SPA Power Machinery Demopark Review10/07/2019
Attended by Laurie Anthony & Simon Anthony of SPA Power Machinery.
Demopark is Germany’s leading outdoor exhibition for grounds care and landscaping professionals.
Our trip was divided into two parts, the first part being a helping hand on the stand of our German distributors for the Easy Petrol Post Driver, and the second spending some time to meet with our new brand from 2018, Westermann Radialbesen. Don’t worry – we also set time aside to allow us to see what else the show had in store!
For those that have never experienced Demopark, the exhibition is huge, with over 400 exhibitors and 40,000+ visitors across 3 days. Armed with a map of the show, a hat and sun cream (unlike the UK, most of Europe experienced a heatwave during June 2019!) we went to see what else one of Europe’s largest Landscaping and Green Space exhibitions had to offer.
As the name suggests… Demonstrations are key at this show, and we were not disappointed in the quality of demos on offer; everything from a mud track with ramps and berms to ride the new Kubota around, to John Deere with a presenter talking the audience through their new cutting deck technology, and every chainsaw manufacturer hosting their very own carving competition.
The displays from Stihl, Husqvarna, Honda, Makita, and John Deere were to be expected – dramatic, with huge stands, demo areas, and live presentations of their latest inventions.
But aside from the big-guns, it seemed that every exhibitor had something new and exciting, and all the vendors we spoke to were a pleasure to talk to about their products. Additionally, it was great to see so much battery power on offer, and it seems that Germany are light-years ahead in their bid for chemical free landscaping.
Please note the below product reviews are all our honest and personal opinions. We will not receive any commission for the below.
Some notable products we enjoyed looking at were;
Allets flagship battery powered cylinder mower has enough battery charge for 1.5 football pitches, with 4 removeable battery packs. This means with 2 sets you can comfortably cut 3 pitches in one go. The charge time per battery is 1 hour, and discharge is 4 hours, meaning you will never be without power. It features Allett’s easy change cartridge system, meaning you can not only cut with either 6 or 10 blades, but also scarify, remove moss, and brush. The C34 additionally has an optional extra of built in backlapping to give the professional groundsman all they need to achieve the perfect cut.
This salt spreader has done away with cables and can now be operated entirely from your mobile phone, including both start/stop, and spread width from 1m up to 6m. It fits all standard pick-up trucks, has a stirrer mechanism to prevent blockages, and a hinged watertight lid to prevent clogging.
Snow clearance and de-icing is evidently big business in Germany, shown both by the vast ranges of snow ploughs and salt spreaders on offer, to the gigantic mounds of salt stores we saw from the motorway. In the UK our weather is more varied, so it is more difficult for contractors to fully commit to machinery and technology not knowing if we will have much cold weather or snow each winter - but hopefully some of the new products on offer will trickle into our marketplace.
This was one of the Gold Medal Winners of the Demopark Innovations 2019, and it did not disappoint at the demonstration we watched. The main feature of this saw is that is has replaced the expected carburettor with a fuel injection module, removing the requirement for a choke resulting in a much easier start up from cold. It is available in 3 bar lengths (50, 63, 71cm), and it is achieving 6.8hp which is the best weight/efficiency ratio on the market.
“The MS 500i is the first power saw worldwide with electronic fuel injection. Components such as a carburettor and an ignition module are thereby eliminated. Pressure and temperature sensors dispense the fuel in accordance with the operating status. This high-performance, lightweight felling saw for professional users has an outstanding acceleration. The engine unit weighs only 6.2 kg.”
Easy Petrol Post Driver
The Easy Petrol Post Driver was on display with our longstanding distributors Geo-bil, where Simon and I joined them for a day on the exhibition stand.
We had some great conversations with new and old customers from Germany, and further afield, about their requirements for our product and how it fits into their own practices.
It was very interesting to discuss how the various land conditions compare to ours in the UK, and what applications the EPPD is mostly required for.
The dominating enquiries were for landscaping, forestry, and vineyards.
Geo-bil is owned by partnership Christian Nitz and Jörgen Hettich from Freiburg, near the Black Forest. They have looked after distribution of the EPPD in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland since 2013, and have been influential in the development of the product for their customer base.
Alongside Geo-bil they also run a successful fence supply business Natur Zaun, supplying high quality fencing kits to both end-users and commercial contractors.
The entire Westermann collection was on display, with the most popular product of the show being the WKB660 Weed Ripper.
The WKB660 has been greatly received by the industry as a new design for mechanical weed ripper products. It won a Silver Medal in the Innovation at Demopark Competition - a great accolade for the company:
"The WKB 660 Honda Weed Ripper does not have a conventional revolving brush disc with metal braids, which are quite aggressive and can leave scratches on the ground. It has three individually rotating brush discs, each with four wire braids, positioned under a rotating disc. This protects the ground. In addition, the weeds are attacked from several angles."
We thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition and feel that it was one of the finest displays we have seen of machinery for the landscaping industry.
Demonstrations are key in our industry, and being able to test so many products all in one place is a real luxury.
If you are looking to visit Demopark in the future our recommendations would be;
- If you are just going for a browse one day is enough.
- if you are going with a serious shopping spree in mind spend at least 2 of the 3 available days. We printed a map before we left the UK in large scale and highlighted on it who we wanted to visit – this was crucial as the map provided on entry to the show is tiny, and without as much detail as you’d like.
- ensure to take water, snacks and a hat – refreshments stalls are not as plentiful as they are in the UK shows, and are grouped together with limited shade.
- look out for the electric trains! Yes, this show is so vast there are electric trains which you can hop-on and hop-off to take you around the show.
Thank you to all the people we met and our wonderful hosts, we look forward to returning to Demopark at its next exhibition in 2021.