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Efficiency at Newbury & Crookham GC

Efficiency at Newbury & Crookham GC: Newbury & Crookham Golf Club have purchased a Ventrac 4500 all-terrain compact tractor and two mowing decks, which course manager Chris Ball says will make the greenkeeping department at the 148-year-old club even more efficient.

Purchased from local dealer, T H White, the package included a Contour mowing deck and a Tough Cut deck, which will enable the greenkeeping team to work smarter and safely when maintaining the woodland margins and steep banks on 6,000-yard course.

Efficiency at Newbury & Crookham GC

Efficiency at Newbury & Crookham GC

“My team have done an exceptional job during the pandemic crisis and it is only right that we should ensure they work in complete safety, not just in these exceptional circumstances, but at all times. These two decks in conjunction with the eight-wheel tractor unit guarantee that when working on tee banks or around the reservoir, they can do so in complete safety. As a small team of just six, it’s important that we work smarter; now we can cut areas mechanically using just one person, where we previously used numerous team members with brushcutters, saving many greenkeeping hours that can now be utilised elsewhere on the course.

“The Tough Cut deck will help us both ecologically and aesthetically, keeping the woodland floor open and encouraging more spring bulbs to flourish. We want to see carpets of bluebells in subsequent years. Also, with the Contour deck we’ll be able to maintain steeper areas on the course making the presentation even more appealing for members and visitors. We’ve only had the equipment since mid-May, but already it has proved its worth; it’s a simple, clever design, does the job and is easy to maintain.”

Chris Ball joined Woking Golf Club as an apprentice in 1994 and knew immediately that this was to be his chosen career. In 1998 he moved on to Guildford Golf Club and four years later joined Walton Heath, working under two renowned industry figures in Clive Osgood and Ian McMillan. In 2002 he joined Bearwood Lakes, where he was appointed head greenkeeper, reporting to the course manager. He has been course manager at Newbury and Crookham since 2014.

Newbury & Crookham is one of the oldest clubs in England, established in 1873. The 18-hole, par 69 golf course measures just under 6000 yards and is set amongst beautiful mature woodland. Situated on the south side of Newbury, between Greenham Common and the racecourse, the current course dates back to 1923, when the Newbury and District Club was founded. Crookham Golf Club was founded in 1873 on Greenham Common, but after it was requisitioned in 1940 by the MOD, the members were given temporary membership by their neighbours, which eventually became permanent and the club adopting its current name.

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EVO maximises efficiency for Powerline Services

EVO maximises efficiency for Powerline Services: Exclusively running GreenMech woodchippers for more than 20 years, Powerline Services (MLJ) Ltd have recently added their latest machine into the fleet – the first from the revolutionary EVO series.

Their new EVO 165DT 45LE model is already delivering powerful performance for Director Ben Jones and his team since its delivery in May, offering bigger, faster throughput for the effective removal of vegetation from the utility networks in and around Herefordshire.

EVO maximises efficiency for Powerline Services

EVO maximises efficiency for Powerline Services

For Ben and his cutting teams “efficiency is key”, and it was the desire for a bigger output chipper that saw him turn to GreenMech for his latest solution. “I wanted something capable of processing brash a bit quicker, as well as larger timber without necessarily going up to an 8” machine” he explains. “GreenMech showed us the EVO 165 with a 25hp engine, which was a seriously impressive piece of kit, but the limited-edition model featuring a 45hp Kubota diesel engine was a real added bonus.”

“I like the fact the EVO runs on horizontal rollers, and the feed rollers being ‘variable speed’ is a great feature to have for dealing with different types of material. It also has a variable track for optimum stability on uneven ground. The guys have also commented on how the wider infeed chute has made a noticeable difference to our productivity – we have saved a whole day’s work on some jobs by not having to spend time snedding brash down prior to processing.”

The new EVO 165DT 45LE sits proudly on the fleet, alongside a GreenMech ArbTrak 150 which has been delivering reliable performance on a number of large power network contracts since 2018. “The ArbTrak is still out with one of our cutting teams on a daily basis – its size and 150mm chipping capacity remain fit for purpose to handle the brashy material that make up a large percentage of our projects.”

“We’ve had tracked units since GreenMech launched their first model in 2003 as, for us, it’s the most efficient way to get the chipper exactly where it needs to be.” Ben concludes, “As well as coming up with great products, GreenMech are just a very good company to deal with – first class service and excellent back-up support from their dealer network. We would never use anything else.”

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Efficiency A Priority For Foley Grinders

Efficiency A Priority For Foley Grinders: A vital question for a workshop manager is how to maximise efficiency and minimise labour and maintenance equipment costs. One area to achieve excellent savings is to look at how you maintain the sharpness of your cutting units.

As an illustration of this, Foley and UK distributor ProSport UK Ltd are delighted to acknowledge St Andrews Links Trust for choosing Foley Grinders as part of its maintenance programme for its complete range of professional TORO cylinder mowers.

Efficiency A Priority For Foley Grinders

Foley United’s grinders are designed to be ergonomic and deliver on performance and reliability every time. St Andrews Links Trust like so many other clubs large and small are always looking for the latest techniques and will implement new ideas to deliver best practise, but it’s all about having the information to make that judgement. Which is why Foley United is so consistent in getting over the message about the benefits of relief grinding back to OEM specifications; it is a vital tool in achieving best practise in professional mower grinding.

Ian Robson ProSport UK Ltd the UK & Ireland Importer/Distributor for Foley United explains why relief grinding maximises the performance of reels by giving a factory finish every time.

Firstly, why is having sharp cylinders (reels) that are the correct shape so important anyway? The answer is obvious – unhealthy turf brings a whole host of other issues which are costly to correct. Therefore, prevention is a far more economic approach than a cure.

A huge amount of research and development has gone into designing a cutting unit to produce the cleanest cut possible with the least amount of fraying and tissue damage to the plant. The result is that all manufacturers of grass cutting equipment supply new units with relief ground edges.

Efficiency A Priority For Foley Grinders

Why relief grind?

Tests carried out by leading manufacturers have established that relief ground cylinders stay on cut up to 3 times longer than spun ground ones and require less horse power to drive the unit, resulting in greater fuel efficiency and less stress on the hydraulic power systems. In addition, a relief ground cylinder will withstand the abrasive effects of top dressing far better than one spun ground because the relief edge on both the bed-knife and the cylinder allows the top dressing to clear the cutting blades easily, helping to prevent the dulling effect seen on spun only units.

Continual relief grinding also decreases the squeezing and tearing of the grass as the units get dull, and most importantly it allows the cylinder to be returned to a factory specification perfect cylinder as quickly as possible.

The overall cleaner cut achieved by relief grinding gives a better after-cut appearance, increased recovery rate due to the clean cut of the grass and reduces the stress on components because less horsepower is needed to drive the cylinder.

Horse Power Study

As a reel wears flat and loses shape (becomes coned), more stress and strain is put on the cutting systems.

Efficiency A Priority For Foley Grinders

Using the figures from the above study a 5-gang cutting unit with relief can require up to 4.5 HP (5 x 0.88HP = 4.5HP) to drive the cutting units therefore a 35HP engine has 30.5HP remaining to drive the rest of the traction system.  A 5-gang unit which has been spun ground only, can require up to 13Hp (5 x 2.59HP = 13HP) leaving only 22HP to drive the rest of the traction system.

So, it has been established that relief grinding your cutting units saves you money not only by reducing workshop maintenance time with far fewer grinds but also through a reduction in fuel costs and replacement parts.

It is also important to acknowledge what relief grinding does for a reel. By removing metal from the trailing edge of the blade it forms a relief angle, which reduces the contact area of the cutting edges, resulting in less friction, longer wear life.

Efficiency A Priority For Foley Grinders

Typically, when a new mower is delivered the reels will be a perfect cylindrical shape. Over time the blade naturally loses shape, and the sharp edge it arrives with becomes flat and dull, often meaning the reel is no longer a perfect cylinder from end to end. This is referred to as ‘coning’ and a natural point for grinding to take place. The decision then sits between touch-up and spin grinding, or relief grinding.  If there is sufficient relief still on the reel then a quick touch-up is fine but once more than 50% of the relief has gone my advice would be to relief grind again and remove any coning.  Failure to remove the coning will eventually be seen in an uneven cut appearance of your turf.

But, the main question mentioned at the beginning comes back; how to get the most out of your workshop resources by choosing the most effective method to sharpen your cutting units. The answer is to trust the manufacturers judgement and return the reels as close to the original factory standard as possible, and for that, relief grinding is the best option. The bonus is this method also maximises performance and gives the best cut. www.prosportukltd.com

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Verti-Top Helps Improve Efficiency

Verti-Top Helps Improve Efficiency: The latest addition to their vast fleet of machinery at South Wales Sports Grounds (SWSG) is a Redexim Verti-Top 1200 from Charterhouse Turf Machinery.  SWSG undertake a wide variety of grounds maintenance contracts for a range of clients from local authorities, major contracting groups, universities and colleges through to individual sports clubs and private clients – with no two days bringing the same tasks and demands.

Established in 1964, SWSG has continued to cultivate a reputation as one of the leading sports surface contractors in the region. “The demand for synthetic maintenance, especially with local authorities, schools and sports clubs, has increased to the point where our machinery is in use on a daily basis” explains Construction Director Francis McDermott. “We started to have quite a few issues with our previous machine so decided to have a look at what else is available. We already have several pieces of Redexim equipment for the maintenance of natural surfaces, and recognise it as being good quality, so took a look at their Verti-Top 1200.”

Verti-Top Helps Improve Efficiency

The Verti-Top conducts surface and deep-cleaning, utilising a rotary brush to lift the pile and extract up to the top 15mm of infill and foreign material. The infill is then sieved to remove dust and detritus before being returned and brushed into the surface leaving a clean, level and aesthetically pleasing finish. “We looked at a few alternatives but felt the Verti-Top was a better machine all-round”, which saw Francis and his team taking delivery of one in March this year.

“Richard Lucas of Charterhouse, together with local dealer Frank Suttons, came over to install the machine. We have one specialist who operates the Verti-Top, and although he’s well versed with this type of machine, it was really helpful for Richard to come and outline the key differences. In the relatively short amount of time we’ve had the Verti-Top we’re noticing a better quality of finish, and at 1.2m, its wider working width than our previous machine means our efficiency has also improved.”

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Increased Efficiency With Först XR8

Increased Efficiency With Först XR8: Total Tree Solutions UK Ltd is reaping the benefits of enhanced efficiencies through its use of a fleet of Först XR8 woodchipper’s, where the machines innovative Traxion Embankment System allows the arboriculture specialists to complete rail trackside and highway vegetation management with increased efficiency.

Total Tree Solutions UK started out as a one-man operation in 2005 and the business has since continued to grow year-on-year. Now employing 15 staff, Total Tree Solutions UK has positioned itself as one of the leading arboriculture contractors, specialising in rail, highways, utilites, construction, commercial, industrial and forestry sectors.

Increased Efficiency With Först XR8

Richard Sanders, Managing Director and founder of Total Tree Solutions UK Ltd, said: “Over the years, we have become very effective at providing trackside tree and vegetation clearance services, so much so that we carry out work on the UK Rail Infrastructure for an extensive range of clients. In addition, a lot of our work consists of vegetation clearances for Highways England and Leicester County Council.

“Due to this nature of work, my experienced team of arborists spend a significant proportion of their working day operating adjacent to railway lines and motorways, so it’s vitally important that we utilise equipment that not only allows us to complete jobs to the high standards our customers expect, but also allows my team to work safely and effectively in high risk environments.

“This is where the Först XR8 woodchipper comes into its own. The XR8 has been designed specifically with rail contractors and arborists in mind that need to tackle embankments and difficult terrains. The machine can travel along steep slopes with ease, which allows my operators to overcome the daily challenges of accessing hard to reach areas of railway or motorway sites.

“In addition to the Traxion Embankment System, the Först XR8 is an extremely powerful and robust woodchipper that chips volumes of wood fast and hardly gives us any maintenance issues, allowing my team to just concentrate on the job at hand and saving the business valuable time and money.”

The XR8 Traxion is a fast, powerful and exceptionally versatile 8” x 10” capacity woodchipper that has been designed to traverse banks and slopes up to 35 degrees with ease.  It features a parallel linkage leg system that allows users to expand and retract legs independently for safe and stable tracking on the bankside, as well as class leading ground clearance (height of 695mm when fully expanded) to negotiate difficult obstacles.

Richard concluded: “We have utilised Först’s XR8’s since 2015 and I can see us expanding this fleet as our business continues to grow. The versatile XR8 is a pivotal part of our business operations and allows us to complete railway and motorway jobs to the highest level.”

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