the right choice. I can see this mower giving us a very long working life, low maintenance costs and ease of use for any of our groundskeepers. That means greater customer satisfaction, better value-for-money and I'm sure this will add to the lasting impression we will leave for our discerning visitors," concludes Alex.