Countrywide Grounds use Turf Tank Base Station: Countrywide Grounds, Shropshire, has been using the Turf Tank robotic line marker with GPS base station to achieve unrivalled accuracy wherever it is needed.
The Turf Tank is the only GPS line marker available that uses a base station. It provides an accuracy of +/- 1cm over 100m and ensures that the robot will overmark lines with supreme precision and mark out new pitches with ease. The base station allows the machine to be operated without cellular or real-time kinematic (RTK) connectivity and coverage. Using the closed system means the marker can be used anywhere with unprecedented reliability while matching the marking speed of every robotic line marker on the market.
Having this technology was a crucial factor for Countrywide Grounds director, Wayne Middleton, who has used GPS steered tractors during his work in agriculture.
Wayne explains: “We have come from an agricultural background where we used GPS probably for the last 12 to 14 years on our tractors. So, we set out to look for a GPS line marker because we knew what the technology was all about.
“We went to Saltex last November and looked at line markers and came across the Turf Tank. And after chatting to them and looking at the other options this was the one that grabbed us, purely because it is a base station based GPS rather than a sim card. Some of the places we go you can’t even get a mobile phone signal, and wanting a base station comes from out agricultural background because with the systems we use the base station is the way forward.
“The Turf Tank stands up very well to the agricultural technology we have used. I’ve been very pleased with how accurate it’s been. I mark eight football pitches for a league, and they get marked every week, and I’ve gone back in and overmarked them, and it hasn’t missed a beat. Each pitch takes 20 minutes, and the accuracy is always spot on.
“I can go and mow a football pitch and then set that off to start marking while I cut another pitch which makes great use of the time. And as a contractor, time is something you always need more of. We can also mark at night, which is a big plus for us going into winter because it means we can beat the weather and still provide a good service.”
As well as football pitches, Wayne has been able to use the robot to mark out year group areas for schools including numbers, and he has also completed 100m and 200m running tracks with various other sports in the pipeline.
While using the GPS technology is nothing new to Wayne, line marking and the Turf Tank are, making the assistance and back-up service from Turf Tank’s southern UK rep, Alex Robinson, vital.
“What I like about Alex is he has been very patient with us,” Wayne explains. “We first met him at Saltex and then had a demo of the robot in January 2020 on a very wet field. We were over the moon with how it performed, and since buying it in August, he’s always been at the other end of the phone.
“When it arrived, he was straight out and showed us how to use it, and if we need little pointers or a quick talk through something, he’s always happy to help.”
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