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Kubota puts power down gently

Kubota puts power down gently: A big Kubota tractor with a light tread has hit the ground running for sportsfield renovations in the north west.

The Kubota M7152 is a new addition to the line up for national grounds maintenance contractor idverde’s St Helens depot this summer and has already made a big impression.

Kubota puts power down gently

Kubota puts power down gently

“It’s a bit bigger and more powerful than the tractor it replaced, but shod on Nokian turf tyres it doesn’t leave a mark,” says operator Ryan Stirling. “It’s proving very productive and will be capable of handling a wide range of sportsfield renovation implements including a sand spreader, vertidrain and overseeder.”

Powered by a 150hp Kubota four-cylinder engine, the M7152 benefits from Kubota’s KVT stepless transmission, and Ryan notes:

“It makes the tractor very easy to operate with renovation implements as I can use the A-B buttons to set maximum and minimum revs and then select the auto setting and cruise control. There’s a great touchscreen monitor which I’ve been able to get the hang of really quickly, and it also offers auto pto engagement which will be really useful with the vertidrain, as it automatically disengages and re-engages the pto when lifting and lowering the linkage at the end of a run.”

The impressive rear linkage lift capacity of 9,400kg makes working with larger implements such as the vertidrain a breeze and idverde has plans to get even more out of the tractor.

“We’ll use it for a lot of haulage too, and the cab’s very spacious, which along with the air suspension and KVT transmission makes it really good to drive on the road,” says Ryan.

“For the autumn and winter it will have a reach arm flail fitted, and the front linkage and pto means that we can pair it with a front flail which will make verge mowing much quicker. We’re also looking to have a front loader fitted.”

Ryan notes that the M7152’s Kubota engine is pleasingly frugal, the 330 litre fuel tank giving an extra day between fill ups compared to his previous tractor, and says that the tractor has clearly been designed with the operator in mind.

“Access for routine maintenance is really good – I particularly like the flip up radiator which makes it easy to blow debris out and there are plenty of worklights. It’s very straightforward to drive and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve with it.”

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Warrington GC continues down electric route

Warrington GC continues down electric route: Warrington Golf Club in Appleton, Warrington, has re-invested in Toro for another five years and has included more electric options in its new fleet from Cheshire Turf Machinery.

Joining the three Greensmaster eFlex 2100 electric pedestrian mowers from the last order are the all-electric Greensmaster eTriFlex 3370 greensmower and two Workman GTXE electric utility vehicles.

Warrington GC continues down electric route

Warrington GC continues down electric route

Ben Goodchild, head greenkeeper, has been at the club for the past four and a half years, and he couldn’t be happier about the recent purchase from a brand he knows very well and trusts implicitly.

“We’re trying to go as ecological as possible,” says Ben. “With Toro’s electric machines, we’re cutting down on petrol and diesel usage. We are also looking at getting solar panels in our shed roof to power all the machines.”

Because the machines are so quiet, Ben’s team has a lot more flexibility to work any time of day on any part of the course, allowing them to get a lot more done and stay ahead of golfers.

“I’m super impressed with Toro,” Ben admitted. “I’ve been in the industry for 15 years now, and I first worked with Toro machines at Stockport Golf Club. I think it’s simple and very user-friendly. I’ve used other brands and nothing has ever come close to Toro. The machines and the parts cost slightly more, but the longevity and productivity are second to none and they don’t break down as much so you’re spending less in the long-run.”

Also included in the order are the Multi Pro 5800 sprayer and two Greensmaster 1026 pedestrian mowers, adding to an already impressive fleet of two Reelmaster 3550-D cylinder mowers, two Greensmaster 1600 mowers, a Reelmaster 3100-D, a Triflex 3420 and the ever-popular Procore 648 aerator.

Warrington Golf Club has kept a strong relationship with Cheshire Turf Machinery for over ten years, crediting their reliability and being a full-service dealer as the major factors behind their choice.

“They’re awfully good to us,” Ben says. “If we need something fixed or if we’ve got a small breakdown, they’ll come to us straight away and make sure we’re looked after. With other dealerships, it’s not always a fast turnaround, so Cheshire Turf are very good at that. You just need to go to one place, which makes it simple, fast and efficient. They’re as good as it gets.”

In the meantime, Warrington Golf Club is slowly trying to filter out existing machines from other brands and replacing them with Toro ones. The reasons for their decision touch upon their commitment to electric power and environmentally friendly options, which have also improved both productivity and convenience.

As for which piece of equipment stood out from the list, Ben has become enamoured with the Multi Pro 5800 sonic boom sprayer.

“It’s probably the best piece of equipment I’ve ever used in greenkeeping and I think that it’ll change the game for greenkeepers in the future. It’s very precise and very easy to use. It’s worry-free. I know there won’t be any leaks or any problems, so we’re not wasting money on chemicals or adding too much to the environment. The hose reel is also really handy for tighter areas – it’s a real game-changer!”

2020 was a strange time for the club. Despite the initial break over the pandemic, golfers promptly returned when the doors opened again and the greenkeeping team was more than pleased to finally have players to appreciate their hard work. Citing no significant struggles, Warrington Golf Club currently has 50 members on its waiting list, buzzing to start playing again.

“I like to think there were some silver linings about the whole situation,” Ben concludes. “People started appreciating the outdoors a lot more – how you’re out there, you’re alive and you’re playing golf. Appreciating the small things in life.”

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Pitches down to -6֯c? TGC could help

Pitches down to -6֯c? TGC could help: With vast swathes of the country once again experiencing bitter winter temperatures, if you’re going to ‘get the game on’, you need a proven frost protection solution.

total-play’s TGC winter sports cover offers this and more – combining frost protection down to temperatures as low as 6֯c whilst actively encouraging germination of the grass plant. The result – healthy winter sports pitches that are ready for action, pretty much whatever winter throws our way.

Pitches down to -6֯c? TGC could help

Pitches down to -6֯c? TGC could help

In use by clients that include Premier League football grounds, Premiership Rugby Union grounds, the IRFU (Irish Rugby Football Union), National Hunt race courses and the Lawn Tennis Association, TGC is the result of rigorous research and development by experienced groundscare operatives in  conjunction with scientists; acting as an effective insulation blanket and retaining ground temperature while also allowing the circulation of air and water to create a proven germination and propagation environment.

And, while the covers are usually made to order, clubs looking for a quick-fix solution in the current challenging weather conditions could snap up a full pitch cover, ready for immediate dispatch, for just £9,999 + VAT & delivery*. Carrying a 5-year warranty for the fabric, this robust frost protection is suitable for manual deployment but also has optional inflation tubes to enable fast and easy deployment by a single grounds operative. MD at total-play, David Bates says:

“This is a truly rare opportunity – normally the covers would require a lead time of several weeks from point of order to deliver, but we unexpectedly have a single full pitch cover ready to go at a very keen price. This means a club could reap the benefits or TGC within a matter of days and, with the outlook looking so wintry, it could mean the difference between matches going ahead and costly cancellations.”

To find out more head to https://total-play.co.uk/products/climate-cover-pitch-protection/tgc/frost/ – alternatively, email info@total-play.co.uk or call 01604 864 575

*RRP £15,060 +del&vat. Cover only; does not include inflation tubes as per image.

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Cricket groundsman to stand down

Cricket groundsman to stand down: He has become one of the recognisable figures in north-east cricket over the last 20 years.

But now, Kenny McCurdie, the head groundsman at Aberdeenshire CC, has confirmed he is stepping down from the role at the end of March.

Cricket groundsman to stand down

Regarded as one of the country’s best pitch preparers, McCurdie has won a string of national awards  – he was groundsman of the year seven times in 11 seasons from 2000 to 2011 – and worked with Cricket Scotland in getting Mannofield ready for high-profile international matches against the likes of England and New Zealand.

Just last summer, he was responsible for the venue which staged the inaugural World Cricket League matches between the Scots, Oman and Papua New Guinea, all of which were played despite the poor weather which ravaged the domestic season.

He also toiled tirelessly with his Shire colleagues to repair the damage after the ground fell victim to vandals in 2011.

McCurdie told the Press and Journal: “There have been many highlights during my tenure, but the job is all about flexibility and the fact you need to learn to be able to work with Nature, not against it.

“It is especially gratifying, having had a poor week of weather, still being able to unveil a quality pitch on a Saturday and although, as a groundsman, you’ll not be able to please all the people all the time, I’ll be glad to shed my thick skin when I hang up my boots.”

Not even having his arm in a sling in 2014 – after he tore a muscle – could prevent him from carrying out his duties before and after the Scotland v England contest.

McCurdie has confirmed he will be leaving Mannofield at the start of the new season for decidedly warmer climes in Gran Canaria.

But he is justly proud of producing constantly good pitches at the game’s most northerly ODI venue which for many years boasted the world’s highest one-day score – when New Zealand scored 402 for 2 against Ireland in 2008.

Former Scotland bowler, Paul Hoffmann, said he had learned a huge amount from talking to McCurdie down the years, before himself becoming a groundsman.

He added: “He gave me so many tips and I always thought he had the best job in the world, doing something he loves and living at the ground.

“He knows so much about the science, but, most of all, he is brilliant groundsman and a wonderful, kind gentleman.”

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