With 200 acres of grass to care for and a packed programme of events ranging from Truckfest to the International Antiques Fair and the Festival of Motorcycling, East of England Arena and Events Centre needs reliable, productive machinery.
After a round of demonstrations aimed at updating their fleet, the grounds team has chosen a Kubota M5112 tractor, RTV-X1110 utility vehicle and ZD1211 zero turn mower, supplied by dealer Irelands Farm Machinery.
The main tasks for the 110hp M5112 are mowing the large expanses of grass used for exhibition space and parking, plus general haulage, head of maintenance Dean Wyers explains.
“We have also purchased a 4.6m Spearhead Rollicut mower from Irelands, and the combination gives us the output we need to keep the extensive grass areas tidy. The Kubota tractor handles the mower really well, and it’s very comfortable to drive, with great visibility.”
Next on the shopping list was a ride-on mower, essential for cutting tighter areas.
“We had a front mower before but were interested in a zero turn to work around the many lamp posts, stand pipes and electricity boxes on the site. The ZD1211 is a huge improvement, so much quicker, but with a very good quality cut,” he comments. “It’s also durable enough to cope with the debris that can be hidden in the grass after an event and very easy to check and clean with its flip up deck.”
To get around the huge site and move tools and materials, the 24hp RTV-X 1110 has proved a great choice. Mr Wyers points out.
“It’s very good to drive and comfortable due to its all-round suspension – I’ve already clocked up some miles in it, and it’s proving economical on fuel. We do a lot of towing for which it gives plenty of power, and it can also be fitted with a specialist sprayer which we find very useful for weed control around fencelines.”
The RTV has a hydraulic tipping bed as standard, which he suggests will be handy for moving materials such as soil for ground repairs in the show season. The East of England Arena and Events Centre has specified a full cab with heater, for protection from the elements.
“We demonstrated one with a ROPS, but it is a very open site so we do appreciate the cab,” he comments. “It’s very roomy and easy to access.”
An onsite workshop means that most of the machinery maintenance is kept in-house, and Mr Wyers praises the ease of service access on all three machines, while Irelands are close at hand for back-up and parts should they be needed.
“The Kubota machines are robust and well made,” he says. “Reliability really is key for us as we can often have just two days turnaround to get the site looking pristine for the next event, and we’re confident that they will provide this.”