The amenity industry has lagged behind in the use of electronic technology in areas such as pre-cision application, machine monitoring or automated documentation.
However, with ever-increasing input prices, such as diesel, man-power or the cost of winter salt and grit, the need to be able to apply exact quantities or to maximise the bout width of a mower, so that the number of runs up and down is kept to a minimum, becomes more and more significant. Also a documented record of an area mown or sown can help contractors manage grass cutting contracts more effectively.
Amazone have always been at the forefront when it comes to finding innovative solutions to make life easier for those businesses involved in both green space management and winter spreading, and so introducing technology to assist in maximising the return from new machinery investment is nothing new.
For example, the auger feed on the Profihopper self-propelled mower collectors, proven now by the thousand and that has shown to be a real bonus this year with the immense amounts of wet, lush grass that has been impossible to collect with conventional collection sys-tems. Plus the tool-less change between mowing blades and scarifying knives has made the complete range of equipment fitted with the Exact-Cut flail rotor, and that includes both the Profi-hopper and the tractor-mounted Groundkeeper as well, tackle that any business cannot manage without. As Phil Baldock, head greenkeeper at Ganton Golf Club in North Yorkshire says 'The Groundkeeper isn't Amazone, it's Amazing. I bought a scarifier and got 9 other machines with it for free!' And what more could you ask for.
With IOG Windsor just around the corner, the Saltex Show will see Amazone Groundcare intro-duce its 'Technology in Turf' concept. This concept will look at improving efficiency in all four sec-tors of the Amazone Groundcare range - seeding - mowing - spreading - cultivating.
And this technology does not always need to be vastly expensive or complicated. Take for in-stance, the GBK seeder combination, the addition of a simple electronic area meter makes cali-bration infinitely more accurate as the operator now has a constant read-out in the cab of the area sown. And when it comes to invoicing that job out, there is an accurate known area that can be used to generate the invoice value.
The use of GPS technology is well known for sat-nav systems where the position of a vehicle is known. This type of technology can also be brought across into the amenity industry. So, when using the Groundkeeper flail mower collector, or its big brother, the self-propelled Profihopper, in a grass cutting or leaf collection contract, the area to be worked can be mapped by the GPS-Switch screen fitted to the vehicle. One pass around the perimeter of the job to be done, plus around any obstacles in the middle of that area that can't be included, will produce a map of the total square yardage that needs to be cut/collected and hence invoiced.
GPS-Switch is a stand-alone terminal that can be utilised on any type of vehicle and can be used not just as a means of mapping an area but also, when specified with GPS-Track, as a light bar guidance system. This can then be used as a means of ensuring that the full bout width of a ma-chine is being utilised. The saving of a few centimetres on each pass can result in the operator making less passes during the day which improves both work rates and saves on the amount of fuel used. The accuracy of that GPS signal and hence the degree of accuracy of the driving will depend on the type of correction system specified for the satellite receiver.
When spreading salt and grit, the ability to travel at a forward speed that is as fast as possible, whilst remaining safe and comfortable for the driver, again offers the business the chance to maximise the output of a spreader during winter spreading on streets and paved areas, drives and car parks. The amount to be applied can be selected on the move from the tractor seat so the spread rate can be adjusted to suit the job in hand; there is no point wasting material by applying anymore than is necessary. And with the E+S spreader, which can be set to throw over to the left or the right and can be adjusted for total width on the move to spread just that pavement or cycle way without wastage, the rate is then automatically calculated for the new working width.
All ways round, you can see how Amazone technology can maximise the profitability of any busi-ness.
Come and see Amazone on Stand DAA40.