Midlothian may be one of the smallest councils in Scotland, but it is certainly making a big impact with a little help from a range of Pellenc battery-powered equipment.
"I think we are the second smallest local authority by area in Scotland," said Jim Hay, Grounds Maintenance Manager for Midlothian Council. "However, as far as we are aware we have more electric equipment than any of the other councils and we're trying to lead the way in this respect."
From managing teams to choosing equipment, Jim is responsible for overseeing the maintenance of all the grounds and green spaces throughout Midlothian. One of his biggest responsibilities is the health and safety of the personnel who are operating grounds maintenance equipment, and it is for this very reason that he first started exploring battery-powered technology.
"We identified that the Hand-Arm Vibration (HAV) measurements on the majority of our petrol equipment were not ideal and felt that battery-powered machinery was the solution," said Jim. "For this reason, we looked at a wide-range of equipment from various manufacturers. Unfortunately, we found that most of the equipment was not to a professional standard - it appeared to be more suited to domestic use.
"Pellenc however, was different. As far as we are concerned, Pellenc is by far the best professional equipment in the battery-powered market."
A forerunner when it comes to lithium-ion technology, Pellenc has established itself as the number one choice in the 'zero emission' professional power tools market for the maintenance of urban and green-spaces.
Light, odourless, noise-free, with no starting problems and enough power to enable professional users to work for a full day on a single charge, it's no wonder more and more professional users are turning to Pellenc. It is an attractive alternative to those who have, for several years, been relying on fuel-based machinery.
A demonstration was arranged through Pellenc dealer Agrovista Amenity, and Midlothian Council purchased a wide range of Pellenc products which included Rasion pedestrian mowers, Helion hedge trimmers, Selion chainsaws, Excelion grass strimmers and Airion blowers.
The equipment is already making a positive difference in many areas throughout the borough of Midlothian as Jim explained.
"The Pellenc tools are used in a lot of the local schools because we can operate them when classes are on or when exams are in progress, due to how quiet the machinery is. It's the same when we work close to residential homes or the public in general.
"Aside from the equipment being so quiet it is just so much easier and more comfortable for the staff. With our old petrol machinery, they could only use it for three hours at a time because of the HAV levels, but they can use the Pellenc tools all day. The battery life is excellent, and we can run them all day if needed.
"I've had nothing but positive feedback from everyone using it."
Jim claims that his experience has been boosted by the dedicated Pellenc technical centre - which was launched after Agrovista Amenity joined forces with Edinburgh City Council. It means that customers like Jim, have access to dedicated Pellenc operatives who have been fully trained at the state-of-the-art Pellenc factory in Pertuis, France.
"We have definitely benefited from the Pellenc service centre," he said. "Whenever I need a machine serviced, looking at, or need any advice then I can just call the team there. It's a fantastic service and when the Pellenc equipment goes in for a service it is always returned very quickly."
Jim feels that the purchase of the Pellenc equipment is another step in the right direction for Midlothian Council.
"The public are becoming more 'green aware' - and we are doing our utmost to boost our green credentials. We first started investing in electric equipment five years ago we are proud of what we have achieved already.
"Going forward we are keen to record the savings in CO2 emissions from this change in power source to further demonstrate our green credentials. We are already telling people to keep their eyes peeled because we have more electric equipment coming."
Pellenc is distributed exclusively in the UK by Etesia UK.
For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit www.pellencuk.com