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The Double A Trading Company, Cupar & Aberdeen
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Hybrid mowers are key at Royal Aberdeen


John Deere's hybrid electric greens and fairway mowers are now key machines at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, according to course manager Robert Patterson. The club invested in a full equipment fleet from dealer Double A Trading the same year it hosted The Scottish Open in 2014, as part of a John Deere Financial five year lease package that continues the longstanding relationship the club has established with both the manufacturer and dealer.

The latest fleet includes two 2500E hybrid electric greens mowers, three 8000E hybrid electric fairway mowers, an 8800 TerrainCut rotary rough mower, two 180SL walk-behind greens mowers, a Pro Gator utility vehicle with HD200 low-profile amenity turf sprayer, five TE electric Gator utility vehicles and a 4520 compact tractor. These new machines joined an older 8800 and Pro Gator, plus an Aercore 1500 tractor-mounted aerator.

"John Deere Financial had the best rates available, and having all the kit and finance under one umbrella makes everything nice and tidy," says Robert. We did look at contract hire as an alternative, but we decided to stick with the same deal we had before, which worked well for us.

"We had 2500E greens mowers in our previous deal, and I wanted to change to hybrid fairway mowers as well, since hydraulic leaks can be just as much of a problem on fairways as on greens. The E-Cut mowers have been very reliable, and theyre absolutely perfect for the links.

"With two 18-hole golf courses, we felt we needed three of the 8000Es, equipped with smaller 18in cutting units. Weve found we're doing a lot more with this machine around the greens for example, where we used to use the 2653 utility triplex mower.

"The 8000E is so manoeuvrable and has a smaller footprint, you just dont notice where it's been. With three wheels and smooth tyres, even when you turn theres no mark. You're also able to turn much more quickly, so what you lose in overall cutting width you gain in time and turning ability.

"The boys are out on the fairways for less than three hours now, including boxing as well when required - with two machines running down the middle and one round the edge, it's a really quick job. The courses are pretty undulating, but the mower never struggles for power or traction on slopes and hills."

Dealer principal Sandy Armit of Double A confirms the popularity of the 8000E hybrid electric fairway mowers in his trading area. "We've been very successful with this model, and sold a lot of machines to different golf courses," he says. "Contour following and quality of cut are the key features it offers customers, in addition to the greatly reduced risk of oil leaks using hybrid technology. Also, not having to work at full revs all the time means you get big fuel savings."

"We now have eight 18in hand mowers altogether, and the 180SL is also a great little machine, adds Robert. Weve fitted groomers to them all, and they get into dips better than the previous 22in 220 models, which were marking the turf. We dont have any problem at all with the 180SLs, they follow the greens contours perfectly."

Additional support equipment from Double A and John Deere was provided for The Scottish Open. As well as extra 8000E, 2500E and 2653B mowers and Gators, dealer and manufacturer staff helped set up all the John Deere equipment before and during the tournament.

"This was a crucial part of the tournament support, and everything worked a treat," says Robert. "The Open was even bigger than the Walker Cup for us - we had a team of 45 greenkeepers altogether, including volunteers and locals. Some of them were introduced to John Deere kit for the first time, especially the hand mowers, and they were very well received by the greenkeepers.

"We don't play much with cutting heights on the fairways, theyre generally kept at 8mm, which was the same height we used for The Open. The tournament greens were cut at 3.5mm, with the groomers set 0.5mm below the cutting height for picking up the sward - in winter were not so aggressive, and they're set the same as the cutting height.

"We had a tremendous reaction from the European Tour, which was very pleasing - The Scottish Open was the first full-blown Tour event Royal Aberdeen has hosted, and the feedback from the players and sponsors was extremely positive."

Photo:

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club course manager Robert Patterson with one of the new John Deere 8000E hybrid electric fairway mowers.

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