Sussex CCC Love their Grinders

Editorin Cricket

The oldest first class cricket club in the UK - Sussex County Cricket Club is the first UK Cricket club in the country to own its own grinders - and it seems that they may be setting a new trend.

Bernhard and Company have in the last month, been called in by 3 other major cricket clubs in 3 continents across the world - for demonstrations of their machines.

Stephen Bernhard said, "We were thrilled to get Sussex's order, and really enjoyed setting up our machines in such an ancient and famous club as Sussex. It's been a real pleasure to watch the progress of their turf quality as a result.

Head Groundsman, Andy Mackay admits, the decision to spend the money on grinders was not easy, but "We have not looked back since. Having our own Bernhard grinders means that we can now maintain a zero contact cut all year round. Our machines are always sharp and on cut. We spend far less time faffing about with the machines and the cut needs setting far, far less. The grass plants are healthier because the leaf is cut cleanly by the cylinder rather than torn and ripped by a contact cut - and this means they need less time to repair themselves. This in turn means much great recovery from wear, and fewer nutrients, less water, less opportunity for disease to take hold, and better plant health all round."

"The general presentation of the ground for matches has been much better and recovery of the wickets after preparations and use has been far better too. Our outfield is much tighter, more drought tolerant, which is a very important factor these days, and I rarely have to use any fungicide, which makes me very happy."

Andy has found that the club has saved huge amounts of money on bearings, bottom blades/bedknives, and that by doing their own grinding has given the maintenance team the impetus and confidence to take on more of the machinery maintenance in-house.

"The fleet is always in tip-top condition and we are spending significantly less on keeping it that way - in fact our maintenance budget has more than halved."

World wide Technical Training Manager, Ben Taylor said, "I felt privileged to work with such a highly respected Groundsman as Andy. The team learned the techniques of grinding very quickly in the training sessions, and immediately applied them to their new maintenance regime.

Ben continued, "Traditionally, grinders have been bought by golf clubs. The quality of turf on the greens is so important, with the key to all players pleasure being the consistency of play - but to have cricket and football and turf growers along side is a new and very welcome departure for us. I am very excited about it."

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