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Terra Spike XF central to new era

Terra Spike XF central to new era: One of Hertfordshire’s leading independent day and boarding schools has embarked upon a new era of grounds maintenance across its 130-acre site, with a team restructure and additional grounds investment.

Bishop’s Stortford College appointed Adam Smith as their new Head Groundsman in March, with responsibility for both the sports surfaces and the extensive ornamental gardens. With over 1200 pupils, and a reputation for sporting excellence, rugby in particular, the College is a ‘Partnership School’ with Premiership rugby neighbours, Saracens RFC.

Terra Spike XF central to new era

Terra Spike XF central to new era

Specifically on sport, Adam, plus two staff, Ben Baker and David Beckenham, look after 20 hectares of sport surfaces which include five full size and 10 junior rugby pitches, an assortment of training grids and pitches, one full size and five junior football pitches, six cricket squares -consisting 34 tracks , two Astros and a MUGA.

Progress on many fronts is being made.  “Increasing our maintenance machinery fleet was my initial task,” said Adam Smith, whose career to date has included seven years as a horticultural mechanic for one of the largest contractors in Europe, two years working for a dealership in Brisbane Australia and seven years at Haileybury Imperial College. “My career history has given me enormous insight and a great understanding of the needs of a multisport educational establishment.”

“An aerator was central to our plans.  For me, Wiedenmann who are renowned for build quality so it had to be the XF6 to support productivity within our maintenance regimes. Regular aeration is key to our maintenance programmes to improve our carrying capacity for training and sports fixtures. We are really pleased with the XF’s work rate and our ability to aerate multiple pitches in one day; a junior pitch is taking less than an hour.

“The cricket squares had their first aeration in mid-November and held up well; depth was 150mm with 16mm tines.  They also got a little feed using Sierrablen Plus 3 19-5-18+2Mgo+TE.  I was happily surprised the disturbance was so negligible. Seeing as little disturbance encouraged me to revise my plan… we’ll fit in an additional run, so we’ll go again before Christmas, instead of just the once… at 200mm to try to break the pan a little deeper, In January, I may, ground conditions allowing, go out one more time using the multi tine holders and 10 mm tines, probably down to 100mm to encourage root growth, then that finishes off aeration on the squares.

“The outfields were another pleasant surprise.  The XF covers our 1st team outfield in just five hours using 16mm tines and a 4×4 pattern going down 150mm, which is impressive considering it’s 14 000 sqm, Often, though, we opt for punching more holes in the ground rather than chasing speed.  It’s so productive whichever way you look at it and was the definitely right decision for us.”

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Jacobsen begins a new era

Jacobsen begins a new era: Jacobsen has started a new era of end-user focused products with the launch of the AR530 rough mower.

The AR range has been redesigned from the ground up with the focus on re-establishing Jacobsen’s commitment to engineering best in class mowers with their famous quality of cut.

Jacobsen begins a new era

Jacobsen begins a new era

To achieve this, customers and dealers participated in one of the largest ever research programmes commissioned at Jacobsen to establish the everyday challenges greenkeepers and groundsmen face. The results focused on features, quality and durability. These were crucial elements in the design process for Jacobsen Product Manager, Lee Frie.

Lee explained: “We had a machine that did well in the market, and we learnt a lot in seven years, so this was really a ground-up redesign of a good machine that we wanted to make better.

“We wanted to improve the experience of cutting with the AR and the results you get from it, and I think operators are going to find quite a bit different about this machine. We’ve improved the cut quality as well as the after cut appearance with grass clipping dispersal. We’ve also improved the traction system, so it does a fantastic job of climbing and side hill performance.

“The ergonomics are greatly improved, and it’s much easier for operators to get on and off because you don’t have to climb over the units. All of the controls are at the user’s finger tips, so it’s very easy to operate, and I think they are going to see a vast improvement.”

Nothing has been taken for granted during the redesign, and that includes the quality of cut. The new AR models are available with five or seven floating 58cm articulated contour rotary decks, with the AR530 providing a cutting width of 2.3m and the AR730 – which is due to launch in September 2020 – 3.15m.

The new TrueDeckÔ design uses smaller decks to follow tight undulations and provides the best power per width of cut ratio on the market. This eliminates clumping and produces a better after cut appearance while height of cut adjustments can be made quickly and easily.

To harness the cut quality, the traction system has been enhanced to a best in class standard using SureTrac IIÔ 4WD. This parallel-cross diversion hydraulically powered traction system, with momentary 4WD differential lock, provides superior traction when climbing difficult contours and slide slopes by transferring power from the wheel that slips to the one that grips. Using this system allows the AR to glide over hilly terrain with acute undulations while giving an even cut by utilising the weight transfer system.

The sound level of the machine has been lowered to make it quieter for the operator and to reduce passer-by noise. Vibration has also been looked at in detail. Overall operator exposure to vibration is a health and safety requirement but that aside it is often a subtle thing, and it can make users feel tired during their working day, but with the reduced vibration levels, using the AR minimises operator fatigue.

The seat position and  InCommand II control system have all been adjusted for maximum comfort and productivity while the new step design has been installed to make getting on and off the machine significantly easier.

All of these features have been combined into a Stage V compliant unit that has been assembled with a commitment to high-quality engineering and a promise of outstanding performance and service.

For a demonstration of the new AR530, contact your local Jacobsen dealer or visit https://www.jacobsenbuilt.com/.

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