Norwich Quintet Delivers Quality
By Sue Meeken
The maintenance of public turfed areas is the responsibility of AWG Cleanaway Ltd trading as CityCare. A private company, it has been the main contractor to the City Council since 2000.
The operation looks after prestigious public parks and fine turf areas, including ten bowling greens, 21 grass tennis courts, two pitch and putt facilities, two putting greens, two croquet lawns, and eight cricket squares. Rose gardens and war graves are also under its responsibility.
CityCare recently replaced eight cylinder mowers with five new machines made by Dennis. The multi-tasking units can accept a wide range of attachments, which are fitted in seconds to replace the cutting reel. This means one machine can do the work of several other pieces of equipment.
In charge of purchasing is Martyn Ward, the company's Fleet Manager. He bought the Dennis units after close consultation with the grounds care staff, and in particular Senior Supervisor Dave Smith.
The company has bought three Dennis FT610 machines and two Super Six units after a demonstration arranged by local dealer Ben Burgess Equipment. Among those evaluating the machinery were supervisors, operators and engineering staff.
Each of the new Dennis machines will serve one of five maintenance 'zones', into which the city is divided for operational efficiency.
Like other machines in the FT line-up, the FT610 can accept quick-change 'cassette' attachments, developed by Dennis, for various essential tasks. CityCare has bought 12 cassettes, comprising five- and nine-blade cutting cylinders, verti-cutters, scarifiers and turf brushes.
The Super Six is similar to the FT610, but its cutting reels provide a minimum cutting height of 3mm, making it suitable for lawns and general turf areas. The FT610 can mow down to 1.8mm, appropriate for fine swards like golf greens. Both machines are 61cm (24in) wide, so their attachments are fully interchangeable.
Martyn Ward is delighted with the machines. "I've effectively replaced eight cylinder mowers with five multi-tasking Dennis 'power' units that can cut, verti-cut, scarify and more. This cuts down on storage requirements and means fewer trips to the depots. Operators can do a full day's work with all the equipment they need on the back of one vehicle. Our productivity has definitely increased."
Echoing these views, Dave Smith says that three factors influenced his recommendation to buy the Dennis machines. "First, our operators are happy. They report that they are easy to use and easily manoeuvred, with well-designed, comfortable handlebars. Second, our engineers are impressed by the precision engineering and the fact that the machines meet all our Health and Safety criteria, in areas like vibration. "
"And thirdly, there is nothing comparable with the versatility of the FT610 and the Super Six. They tick all the boxes in terms of design, engineering and performance, so they are definitely the right tools for the job."
"On top of all of that," Dave adds, "we've total confidence in our local dealers, so that's the icing on the cake ! "