Dennis Trio brings Twin Benefits A trio of Dennis FT mowers is enabling Waveney District Council in Suffolk to achieve the twin benefits of fine quality turf and significant efficiency increases.
The Council recently took delivery of three FT610 pedestrian mowers from the Dennis FT range that can accept interchangeable 'cassette' attachments for various essential grounds care tasks. The authority's machines were specified with a cylinder reel, a brush cassette, two scarifiers and a sorel roller, which has replaceable spikes that remove surface tension, allowing penetration of air, water and nutrients into the rootzone.
The new machines have been put to work at several locations, including the prestigious bowling greens at Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft, perched on a cliff top. The greens have to be maintained to a high standard as many people play the game in the seaside resort.
Several local and county tournaments take place at the facility and the surfaces have to satisfy inspectors from the Eastern Bowls Association. Kensington Gardens also hosts an international bowls tournament for blind people every September.
Waveney District Council's Grounds Manager, Jim Brock, decided to buy the FT610s at the IoG Saltex exhibition in Windsor last September. He was looking for pedestrian mowers that would improve operational efficiency and performance. Impressed by the versatility of the FT concept, he arranged a demonstration on home turf through local dealer, Ben Burgess of Norwich. Seeing the FT610's multitasking benefits for himself led Jim to immediately place his order for three.
"We would traditionally undertake maintenance tasks like scarifying at the end of the playing season," says Jim Brock. "But as the cassettes are so easy to change, we can implement an ongoing greens improvement programme throughout the season. This will enable us to concentrate on major renovation work in the autumn. This is only possible because of the FT610's versatility, and it will make our greens even better. Previously, we had to bring in different machines to do each task, which took much longer."
Waveney grounds staff, who were involved in the purchasing decision, are also highly impressed by the Dennis machines. "During the demonstration we were struck by how easy they are to operate compared to the mowers we were using," says Parks Charge Hand, Richard Hobart. "They are brilliant to use, and we just cannot fault them."
Gardener Kevin Coote appreciates the low vibration levels of the FT machines. "It feels like the Dennis is floating on air and it is a delight to use. Any vibration from the engine seems to be absorbed well below the operator's hands. The machines we used previously were much less refined."
The FT range includes machines with cutting widths from 17-24in, and larger versions, designated the 'G' Series from 26"- 24". Every model is designed to be light in weight so as to exert minimal pressure on the turf, and they are easily manoeuvred.
Dennis' Managing Director, Ian Howard, believes that the FT and G Series have enhanced sports turf quality. "They simplify turf maintenance. Because they can undertake so many tasks, essential work can be carried out quickly and at the right time, rather than waiting to use another piece of equipment or having to buy one."