Operator training and safety figured strongly throughout Saltex 2021 on the Hozelock-Exel stand, which featured Cooper Pegler and Berthoud knapsack and pressure professional sprayers.
In what proved a busy two-days at the NEC, following the show's absence from the 2020 calendar, grounds professionals were eager to learn latest trends and innovations across the sector.
"Our cutaway sprayer training units are attracting keen interest from industry trainers looking to heighten awareness among those taking PA1 and PA6 certification," reported Allan Wainwright, Hozelock's UK National Account Manager.
Leading centres like Harper Adams University have adopted the cutaway sprayers as training aids, while training body LANTRA is soon to follow suit as demand grows for operators to know sprayers' inner workings so they can improve maintenance regimes.
"Moves towards a sustainable, circular groundscare sector are sending messages to private and public sector contractors to improve sprayer lifetime expectancy by moving from a throwaway culture to a more sustainable one," Allan added after the show.
Operator comfort and safety is also of growing concern among contractors and landscapers, given that operators often put in full-day shifts carrying considerable weight of liquid on their backs.
Berthoud knapsacks all include ergonomically designed upper body support to spread loading away from the shoulders to the waist, reducing risk of long-term postural and spinal distortion.
"Several landscape contractors asked us how they could adapt their existing shoulder-strap cylinder sprayers to redistribute upper body forces," Allan said. "Clearly the sector is starting to take on board the importance of ergonomic design to longer-term operator health and safety."
Key visitors during Saltex included Hozelock-Exel dealer Progreen and wholesalers Spindrift Sprayers, who carry a weight of expertise about the Cooper Pegler and Berthoud brands.
"We're delighted to support our dealer network at the show by promoting two of the UK's top professional sprayer brands," Allan added.