Toro top of class for perfect pitches at Rugby School

Michelle Finchin Machinery & Mechanics

Rugby School has been cutting its sports grounds with Toro mowers for 10 years. Recently the acclaimed private school in Rugby town - famous for the birth of the game of rugby in 1823 after student William Webb Ellis picked up a soccer ball and ran with it - has added to its extensive Toro fleet.

PR4223 Rugby School

But instead of buying brand new again, head groundsman James Mead has taken advantage of Toro distributor Lely's PREMA pre-owned equipment scheme.

"PREMA machines are excellent," says James. "In an ideal world, I'm sure everyone would like to buy everything brand new, but life just isn't like that. Our PREMA machine turned up in first-rate condition and has gone down a storm with our mechanic and eight dedicated fine turf groundsmen. They say using Toro makes their lives easier.

"We've also had approval on our choice from visiting groundsmen who have seen the RM5410 at work and then gone away to register their interest in a PREMA machine with Lely."

Because of its special status in the rugby world, the school is visited by a great many tourists and rugby teams from across the world come and train there. While the school's own teams play on the original pitches at the 'home of the game'.

So it's vital that the pitches, cricket fields and other grounds look and play their best at all times.

James says: "I've been at Rugby School for 10 years and for all that time we've used Toro. Toro machines produce a great cut while also being easy to use. As a matter of course, we did trials of other brands' best versions of the Toro equipment we wanted, but, as usual, no-one convinced me to change my mind and switch away from Toro."

The machines on James' list this time round were the Reelmaster 5410-D large-area mower and two Greensmaster 1000 fine-cut pedestrian greensmowers.

All are pre-owned models offered under Lely's PREMA scheme. This enables customers to buy quality, pre-owned Toro turf machinery (and TYM compact tractors) that are technically as good as new, at affordable prices. Every machine in the scheme is given a comprehensive inspection covering all key mechanical functions, before it receives a Lely-certified PREMA warranty.

James and his team use the RM5410 every day during the cricket season to cut the outfield at 13mm. Daily mowing is needed to produce the fast, smooth, outfield surface demanded for cricket at Rugby School.

Meanwhile, for the cricket squares, James has bought in two additional Toro Greensmaster fine-cut pedestrian mowers, which are set to cut at 3mm, 5mm or 7mm.

There are two existing Toro GR1000s at the school that are used to cut its Andrew Armitage golf practice area down to 3mm and 5mm. But having multiple machines gives the team greater flexibility.

For the rugby pitches James and his team use a Toro Groundsmaster 4500 rotary. This is set at 25mm mainly, but increased to 32mm if weather dictates. Added to this, a Toro ProCore SR72 deep-tine aerator is used to aerate the rugby pitches and other grounds.

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