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Better with a bit of Buttar…

Better with a bit of Buttar…: In his first interview since taking over as Head Groundsman at Twickenham, Jim Buttar speaks to Scott MacCallum about his new role.

Sunday February 23 will be a huge occasion at Twickenham.

Better with a bit of Buttar...

It is the first chance for the 82,000 supporters to congratulate England on a fine World Cup. Sure, they didn’t get over the line in the final against South Africa, but they snatched away the cloak of invincibility from New Zealand in the semi. A feat worthy of congratulation in itself.

With Ireland the opponents it is sure to be a massive match and when the 46 players take to the field for the anthems there will be much emotion.

Add another one to that list. Number 47 will also be full of emotion, pride and a few nerves. His chest will swell and the odd tear will be wiped away as those anthems ring out.

Except, except, except…

That was the introduction to this article I had fully intended writing, until “number 47”, recently appointed Head Groundsman Jim Buttar, answered the question I had specifically posed
to elicit the appropriate response.

It was an answer which wouldn’t delight any feature writer, but would certainly please his new employer, the Rugby Football Union, and give them confidence that they had appointed the right man.

Question: “How do you think you will feel when the teams run out on February 23rd for your first Six Nations game against Ireland – Nervous, excited, proud? What do you think your emotions will be?”

Answer: “To be honest, Scott, you get to that point in your career when you’ve done a certain number of games that you have gained the ability to tune out. You are aware that it is going on but busy focussing on pitch performance and noting where scrums have taken place for repair etc.”

Thanks Jim!

In fairness, perhaps having sensed my disappointment, he did go on to throw me a bit of a bone.

“How will I feel? I think I’ll probably be a little bit excited, with it being my first match under England Rugby. It will be slightly different to what I’m used to doing.”

Better with a bit of Buttar...

But then he couldn’t help himself. “On the whole I’ll be cool, calm and collected and too busy to have my mind on other things.”

Taking over from the redoubtable Keith Kent is a big task, but Jim boasts a strong CV, one which suggests he is a good fit to maintain one of the most iconic patches of turf in, not just UK sport, but worldwide.

He was Stadium Head Groundsman at White Hart Lane for a number of years before moving to become Pitch Consultant for ProPitch, a role which saw him jetting around the world working on pitches at events such as the Champions’ League, the African Cup of Nations, the Club World Cup and the Asian Cup.

It was while travelling between two countries in his ProPitch role that he saw the advert for the Twickenham Head Groundsman job and decided to throw his hat in the ring.

“My time at ProPitch pushed me right out of my comfort zone and put me in places where I had to deliver pitches where there weren’t the resources, and there was often a language barrier.

It was a very good test for me as a manager and as a groundsman.

“I must also pay tribute to Dean Gilasbey, who was there to guide me in many of the scenarios we dealt with and how to deal with different climates and countries,” explained Jim.

Better with a bit of Buttar...

The opportunity to work with the RFU at such a magnificent national stadium as Twickenham came at a time when was spending more time away from his wife and three young children than he was at home.

As you can imagine the interview process was rigorous and demanding, while his opportunity to view the pitch itself was limited as the stadium was being prepared for a Metallica concert!

“The whole process was how I expected it would be for an elite sporting organisation – very stringent, very thorough, with lots and lots of queries and questions. Afterward there were a million things going through my mind, and I must admit, a little self doubt. As usual I sought counsel from my mentor, my Dad, who I can always rely on for sound advice.

“That advice and being at an age now when I think that’s done, park it and see what happens, saw me through and it worked out,” he revealed.

He has already prepared the pitch for a Barbarians verses Fiji match and, as we talked, he was a couple of days away from the Varsity Match. Overall, however, he has had a good chance to bed in before the start of the Six Nations.

“Because I started in a World Cup year there were no Autumn Internationals, so it’s given me time to get up to speed with policies and meeting all the different teams of people who work for the RFU. I am slowing starting to remember names now.”

Having majored in football for most of his career a move into the oval ball game presents a different set of challenges.

But he is confident that while there are differences, it is fundamentally about plant health.

“With hybrid reinforcement the grass plant for rugby are very similar to football and they are only to move so far before they able to get traction, even during scrummaging, so the aim for a rugby groundsman is the same as every other groundsman – make sure the turf is as healthy as it can possibly be,” explained Jim, who added that it was a case of working to deal with the stress of sports being played on the pitch, and in the stadium environment “We have an array of products we can use to pre-condition the pitch and help it recover as quickly as possible while the introduction of stadium lighting rigs which came out in 20052006 has been a real game changer.

There was a learning curve with something so new but in the last three or four years everyone has got to the point where we understand what they can do and how to get them to work at their best – some underestimate what they can do and others overestimate.

It was trial and error for a few years,” said Jim, who will be working with the rigs of Dutch company, SGL.

Better with a bit of Buttar...

Jim is an advocate of pitch performance data and using the evidence provided to develop the best maintenance practices for the pitch and to help other stakeholders understand with data to measure pitch performance.

“There are many variables, the most obvious one being the weather, which we can’t do anything about, but we can gain a bit of control over other variables and by checking data and tweaking practices where necessary we say that we’ve done everything possible to make the playing surface as good as it can be.”

Although born in Kendal, Jim is very much a Northamptonshire lad, commuting home daily when he was at Tottenham and it is something he will continue to do in his new role.

“It gives me time to catch up with my voicemails and make my phone calls. I like it where we live, it’s, nice, quiet and out of the way.”

As a youngster, career wise, it was toss-up between a Governmentsponsored groundsmanship apprenticeship and following his father into the Weetabix company on an engineering apprenticeship. The popular breakfast cereal manufacturer missed out and groundsmanship gained a new recruit. The thought of working in sports and being outside were the big attractions for me and making my decision And so it was a week before his 17th birthday he started at Kimbolton School, in Cambridgeshire, which combined with day release to Moulton College, in Northampton, to give him a solid start in the industry.

“I absolutely loved Kimbolton. I was working predominately on cricket and athletics, and I spent three and a half years there during which time I completed my Level 2 and started my Level 3. Then an opportunity came up at Rushden and Diamonds Football Club and I went in as an Assistant Groundsman. Three years later I was Grounds Manager. I was 22. My then boss had left to go down to Tottenham Hotspur and when a position came up there, I went for the job.

“I was 23 and thought it was now or never! I did have the option to stay but it was a chance to go and work at the very top end and it was a good time for me to go.”

That was in 2003 and by 2005 he was Stadium Head Groundsman, a position he held until 2017 when White Hart Lane closed.

He holds his first bosses in extremely high esteem and still uses the qualities he saw in them as part of his own skills’ package.

Better with a bit of Buttar...

“The Head Groundsman at Kimbolton was Andy Trainell and he was one of those guys who showed me what it took to deliver good surfaces. You have to work hard and if you think it’s not good enough then the likelihood is that it won’t be good enough. He was of the work hard, play hard mentality.

“Ray Bailey, Head Groundsman at Rushden and Diamonds, was a very laid back character, but he showed me that if things were starting to go wrong, just how quickly and easy it was to fix. Just because it doesn’t look good now doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to be looking good when we need it to look good.

“I was Deputy Head groundsman to Paul Knowles. We made a very good team and really strived to produce the best surfaces we could with the resources we had. I learnt what it took to work as a team, we still talk weekly as friends, he’s really great guy.

“Those were the cherry picks that I took for those two guys,” revealed Jim.

Other motivating driving forces over the last decade have been provided by his peers.

“There has been a generation of groundsmen who have really pushed things along and you really want to be a part of that. They are all delivering surfaces which are the envy of the world. That is what gives us the hunger to strive and keep going.”

Jim is relishing his new role and getting the pitch into the best possible condition for the Six Nations.

Better with a bit of Buttar...

Frustratingly, he has to wait for the third series of matches until that first home fixture, then has a couple of weeks to prepare for the visit of Wales.

He has touched base, via twitter, with his fellow Six Nations comrades-inarms and is looking forward to meeting up with Jim Dawson (Murrayfield), Lee Evans (Principality), Majella Smyth (Aviva) and Tony Stones (Stade de France) once engagement commences.

Before that, and a couple of weeks after we spoke, he had a double header on December 28 with Harlequins playing Leicester Tigers followed immediately by a ladies’ match. It might seem that it’s not much of a Christmas break but, coming from the congested Christmas football schedule, Jim is happy to accept his own festive assignment.

It is exciting times ahead for Jim Buttar and Turf Matters wishes him, and the rest of the grounds team, Deputy Ian Ayling and Assistant Andy Muir, all the very best for the future.

Just one thing please, Jim, give us a bit of a hand with the intro next time!

Don’t score an own goal with your borehole

Don’t score an own goal with your borehole: Last November Norwich City Football Club was named joint fifth in a sustainability league table of all 20 Premier League clubs. 

The table was compiled by BBC Sport, working with the United Nations-backed Sport Positive Summit, and one of the reasons for the club’s success was the fact its Carrow Road pitch is watered via a borehole and the training ground recycles the water from the pitches.

Don’t score an own goal with your borehole

The reality is that many football clubs and other sports facilities, such as golf courses and racecourses, rely on boreholes for the critical irrigation of their sports turf.

Having your own private water supply delivers guaranteed water delivery and keeps costs down, but it also comes with the need to meet certain goals, says Mike Deed, Managing Director of Geoquip Water Solutions, experts in borehole management.

“A lot of the big football clubs have several wells which provide water to their network of training pitches and main ground,” he said.

“It is absolutely essential that playing surfaces are irrigated to the best possible standard and remain in tip top condition throughout the season. If water quality or quantity is affected by borehole problems, then the impact can be wide-ranging.

“Investing in a borehole is a significant capital investment, but given the cost of mains water and the fact that a typical borehole will be expected to deliver a return on investment in less than four years, it can also be very worthwhile – providing you take good care of it.”

The trick, he says, is to make sure that an ongoing monitoring and maintenance programme is built in from day one.

“All too often, borehole owners take a ‘fit and forget’ approach in that they fit the borehole and expect it to continue delivering maximum yield without any proactive maintenance.

“In football terms, it would be like fielding your best team for every single match without addressing their physical or mental needs or considering how they might be able to keep delivering their best without any care or attention.”

Typical borehole problems are likely to include reduced yield, a change in the quality of water and/ or a drop in water pressure.

All three can be caused by contamination, such as iron-related bacteria, iron oxide, manganese oxide and calcium carbonate deposits affecting the pumps, pipes and motors.

Don’t score an own goal with your borehole

If too much iron in the water is allowed to build up, it can cause brown staining on hard and soft landscaping and infrastructure (such as buildings), another reason why boreholes need to be regularly treated.

Other problems will include the encrustation of casings and pipes, clogging of filters – preventing the free entry of groundwater, and potential damage to the borehole wall or pumping equipment.

A monitoring and telemetry programme, with the installation of bespoke panels and dashboards, enables remote data collection from each borehole, allowing the user to see issues such as draw down, water pressure, general temperature and also the temperature of the motor.

Triggers and alarm points can be added to raise alerts when faults or particular combinations of problems arise, enabling early preventive action to take place.

Downhole cameras also provide a bird’s eye view into the heart of the borehole, allowing images to be taken and, from there, essential decisions regarding maintenance can be taken before the condition of the turf is potentially impacted by poor water quality.

Geoquip works with a number of partners, including Nicholls Boreholes, which recently helped one Premiership club struggling with dwindling yields from its two existing wells.

After site visits and a consultation process, the Nicholls team recommended a BoreSaver Ultra C Pro treatment solution, which now includes a biodegradable marker to guarantee that no chemical residue is left in the water.

A special system was put in place to capture the iron for licensed disposal and the clean water was discharged through the club’s drainage system without fear of causing any blockage or contamination.

As a result, both the club and the Nicholls’ team saw an immediate increase in yield and are now considering a regular treatment plan.

First chainsaw with Auto Choke

First chainsaw with Auto Choke: ECHO has launched the world’s first chainsaw with Auto Choke. The CS-352AC is an all-round rear handle chainsaw, with the patented Auto Choke feature enabling quicker, easier and safer starting.

All that’s needed is one pull, regardless of the engine temperature, and the chainsaw starts first time – without the risk of flooding the engine.

First chainsaw with Auto Choke

The chainsaw has a 34.0cc professional-grade ECHO two-stroke engine which provides powerful cutting with low emissions and low noise levels. The Auto Choke comprises a solenoid valve on the engine’s carburettor to control the amount of fuel depending on the engine temperature, giving optimal performance in all conditions. The usual steps of pulling and pushing the choke, starting with partial throttle and pulling the throttle trigger are all dispensed with. The chainsaw is started on idle speed, making it altogether simpler for infrequent users who want to operate their chainsaw without the need to adjust the choke before starting. Combined with ECHO’s ES-Start system you get fast and effortless starting.

The CS-352AC is ideal for pruning and cutting firewood. It is built to ECHO’s usual professional standards for optimum performance, durability and ergonomics. Another key feature of this saw is the professional-grade anti-vibration system, which improves user comfort without sacrificing on power. The inboard clutch enables both easy bar and chain replacement and easy maintenance. Additionally, a large cassette-type air filter, with an aerodynamic air passage, reduces dust discharge entering the airflow into the engine. The CS-352AC comes with a 90PX (0.043 gauge) chain for smoother and faster cutting.

ECHO power tools come with a five-year domestic warranty or two-year warranty in professional use. You can find out more from your local authorised ECHO dealer. You can also visit www.echo-tools.co.uk or call 01844 278800 for more information

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Lochemse raise standards with Jacobsen

Lochemse raise standards with Jacobsen: After greenkeepers and members became frustrated with the quality of cut and condition of the fairways at Lochemse Golf Club, head greenkeeper, Geert Olthuis, switched brands to Jacobsen and has used a Fairway 305 to turn things around.

No stone was left unturned by Geert in his search for a new fairway mower. He trialled five machines from different suppliers before the cut quality, and simplicity of the Jacobsen 305 was picked to elevate the fairways aesthetics and performance.

Lochemse raise standards with Jacobsen

Initially, Geert was sceptical about the mower specification compared to the machine he had been using, but he explains how his opinion was soon changed.

“When we saw the cutting finish, we couldn’t believe it because it was so good. I was unsure of the Fairway 305 when I first saw it because it only had seven blades and no groomers, but it cut better than our mower that had groomers and 11 blades.

“We were looking for a simple machine with a better quality of cut and higher capacity. We had demos of four other mowers but the 2.94m cutting width, cut quality and simplicity of the 305 really impressed us.

“Nicely cut fairways make a course better, but our members, and us as greenkeepers, weren’t happy with the results of our old machine, even when we were mowing three times a week. Now, we as greenkeepers and our members are very happy with our fairways again.”

The success of the 305 stems from its simplicity. It’s a machine that’s built to be reliable and gives operators unsurpassed productivity while providing an unrivalled quality of cut.

This cut quality comes from the five 66cm floating head cutting units that follow all contours and undulations to ensure an even cut on all areas. The floating head system works with the four-wheel-drive – provided as standard – which provides greater traction and causes reduced turf compaction.

Productivity is increased across the machine in several areas, including the cutting units that don’t require any tools to adjust the reel to bedknife. Quick changes from collection to rear discharge can be easily made using the adjustable grass discharge section, and for prolonged use, the radiator pack and hood have been optimised to increase airflow in hot, dusty conditions, preventing downtime due to overheating.

Because of the increased productivity of the 305, operators spend less time cutting the course, but operator comfort remains a priority. An arm-rest mounted joystick is used for all mower lift and lower functions, and a deluxe adjustable high-back suspension seat has been fitted for optimum operator comfort.

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

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Golf greens destroyed with clubs

Golf greens destroyed with clubs: A golf club is counting the cost of a ‘disheartening and stressful’ vandal attack.

Seven out of the 18 greens at Oldham Golf Club were hacked at with a golf club or clubs.

Golf greens destroyed with clubs

Photographs posted by the club on social media show one green with dozens and dozens of divots in the surface after what they described as ‘sustained and mindless vandalism’.

The club’s greenkeeper spoke of his upset and described some of the damage caused as ‘irreparable’.

Nick Lawrence said: “I could have sat down and cried.”

Founded in 1892, the moorland course on Lees New Road in Oldham is noted for its views of the surrounding area at the foot of the Pennines.

Mr Lawrence said he arrived at the club to discover the damage on Saturday morning.

He said he believed the attack took place on Friday night and a golf club or clubs were used.

The cost to repair the damage is unclear at the moment, Mr Lawrence said.

He described it as ‘mostly just time and labour’, but said some of the damage caused would not be able to be repaired.

“It was just a mess,” he said.

“I’ve spent the past three days fixing it.”

Mr Lawrence and Derek Saunders oversee the management of the club.

“There’s just the two of us that work here,” Mr Lawrence said.

“I arrived on Saturday morning to find the damage and have looked through the CCTV. The course suffered damage to seven of its 18 greens.”

He described the attack as ‘disheartening and stressful’ and added: “There’s always kids playing football on the first green.

“The course isn’t meant for that.

“Kids come along with studded trainers and damage the grass.

“Grass re-growth in the winter months will be the biggest issue in restoring the golf course to its previous condition

“The seeds won’t grow at low temperatures.

“It needs to be around 10 to 12 degrees for them to grow. It won’t be the same again until at least March or April next year.”

Mr Lawrence said the club hasn’t contacted police about the incident.

Instead, the club has taken to social media to raise awareness and appeal to anyone with information to come forward.

“We need your help to find the offenders and bring them to justice,” said a statement on the club’s Facebook page.

“Our greens have been subjected to sustained and mindless vandalism overnight – seven greens severely hacked with golf clubs.

“Extremely upsetting for our greenkeeper, members and visitors.

“Who would do this?

“What is the point of it?

“This is criminal damage. We need your help to find the offenders and bring them to justice.

“Have you heard anyone bragging about it?

Click here to read the original article

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idverde signs contract with Toro

idverde signs contract with Toro: Europe’s largest provider of grounds maintenance and landscape construction services, idverde, has signed a contract with The Toro Company today. The contract establishes a three-year partnership with Toro as a preferred supplier to idVerde’s network of locations throughout France, the UK and the Netherlands.

Through this contract, all idVerde branches will have access to the full range of Toro products, including reel mowers, rotary mowers, flail mowers, and small-area and wide-area mowers, as well as landscape contractor equipment. Toro’s extensive product portfolio also includes irrigation and snow removal products, and its equipment is widely used at notable sports venues and historic sites around the world.

idverde signs contract with Toro

The decision to work with Toro complements idverde’s ongoing strategic expansion plans, aimed at adding to the company’s capabilities and geographical coverage. “We were looking for a reliable partner with a strong presence, both at the local level and throughout Europe as we continue to expand,” said Pascal Amico, director of purchasing at id verde. “With Toro’s distributor network, we will have full coverage in terms of product, service and support. It’s exactly what we need to ensure consistency in quality and performance across all of our branches.”

“Toro is an ideal partner for id verde, not only because of our presence throughout Europe, but also because of our shared values,” said Andy Brown, corporate accounts manager at The Toro Company. “Both companies have a long history of being committed to quality, environmental responsibility, customer relationships, and putting safety first. We’re looking forward to supplying idverde with the products and support they need to build on that legacy moving forward.”

According to Anthony Nadalin, senior marketing manager at The Toro Company, idverde will also benefit from Toro’s current focus on developing new products for the landscape contractor market. “Toro is investing heavily in new products so we can offer a total solution for contractors of any size, whether it’s a small independent business or a large group like idverde,” Nadalin said. “From clearing and preparing the site to landscaping and maintaining it, Toro has equipment solutions for virtually every aspect of grounds’ care. Our partnership with idverde is a real proof that Toro has the broad product portfolio that contractors can count on to get the job done right From Start to Finish.”

Beyond access to Toro’s wide portfolio of product, the partnership also relies on the network of support that Toro offers in France, Holland and the UK through its dedicated and long-term distributors in each country.

“We have processes in place throughout France to handle best-in-class parts delivery, local training and technical support” says Jean-François Larvor, commercial director at Solvert, Toro’s distributor in France. “We are here to ensure that the Toro equipment always delivers peak performance and optimal productivity to all idverde customers.” Toro’s distributors Jean Heybroek in Holland and Reesink Turfcare UK, echo the same best in class support in their local markets

Toro’s strong commitment to developing innovative and safe products that yield performance, productivity as well as Toro’s relentless pursuit of eco-friendly and sustainable practices are a perfect match with idverde’s values around eco-responsibility and passion for delivering landscape beautification and maintenance.

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Ultimate productivity with ISEKI

Ultimate productivity with ISEKI: Running a successful business and with a variety of customers, from caravan parks to councils, roadside work to churchyards and private estates is no easy task.

Based in the north east of England Chris Stamp and his team at CA Stamp Grounds & Agriculture know their clients expect an impeccable finish every time, so the need for a reliable, durable mower is of paramount importance.

Ultimate productivity with ISEKI

Chris explained; “our previous machine was due for renewal, so following a look around SALTEX at the products on offer, I contacted our local dealer Rickerby for a demonstration of the ISEKI SF224.   I knew as soon as I tried the machine it was perfect for what I needed.  Being located in the north of the country we get plenty of rainfall, the ISEKI mower really does cut and collect even in the wettest and harshest conditions whilst leaving the same brilliant finish every time with no blockages.  This ability is invaluable, it enables us to be flexible when we carry out jobs with no downtime due to weather conditions.

“Along with grass cutting the powerful collector system is fantastic for clearing up after scarifying or collection of fallen leaves, allowing us to get even more value from our machine and excellent service to our customers.

“The high tip collector with a clearance of over 2.1 metres enables us to tip all the waste straight into the back of a trailer saving us considerable man hours.  The large 950 litre hopper allows us to mow for longer, enabling us to be more efficient with our time – the SF224 really speeds everything up for us.

“We are all fight to jump on and use the machine, this says it all when it comes to ease of use and makes my life a lot easier when allocating the workload! The drive is very comfortable, even when mowing for long periods of time which is required on many of our contracts.”

Noticing a gap in what Chris was offering he then purchased an ISEKI SRA950F 4WD 24hp brushcutter which is being utilised for slope mowing up to 25 degrees and cutting of overgrown, out of control areas.  “We saw the machine on demonstration with our local dealer rep Rob.  I couldn’t believe how powerful and effective it was at tackling thick vegetation whilst leaving such a superb finish, it was a complete impulsive buy.  I even surprised myself on this quick decision which was slightly out of character for me!  The SRA950F has already been put to good use, I know it will be an invaluable machine for many years to come.

Ultimate productivity with ISEKI

“Our local dealer Rickerby is faultless, Rob and the service team’s knowledge of the machinery is second to none, if I ever have a problem they are out and sorting the problem so quickly.  As a contractor their brilliant back-up and service is invaluable.”

Chris Stamp started his grounds maintenance contractor business as a one-man band, quickly building up his customer base he now employ’s two other staff with additional help from other self-employed contacts during the busy months to keep up with the demand. With the addition of the ISEKI machines the business has grown from strength to strength.

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

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Matrax Pens Deal with Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Matrax Pens Deal with Mercedes-Benz Stadium: 2019’s Sports Facility of the Year closes on the acquisition of a 108,150 square foot Matrax heavy duty turf protection event flooring system

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a sports and entertainment stadium located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia that serves as the official home to NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and MLS’ Atlanta United. In 2019, the stadium was named Sports Facility of the Year at the annual Sports Business Awards and was also named Facility of the Year at the World Football Summit this past September in Madrid. The stadium is host to a wide array of major sporting and non-sporting events including Super Bowl LIII, the college football national championship, the 2018 MLS Cup and MLS All-Star game and will play host to the Men’s NCAA Final Four in April of 2020. Over the years, the stadium has hosted major music artists such as Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Ed Sheeran.  Most recently, the venue was host to George Strait, joined by musical guests Christ Stapleton, Chris Janson, and Ashley McBryde.

Matrax Pens Deal with Mercedes-Benz Stadium

As the intensity and frequency of non-sporting events continues to increase at stadium venues like Mercedes-Benz Stadium, there is greater demand to ensure the playing surface is protected from heavy loads and vehicular traffic.  Where other field covering systems are designed from a flooring perspective, Matrax was engineered with temporary road building and heavy vehicular traffic in mind.

To meet the increasing operational demands, an official request for proposal was issued by the stadium in July 2019 seeking 108,150 square feet of heavy duty, drivable flooring. Additionally, Matrax was able to broker the re-sale of the depreciated asset, thus offering additional value to the RFP process.

“As a world class venue, we hold all of our vendors to the highest standard. Matrax was selected for its proven track record of superior field performance and durability. Matrax is a solid investment for our operations and will be an integral component to our success on the field during these non-sporting events.”  David Duernberger, Director of Stadium Operations, Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The first deployment of the new Matrax 4×4 HD system will occur in early November 2019 to support an epic weekend of live music to include musical artists Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Sam Hunt, Sugarland, Judah & the Lion, Cale Dodds, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Brothers Osborne, and Caylee Hammack.

Matrax has become the system of choice by many industry professionals and has been utilized at countless notable venues worldwide including but not limited to Banc of California Stadium, Petco Park, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, San Siro Stadium, MetLife Stadium, and Gillette Stadium.

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Mix Business With Pleasure At SALTEX

Mix Business With Pleasure At SALTEX: If you’re heading to Saltex 2019, you’re probably planning to talk turf, ogle new kit and perhaps grab a drink or two along the way.

Scott Brooks (Head of Grounds and Estate, St. George’s Park) and Karl McDermott (Head Groundsman, Lord’s) will be taking part in a live Q&A with complimentary drinks for all attendees.

Mix Business With Pleasure At SALTEX

This social event will take place on stand F185, 4pm on 30th October, hosted by White Horse Contractors, giving you the chance to pick the brains of the men responsible for two of the UK’s most iconic grounds.

Win a magnum of champagne! The top three questions submitted in advance (as judged by Scott and Karl) will each win a magnum of champagne. For your chance to win, email whc@whitehorsecontractors.co.uk or tweet @whitehorsecontr.

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Click & Collect With The Countax PGC+

Click & Collect With The Countax PGC+: Countax garden tractors have been made in Britain for over thirty years and have a reputation for being tough, durable and built for British weather conditions. A key feature of the Countax is the Power Take Off (PTO) which drives the Powered Grass Collector (PGC) and a range of accessories.

Countax has now introduced the PGC+. An accessory which transforms a C or B Series garden tractor into a multi-use, year-round workhorse. The PGC+ is a cassette system which allows you to quickly and easily switch accessories, each one designed for a specific garden task. It means you only need one machine to maintain your lawn, driveway, path and other areas of your garden. The Grass Sweeper cassette comes as standard. Click it into place and fifty-one brushes rotate at over 1100rpm to sweep grass clippings, fallen leaves and other debris into the hopper, even when the grass is wet.

Click & Collect With The Countax PGC+

Scarifying a lawn to rid it of moss and thatch encourages thicker, lusher grass. Installing the Scarifier cassette into the PGC+ reduces the need for a separate scarifier. The easy-to-insert cassette makes light work of scarifying and takes considerably less time than using a walk-behind machine. Especially considering that scarifying and collection of the debris is done simultaneously.

Using the PGC+ is simple. There is no need to unhitch it. Just take off the collection net, remove the current cassette and load in the next. Considerable financial savings can be made using the PGC+. There is no longer the need to purchase separate, standalone equipment. Additional cassettes are coming shortly, including a Hard Surface Brush cassette which transforms your Countax into a heavy-duty powered broom for maintaining hard surfaces such as paths and driveways.

For more information contact Countax on 01844 278800 or visit www.countax.co.uk/dealers to find your local dealer.

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