* indicates required

Turf supplier marks anniversary year with new app and rebrand

THE UK’s largest independent supplier of turf is set to celebrate its 21st anniversary with the launch of a new app and the promise of more speed and efficiency for landscapers and gardeners.

George Davies – whose ‘side venture’ selling turf began on his father’s farm in Olney in 2001 – has been reflecting on his incredible journey over the last two decades having taken George Davies Turf to a £5 million business that now delivers over one million rolls of high quality turf each year to landscape gardeners, homeowners, and some of the UK’s most well-known sporting and leisure venues.

As he prepares for the anniversary, and with the continued focus on keeping deliveries local to Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Hertfordshire, George believes the launch of the new George Davies Turf app will not only ‘jet-propel’ the company into the digital age but also will give time-stretched landscapers a faster customer experience.

“We wanted to celebrate our epic business birthday by giving something back to our valued and loyal clients,” says George pictured top (Photo: TomLee Gallery).

“I keep the same strategy today as I did all those years ago when I first set up; to only ever source top-quality turf from the country’s best providers, to guarantee freshness every time with two-hour delivery slots and to focus entirely on a personalised customer service.

“Our new app is the first of its kind from an independent turf provider and we have built it with this exact ethos in mind.”

“The new app technology will mean we can improve further still,” says George. “Our customers want more speed and tracking ability when they order – and that is what we will give them – but I also have a new vision and ambitious growth plans to become the go-to supplier of premium landscape materials.

“We are a local company through and through so that we can maintain the high level of freshness and two-hour delivery slots we are known for but our new strapline Proud of our history, excited about the future suits our message as a forward-thinking, digitally focused business. 21 years on and we are on an exciting trajectory of growth as a company.”

The George Davies Turf rebrand includes a new website with e-commerce focus and the new app to speed up customer orders and service for busy landscape gardeners and homeowners. The app is due to launch this month.

Photo: Made in Blue

It is all a far cry from the early days when George would run all of his local deliveries from his Peugeot 306 car and a trailer as a one-man band. Today the company runs a fleet of eight striking red Scania 32-tonne lorries with forklift trucks, employs a team of 19 people, and delivers 1.4 million rolls of turf to 35,000 gardens a year within a 40-mile radius of the Olney and St Albans bases.

It is all this that has also inspired a huge rebrand for George Davies Turf and expansion into new markets.

“The new generation Scanias are fantastic,” says George, who was invited to Sweden for the truck’s launch in 2017. He particularly praises the visibility, making them ideal for urban deliveries. All of the P-series have been supplied by TruckEast Northampton on repair and maintenance contracts and are likely to cover some 900,000km during their ten to 12 years on the fleet.

The turf is unloaded using a Manitou forklift mounted on board the vehicle. One of the reasons why George opted for Manitou as the firm’s supplier of choice was down to its excellent reach. It is not always possible to access both sides of the trailer during a delivery, George says, and for this reason he needs a forklift with a telescopic boom. But he also praises the reliability and the high level of service he gets from MEB Equipment which supplied all of his Manitous as well as the support from Manitou UK.

There are currently eight on its fleet, all TMT 25S models with a maximum lifting capacity of 2,500kg and a lifting height of 3,380mm.

All of the drivers – George included – are experts at operating the Manitous, which is no surprise considering how many times they use them each day.

“My record was to rock up at the garden centre, pull the curtain back, demount the Manitou, take a pallet off, put the Manitou back on, and close the curtain in just under two minutes,” George says. “On that occasion I was really going some, but a three- or four-minute tip is common. The Manitous are invaluable,” he says. “It is vital to make the drivers lives as easy as possible and that is what these do.”


More from Olney:

More business news articles: