Established as one of the finest golf complexes in Europe, East Sussex National has taken delivery of a further 17 machines from John Deere’s turf care range, adding significantly to the extensive line-up of Deere equipment already in use.
Set in the rolling Sussex countryside at Little Horsted, just south of Uckfield, the club features two 18-hole courses. The 7,138 yard East Course has been the setting for many important tournaments while the 7,154 yard West Course meanders through stands of ancient oak, alongside quiet pools and streams. In addition, the club offers a three hole academy course and a well-equipped driving range.
Course manager Mike Wattam, who manages up to 30 staff, has recently added to the club’s existing fleet of John Deere equipment, which included ten 220A walk behind greens mowers, a 2653A utility mower, two 855 model compact tractors, two 1550 amenity tractors and one larger 2450 machine. Local dealer Palmers Agricultural Ltd of Hailsham has now delivered 11 E-Gator electric utility vehicles, four further 220A walk behind greens mowers, a 1445 front rotary mower and a 1620 wide area mower.
“Last year we decided to replace our existing fleet of petrol-engined utility vehicles because they were becoming unreliable and costly to maintain,” explained Mike. “We evaluated a wide range of conventional machines before choosing the E-Gator, which offered us a number of advantages.
“Being electric, the E-Gators are virtually silent, which means that the maintenance staff can move around the two courses at any time without disturbing the golfers’ concentration With 30 staff travelling up to nearly four miles to reach the club’s furthest boundaries, the lack of noise is a real advantage, especially when the courses are busy.
“The other big factors in their favour are that they are simple to drive, very difficult to abuse, cheap to run, will operate all day on a single charge and require only minimal maintenance. The electric motors deliver so much torque to the wheels that they really have surprised us with their ability to pull heavy loads and keep going in conditions where a petrol-engined machine would struggle.”
One notable change was made to the E-Gator’s standard specification by using alternative tyres. In place of the standard high flotation turf tyres normally fitted, six-ply flat tread tyres reflect the fact that the vehicles spend much of their time transporting staff and equipment around the club’s seven miles of tarmac roads and paths, rather than operating primarily on grass.
John Deere Limited www.johndeere.co.uk