One of the most prestigious events in the UK’s horticultural calendar, the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival attracts more than 300,000 visitors each year. Taking place in the grounds of the iconic Tudor palace, some 200 exhibitors toil against the clock to ensure their show gardens are ready in time for the official opening of the festival, held this year between 2nd and 7th July.
Typically, exhibitors work alongside landscaping contractors to ready their gardens for the event, spending weeks and months at a time preparing them for the public and ensuring not so much as a blade of grass is out of place by the time the show launches. One such contractor involved in this year’s festival preparation was Ollie Gunns, director at Gunns Contractors Limited, a Hampshire-based groundwork and civil engineering specialist.
Ollie explains: “The Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival represented a landscaping challenge quite unlike anything else I’ve ever worked on. With less than two metres separating the show gardens from one another, space is at an absolute premium, so using machinery which guarantees flexibility and accuracy is absolutely essential.’
“I operate a JCB 8026, a 2.6t mini-excavator. Despite it being very reliable in tighter spaces, I knew it could be improved even further. That’s what led to me investing in an Engcon tiltrotator – a decision which has not only further strengthened my offering, but led to me getting involved with this year’s Hampton Court show.
“From digging-out part of the garden for a pond, to using it to plant large trees around the exterior, Engcon’s EC02 tiltrotator,proved to be a completely invaluable tool for us. It really came into its own with the uneven camber of the garden; it’s flexibility meaning the excavator could still work at full capacity, even when on a slope.
“From start to finish, our preparatory work took just seven days. What’s more, the tiltrotator enabled us to send a smaller team to the show – we had just three of us on site, with all of the digging able to be completed by the JCB.”
Ollie’s ECO2 came with a DC2 control system, which offers exceptional precision, flexibility and machine control. The easy to use control system offers a number of benefits that enable an excavator operator to get the best out of the machine.”
With the option of track and wheel steering alongside boom slewing, Engcon’s DC2 can also be connected to a smartphone via an app to set up individual operator profiles and provide access to remote support.
Ollie continues: “For me, purchasing a tiltrotator was a big decision that ended up being a something I considered for over four years. When it came to finally taking the plunge and finding the right tiltrotator, I knew it had to be an Engcon. The whole team were fantastic throughout the whole buying journey, answering questions or queries I had about the tiltrotator and providing first class service.
“I know some operators have some concerns about justifying the cost of a tiltrotator, but the savings it makes on labour, not to mention the increase in productivity which enables you to take on more work, means its delivers significant return on investment in no time.”
For more information about the full range of services offered by Engcon, please visit: engcon.com/en
Ollie Gunns, Gunns Contractors Limited
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