After 46 years with Kubota ground care machinery dealer Thurlow Nunn Standen (TNS), machinery stalwart Laurie Brown is to retire.
"I've now decided to practice what I've been preaching, by investing in a walk-behind Kubota W819R-Pro so I can continue to keep my lawn presentable during my retirement," explains Laurie, who steps down from his role as branch manager of TNS Kennett, near Newmarket, Suffolk, in May 2021.
"I wouldn't buy anything else, and based on the reliability and durability of Kubota equipment I've seen over the years, this is likely to be the only mower I'll need," he adds. "I'm proud to say that I have two customers who still use their G3 HST mowers that were bought new in the late 1970s."
"Japanese reliability is legendary and the machines are still serviceable; so it is down to us, as the supplying dealer, to deliver with aftersales and service," he says. "I've been fortunate enough to meet some fantastic people along the way, and I'll certainly miss the camaraderie from our suppliers, and our customers."
Laurie has worked with Kubota since TNS became a groundcare dealer in the late 1970s supplying products up to 100hp. He says it's been a journey that has also led to developing extremely enjoyable working relationships with customers.
"When you enjoy the job this much, it's not a chore - it's a way of life," he says.
Having joined the business straight from school in June 1975 and worked his way up through the business, Laurie has spent time as regional aftersales manager, and enjoyed being branch manager of several TNS depots including Littleport, Melton and Hinderclay, before moving to Kennett four years ago.
"There's no doubt that reliability has driven the success of the Kubota product, and customers do keep coming back because of the service and support we provide," he says. "Over the years, when customers invest in TNS-supplied Kubota machinery, they also invest in the people who look after them. And I'm pleased to say it's rewarded me with many long-term relationships with customers - I consider a lot of them to be good friends."
Aside from taking care of his lawn and creating those sought-after green stripes, Laurie is looking forward to spending quality time with his family, and embarking on travelling with his wife, when it's safe to do so.
"We do like cruises, and we're looking forward to doing many more of them," he says. "Though if I could do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing."