The first UK sale by French manufacturer Etesia of its latest 4-wheel drive BPHPX rotary mower with a near full complement of utility attachments has been made to a major 364 days a year visitor attraction. Dealer Parks & Grounds Machinery of Bidford-on-Avon supplied the ride-on unit complete with brush and collect facility, a hopper for seeding or gritting, and a snow plough to Birmingham's Botanical Gardens and Glasshouse.
First opened in 1832, the15-acre site in the City's Edgbaston district and described as an oasis of delight, retains the elegance of a Victorian country park with its glasshouses and horticultural landscape. As well as attracting over 200,000 visitors each year, the Gardens are a notable study centre. A high level of round the calendar upkeep is essential, and Malcolm Taylor, who took on the role as Maintenance and Ground Services Manager last summer had been re-assessing the best means of keeping all the grassed and the hard surface in top order at all times.
Previously, grass cutting had been carried out by a triple mower, but this was in need of costly repair, and hard surface maintenance was always a labour intensive business. Ahead of the quieter winter period was a good time for an equipment up-grade. A single-source unit seemed to be the logical choice and after looking at what machines there were on the market this particular Etesia set-up was chosen because it offered everything the Gardens needed for surface maintenance.
Malcolm says the snow plough was in action just after purchase, clearing walkways of the pre-Christmas snow, and throughout the winter months the brush attachments have been in daily use keeping the Garden's terraces and walkways free of leaves and debris. The hopper attachment is due to be called into extensive action this spring re-seeding the main lawn areas.
The BPHPX is the 4-wheel drive machine recently added to Etesia's H100D ride-on rotary series. It is specifically designed to ensure optimum grip in all conditions and on varying terrain for mowing and hard surface duties, which is exactly what Malcolm Taylor requires for the Garden's undulating parkland environment. He selected the 'cut and collect' option for aesthetic and safety reasons - though mulching or cut and drop with rear deflector are other choices available. When mowing begins it will cut down to 44mm if required, and its high tip emptying mechanism with a maximum of 1.8 meters will be depositing cuttings from its 600-litre grass box into the Garden's own composting site. Particularly suitable for the Garden's layout is the machine's tight 1.1 metre turning circle.
PGM also fitted the Garden's new Etesia equipment with a ROPS and LED lights for maximum health and safety conformity.
"This is our only piece of ride-on kit and we are already absolutely delighted with its versatility and how it is performing for us," said Malcolm.
As part of the Garden's re-assessment of maintenance equipment also in test use there is a hand-held Pellenc Excelion brush cutter, courtesy of PGM. Powered by lithium-ion battery, it provides up to a day's work on a single charge, offers emission free and quiet running benefits ideal for use in public areas, and is half the weight of the lightest petrol equivalents.
For further information or to arrange a demonstration, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit www.etesia.co.uk