Stafford Borough Council goes green with John Deere
John Deere equipment supplied by dealer Turner Groundscare of Erdington in Birmingham is helping Stafford become a cleaner, greener, safer borough, as part of the local council's new environmental policy.
Stafford Borough Council invested in their first ever John Deere machines this year, following 12 months of demonstrations and investigations into half a dozen or more different makes. The fleet now includes an electric E-Gator utility vehicle, an X495 lawn & garden tractor and a 30hp 3320 compact tractor.
Equipped with a Lewis backhoe and front loader with four-in-one bucket, the 3320 performs general materials handling and digging duties at the town's Tixall Road crematorium and at two other cemetery sites in Eccleshall Road and Stone. The X495 uses a special mulching mower deck, which is designed to leave a clean finish and avoid the need to collect and dispose of large amounts of grass clippings.
Stafford's picturesque Victoria Park is the base for the ultra-quiet E-Gator, which is fitted with a road homologation kit. This allows the vehicle to travel between the parks and the town centre for litter clearing duties and help with general flower bed maintenance.
The council's grounds manager Ernie Tillett was closely involved in the equipment selection process. "We were looking for better options to replace our older machines, which were getting past their best," he says. "We basically knew which type of tractor we wanted, so we spent a bit more time assessing the different front and rear attachments available. The John Deere compact's four-in-one front bucket is extremely versatile, and has proved to be a very useful piece of kit.
"We also bought a trailer and an extra load cover for the E-Gator, which has increased the overall load capacity compared with our previous machines. The Gator has saved us money, as it's more efficient and a lot quicker getting around. The electric battery charge lasts quite a while, and in practice we find we don't run it flat during a typical day's work.
"We've been very satisfied with the new John Deere machines, they're all doing the jobs we require, and we get good back-up from the dealer."
The photograph shows (left to right) Stafford Borough Council's bereavement services manager Tony Evans, Turner Groundscare dealer salesman Rob Page and
the council's grounds manager Ernie Tillett, with the three new John Deere machines.