Amongst all the other tasks you need to get to grips with when starting a new job, Graham Cox at Blundell’s School in Tiverton was also tasked with upgrading the groundcare fleet of machinery, with the aim of it being more economical and cost efficient.
So, following on from what his Estate Bursar Ian Barnes, Deputy Head Groundsperson Richard Hutchings and the grounds team had started, Graham began looking into what was on the market. Having contacted a number of local dealers ISEKI and MST came up trumps!
Graham explains further; “we knew our two previous 36hp tractors needed an increase in power to 50hp in order to run the specialist sports turf equipment around the site. The schools overall strategy is to significantly improve its sports pitches and gardens and it fully supports the development of the team and the equipment necessary to do that. MST brought out the ISEKI TG6495 IQ on demo for us to try, it was perfect for the jobs we require. The dual-clutch transmission offers excellent control for when we are aerating, allowing accurate work to be carried out easily no matter who operates the machine. The drive function is great when towing implements around the site or on the roads allowing us to travel quickly from one job to the next.
“The TG6495 IQ tractor’s are extremely comfortable, especially with the air con cab, which when you are maintaining 110 acres of grassland by verti-draining or mowing this is vital for my staff to avoid fatigue. In the peak of the season the tractor and operator will be out over 20 hours a week just mowing so the renowned reliability of the ISEKI built tractor along with the ease of use was imperative. They certainly have a great reputation and I can easily see why.
“We had loader brackets fitted to both TG6495 IQ tractor’s with one loader supplied so the machines are as flexible as possible in their uses here at Blundell’s. The gardeners use the tractor’s with loader for moving bulk material around the site, whilst we use them for grounds maintenance with implements attached.
“As part of the package we also required new ride on mowers for the gardens and fine turf areas. After trying a variety of manufacturers we found the ISEKI SXG323 to be the quietest, most productive and comfortable. The 48” deck was a better size and more manoeuvrable than the previous mower we had, allowing a very clean finish even in the smallest of areas. With a number of large gardens and fine lawns on site the SXG323 collector mower is used extensively to take Blundells to a new level in presentation. The large 550litre capacity collector with high tip allows us to get around a large number of areas before emptying. Plus the SXG323 does truly cut and collect leaving a excellent and clean finish every time even in wet conditions which is great for my team to be as productive as possible with less downtime due to the weather.
“The deal also included a TXGS24 23hp tractor which is used on the astroturf pitches and running the SISIS Quadraplay on sports pitches. It has a surprisingly high lift capacity for its size at 540kg plus it can take a front loader, back hoe and centre mounted mowing deck if required but we didn’t need this for us. It is lightweight and manoeuvrable ensuring we can maintain the pitches to the highest standard whilst creating minimal damage to the turf with the tractor.
“Scott Struthers at MST was responsive and very easy to deal with, we had a large range of demos and competitor quotes but MST made the decision simple; quality products at a financially viable cost plus the excellent service and back up provided, they offered the full package.
We have been very lucky, the school has supported the grounds department to enable us to produce top quality playing surfaces and grounds maintenance across the site with the best equipment. The purchase will pay off for years to come with continued improvement of presentation at the school plus the renowned quality and longevity of the ISEKI equipment.”