A Groundkeeper is for life, not just for Christmas
It is now nearly a year ago since we threw down the gauntlet and asked you to find us Britain’s oldest working Groundkeeper. We have been searching high and low in machinery sheds across the British Isles: on every golf course, once on an RAF base, in grass-cutting contractor yards, private houses and within local authorities. There were a few red and cream machines still going strong, and there will be a few disappointed owners who were hoping to scoop that prize, but now, at long last, the search for that unsung hero in the grass cutting world is over and the oldest machine has been found alive and still kicking down in Herefordshire.
And what was the worthy prize for having the oldest machine out there still working? A brand-new, bright & shiny one to take home and treasure for another nearly thirty years of course. Back last year we previewed a LG120 as a potential candidate and that has turned out to be the winner. With its 1988 F-reg Ford 1210 tractor up-front, this tractor/mower combo have never been separated, not even for a day, in all of their 2188 hours of time together and so it was a real tear-jerker when the two of them had to say goodbye to each other. And it is not just the Groundkeeper that is leaving Ron Griffiths’ yard for the last time as the lovely new green and cream Groundkeeper GH1500 SmartCut, which is now ensconced in the garage instead of the faithful old red liveried work-horse, is going to be towed about by a tidy Y-reg 32hp New Holland 1920 compact tractor instead of the old Ford.
On hand to tear the two apart was Hugh Snow, southern area Territory Manager for Amazone Groundcare, ‘At many a demonstration we are asked about the weak points of the Groundkeeper and the reply is always that there aren’t any. This goes to show that it’s true, you don’t just get a Groundkeeper for Christmas, you get it for life - plus it’s a lot more useful than a dog as well!’
So how will the young upstart mower perform? The blade configuration is now hung in a fancy chevron pattern for less horsepower usage, better collecting ability and less noise. The four rows of grass 'Y' flails have now gone up-market with a mixture of long wing blades and grass flails so, all in all, it should be a cleaner, quieter more efficient job all round. Ron Griffiths was obviously delighted with his winnings ‘Although over the years I have bought plenty of machinery, the Groundkeeper has been one of the best investments I have ever made. The farm drive and lawns have always looked the part with the flail rotor leaving behind a neat, striped finish irrespective of the weather or the amount of grass needed to be mown – and of course we mustn’t forget its time looking after the pitch at Wigmore FC. In the autumn the LG has made light work of leaf collection as well as any rough work that has needed to be done. So all in all it has been a fantastic piece of kit’.
As you can see the new one is bit wider than the outgoing model with a 1.5m cutting width instead and a few more gee-gees on the front. So a few less stripes but, more importantly, a few less ups and downs for Ron so that he can spend more time looking after his fleet of vintage Case tractors in the shed.
We would like to offer Ron our heartfelt thanks in keeping his old LG for nearly 30 years and giving it back to us in such an excellent state of repair; if you remember it has only had a belt guard and four sets of blades on it in nearly 2200 hours of mowing, you can’t beat that for cost of ownership, can you? The old-timer will now take pride of place in the Active Centre museum at Amazone Ltd in Doncaster. But what will happen to the Ford 1210? One can only hope that this also finds another good home to spend its twilight years - maybe out to stud, suggestions on a post card, please? Although saying that, Ron is not one for getting rid of a tractor when it comes to the crunch and so it might find new duties at home yet.
If you want to find out what a Groundkeeper can do for your business then fill out the demo request form and we will come and show you the ultimate in ‘cut and collect’ flexibility at its very best. And then, in another 29 years’ time, we might be looking again for the oldest one still working, but you will never know unless you have one.