High Laning Caravan & Camping Site benefits enormously from a Profihopper
'It’s marvellous', says Margaret about the Amazone Profihopper 4WDi at High Laning
That feeling of wanting to do the best job possible is self-evident when pulling into the High Laning Caravan & Camping Site in Dent where Margaret and Jim Taylor have certainly built up a warm and welcoming family business that runs alongside the family farm and a holiday let.
High Laning (www.highlaning.com or on Facebook @highlaning) is in the picturesque Dentdale, which is lo-cated between the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, and which makes the ideal base for walking, cycling or taking in the local scenery by car or by using the famous Settle-Carlisle steam railway that regularly comes through the village. The uniquely picturesque village of Dent, with its cobbled streets, pubs serving local beers and a wealth of cottage industry on offer in the dale, it’s all there to enjoy a plethora of out-door pursuits as well looking around the Dent Museum & Heritage Centre ([email protected]) with the area attracting visitors from all over the world. Margaret Taylor goes on to explain the rationale behind the business at High Laning, ‘As a hill farm, the caravan business was started to supplement our income from farming which would be unsustainable here were it not for us having diversified. My two sons are already working away from the farm part-time. The look of the Site is immensely important to us as we want our guests to thoroughly enjoy their stay with us and this means that all aspects of the experience need to be appealing’.
It was this attention to detail that led Margaret, Jim and the lads to look at their grass cutting regime on site, ‘We have about 4 acres of grass across both the static van site and the tourer/camping field with this obviously needing constant attention to keep it looking smart; we like to mow this at least once a week depending on the time of year,’ comments Jim snr who bears the brunt of the workload when it comes to grass cutting. But it was noticeable, in both the washroom facilities and in the shop that grass cuttings were being walked about by feet from off the grassed areas. ‘If this was happening in the public areas then just think what was happening all the time in the vans and tents with guests constantly battling to keep the grass out of carpets and it getting into other personal possessions and so we needed to re-examine our mowing system.’
The existing cut and drop rotary deck mower needed to be looked at and having talked to local Amazone dealers Bryan Hoggarth, where Murdo MacPhee, who is very much relied upon when it comes to advising on machinery that will help the business both on the farm and on the caravan site, made the suggestion that High Laning should try a Profihopper. Various other rotary mowers with collection systems had been tried but the solution that offered the cleanest collection in the wet or the dry yet still having the manoeuvrability to get around the caravans and camper vans was the Profihopper SmartCut 4WDi. ‘Although we were worried that by collecting everything we would have too much grass to get rid of during the season, in reality we have com-posted the cuttings down and then at the end of the year we have spread them back on the farmland so this hasn’t been an issue; plus the Profihopper mashes and compacts the grass so well into the hopper that the composting process has nearly begun before we have even tipped in out!’ Jim is running back to the yard to empty the 730 litre hopper but the auger collection system makes sure that the hopper has the equivalent of more than 1,000 litres of unpacked grass in it and the high-tip emptying system can tip out onto the pile, or into a tipping trailer or skip; and at a lift height in excess of 7’. The 4 acres takes around 3 hours to get over and the Profihopper has severely reduced the time needed to get everything looking shipshape as well as leaving less strimming to be done. The mowing is normally done or a Monday or a Tuesday when the site is less busy with arrivals.
As to the product? The 24.5hp, 3 cylinder, diesel-powered Profihopper self-propelled, flail mower collector with intelligent four-wheel drive to prevent any sward damage when turning, has a 1.2m wide out-front horizontal flail SmartCut deck which is equipped with 36 pairs of free-swinging flails rotating at around 3,400 rpm. A rear support roller controls the cutting height over the full head width preventing scalping and producing that lovely cylinder mower striped finish, ‘The machine has been so easy to use and maintain and you have admire the quality of finish it leaves behind, it is second to none’ acknowledges Jim snr ‘The zero-turn steering means that we can get into all the nooks and crannies and around the edges and the machine itself offers such a high level of comfort’.
The younger generation is more interested in how simple the machine is to maintain and both Jim jnr and Martin have been impressed with the reliability to date, ‘It hasn’t taken any looking after and also the fuel efficiency is excellent with the machine easily able to do a full day’s work on a tank full. But, more than that, it has lifted the whole profile of the business as the appearance of the park is so much neater with an environment that we can be proud of.’
And for Margaret ‘I have to say that it’s marvellous, it has been an enormous benefit to the site and, above all, it has certainly cut down on the cleaning!’