Posts

Turf Tank makes its mark at Nottingham Forest

Turf Tank makes its mark at Nottingham Forest: Since their Turf Tank One arrived at the Nigel Doughty Academy, Nottingham Forest Football Club has marked every pitch and grid they have with the GPS line marking robot.

The club’s interest in the Turf Tank One began at the end of a hectic 2019/20 Championship season when a high volume of games were played before a short renovation window led straight into the 2020/21 season. With initially marking the pitches taking two or three days, the Turf Tank was brought in to mark everything comfortably within one. And after seeing it in action, it was difficult for Grounds Manager Ewan Hunter and Academy Head Groundsman Matt Tietjen to let it leave the site.

Turf Tank makes its mark at Nottingham Forest

Turf Tank makes its mark at Nottingham Forest

“I was very, very impressed. Obviously, I had never seen it before, and as soon as it started marking out, I was like, wow, this is brilliant,” Matt begins. “It’s very, very accurate, and every time it goes out, it’s spot on.

“It saves us a hell of a lot of time. To mark one pitch, it would take myself or two of my staff an hour, an hour and a half to two hours. But obviously, with the Turf Tank to mark one pitch alone, it takes 20 to 25 minutes. Another factor for us is it allows our staff to carry on with the other jobs that need to be done, and the machine can basically look after itself. Generally, we’d use five to six litres of paint to mark a pitch, but with the Turf Tank, we probably use four litres.

“If you are able to use a tablet or are reasonably good with technology, it’s very, very simple to use, and the programme is very straight forward. I’m not particularly brilliant with technology, but it takes five minutes to set it up, and then you can go and do other jobs while it marks out.

Adding the Turf Tank One to their team initially relieved pressure during a busy time, but the benefits of saving time, being able to work while the robot marks and the accuracy of the lines have all been vital during another packed season.

Using the Turf Tank tablet, custom grids are regularly overmarked within pitches, as well as custom goalkeeping areas and other pitch markings. This is just another reason why the robot has worked so well at Forest, but for Ewan, it’s the accuracy that really impresses.

“We have got some really good staff, and they can do some really good marking. And the lines looked straight, and they looked to be in the right place,” Ewan explains.

“It wasn’t until we used the GPS machine that it highlighted the fact that when you come to mark a line freehand, they creep a bit. And then they creep a little bit more. And then they creep a little bit more, and you don’t really notice the little bit of creeping until you get a GPS line marker overmarking the pitches that were already there. You realise that they’ve moved a considerable amount of distance, and it kind of highlights that the lines were actually in the wrong place.

“They managed to plot it with all of the additional markings on top of the pitches. So we’ve got dashes and little grids and five-a-side pitches and full-size pitches, and it can basically do whatever you plot it to do, and it takes care of all the markings on the whole site now.”

For more information on the Turf Tank One or to have a demonstration contact alex@turftank.co.uk (southern UK) or matt@turftank.co.uk (northern UK).

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Forest Green extend Infinicut partnership

Forest Green extend Infinicut partnership: It is perhaps no surprise that the club described by FIFA as ‘the greenest football club in the world’ would turn to battery power when it comes to their choice of mowers.

However, what did surprise Forest Green Rovers Grounds Manager Nigel Harvey was the enormous improvements in both operation and finish achieved with the club’s duo of 34” INFINICUT® FL’s compared to their previous petrol-driven units.

Forest Green extend Infinicut partnership

Forest Green extend Infinicut partnership

Now nine months into his role, and with the assistance of club Apprentice Matt Berry, Nigel’s transition from the Forest Green training ground to the Stadium was a swift and steep learning curve. “I had only used petrol mowers previously and because of the speed of the handover, when I took over at The New Lawn Ground, I stuck to what I knew. That was until Oliver Hall from INFINICUT® came in and did some training with me on the pair of floating head units and I just could not believe how good they were – I’d been missing out!”

“It’s not just the fact they’re battery powered, which obviously means they’re quiet to operate and aren’t kicking out noxious fumes, but it’s the quality of cut too which is just outstanding. Within the time it took me to mow half the pitch I could tell the definition of stripe and cleanliness of cut was far superior to what we had been using. With fewer conventional tools and techniques at my disposal to tackle issues such as disease control, the balance and adjustability of the INFINICUT® delivers the perfect cut – with no shredding or bruising – to maintain plant health.”

Along with the two FL 34’s, Nigel has also got a range of TMSystem™ cassettes as his disposal including the SarelRoller™ and ThatchMaster™, which will be of particular use in preparing the surface for next season. The club are also looking at add further battery powered equipment to their fleet, with the aim of significantly reducing petrol usage at the stadium.

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

GrasPro vital at Forest Green

GrasPro vital at Forest Green: GrasPro Pitch Management System has become a vital data collection tool for Forest Green Rovers head groundsman, Adam Witchell.

Adam is into his fourth season with the League Two football club, and he has used GrasPro throughout that time to record data from the club’s stadium pitch and training pitch. The system has helped him save time recording data and generating reports, allowing him to concentrate on doing the work that is needed.

GrasPro vital at Forest Green

GrasPro vital at Forest Green

“I think it’s wonderful, it’s one of my main tools as a head groundsman, and I use it to manage a different site as well, I find it one of the most beneficial things I have,” Adam began. “When I first went to Forest Green Rovers, it was one of the first things that I got because I needed a data management plan.

“I’ve trialled other data collection systems and for me this is the best one. I was looking for a management system, and I was trialling a few, but really it was the ease of use because some data collection systems can take a while. It takes away data recording in the evening because it doesn’t take long to put it into the GrasPro system, so it saves me time and energy that I can concentrate on other parts of my job.

“I use it for all of my monthly reviews and daily and weekly plans. And I can look back on things that worked and didn’t work by doing PQS’s on the pitch. For me, it’s massively helpful to be able to do that. I think I’m the only person in the world working with an organic vegan pitch and it’s very a difficult pitch. It’s a very heavy clay pitch, it has its problems, but with the weather that’s added to it, you can look at when disease might be in and then you can look at how the pitch performs with some of the products you’ve used and how it’s performed in the games in that month.

“And then at other times when it might not be performing as well you can look back and think ‘ah, I didn’t do that when I’ve done that before.’ Also, when we’ve had disease, I can record the humidity, the temperature and things like that to so I can see if disease is coming. With the weather we’ve had, I can think I need to start using this product or feeding it a certain way because disease will be rife soon.

“Another part of it was getting to speak to Einar Brynjarsson at GrasPro. We were looking at how we could improve the system for the future, and how it would best work with the systems I use already, which was very good and very detailed.

Working closely with Einar means if there are bits that aren’t in the system, then I can contact him. We’ve spoken about machinery because it didn’t have that before and I said I needed something for it. Now I can record the hours every month, and I can see when the next service is, when it’s due an oil change or maybe it’s time for machines to be ground or start looking at how the batteries are doing.

“There wasn’t anything like that initially, and it was something I felt like I wanted, I discussed it with them, and they’ve come up with an excellent machinery section of the system which takes a lot of headache away. I have a lot of plate spinning in my job, and it’s something that I don’t have to worry about now, I don’t need to keep checking if it’s time for this to be serviced or putting lots of bits of paper down or notes all around my whiteboard.”

GrasPro has been built by groundsmen for groundsmen. It has been developed as a time effective tool to help speed up data collection and allow users to quickly use and analyse data from their surfaces and machines to make informed statistical decisions.

For a free demonstration of the GrasPro Pitch Management System, visit https://www.gras.pro.

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

R Hunt & New Forest Merge

R Hunt & New Forest Merge: John Deere dealerships R Hunt Ltd and New Forest Farm Machinery Ltd are set to merge under the new name Hunt Forest Group. The family owners of both companies have signed an agreement which will commence on January 1, 2019. Until then, the two dealers will continue to trade as they do today.

Tim Hunt will become managing director of the new business while Ed Smales, the current dealer principal of New Forest Farm Machinery, will take a director’s role. Hunt Forest Group will continue to operate from the same outlets across southern England, with the same staff.

R Hunt & New Forest Merge

R Hunt is a longstanding John Deere agricultural and homeowner equipment dealer with four outlets covering Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey and the Isle of Wight. It has been a John Deere dealer since 1971 and currently employs 71 staff.

New Forest Farm Machinery is an agricultural, professional turf, homeowner and construction equipment dealer employing 43 people and trading from two outlets, one in Hampshire and one at recently opened turf premises in Somerset. It has been a John Deere agricultural dealer since 1979 and has held the company’s turf franchise since 1986.

“Both companies are well-established, profitable businesses that place a strong emphasis on customer service, and the merger is perfectly aligned with our Dealer of Tomorrow strategy,” says John Deere’s division sales manager Joedy Ibbotson. “This will provide the new business with more resources for both customers and staff, more inventory, more product support capability and a greater knowledge base, all of which will help deliver an even more distinctive customer experience.”

R Hunt managing director Tim Hunt says: “Both families feel confident that this merger will help to establish Hunt Forest Group as a frontline ag and turf dealer in the UK. The emphasis is very much on the ability for both companies to grow and have the opportunity to engage with more customers, with a more diversified product line-up for the entire business.”

New Forest Farm Machinery managing director Ed Smales adds: “We are excited about working with the Hunt family to further grow our business as Hunt Forest Group. Their experience in large ag machinery and precision farming will enhance the customer experience within our existing territory and help us create a more diverse and robust dealer business for the future.”

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

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.