White's World

FUME-FREE OPERATION IN GLASSHOUSES

by T H WHITE on September 1, 2020

When you are producing more than 1.5 million plants a year and supplying top name garden centres across the UK, you need a thoroughly reliable system for gathering each diverse plant order from the nursery and bringing it to the distribution point for onward transport.

At the Bransford Webbs Plant Company near Worcester a 24-acre site has been developed over many years since the 1940s, of which today over 10 acres is under glass with much of the rest covered by poly-tunnels.  Plant orders often comprise specimens from opposite ends of the site and in order to gather them quickly and efficiently Bransford Webbs has been a long term operator of Cushman electric utility vehicles, or UTVs. Working extensively in climate-controlled areas under glass, it’s particularly important to minimise or eliminate emissions.

Financial Director Richard Colbourne explains: “Years ago we used to have some petrol powered UTVs and we have also used mini tractors from time to time, but even in the relatively large enclosed spaces of our greenhouses vehicle fumes can be very unpleasant for the workforce. So, back in 2005 we made the decision to use electric pick-ups for collecting plants around the nursery and we currently have a fleet of five.

“When the oldest vehicle came up for replacement we were keen to see whether the latest technological developments could give us a vehicle that was even more efficient.”

Luckily for Richard, T H WHITE’s specialist Golf & Utility business – a sub-division of T H WHITE Groundcare – and its resident experts were there to advise.  They knew that the 72-volt Cushman Hauler Pro would be an excellent solution for Bransford Webbs – the extra power compared to the earlier 48-volt models is ideal for trailer-hauling tasks in the nursery, and with a 50-mile range from one charge it has the capacity to work all day uninterrupted. It’s remarkable how much work it can do on a single charge.

As well as being economical to run, the Cushman Hauler Pro also features an enhanced controller unit which provides more finesse in the controlling the machine’s powerful acceleration – an important factor when hauling trailers laden with plants where any sudden jolt needs to be avoided. Other advances include simpler diagnostics and battery state monitoring.

The verdict from Bransford Webbs? “The Cushman Hauler Pro is the plantsman’s perfect pony,” Richard Colbourne enthused.

The T H WHITE Golf & Utility team can help you with a vast range of applications where there is a need for efficient, green and low cost haulage. To discuss the possibilities contact your T H WHITE Groundcare representative or any Groundcare branch.

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T H WHITEFUME-FREE OPERATION IN GLASSHOUSES