The Fællesbo housing association in Herning is divided into five groups which, due to their large number of identical Nilfisk Outdoor machines, share and coordinate the use of machinery and attachments. This increases efficiency and saves costs.
The association is working to improve cooperation across sections and groups. One of the preconditions for ensuring efficient cooperation is to coordinate the use of machinery, and Fællesbo now has 20 City Ranger 2250 machines from Nilfisk Outdoor.
- We have, for example, cutting decks for all our machines, but we don't need lawn edgers for all of them. We can manage with the limited number available, say Klaus Olesen and Thomas Madsen, caretakers from Group West in the Sønderager section. The section currently has a City Ranger 2250 and another type of utility machine which they intend to replace with a Nilfisk Outdoor.
- There are many advantages of having identical machinery. It allows us to make much better use of attachments. An attachment is not necessarily worn out just because the basic machine needs to be replaced, and it has a very positive effect on our budgets that attachments and machines can be replaced separately.
- The fact that we have the same machinery also gives us the chance to work together in an entirely different way. For example, we recently trimmed the hedges. We joined forces with the other sections in Group West - some of us were trimming hedges with City Rangers,one was collecting the trimmings with a leaf suction unit/grass collector, and one was doing the finishing work using a suction sweeper. This meant that we didn't need a manual broom, fork or wheelbarrow. We completed all the tasks using machines, say Klaus Olesen and Thomas Madsen.
Klaus Olesen and Thomas Madsen have a City Ranger 2250 which is approximately two years old and has been in use for 476 hours.
- We use it for everything, and we have most of the attachments ourselves, but all the sections are trying to work together. We have no tradition of sharing our machinery, so it takes some time getting used to.
- When we work together on coordinating the use of the machines, they will also be put into use more frequently. Previously, the budgets were the primary reason for deciding when to replace the machinery, and sometimes a machine was replaced without having been in use for very long. Now, however, we mostly replace the machinery when necessary.
- We are making an effort to ensure that all thesections switch to Nilfisk Outdoor. Some of our colleagues consider the City Ranger 2250 to be quite small. And in a way it is. Itis ideal for footpaths, and we can easily use it for sweeping around bicycle racks and the like. In fact, we only use manual power for sweeping the ten steps leading up to each block. We use the machine for all other tasks. However, it is often underestimated. It has a very powerful engine and high functionally, and it is also quite suitable for large areas, says Thomas Madsen, who is a big man but still has plenty of room in the cabin.
- I'm comfortable and have plenty of space, and mowing grass isn't something we do in an instant. Sometimes we mow for five to six hours non-stop, and it is quite pleasant despite the weather. When it's hot, I simply turn on the AC, and the cabin offers a really good view, he says.
Brilliant attachment changeover
The Sønderager caretakers have demonstrated the leaf suction unit/grass collector to the caretakers in several of the other sections, and some of them are now buying new machinery. This is yet another example of the synergy created by having a large number of identical basic machines.
- The main argument for buying Nilfisk Outdoor is that it's so easy to shift between attachments. You don't have to struggle with oil couplings that are stuck or bent bolts. It doesn't take more than two minutes to change the attachment, and you can do it alone without having to lift anything", says Klaus Olesen.
Quality and good service
- Another important factor is that the machine is produced by a Danish company, which guarantees quality, and not to mention the story behind the Ranger machines. Nothing is left to chance. The fact that it is produced in Denmark also means that we are close to the factory if any problems should occur.
- The distributor is, of course, also an important business partner and consultant. We use Herning Skov, Have & Park, and we have an excellent relationship. They have a great sense of urgency when we call them with a problem. We're highly dependent on each and every machine, and especially when it's snowing, so it's important that the machines are running, says Klaus Olesen, who has yet to experience the City Ranger not being capable of handling a task using a combination of a snow blade and a brush.
- Another advantage of having many Nilfisk Outdoor machines is that we can gradually build up a stock of wearing and spare parts. We have our own workshop and do minor repairs ourselves, and it's also practical to have, for example, brushes, seals, blades and other attachment in stock, says Klaus Olesen.
Fællesbo is a public housing association with public housing, shared housing and cooperative housing with a total of approx. 5,000 tenancies across Herning Municipality divided between family, student and senior residences. The residences are primarily located in multi-storey buildings, but Fællesbo also offers terrace houses and small single-family houses.