Posts tagged: turf care machines

Is enjoying the game more important than preserving it?

By Grassgroup, June 13, 2016 3:37 pm

“Paris floods: Seine level starts dropping after 30-year high.” “Northern Tasmania faces worst flooding in decades as storm heads south.” “Summer has begun but it’s colder than Christmas day.” These are all titles taken from papers in the past month showing how the weather has been behaving unexpectedly. With the weather being so unpredictable, it is difficult to deny both the effects of global warming and the continuing impact the human race has on the environment.

 

I recently read a rather interesting and thought provoking article published by the University of Connecticut: “Environmentally Sustainable Practices at Small Community Sports Facilities” by John Schumacher.

 

Ralph and Stubbs (2014, p1) say that, “the current state of the global natural environment constitutes one of the most urgent and significant challenges in recent history [and] the overwhelming view of scientists is that organisations, industries and government must adopt sustainable practices and commence mitigation again to prevent further degradation to decrease current greenhouse gas emissions and to prevent further increases in emissions in order to minimise these impacts.”

 

How, as an industry, can we change what we do in order to improve the environment? This should be a particularly poignant question for the industry we are in as we are all directly affected by global warming. As a groundsman there are different challenge faced with changing weather. Suppliers must innovate to find more environmentally friendly ways of serving our industry as ultimately, the changing weather can affect the seasonality and demand for the various sports we all serve. Albeit it not related to grass, the National Hockey League (NHL) in America released a sustainability report whereby Gary Bettman, commissioner, stated that, “[their] sport can trace its roots to frozen freshwater pond, to cold climates. Major environmental challenges, such as climate change and freshwater scarcity, affect opportunities for hockey players of all ages to learn and play the game outdoors.” This is evidence that climate change is happening and it is affecting the nature of our sport and will be directly affecting our industry.

 

So why is more not being done about it?

 

As stated by one of the interviewees, Richard in the University of Connecticut theses, “everything is budget, everything always comes back to budget [...] it all comes down to cost. So, you know, if it comes down to product made in America or not made in America, or made environmentally friendly or non-environmentally friendly… usually no one wants to look at that, they just want to know how much it costs and that’s what we have to go on.” Richard also goes on to point out that, “people care about what is happening to their tax bill right now” as opposed to in the future. Richard is correct to draw on this disparity between bills and the environment, whereby what we are only vested in is the ‘here and now’ and not the future. If we are prepared to pay sportsmen a hefty sum of money but we are not willing to invest environmentally in areas such as waste management, grounds care and office life than can we truly purport to defend the environment of which we serve? Our monetary priority should be as much about sport as it is about the environment. Indeed, protecting the game is as important as enjoying it. As an industry we should then, invest now in the environment whilst we still can, rather than in years to come when it’ll be too late.

 

Links to the above

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36451009

http://www.theguardian.com/weather/2016/jun/06/northern-tasmania-faces-worst-flooding-in-decades-as-storm-heads-south

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news.2016/06/02/summer-has-begun-but-its-colder-than-christmas-day/

http://ice.nhl.com/green/report/#buildingFuture

http://digitalcommons.uconn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2011&context+gs_theses


 

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The Pro-Flex 120, performance at a practical price!

By Grassgroup, April 22, 2016 9:22 am

The Pro-Flex 120 by Progressive Turf Equipment, available exclusively from The Grass Group is the most widely used pull behind contour finishing mower in the market. First introduced to the golf industry in 1999, the Pro-Flex 120 has become the ‘go-to’ contour and rough mower due to its versatility, its 10′ wide uniform cut, and its proven reliability. Although well regarded as a rough mower, the Pro-Flex 120 is equally at home on a fairway due to the quality of cut and a superb after cut appearance. With 5 independent floating decks, the Pro-Flex 120 can easily follow contour changes that are commonly found on golf courses, producing a uniform quality cut that is demanded by greenkeepers and members alike. A clear advantage of the Pro-Flex 120 over competing mowers is the ability to easily cut a transition or “first-cut” between the fairway and rough in no time at all! Cut height is conveniently set on each deck so you can use the Pro-Flex 120 to help speed play and make the course look even better. Something that competing mowers cannot do. In summary, the rugged construction, ease of maintenance, and features that are not found in competitive models sets the Pro-Flex 120 apart in all aspects of quality, dependability, and value! It is, The Better Built Choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what differences does the Pro-Flex 120 offer?

The industry exclusive Pro Lift-N-Turn™ system is standard equipment on a newer Pro-Flex 120, and a feature not found on other contour mowers. Pro Lift-N-Turn™ allows the operator to temporarily raise the decks slightly off the ground without stopping and with the PTO still engaged; all without fear of doing any component damage or impacting belt life, and the driveline is subjected to less wear and tear. Crossing a path or another minor obstacle has never been easier or faster making the Pro-Flex 120 a smarter choice than ever before! Additionally before engaging the PTO, the operator can first lift the decks so the blades are above the uncut grass. This reduces the stress placed on the complete drivetrain of the tractor and mower when the PTO is engaged. (Refer to the Operator’s Manual for precautions and operating instructions.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Automatic Drive Belt Tensioning

With the goal to lower ongoing maintenance costs, the Pro-Flex 120 is equipped with rubber-damped, automatic belt tensioners, offering several cost saving benefits. Replacing the older spring type tensioner, all of the upper drive and deck belts are tensioned using a maintenance free rubber-damped, automatic tensioner. Field proven over several years, this type of belt tightening provides more consistent tension as the belts ‘seat-in’, further increasing belt durability and life; allowing Progressive to achieve the mandate of lower operating costs. All of the spring type belt tensioners used in the past have been eliminated, so there are now fewer moving parts for greater long term reliability.

Lowering the Cost of Routine Maintenance

Pro-Flex 120’s are now equipped with PTO shafts that feature a 100 hour lubrication interval to lower routine maintenance costs. With the introduction of the automatic belt tensioners, there are 25% fewer grease fittings than on previous models!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAINTENANCE FREE BLADE SPINDLES we’ve introduced on all ProFlex’s, reducing routine maintenance and increasing peace of mind. Combining the reduction in grease points with the 100 hour PTO shaft greasing interval, the Pro-Flex 120 offers peace of mind – gone is the fear that a missed service point by un-familiar maintenance personnel will render the mower out of service and put grounds maintenance behind schedule.

The Pro-Flex 120 is all about providing high value to the owner over the long term. Unlike a self-contained, ride-on rough mower, the Pro-Flex 120 offers increased equipment utilization as the tractor can be used for other tasks when not required for mowing. This means a lower total cost of ownership. Additionally, the required horsepower for the utility tractor connected to a Pro-Flex 120 is about half of what a Tier 4 self-contained mower requires. This directly translates to a large savings in fuel, year-after-year. The mechanical simplicity and low operating cost of a utility tractor and Pro-Flex combination, compared to that of a dedicated hydrostatically driven, self-contained mower, confirms the value offered by the Pro-Flex 120.

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Progressive Mowers, the right choice for spring

By Grassgroup, April 21, 2016 9:05 am

With the ground temperature now starting to rise and the warmth air of spring beginning to be more consistent, the ground is warming up and the regular mowing season is just around the corner. The Progressive single and Tri-Deck Roller Mower range available from The Grass Group, is a popular choice of wide area mower with sports facilities, municipal grounds care, polo fields and golf courses. Because they don’t need a high speed P.T.O., it enables the mowing of a very large area with something as small as a 30hp compact. The simplicity of the design offers easy access for service and maintenance with parts such as “maintenance free” sealed spindles and sleeved bearings the lifetime servicing costs of the machine are greatly reduced. It’s also economical to maintain with no need for expensive cylinder regrinds. The low cost maintenance regime is highly significant to a groundsman who needs more time to mow and less time to maintain.

 

 

 

 

This versatile mower cuts as low as 13mm (½”) without scalping while it smooth’s the surface. It can also stripe for visual impact and speed re-growth by promoting root-to-soil contact for divot repair. The superior quality cut comes from high lift blades that creates enough vacuum to lift the grass for a clean even cut and disperse the clippings evenly over the rollers. Rear rollers also provide extra protection for safe discharge of clippings and debris. Tim Merrell, Grass Group’s MD, comments, “The mower is superb on undulating ground due to the three floating heads. Most other mowers than can be powered by compacts consist of one fixed head which are no good on undulating ground. And of course, using a smaller tractor reduces the effects of compaction and reduces fuel bills.”

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Springtime Scarification

By Grassgroup, March 14, 2016 10:07 am

Coming out of this year’s long wet winter, there is now an ideal window of opportunity to boost turf health once growth gets underway this year. Well timed scarification can encourage healthy growth, tackle disease and make the turf less susceptible to attack by pests. Greenkeepers and groundsmen can also save on chemical and fertiliser costs through these practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By getting  into the turf with a scarifier in the spring and take out the dead areas and moss that has grown, the fresh cleaned-up  turf will then make overseeding more effective, and ensure that fertiliser and top dressing can get into the sward. New growth can then infill as the season progresses, making for a harder-wearing, more resilient sward. A clean sward makes the best use of nutrients, water and air throughout the growing season. Scarification can have a dramatic effect on turf at a key time of year as air gets into the plant, stimulating vigorous growth.” Thatch can also harbour pests such as wireworms and chafer grub eggs, whereas strong spring growth means they have nowhere to go so making best use of fertiliser, and minimising the need for pesticides not only helps cut costs, but is also better for the environment, Selecting the right machinery as always depends on the area to be treated and the amount of material to be removed. For greens and tees, light and compact machinery is needed to protect the fine turf. The ATT TMSystem offers the ideal opportunity to make the most of machinery – greenkeepers who have the cutting units can quickly and easily swap for a scarifying reel. The options range from the pedestrian INFiNisystem unit which is the ultimate lightweight turf maintenance unit, to cassettes for greens triples and fairway mowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tractor mounted options for greens and tees include the Rotadairon ED130 dethatcher from the renowned range of maintenance equipment, which also offers the versatility of use as a spiker. The ED130 can work to 60mm deep, rapidly clearing out dead material into an optional collector.The industry is being encouraged to move away from quick fixes and expensive potentially damaging chemicals and make a return to good regular methods and clearing out the turf in the spring is an excellent example of this.

 

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Why you can’t afford not to be Ultragrooming your Bowling Green

By Grassgroup, March 11, 2016 4:13 pm

Since its inception some 10 years ago, the TMSystem™ from Advanced Turf Technology (ATT) has continually improved and added to the range. The TMSystem™ is unique and by using the appropriate chassis adaptor kit, is fully compatible with all main-stream makes of triplex mowers and lightweight fairway mowers. This ATT turf management system consists of a range of 10 SMART cassettes which enable different maintenance activities to take place such as aeration, brushing, de-thatching, scarifying, top dressing, grooming, levelling and mowing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being a truly multi-functional system and uniquely in the industry the cassettes are also all fully interchangeable with ATT’s own 22″ pedestrian INFiNiSystem™. The INFiNiSystem™ pedestrian machine out performs any conventional mower. It cuts better; tracks straight; follows undulations; has low weight; can be battery powered or configured as a hybrid; is maintenance and environmentally friendly and offers great overall value for money. Available in 22″, 26″ and 30” widths, designed and built in Sheffield. It is the ultimate tool for bowling green maintenance.  Offering unrivalled agronomic benefits and utilising the latest design and manufacturing expertise to facilitate ease of use including swapping any one of the range of turf maintenance cassettes in minutes.One of the most popular cassettes within the range is the unique Ultragrooming cassette. The question of Ultragrooming is becoming much more of a hot topic with the ever increasing need for consistent surfaces and the need to be more environmentally friendly, whilst achieving high quality and trimming equipment costs where possible.Ultragrooming is a process that removes the puffiness and thatch from your green. With regular use it is the pre-eminent solution to help minimize puffiness in both high density creeping bent and other grasses. It will remove unsightly seed heads in Poa annua turf with minimal fuss. On newly established surfaces it can help reduce the ingress of Poa annua by “grabbing” individual Poa plants before they get a chance to take hold. It will produce a superior fine leafed Poa turf stand when used regularly on Poa dominant greens.Treatment with the Ultragroomer every week to 10 days minimises the life cycle of the leaf keeping it in a consistent state rather than progressing to puffiness and lateral growth stages by using thin tipped blades at 5mm spacings. It can prevent excessive organic material developing, making for a more consistent surface over the course of the season.In theory not Ultragrooming is the equivalent to brushing your teeth regularly but then not visiting the dentist for a deep clean, the grass will still look presentable but the lack of good grooming habits will catch up with you and cause problems further down the line.Another benefit of Ultragrooming is that you can save money on your top dressing. With the costs of aggregates constantly increasing, a regular Ultragrooming programme can mean that the need to top dress decreases saving you money, time and even worn parts due to the abrasive nature of the sand whilst also improving the health of your bowling green at the same time.So the question really is, if you’re not already regularly Ultragrooming when can you start?

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Soil renovation? Go for the original, go for RotaDairon!

By Grassgroup, February 26, 2016 3:33 pm

ROTADAIRON – The original reverse tillage system for soil renovation, soil cultivation, burying of stones & debris, fine surface preparation, levelling & rolling, and seeding – all in one pass, with one machine and one person!From its formation in 1958 the Dairon Company has long been the standard by which other machines are ranked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With legendary reliability and hard wearing precision parts, RotaDairon machines give the owner peace of mind as well as a terrific finish. Within the full range available from The Grass Group that includes, Combi-Seeders, Stoneburiers, Dethatchers, Renovators and Overseeders there is something that is applicable for any job at any time of the season. Contact us for further information or to arrange a demonstration and see for yourself why quality and value is always the best route to the best finish!

 

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Golf Industry Show 2016 – San Diego

By Grassgroup, February 23, 2016 10:44 am

This year saw the 2016 annual Golf Industry Show being hosted in the wonderful city of San Diego. Unlike last year’s freeze in Texas, we were blessed with gorgeous Californian sunshine…! Despite the incredible weather we still experienced a good, productive and busy show. The attendance figures that have been released show just how important this show is.

We were supporting our suppliers Progressive and Advanced Turf Technology. Progressive had a Proflex 120b painted in the new industry green on their stand as well as their remote controlled Slope-Pro mower. the ever popular Proflex was generating interest with its new colour and the economic advantages it boasts over other rough mowers.

 

 

 

 

As always, it was great to catch up with the Progressive team!

 

 

For the very first time Advanced Turf Technology (ATT) were exhibiting on their own stand with the full TMSystem range and the 22″ pedestrian INFiNiSystem. Luckily for Iain the puppy managed to refrain from chewing his passport and he was able to attend the show this year! We had a great time meeting existing customers and potential new ones.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cub Cadet also had a 22″ INFiNiSystem on their stand as well as the ATT cutting units on their impressive robotic RG3 mower!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall it was a great show and the weather made it all the better. Shame we were welcomed back with snow last Monday at our head office!

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Good grooming provides excellent presentation all year round!

By Grassgroup, February 8, 2016 11:16 am

Well-groomed greens are on every greenkeeper’s wish list, providing the optimum playing surface for an increasingly discerning membership while promoting robust, healthy turf. The Advanced Turf Technology (ATT) TM System™ ‘Ultragroomer’ can provide exceptional results on high density swards on greens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treatment with the Ultragroomer every week to 10 days minimises the phased management effect, using thin tipped blades at 5mm spacings. The Ultragroomer can also during the current damp warm spell be used to great effect to remove moss and lateral growth, resulting in a healthier more disease resistant plant.  On other varieties of grass on greens such as creeping bent and fescue, Poa annua invasion can be a major headache for greenkeepers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ultragroomer can help to control this by grabbing and pulling out the seedheads, minimising seeding. It can also take out Poa plants by their shallow roots, while leaving the finer rooted Bents intact. Greenkeepers can also use the Ultragroomer to control grain, either on sloping greens or where shade encourages the grasses to grow in the direction of the light.

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Why choose a RotaDairon Stone Burier / Soil Renovator for your budget?

By Grassgroup, February 4, 2016 4:07 pm

There are now many brands of stone burier machines available on the market today but the RotaDairon is the original reverse tillage machine specifically designed and constructed to tackle all types of soil and achieve a quality seedbed in one pass.The machine works in a reverse tillage operation, the stones, clods, old turf and debris are centrifugally separated out and thrown to the bottom of the soil profile. A screen at the back of the machine gradually releases the renovated material with the finest soil at the top, this then passes under the levelling bar, seeding unit (if attached) and mesh roller.Favoured by many golf course, turf growers and landscaping professionals these high quality, rugged machines cultivate and renovate the soil, burying stones and debris providing the perfect finish for quality grass seeding results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designed to minimise damage to soil structure and compaction problems these machines will truly achieve optimum seedbed conditions.RotaDairon machines are built to last with specially designed rotors, blades, heavy duty construction and legendary reliability. Precision seeder attachments also enable us to cultivate, stone bury, level, roll and seed in one pass. This translates into a more efficient and cost effective machine that will give years of reliable service. For further details about the range available, contact us.

 

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The secret to fantastic striping on your turf

By Grassgroup, January 27, 2016 8:37 am

The effect of “striping” turf through the use of mowers that use an integrated roller is not new and has been desired as the finish to any green, pitch or garden surface for as long as mowing has been around.  As the mower passes over the turf it first cuts the grass and then a roller positioned behind the cutting element pushes the grass plants over in the same direction.

 

 

 

 

 

To gain the best effect from this process the grass needs to be cut uniformly prior to being rolled.  Failure to cut the grass uniformly results in irregularities on the finished surface and results in more light “scatter”.  The roller is able to mask this to an extent but not fully when compared to rolling after a properly executed cut.  If for example the reel speed is too high on the mower (example; when the leaf is soft) the fan effect of the cutting reel itself forces the grass down and away from the cut path.  Similarly, too high a clip rate will also result in irregular cutting of the grass and again exacerbate the problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The general principle in achieving a “better panel” is to minimise the amount of light scatter.  Simply using a heavy roller is not the answer as there is a point of diminishing returns related to roller weight – some weight is advantageous but over a certain amount and the effect is diminished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cutting the grass as uniformly as possible and relatively light rolling has a greater effect of minimizing light scatter than a poor quality cut and heavy rolling.
The ATT Infnisystem is programmable to ensure the best cut is always attained for whatever conditions are presented.  This ability minimises light scatter and improves overall panel appearance and does not negatively affect the health of the plant or appreciably increase soil compaction. For further details and to organise a demonstration so that you can see how it’s quality and not weight that creates a great stripe, contact us for a demonstration.

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