Four years ago, Radley College welcomed a new Toro fleet of Groundsmaster and Reelmaster mowers to the independent boys' school in Oxfordshire. As the facilities expand we hear how Toro has performed during its tenure.
Grounds Manager Adam King says Radley College's Toro fleet has "saved us time, allowing us to be more efficient and productive"
There's a lot of pressure on Radley College's grounds team. Not only does it have the upkeep of some of the most extensive and finest public school sporting facilities in the country on its hands, but with the school increasing the number of bursaries and scholarships for the first time in its 172-year history, the sports facilities are expanding too.
Luckily, grounds manager Adam King and the 19-strong team in the estates department, including groundsmen, greenkeepers and gardeners, have the benefit of a Toro fleet of Groundsmaster and Reelmaster mowers working across the 14 rugby pitches, 10 cricket squares and football pitches, three astroturf hockey pitches, tennis courts and a nine-hole, par 34 golf course.
The College's latest fleet joined four years ago in a significant lease agreement with Reesink,
Adam says: "With more to do, the biggest benefit from our Toro fleet in the last four years is how it's saved us time, allowing us to be more efficient and productive. Having two Reelmaster 3100-D mowers for the weekend cutting of the cricket outfields and aprons has been particularly beneficial."
As the school gears up for a new boarding house opening in 2020 and the expansion of the sporting facilities to accommodate, the reliability of the fleet as well as its time-saving aspects has not gone unnoticed by Adam.
"We chose this combination of machines with specific work in mind and they've not only delivered on that but more. We've built more natural and artificial sports surfaces into the equation and got them into play. Plus, there have been no problems running the fleet, no breakdowns or issues.
"The lease agreement with Reesink allowed us to have new machines straight away, while also covering winter service, and all at a fixed cost. We were able to manage our budget and benefit from new and upgraded equipment at an important time in the College's history."
So, what's next for Adam and the team? "We were at BTME to take in the new technology and product development on offer, and I was most interested in seeing lightweight three-wheel fairway mowers and greens mowers which we haven't specifically had before. Plus, there's been developments in engine size and I'll be interested in seeing the effect of that on our surfaces here."
Since then, Adam and the team have trialled the Toro Reelmaster 3555 and 3575 mowers across the School, based on which Adam concluded they are the "best bits of new kit I've seen in a long time and versatile enough to be multi-sports mowers".