General manager Derek Smith said: "All the manufacturers of our damaged machinery rallied round and loaned us equipment, but we decided that the new, replacement kit needed to be sourced from one company. I have always been a Toro fan, but I wanted to put them to the test alongside other manufacturers. So I contacted three companies to look at what was available and make comparisons.
"We didn't skimp, we put them all through a thorough evaluation," explained Derek. "Even our managing director David Johns-Powell tried the machines. He was very supportive. In the end Toro left the others standing - no contest. Wyn Davies, from our dealer Ted Hopkins, did an exceptional job with demonstrations. He really knows his stuff."
Cottrell Park's machinery shed now holds 11 Toro machines. These include greens, tees and fairway mowers, plus two Workman 3300 heavy-duty vehicles. "Having the Toros here has made quite a difference in many ways," Derek said. "They are so solid and well built and they never break down, as many of our other machines have in the past. So productivity and consistency is much improved.
"The Reelmaster 6500 fairway machine is great at cutting in damp conditions. It doesn't leave a mess behind with clumping, which means we can start mowing much earlier in the day now. And it leaves a great finish. Servicing is also very easy with the Toros because all the components are designed to be accessible.
"Needless to say the greenkeepers are very proud of the new kit. Each machine is the responsibility of one person here, which means it is very well taken care of."
Photo: With the new Toro fleet at Cottrell Park. Pictured from front left are: Wyn Davies, from Ted Hopkins; Derek Smith; and John Pike from Toro distributor Lely, with the greenkeepers.