Roger was a greenkeeper for 22 years before landing the position of Head of Grounds and Gardens at Kings Hall School - an independent school for boys and girls aged from 2 to 13.
He is currently working towards a ten-year replacement machinery plan, and explained how a new mower for the cricket square was of the utmost importance.
“The previous mower we were using was old, so the time had come to replace it. We had conversations with the Operations Manager as the school are very keen on enhancing its green credentials. We are doing all we can to be environmentally friendly, so we decided to explore the possibility of battery-powered mowers.
“There were a few different brands we looked at; some were good while others had issues but the Dennis ES-860 stood out. Dennis is a British company with lots of great history and quite frankly their mowers are everywhere.”
The Dennis ES-860 is a 34” battery powered turf management system which delivers maximum versatility and has a range of 13 interchangeable cassette options to provide a solution for many day-to-day maintenance tasks such as cutting, scarifying, brushing and verticutting.
The aim with the Dennis E-Series is to help professionals meet sustainability and environmental initiatives, reduce carbon footprint emissions, running costs and noise without any range anxiety.
After working with petrol machinery throughout his entire career, Roger was somewhat sceptical about the performance of a battery-powered mower but admitted that the Dennis ES-860 quickly changed his opinion.
“It is unbelievable,” said Roger. “I need not have worried about the battery running out too quickly. In fact, we can double cut our squares and the percentage of the battery afterwards will be 98%. Plus, with it being a smart charger, you can top the battery up in no time at all if we ever need to.
“Another huge benefit of the mower is just how quiet it is. I can hear the birds singing while I’m mowing now. We no longer must be mindful of disrupting classes, exams, or assemblies and no one comes to ask us to stop what we are doing. For a small team this is great because we are no longer limited to specific mowing times.”
The Dennis ES-860 was designed following the concept of the Dennis G860 petrol-based cylinder mower and many customers like the fact that traditional G860 cassettes will fit the ES-860. Roger is no exception.
“We have very close links with King's College, Taunton, which is on a separate site about three miles away, and the grounds team there have a Dennis G860,” he said. “This is really helpful because we often borrow cassettes from them. I’ve used the brush and the verticutter. In the case of verticutting, I like how you can increase the cassette speed but slow the walking speed down which helps to take out more material.
“I’ve not got one bad word to say about the Dennis ES-860.”