Cutting in the wet gives Etesia the edge in hire market

Specialist hire company, Acacia Groundcare Equipment Rental, has recently increased its fleet of Etesia pedestrian mowers to an impressive 30, made up of both the ever popular Pro46 and Pro53 with the delivery of two more Pro46’s by local dealer South East Groundcare Machinery.

The firm, based at Henfield, West Sussex, is now in its fifth year of trading and the company’s MD Ritain Patel says the ground care hire market is burgeoning because in these times of restraint some end users are reluctant to buy equipment used only seasonally or for one-off tasks, meaning that hiring machines for specific jobs or for specific periods of time can be more cost-effective.

Acacia has clients across the whole of the South East, from Dover to Reading. Ninety per cent of its business is with commercial users ranging from landscape contractors, to housing associations, schools and National Trust properties. The remainder is with large property owners. Mowers and brush cutting machinery are an important part of the firm’s wide range of machinery for hire. Seasonal demand is high and growing, and from the day Ritain and his business partner Dale Hudson set the business up, each having had years of experience in the hire industry, Etesia was their manufacturer of choice for grass cutting machinery.

“Etesia mowers are the only ones on the market designed to cut effectively in the wet, and that is a big bonus to many of our clients, and of course to us,” says Ritain.

“They are highly robust and don’t let anybody down. Repairs are minimal, so our workshop costs are low. They last and are good earners. We get at least three years of hard work out of our Etesia mowers.”

Acacia has a tried and tested relationship with Matthew Clark, proprietor of South East Groundcare Machinery, from whom they will take advice on machine usage and maintenance. The company also has a very strict workshop system in place, whereby every machine gets a complete check when returned from hire. A full inspection, no ifs or buts, is how Ritain describes it.

“Many of the contractors we supply use our services to fill a vital gap in their machinery needs as jobs come and go. They may have a fleet of machines of their own, but there is always a need for others, often for additional tasks,” he says.

“Fixed monthly outlay for machine hire is attractive to school bursars for example, who need to control budgets tightly. Safeguards by way of servicing and instant replacement for repair tick boxes for many a client too.

As well as the Pro 46 and Pro53 pedestrian mowers, other Etesia machines owned by Acacia for hire include Hydro 80 ride-on cut and collect mowers, a 124D ride-on mower and AK85 & AV95 brushcutters.

Sustainability in Sport – Our Partnership with Forest Green Rovers


Sustainability in Sport was jointly launched in May 2011 at Gary Neville’s testimonial by Dale Vince, Founder of the green energy company, Ecotricity and Gary himself, so bringing the world of eco and sport together……

Gary is on a journey towards sustainability and is keen to use his influence and contacts to bring sustainable outcomes to the world of sport, from community to premiership level, not just in football but all sports. The aim of Sustainability in Sport is to engage governing bodies, players, fans and others across the UK and beyond – to create a movement for change.

Forest Green Rovers is becoming a test-bed for the Sustainability in Sport foundation which demonstrates the best ‘green’ tactics to recommend to sports clubs across the UK.

Etesia has chosen Forest Green Rovers as the UK pioneer for our fleet of emission-free pitch maintenance equipment. FGR Head Groundsman Stuart Ward is no stranger to innovation and is working towards creating Britain’s first organic football pitch at The New Lawn stadium. Last year, he also became the first person in Britain to trial Etesia’s Bahia M2E electric ride-on mower, an innovation now being used by the Church Commission in Westminster.

Ward said: “It’s really exciting to be trialling these new products, the robot in particular saves me time and there’s no more dirty fuel or noise to deal with.

“At the moment, we are Blue Square Premier club, so my time is always stretched. The time I used to spend mowing can now be utilised tending to the pitch in other ways to make it the best possible surface for the players.”

The new robotic mower will even help the club reach its target of creating a 100% organic pitch, by creating organic mulch which fertilizes the pitch as it works. Etesia UK General Manager, Les Malin said: “We feel FGR are setting the best example for other clubs, not just in football but in all sports. Forest Green Rovers is the first club in the country to use electric and robotic mowing for its pitch.”

Etesia hopes that Forest Green’s pioneering approach will spread across the UK industry.