Richard Hare has been the Head Groundsperson at the prestigious Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire for nearly a decade. In his time at the school Richard has overseen many changes and has produced some truly wonderful sports pitches.
Richard is embarking on another exciting chapter at Bromsgrove School as he starts to explore the world of battery-powered equipment.
“The school is committed to change and is pushing for sustainability in a massive way. As the grounds team, we are on a mission to do exactly the same,” he said. “Approximately, 99% of the gardening team’s equipment is already battery-powered and our aim as the grounds department is the same. It is slightly more difficult because the equipment is bigger, but the technology is advancing all the time.”
Richard has already taken the first steps towards replacing all his petrol mowers with electric ones, and it all started with a Dennis ES-34R rotary mower.
“I looked at a few other battery-powered mowers, but I think it was always going to be Dennis,” he said. “I’ve always been a big fan of the equipment from Dennis and SISIS. Personally, I think the two brands have the best machines on the market.
“We started by replacing our Dennis PRO 34R rotary mower for its electric equivalent – the ES-34R. I will say that I love the petrol PRO 34R’s – they are brilliant, but the ES-34R is on another level. It is by far the best mower I have ever used.”
The ES-34R is a 34" (860mm) battery powered twin blade rotary mower using the latest lithium-ion battery technology. It is ideal for fine turf mowing and cleaning up operations in stadia and training facilities. Utilising the contra rotating hardened steel blades and low chute ensures maximum collection performance.
While allowing ground staff to achieve an aesthetically pleasing appearance and desired playing surface, the E-Series range will also help meet sustainability and environmental initiatives, minimise carbon footprint, emissions, running costs, HAV's and noise without any range anxiety.
“For a 34-inch mower it is just incredible how easy you can manoeuvre it,” continued Richard. “With it being electric there are less things that can go wrong. We’ve never once had a maintenance issue with it, and we have used it virtually every day since we bought it. It has saved us money on maintenance costs as well.”
Richard also revealed that the ES-34R is just the start of the Dennis electric evolution as he intends on switching his other PRO 34R, and his two G860 and two FT510 cylinder mowers to their electric equivalents.
Oliver Baldi-Turner, a member of the grounds team at Bromsgrove School, provided further insight into how the Dennis ES-34R fits into the maintenance schedule.
“Predominantly, we use it on the cricket square during the summer and on the rugby pitches during the winter months. It is such a quick machine - we can cut a cricket square in both directions in 42 minutes and a rugby pitch in less than 4 hours.
“We can use the ES-34R for about 7 hours before it needs charging. It is such a quick charge too – we put it on charge while we are having lunch and by the time we are finished, it is pretty much fully charged.
“The ES-34R always provides an equally as good cut, if not a better cut, than most cylinder mowers. Also, it works like a vacuum, so it is picking all the debris up as well. It is a highly efficient mower, leaves a brilliant finish.”