Last week I was fortunate to be able attend a Husqvarna Dealer Day on behalf of TurfPro and our sister title, Service Dealer. It was one of six days they are currently undertaking to inform their dealers on their latest products and what work behind the scenes they have being doing to improve communication and services to their customers.
The event I attended was held at Hawkstone Park GC in Shropshire, targeting dealers from all over the Midlands and Wales. Over 90 attendees took part representing more than 60 businesses.
The day began with an introductory talk by Husqvarna’s UK sales manager, Stephen Irvine, who outlined some of the recent challenges the company had faced and what plans they have for 2023 to improve customer services.
Stephen was also keen to speak about the great potential for robotic mower products, stating that the UK was lagging behind on the uptake of these machines compared to other European countries. Germany for instance sell over ten time more robotic mowers than the UK.
With robotics technologies and vastly improved battery performances, Husqvarna are this year bringing to market some new products, including the mew Aspire range of domestic gardening tools that includes a robotic mower. They also have launched two new models of Automower; the 320 NERA and the 430X NERA that offer new GPS technologies.
New NERA robotic mowers
The group of delegates was then split into three groups, with each demoing a different set of products, with Husqvarna staff on hand to demonstrate, offer advice and answer any questions.
I was able to catch up with several dealers who were excited about the year ahead and were confident that Husqvarna’s sales would be strong this year. Many also believed there was strong interest and confidence in investing in robotic mower technologies.
Elsewhere, I recently caught up with Simon White, head greenkeeper from The Chase GC in Staffordshire. I shall be writing an upcoming article on the progress he has made since he started some 16 years ago and what a difference the new owners Chris Simmons and his family have made since they took over the club in 2009 - especially paying attention to the creation of new mowing regimes designed to increase wildlife and biodiversity out on the course.
The Chase GC
It also looks that I am going to be busy trailing some new equipment kindly supplied Chris Gibson of GGM Groundscare Machinery Supplier | Gibson's Garden Machinery Ltd (ggmgroundscare.com) in the form of a Eliet 450 ZR pedestrian Scarifier and Eliet DZC 450 Overseeder. I will be using the equipment on a range of turf surfaces and sourcing opinions from other professionals and domestic users.