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New GKB Drainmaster for Duncan Ross Ltd

New GKB Drainmaster for Duncan Ross Ltd: Specialists in all aspects of Sportsturf, construction, drainage, renovation and maintenance.  The Company originated in the 1960s from a background in agricultural land drainage. Duncan Ross Ltd, have invested in a GKB Drainmaster for full drainage schemes for a variety of clients.

Joe Ross, Manager at Duncan Ross Ltd, explains how impressed they were with their new GKB Drainmaster.  Duncan Ross – Managing Director had initially seen the machine exhibited at BTME and was so impressed by the design and quality of the workmanship.” He adds, “ultimately, this was a key factor which encouraged us to purchase the reliable and refined machine.”

New GKB Drainmaster for Duncan Ross Ltd

“We have been delighted with the service and attention we’ve received from GKB since purchasing the GKB Drainmaster, Joe Ross explained. The machine is very well engineered and makes the job easy!”

Having been in continuous development since 1985, the concept of the GKB Drainmaster has been completely refined. The system has been developed not only to improve the drainage of surface water but also the acceleration. Duncan Ross Ltd have used their machine to “complete a full drainage scheme and intensified the system using the GKB Drainmaster. The results were excellent.” With the GKB Drainmaster, the stability and quality of your grass will improve.

For more on GKB Machines and their reliable and robust range of machinery for natural, hybrid and synthetic turf, please visit www.gkbmachines.com or contact Tom Shinkins on 07495 883617.

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Duncan Ross at Queen Elizabeth’s

Duncan Ross at Queen Elizabeth’s: Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Blackburn, aim to increase the use of their sports field using new primary and secondary drainage from Duncan Ross Ltd.

The pitches on the field are used every day throughout the school year and are home to two local football teams at the weekends, consisting of two adult teams and one junior section.

Duncan Ross at Queen Elizabeth’s

In the two years before the work, the pitches began to hold water during the winter months, preventing students using them regularly and causing fixtures to be called off.

Having recognised the issue, the school, through director of business and finance, Paul Atkinson, enlisted Professional Sportsturf Design (PSD) to carry out an initial survey of the site.

Paul explained: “There was an existing drainage system that had been installed several years ago, but it was no longer doing the job, and as a result, the pitches started to become unplayable in the winter. That then began to affect our students who couldn’t use them regularly and our income at the weekends because the fixtures would be called off.

“Now the pitches are looking fine, and we’re confident that they’ll be ready for the new school year. We did all the work in one go with a view to having them in operation for the academic year, which is the 2nd September 2019, and we’re confident that will be the case.

“Working with Duncan Ross has been very smooth. They stuck to the programme of works and kept us informed with what was going on. They worked well with our groundsman, and he was also kept informed about everything. He’s very happy, and he’ll start to mark the pitches out in the next couple of weeks, and he’s very confident that we’ll be playing on them in September. We’re looking forward to using the pitches all year round, especially throughout the winter months.”

The initial survey was done by PSD project manager, Mark Higgs, who recognised the need to install new pipe drainage to replace the older pipes that had become capped off over time. Secondary slit drains were also installed to make the pitches better equipped to deal with downpours and ensure water drained efficiently from the surface.

Duncan Ross at Queen Elizabeth’s

As well as the drainage work on the entire field, particular attention was paid to Pitch 1, the main match pitch, which had a layer of thatch. This pitch was fraise mowed with the Koro Field Topmaker to remove 85-90% of the existing vegetation before the pipe and slit drains were installed and the surface seeded.

Mark has now worked with Duncan Ross Ltd on a number of projects and commends Duncan’s ability to think on his feet and offer quick solutions when issues arise.

He said: “Duncan went to the site prior to the drainage installation and he had to dig down and prove some of the existing drainage. He phoned me straight away to tell me he’d found something that meant we had to adjust our specification slightly. What’s good when you’re dealing with Duncan is that he’ll improvise, he doesn’t just phone you up and say ‘that won’t work’, he’ll say ‘I’ve found this, it isn’t ideal, but I’ve thought about it, and this is how I think we can achieve the finish on the job’. That proactive approach makes the process a lot quicker and reduces any downtime, which means we’re able to meet our deadlines.”

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INFINICUT Key For Duncan Toon

INFINICUT Key For Duncan Toon: As part of an on-going investment programme, Warwick Independent Schools Foundation have purchased two Cub Cadet INFINICUT® mowers, as well as a selection of TMSystem™ cassettes.  In a very short time Grounds Manager Duncan Toon says the vast improvement in the condition of the natural grass surfaces is down to these newest additions to his machinery fleet.

Four schools occupy the 8 hectare site of natural turf and sports facilities – Warwick School, Warwick Junior School, King’s High School and Warwick Preparatory School. Duncan and his grounds team of 6 are required to deliver top-quality surfaces for all. “I joined the school in June 2018 whilst it was in the midst of a significant investment programme and started sourcing machinery to help improve the quality of the grounds. I’d had a demonstration of the INFINI’s in my previous role at Birmingham FC and they’d been on my
wish-list ever since. I knew these would be key to achieving the quality we were striving for.”

INFINICUT Key For Duncan Toon

Duncan took delivery of an INFINICUT® 34” Fixed Head and an INFINICUT® 26” Floating Head mower, in quick succession. “Alongside the superior quality of cut, and striping ability, another big selling point for us working in a school environment is health and safety. With the INFINI’s being battery powered, we no longer have to spend time and money sourcing and safely storing fuel – and the noise emitted is all but eliminated meaning we can mow anytime including through the exam season. They’re also incredibly comfortable to operate, which is much more enjoyable for my guys while mowing large areas such as rugby pitches. In fact, they’re fighting to use them!”

The 34” unit, equipped with a 7 blade SmartCut reel, is predominately for use on the rugby pitch and cricket square, while the 26” floating head model will become their wicket mower. Duncan is also impressed with the cassettes from the TMSystem™ range that came with the machines – the PowerBrush™ and UltraGroomer™. “We’ve put the UltraGroomer™ across our cricket surface to thin out the sward and remove any unwanted Poa ingress and lateral growth. Compared to other
verti-cutters, this cassette is head and shoulders above anything I’ve ever used. When you think you’ve taken everything out, you go over again and it’s amazing how much more you get.”

“These machines have already made a noticeable difference to the health, presentation and quality of the swards” explains a delighted Duncan, who is looking forward to adding further units to his fleet in the not-too-distant future.

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Duncan Ross At Longridge GC

Duncan Ross At Longridge GC: Duncan Ross Sports Contractors has used its drainage expertise to successfully revitalise three fairways at Longridge Golf Club that had previously suffered heavily with water retention.

The 18-hole, 5,904-yard, course provides outstanding views over the Ribble Valley, Forest of Bowland and the Fylde coast, and, is maintained to an exceptional standard by Course Manager, Andrew Read, and his four staff.

Duncan Ross At Longridge GC

During his 18-years at the club, Andrew had to contend with moisture retention on the third and ninth fairways. Recently, this had caused the third fairway to become near unplayable and action was taken to bring it, and the ninth and eleventh fairways, back in line with the rest of the course.

Duncan Ross was picked to rectify the drainage issue based on Andrews requirement to find a contractor capable of delivering a high quality and tidy project.

He said: “It is the first time that Duncan has worked on our course. I know of the company’s reputation through word of mouth from other greenkeepers and going on Twitter and seeing the videos and work they have done recently, so it’s the overall reputation and recommendations which swayed it for me.

“The third fairway this time last year was horrible. It was black in places, you could hardly walk on it, so if you can’t walk on it you can’t really play golf on it.

“We had more problems when it came to cutting because it would make a mess. In the autumn it never dried up, so I had a meeting with our greens chairman and explained that we needed drainage work done, and they went to the council and funds were made available.

“We then got Duncan on site and he looked at the third, ninth and eleventh fairways and came back with a plan. I had drawn some plans up and Duncan looked at those and decided what the best way to achieve it was, and he’s got the experience, so we were happy to go with what he recommended.

“Going into September we’ve had over 160mm of rain and the drains have started working well. We’ve checked the outlets and there is loads of water coming out of them, so it’s been a sound long-term investment.

“The third fairway and the ninth, which is a short fairway, are now playable. I checked the outlets on the ninth recently and they were running well, and the fairway is dry.

“Golf is a 12-months a year sport now, in the past getting into September and October people started putting their clubs away but now they want to play all year round. The ninth used to get churned up because we’d need to have buggies on for people that couldn’t walk around the course, so we did the ninth because it was wet but also to make it more playable and get the buggies going on there.”

Whilst the main objective of the drainage installation was achieved on the third, ninth and eleventh fairway, Andrew and the club’s members were also impressed with the clean and diligent nature the Duncan Ross team carried out the project.

Because the course had to be allowed time to dry out from the wet winter, work began during May for two weeks when the course was in use. This meant work needed to be flexible and accommodate competitions the course was hosting, requiring the work to be done in a clean and tidy way, something the company is renowned for doing.

“The men worked around us, if we had a competition on then they would move onto another fairway, so the only disruption was the drainage lines that were left afterwards but they were nice and tidy, and the golfers were really impressed with the work and how tidy everything was,” Andrew explained.

“The golfers are happy and we’re happy because we didn’t have to spend time clearing up after the work, we were able to concentrate on looking after the rest of the course instead.

“The club members and the council will look at it and be happy to use them again because the site was always left in a tidy condition.”

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Duncan Ross At Hurlston Hall

Duncan Ross At Hurlston Hall: The condition of a golf courses greens is what a head greenkeeper is often judged on, and Duncan Ross’ surgical precision has ensured they are the go to contractor for Hurlston Hall Golf Club.

The completion of the latest two greens are the latest in a project that has seen nine completed. For Chris Ball, former head greenkeeper at Hurlston Hall who recently took up the role as links manager at Hillside Golf Club, working with Duncan Ross on a long-term drainage project generated a refined understanding whilst solving the clubs’ problem greens.

Duncan Ross At Hurlston Hall

“For us they are a local company and when you factor in getting other companies in from the North West of England there’s not many specialising in drainage.” Chris said. “I think Duncan has refined his methods over the years and it’s almost like key hole surgery.

“We’d done seven greens previously with Duncan and we’ve been going around the course targeting the nine worst and the ones that have just been completed were the last two that were screaming out to be done.

“You can immediately see the difference in the greens, but you’ve still got to do your bit as a greenkeeper and maintain the organic matter.

“I can’t fault the work they do, and the fact now is that he knows what he’s doing, and we now know what he wants to do beforehand and that’s key. The first year everyone was still learning, we put holes in the greens for aeration but this would slow them down as when it came to taking the Turf up it would fall apart, and now we know not to do anything when Duncan is coming in because it makes it more efficient for them and prevents adding time onto the project.”

Having gone through the process of getting to know how one another works the other aspects of being able to use a local contractor have become more prominent. All of the materials used on the project are locally sourced, which keeps costs down with no compromise on quality.

And when it comes to drainage quality is paramount. Like everyone else, Chris was under pressure to have the course open, but because of the weather in the North East of England his focus was primarily on providing the best greens possible during the peak golf season.

“They all perform great in the summer which is key,” he said. “I’d say they’ve improved play in the winter if we have a normal winter, but what’s happening now is the greens are drier than the rest of the course and people still can’t play because the rest of the course is under water.

“We’ve definitely got better performing greens for longer but in the North West of England it’s seriously wet. But when it does stop raining they dry out a lot quicker and you know you can withstand the torrential down pours in the summer because the drains are going to take care of it.”

For more information, visit: www.duncanrossltd.co.uk

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Duncan Ross Expertise At BTME

Duncan Ross Expertise At BTME: Quality of work, customer satisfaction and an expertise in golf course maintenance and construction are factors that have helped Duncan Ross establish their name in the industry, and that experience will be brought to stand A60 at BTME 2018.

A successful expansion of services has meant 2017 afforded Duncan Ross Ltd the opportunity to work on some exciting golf projects. A tee reconstruction at Hesketh Golf Club was one of a number of golf course maintenance and drainage contracts, including the installation of drainage on the 18th green at Lancaster Golf Course.

Duncan Ross Expertise At BTME

Now a regular exhibitor at BTME, Duncan Ross, managing director at Duncan Ross Ltd, knows the benefits of meeting customers face to face and talking through potential projects.

“We used to attend every other year, but this will be our third year in a row at BTME in Harrogate and we’re really looking forward to it,” he said.

“A lot of what we offer comes from customer service and making sure that they always get their specifications met. So, being able to speak to them face to face about anything they might want to improve on their course or any issues they’ve got is ideal for ourselves and them.

“We’ve had a very exciting year with the projects we’ve been working on across all aspects of golf course maintenance and construction, and we know we’ll be continuing that throughout 2018.”

Duncan Ross are committed quality and cost-effective services with highly experienced staff using some of the most advanced machinery and techniques in the industry.

For more information visit www.duncanrosslanddrainage.co.uk

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