Chris Wiltshire has been appointed the new branch tactical marketing manager at John Deere Limited, from 1st October 2014. Chris replaces Gordon Day, who has elected to retire at the end of September after 31 years’ distinguished service with the company. In his new role, Chris will be responsible for delivery of all John Deere’s agricultural and turf marketing programmes and activities in the UK and Ireland.Chris Wiltshire graduated with a degree in Agricultural Engineering with Marketing from Harper Adams University in 1998. He began his career as a technical training instructor for a European competitor prior to joining John Deere Limited in 2000 as an agricultural demonstration instructor, before becoming an ag demonstrator/marketing specialist the following year.Chris moved to a marketing position in Zweibrücken, Germany at the end of 2002 before returning to the UK in 2004 as territory manager for Northern England and the Scottish Borders. He then returned to the John Deere headquarters at Langar in 2010 as product line manager responsible for hay and forage products. In this position Chris was instrumental in building the image and market share of this product line, which led to the launch of the company’s self-propelled forage harvester certification programme.In 2011 Chris moved to Deere & Company’s Global Training Organisation, assuming responsibility for training delivery in the UK and Ireland. During his three-year tenure, also based at Langar, Chris made a major contribution to improving both the range and quality of training provision, as well as levels of satisfaction across the business.Gordon Day joined John Deere Limited in 1983 as a training instructor. In 1986 he was promoted to area service manager, before becoming agricultural territory manager for the West Midlands in 1990. In 1995 Gordon gained a further promotion to product line manager for tractors and loaders. In this position he was instrumental in the company achieving market leadership in tractors in both the UK and Ireland.In 2011 Gordon assumed the newly created role of branch tactical marketing manager, a position which he has held until his retirement. John Deere Limited managing director Antony Scott said: “Gordon’s hard work, dedication and deep knowledge of the industry have made a very significant contribution to the development of our agricultural and turf business over his 31-year tenure. We wish him all the best as he moves into retirement, and thank him for his many contributions to John Deere, our dealers, our customers and the broader industry.”
The Notts Golf Club (Hollinwell) in north Nottinghamshire, in the heart of Robin Hood country, has invested in five new John Deere mowers from dealer Henton & Chattell on a John Deere Financial operating lease, together with PowerGard protection and a service contract.Following an extensive machinery review and trial period comparing all the main manufacturers, John Deere mowers were considered to be the best choice for primary mowing of the tees, greens and surrounds. The club and greens staff settled on four 2500E hybrid electric greens mowers equipped with 7- and 11-blade cutting units, two of which can be fitted with dedicated groomers when necessary, plus an 8800 TerrainCut rotary mower for the rough.“The John Deere mowers offered us the right combination of value for money and performance,” says course manager Phil Stain. “There was not a bottomless pit of money available, but cost initially didn’t really come into the equation. We looked at what we needed and then looked at the available finance options.“The bottom line was the machines had to do the job required – we needed to know we could prepare the course prior to play in a tournament situation. Having four greens mowers means we’ve always got spare capacity too, which is good because we aim to cut everything before play. This allows us to maintain standards to the same high level every day, and gives us the ability not to let these standards slip.“We only put on the groomers when we have to, but having them available shows a serious professional approach to greens management, and it’s certainly paid dividends. The presentation of the course has improved so much, especially the surrounds – the mowers are reliable, reasonably light and manoeuvrable, particularly on the tees, and the offset units are great for alternating the cut. Another major plus is the greatly reduced risk of hydraulic oil leaks, which was a real issue for us in the past. It means I sleep much more soundly these days!”One of Phil’s team of five fully trained greenkeepers is responsible for maintenance and servicing, and does the regular service work on site. “He checks over the mowers when they come in each day, keeps good service records and monitors the hours worked. He can then tell the dealer when the PowerGard cover kicks in,” adds Phil.“With this new kit, the staff feel proud of their ability to prepare the course to championship standards every day, plus they recognise the significant investment that has been made by the club in them and their work, so it’s been good news all round,” says club secretary/manager Martyn Bonner. “Membership has been sustained and there’s now a waiting list, while the income from green fees has been increased – and I believe that’s all down to the improved quality of the course.”
Greenkeepers in the north-west of England are preserving the peace and tranquility of their courses, thanks to John Deere’s 2500E hybrid electric triplex greens mowers.
Home of the Stableford scoring system, Wallasey Golf Club in The Wirral is particularly anxious to keep local residents happy and specified two new 2500Es from local John Deere dealer Turner Groundscare of Tarvin, Chester to help them do just that.
“The new mowers deliver optimum cutting at low noise levels, which is ideal for us as housing fringes the eighth and ninth holes of our 18-hole course,” says Chris Peddie, who has been Wallasey’s head greenkeeper for 22 years. “Noise can be an issue when you’re often working from 6.30am, and even earlier on competition days.”
Keeping quiet isn’t the only concern for Chris and his five-man greenkeeping team. “A links course like Wallasey is hard on cutting edges, as the sand can quickly blunt them. We regrind all our cutting units, so we need to know how easy they are to strip down. John Deere has simplified the removal of the groomers and rear brushes by introducing quick release clips – this makes the task a matter of minutes, not hours, and so saves us a lot of time.”
The 2500Es need less servicing too, says Chris, and the hybrid electric design minimises the biggest worry of all – hydraulic oil leaks, which he’s suffered three times in his greenkeeping career. Limiting the risks of such leaks offers Chris added reassurance, he says.
Noise and oil leaks are also key issues at Delamere Forest Golf Club in Cheshire, which bought its first John Deere 2500E greens mower with QA5 quick-adjust cutting units from Turner Groundscare in spring 2013.
Course manager Andrew Ralphs says: “We’ve always bought John Deere mowers, but invested in our first 2500E because I wanted to minimise noise and the risk of oil spills on the course at a time when we are undertaking an extensive three-year renovation programme on our 88 bunkers and a number of tees.
“The quality of build and quietness in operation are everything I expected they would be, and my concerns over the risks of hydraulic oil leaks on the greens have been laid to rest,” adds Andrew, who has also suffered from burst hydraulic lines during his 24 years at Delamere Forest.“We use the 2500E twice weekly on the greens. It allows us to reduce fuel consumption, noise levels and leaks, without compromising on cut quality – it’s a win:win all round.”