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On the playing fields of Charterhouse


Charterhouse head groundsman David Roberts (left) chose two new Amazone Profihopper 4WDi Smartcut machines.

Charterhouse – one of Britain's great public schools – was founded in 1611 and moved to its present site at Godalming, Surrey, in 1872. The school's magnificent main buildings, designed by the Victorian architect P C Hardwick, watch over grounds that have been progressively enlarged to about 250 acres, today accommodating impressive sports facilities including football, cricket and hockey pitches, as well as a 9-hole golf course – all of which require care and attention. Added to that are extensive amenity areas and landscaped gardens.

Responsibility for keeping the grounds in pristine condition rests with Head Groundsman David Roberts who purchased the first Amazone Profihopper for Charterhouse from T H WHITE in 2010. This outstanding German-designed self-propelled mower and scarifyer features a unique collecting and compacting system which facilitates one-pass, dust-free collection of grass and the debris from scarifying in nearly all mowing conditions.

Unlike many other machines, the Profihopper is not stopped by wet grass. In a single sequence of actions the material is cut, collected and transported to the hopper and compressed by the auger's action. This increases the volume of the hopper from 700 litres to 1000 litres. "Charterhouse's first Profihopper was a stick steer model," says T H WHITE area sales manager David Gray. "In September this year David Roberts decided to upgrade to the latest Amazone Profihopper 4WDi Smartcut, purchasing a second machine at the same time to support the year-round use and flexibility of tasks undertaken.

"The steering wheel control of the new machines makes it possible to maintain straighter mowing lines leading to better presentation results, while four wheel drive delivers even better traction in all conditions.

"Additionally, an increase vertical auger size by 50 per cent enables more material to be collected at greater speeds whilst reducing wear and tear on the mechanical systems. Other design features include the new Smart Cut system and spiralled cutting flail deck giving a smoother, more progressive cut at a reduced noise at more economic fuel rate."