Ride on mower. Available from Masons Kings

Masons Kings

We all dream about a well-manicured, tidy lawn but managing your plot can be a tricky business – especially if you don’t know a walk-behind from a push-along.

Stepping into a garden machinery centre for the first time can be a dazzling experience. All those bright, shiny makes and models are enough to make anyone wide-eyed with wonder. How big do you go? Do you need flailing implements?

Elliot Prior and his team are used to that slightly bemused look from customers. The sales manager at the South West’s family-run gardening machinery firm Masons Kings has been helping people to find the right equipment for the right garden for nearly ten years. “What we pride ourselves in and what we really enjoy is coming away from the customer and thinking, yes, we’ve found something that they want and need,” says Elliot. “Our first question is always related to what the scenario is. We put the machinery and pricing to one side and we ask, what do you have that we need to work at?”

Masons Kings employs 100 staff and was established in 1974. Elliot, who runs the garden machinery sales department, says there’s a cutting or trimming solution out there for all of us. “We get a lot of people coming through the door, saying: “well, I’ve got this garden, or grassland, or field, or paddock, and I don’t know how to manage it,” says Elliot, who works alongside his dad, Roger, and wife Chrissie. “You need to identify what you have and what you want to do with it,” he adds, explaining that it’s not about going straight for the biggest mower around. “You need to break it down into the problems you want to solve,” says Elliot, adding that the same rules apply for all aspects of gardening, whether you’ve got acres of land or a small plot.

If your garden is less than tennis court-sized, a walk-behind mower is the best option. For bigger areas, the best solution is a ride-on mower (a lifelong dream for some members of my family). Elliot says new technology means these impressive pieces of kit are now even easier to use. “There has been a massive market shift into ‘zero turns’, where the mowers can turn 360 degrees on the spot to improve manoeuvrability and easily tackle trees or shrubbery that decorate your lawn,” he says. “They’re incredibly fun, too!”, he continues, before adding that traditional machines with a steering wheel still stand the test of time.

Staff at Masons Kings take customers through the process, step-by-step, and can even make a site visit with some machinery in tow to establish exactly what’s needed. Grass cutting equipment is the firm’s most popular range, but demand for utility vehicles (“just imagine a 4x4 golf buggy”, says Elliot) and small tractors are also increasing. “You can put proper flail implements on to clear heavy or overgrown debris but then you can also put log-splitters on,” says Elliot, talking about one of the tractors on offer. “It’s more of a Swiss army knife of machines.”

Helping customers stay focused is part of the job for Elliot and the staff here. He goes on to describe how some keen gardeners recently came in with an inventory of eight machines they wanted. “We cut it down to about four and agreed on it,” says Elliot, stressing that there are no pushy sales pitches here. “What was nice about it was the machinery we chose didn’t change. Some of the machines were the ones that they were originally thinking of.”

Masons Kings – which has branches in Chudleigh, Cornwall and Somerset – has built up a loyal base of repeat customers. New business is coming in all the time and staff here are expecting even more as the year progresses and more urban dwellers decide they want a slice of rural life. “We’ve seen a lot more people coming into the area to get away from city living,” says Elliot. “They move to a larger house and then start getting slightly nervous when the warmer weather is coming, the grass is growing and they’re not 100% sure how they’re going to deal with it.”

It’s never too late to master the tools of the trade.

Finding the right mower
There are absolutely loads of sizes, types and brands of grass cutting mowers around and it’s important to find the right style and function. Masons Kings supply two brands, John Deere and Stihl.

If your garden is less than a tennis court size, then a walk-behind mower is the option for you. With our self-drive or simple push-along models, you can have a collector on the back to empty the grass clippings into your compost heap, or green bin for the recycling centre. Or, go for a mulching mower, that chops the grass into fine clippings and spreads evenly behind you – natural, free fertiliser!

If your garden size is bigger or maybe slightly undulating, then the common solution is a ride-on mower. A key question for you is to know how you would like to dispose of your grass clippings, and what your aim is with your garden. From those answers, we can identify either a collector machine, a dedicated mulching machine, or a simple ‘cut & drop’ machine for quick, efficient grass cutting.

Going for the chop
CHAINSAWS: Elliot Prior says: “Many people know what a chainsaw is and the basics of how it works, but I always stress to any customers that I discuss chainsaws with, it’s how you use it that makes the difference and keeps you safe.

“One thing that many people are not aware of is that battery-powered chainsaws are now available. In the Stihl range of chainsaws we supply, we have a machine for whatever skill level/strength/task you require. We also have the knowledge to explain how to operate it.”

www.masonskings.co.uk

Elliot Prior, Masons Kings

Masons Kings

We all dream about a well-manicured, tidy lawn but managing your plot can be a tricky business – especially if you don’t know a walk-behind from a push-along.

Stepping into a garden machinery centre for the first time can be a dazzling experience. All those bright, shiny makes and models are enough to make anyone wide-eyed with wonder. How big do you go? Do you need flailing implements?

Elliot Prior and his team are used to that slightly bemused look from customers. The sales manager at the South West’s family-run gardening machinery firm Masons Kings has been helping people to find the right equipment for the right garden for nearly ten years. “What we pride ourselves in and what we really enjoy is coming away from the customer and thinking, yes, we’ve found something that they want and need,” says Elliot. “Our first question is always related to what the scenario is. We put the machinery and pricing to one side and we ask, what do you have that we need to work at?”

Masons Kings employs 100 staff and was established in 1974. Elliot, who runs the garden machinery sales department, says there’s a cutting or trimming solution out there for all of us. “We get a lot of people coming through the door, saying: “well, I’ve got this garden, or grassland, or field, or paddock, and I don’t know how to manage it,” says Elliot, who works alongside his dad, Roger, and wife Chrissie. “You need to identify what you have and what you want to do with it,” he adds, explaining that it’s not about going straight for the biggest mower around. “You need to break it down into the problems you want to solve,” says Elliot, adding that the same rules apply for all aspects of gardening, whether you’ve got acres of land or a small plot.

If your garden is less than tennis court-sized, a walk-behind mower is the best option. For bigger areas, the best solution is a ride-on mower (a lifelong dream for some members of my family). Elliot says new technology means these impressive pieces of kit are now even easier to use. “There has been a massive market shift into ‘zero turns’, where the mowers can turn 360 degrees on the spot to improve manoeuvrability and easily tackle trees or shrubbery that decorate your lawn,” he says. “They’re incredibly fun, too!”, he continues, before adding that traditional machines with a steering wheel still stand the test of time.

Staff at Masons Kings take customers through the process, step-by-step, and can even make a site visit with some machinery in tow to establish exactly what’s needed. Grass cutting equipment is the firm’s most popular range, but demand for utility vehicles (“just imagine a 4x4 golf buggy”, says Elliot) and small tractors are also increasing. “You can put proper flail implements on to clear heavy or overgrown debris but then you can also put log-splitters on,” says Elliot, talking about one of the tractors on offer. “It’s more of a Swiss army knife of machines.”

Helping customers stay focused is part of the job for Elliot and the staff here. He goes on to describe how some keen gardeners recently came in with an inventory of eight machines they wanted. “We cut it down to about four and agreed on it,” says Elliot, stressing that there are no pushy sales pitches here. “What was nice about it was the machinery we chose didn’t change. Some of the machines were the ones that they were originally thinking of.”

Masons Kings – which has branches in Chudleigh, Cornwall and Somerset – has built up a loyal base of repeat customers. New business is coming in all the time and staff here are expecting even more as the year progresses and more urban dwellers decide they want a slice of rural life. “We’ve seen a lot more people coming into the area to get away from city living,” says Elliot. “They move to a larger house and then start getting slightly nervous when the warmer weather is coming, the grass is growing and they’re not 100% sure how they’re going to deal with it.”

It’s never too late to master the tools of the trade.

Finding the right mower
There are absolutely loads of sizes, types and brands of grass cutting mowers around and it’s important to find the right style and function. Masons Kings supply two brands, John Deere and Stihl.

If your garden is less than a tennis court size, then a walk-behind mower is the option for you. With our self-drive or simple push-along models, you can have a collector on the back to empty the grass clippings into your compost heap, or green bin for the recycling centre. Or, go for a mulching mower, that chops the grass into fine clippings and spreads evenly behind you – natural, free fertiliser!

If your garden size is bigger or maybe slightly undulating, then the common solution is a ride-on mower. A key question for you is to know how you would like to dispose of your grass clippings, and what your aim is with your garden. From those answers, we can identify either a collector machine, a dedicated mulching machine, or a simple ‘cut & drop’ machine for quick, efficient grass cutting.

Going for the chop
CHAINSAWS: Elliot Prior says: “Many people know what a chainsaw is and the basics of how it works, but I always stress to any customers that I discuss chainsaws with, it’s how you use it that makes the difference and keeps you safe.

“One thing that many people are not aware of is that battery-powered chainsaws are now available. In the Stihl range of chainsaws we supply, we have a machine for whatever skill level/strength/task you require. We also have the knowledge to explain how to operate it.”

www.masonskings.co.uk

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