All about growth
21 January 2021
I’ve mentioned several times before on the blog that the grounds care market has proved buoyant since the first lockdown. Landscapers realised they could continue working safely outdoors, rail contractors got maintenance tasks done while networks were quiet, and furloughed homeowners took a new interest in garden improvements.
Martin Lucas, sales director of chipper manufacturer GreenMech, tells me that the company has recruited a dozen more production technicians at its Warwickshire factory to meet demand and that last year saw a 30% increase in sales.
And amidst all the logistical challenges of initially furloughing personnel and then phasing them back in to increase manufacturing capacity, the company – like so many others – has had to co-ordinate production in response to the delayed rollout of Stage V engine emission regulations.
Owing to the pandemic, the cut-off date for the manufacture and sale of pre-Stage V-engined units was postponed until June 2021. So the company has been busy developing new compliant diesel engine options and petrol machines in some of its most popular ranges.
These include the incorporation of a 25hp Kubota diesel engine in the QuadChip and QuadTrak 160D models (replacing the non-compliant 34hp engine), along with a 37hp petrol option for the QuadChip and QuadTrak 160P.
Fitted with the 37hp Vanguard petrol engine, the 160P machines are said to offer comparable performance to the diesel-powered alternative, but at a reduced cost.
At the larger end of the range, the new Arborist 200P has a 57hp Kubota petrol engine.
New additions will appear in the EVO 165 series, including the 165PT fixed-track model with a 37hp petrol engine, and a SAFE-Trak extending track variant of the original EVO diesel model which will become the EVO 165DST.
A range of 8in models will also be introduced. The EVO 205D (pictured) has a Stage V-compliant 50hp Kubota diesel engine and has a setting to optimise fuel economy. Available initially in road-tow format, fixed and extending track versions will follow later this year as replacements for GreenMech’s 19-28 models.
Meanwhile, regardless of lockdowns and restrictions, trees and hedgerows will just keep growing, as will demand for hired equipment to maintain them.