26 Jan 2024

Avant Compact Loaders: Racing Ahead at Chelmsford City Racecourse


Ciprian Stefea, Estate Manager at Chelmsford City Racecourse, relies on the power and versatility of two Avant compact loaders to navigate the diverse tasks that define the racecourse and Moulsham Hall Farm.

Chelmsford City Racecourse has been hosting quality all-weather racing fixtures since its opening to the public in early 2015. As one of only three fully floodlit racecourses in the UK, the venue hosts approximately 50 race meetings annually, along with a plethora of events, private functions, and concerts. The racecourse's commitment to excellence is evident in its continuous investment in facilities, ensuring a top-tier experience for both participants and spectators.

With a history spanning 14 years at Moulsham Hall Farm, Ciprian, affectionately known as Chip, oversees a team of 12 members of staff and manages the intricate balance of operations between the bustling racecourse and the agricultural endeavours of the farm.

The Avant 750: A Compact Powerhouse

Chip's journey with Avant loaders began with the Avant 750, a 4WD compact loader boasting a 49hp diesel engine. Designed for versatility, the Avant 750 handles tasks traditionally performed by diggers, forklifts, and tractors, making it an indispensable tool for a range of maintenance tasks. Chip recalls, "We originally purchased the 750 because we wanted a fairly compact machine which could go everywhere, even on the horse walk without damaging the surface. It is a small, neat, and powerful machine."

The Avant 750, with its ergonomic cockpit design and quick attach system, proved to be a game-changer for the racecourse's diverse needs. It effortlessly handles jobs such as hedge cutting, mowing, levelling, and lifting heavy loads, contributing to the overall efficiency of the groundskeeping team.

The Avant 860i: Elevating Capacity and Performance

Recognising the increasing demands of their operations, Chip upgraded to the Avant 860i, the flagship of the Avant 800 series. With increased lift height and capacity, the 860i redefines compact loader capabilities. Chip explains, "We upgraded to a bigger one because we have huge deliveries with lots of pallets, and the bigger Avant allows us to load and unload because it can handle more weight."

The Avant 860i's ability to reach tall mixer feeder wagons and load trucks from one side to the far edge streamlines logistics at the farm and the racecourse. Its compact design enables work in spaces where larger machines cannot go, coupled with the convenience of transportation on a conventional car trailer.

Attachments Aplenty: Tailoring the Avant to Every Task

Chip's appreciation for the Avant loaders extends to the extensive range of attachments available. From sweeping stables to changing bedding after races, mowing grass and banks, and even reaching high hedges with the telescopic arm of the hedge cutter attachment, the Avant loaders offer unparalleled versatility.

"The best feature on the Avant machines is their versatility, but they are also really good at manoeuvring. You can get into and turn in small areas, which a tractor just wouldn’t be able to do," says Chip. The efficiency of the Avant loaders is further underlined by their performance in various seasonal tasks, from ploughing in winter to lawn care in summer and leaf collection in autumn.

“Having these machines – both with cabs, with all the attachments makes life very easy for us,” adds Chip.

Partnership with Avant South East: A Testimony to Excellence

Chip credits the introduction to Avant to Chris Easter at Avant South East, their local dealer, emphasising the pivotal role he played in their decision-making process. "Chris was the person who originally recommended the Avant Loaders – he came to give us the demonstration and we knew straight away it was the machine for us. Chris is always there if we need him, if ever we have a query or question, it is dealt with by the end of the day. We are really pleased to work with him, and the service is very good."

In the fast-paced world of Chelmsford City Racecourse, the Avant compact loaders, under Chip's expert guidance, exemplify efficiency, versatility, and reliability, ensuring that every facet of maintenance is executed with precision and speed.