Turfmech launch new machinery at Saltex

Mike Birdin Industry News

saltexPedestrian Sweeper

Turfmech's SQRL pedestrian greens sweeper is designed for fast, effective collection and removal of hollow cores and scarified material from golf greens and other fine turf surfaces. Equipped with a hydraulically-tipped high-dump hopper, the machine is able to off-load collected material rapidly and cleanly into a trailer, pick-up or load box mounted on a turf maintenance vehicle.

Designed and developed at Turfmech's Hixon, Staffordshire manufacturing centre, the robust, walk-behind machine has a 600mm (24in) wide, fully-floating rotary brush/paddle collection head designed to follow turf contours closely for successful one-pass clean-up operations in virtually all conditions, wet or dry. Both the sweep height and the level of brush aggression can be adjusted to suit the type, depth and density of the material being collected.

Power to the SQRL's belt-driven collection brush and wheel drive transaxle comes from a 13hp Honda four stroke air-cooled petrol engine. The transaxle produces infinitely-variable forward and reverse speeds up to 4.5mph (7 km/h) and 2mph (3.5 km/h) respectively.

Key features of the SQRL are its compact dimensions (just 940mm wide), low weight (390kg) and exceptional manoeuvrability, enabling the machine to work and turn tightly without compacting or scuffing of fine turf surfaces. The machine and its collected load are supported by two wide-profile tyres on the front driven axle and by dual castoring wheels at the rear.

The SQRL's 0.35 cu m (12.4 cu ft) hopper can be hydraulically raised to give a maximum clearance of 1.2m (4ft) beneath the tipped hopper. For ease of use, the hopper's contents and level can be seen clearly from the operating position through a perspex window.SQRL-greens-sweeper.jpg

Ideal for greenkeepers, groundstaff and other turf professionals needing to clear-up hollow cores, scarified material and other light, loose surface debris quickly and cleanly with minimal effort or staff input, the SQRL is priced at £7,995.

Ride on Sweeper

New from Turfmech is the CAT 800 ride-on greens sweeper designed to bring important savings in cost, time and labour to greenkeepers and groundstaff clearing-up after hollow coring and scarifying operations.

Fast, effective and highly manoeuvrable, the CAT (Core And Thatch) 800 is a three-wheeled, ride-on machine with a high-dump 0.4 cu m (14 cu ft) collection hopper capable of unloading over the sides of trailers or turf work vehicles up to 1.4m (54in) above ground level.

The combination of super-fast collection speeds and high-efficiency emptying means that the CAT 800 can clear cores, scarified material and other surface debris as fast as it is created, ensuring that greens are put back into play without delay, minimising aggravation to players while maximising revenue for the club.

Developed by Turfmech at its engineering centre in Hixon, Staffordshire, the CAT 800 gathers debris using an 800mm (32in) fully-floating rotary brush/paddle collection head. The head is supported by a full-width roller which follows turf contours closely for successful one-pass clean-up operations in virtually all surface conditions, wet or dry.
Both the height of the brush and the level of brush aggression can be adjusted to suit the type, depth and density of the material being collected.

High efficiency hydraulic motors driving the two rear wheels provide infinitely-variable forward and reverse speeds up to a maximum of 9mph. Optimum safety in operation is assured by dynamic braking via the traction drive system and a manual hand brake acting on the two wheel drive motors.

Full power steering and wide turf tyres deliver excellent manoeuvrability without scuffing
of delicate turf surfaces while ease and speed of turning at the end of a clear-up run is enhanced by a spinner knob mounted on the steering wheel.

Powered by a low noise Honda 20hp V-twin petrol engine with electric start, the CAT 800 has a comfortable driving position with simple, intuitive operator controls enabling safe, secure use by all staff with minimal training or supervision. Standard safety features include an operator presence switch and retractable seat belt. A roll-over protection structure (ROPS) is offered as an option.

Available for demonstrations on greens from mid September onwards, the CAT 800 is being offered at an introductory price of £19,990 (plus VAT) for a limited period.

RangeRunner-1.jpgAutomated Golf Ball Collector

A fully-automated ball collector suitable for use on golf ranges and practice grounds all-year-round has been launched by Turfmech Machinery Ltd.

Known as the RangeRunner, the unmanned, self-propelled machine combines global positioning satellite (GPS) technology with a programmable routing system to enable golf ranges to automate what is accepted as the most hazardous and time-consuming job on the range, namely, the collection and retrieval of golf balls.

"Many golf ranges are now approaching full automation following the installation of automatic ball washing and delivery systems and pop-up tees with ball dispensers adjacent to the driving position," commented Turfmech's managing director, Austin Jarrett. "The one part of the system that has not been automated until now is the retrieval of balls from the range itself. The RangeRunner completes the loop, enabling ranges to become far more efficient
for the benefit of owners, managers, staff and customers alike."

Using a combination of GPS tracking and programmable routing, the RangeRunner is able to go to work completely automatically and steer its way methodically across the ground, collecting balls in its hopper before returning them to a receiving pit from where they can be transferred to the range's ball washing, conveying and dispensing systems.

Because the GPS tracking system knows the RangeRunner's position at all times, the computerised routing system is able to keep the machine within the limits of the range while steering it around obstacles that have been pre-programmed into the machine's computer.

The machine can be programmed to work unattended across the complete range or on any specific part of it at any time of the day or night. This option could be used, for example, to keep the machine a safe distance from the range's driving position to minimise the risk of ball ricochet or deflection or to work only within high ball density areas at certain times of the day to maximise workrate and ball throughput.

All of the RangeRunner electrical functions - its wheel drive, GPS and computer systems - are powered by an on-board generator driven by a low noise 13hp petrol engine with automatic start. There is a back-up battery to ensure that the machine can return to base in the event of an engine or generator failure and the machine can be started remotely by means of a text message from a mobile phone. This facility also works in reverse, enabling the RangeRunner to send a text message to a mobile phone when it has finished collecting balls or is experiencing any problem.

Once programmed, the RangeRunner can be left to work completely unattended with refuelling only required every three to four days depending on the number of hours and area over which the machine has been set to operate. Although the RangeRunner's hopper is able to carry a maximum of 1,600 golf balls, this number can be adjusted downwards to suit the reception system and the weather, enabling the weight of the machine to be kept
as low as possible when working in soft or wet ground conditions.

The RangeRunner is designed to offload golf balls into a below-ground reception pit with elevator delivery of the balls to the washing system. Turfmech can supply the machine on its own for use with a reception pit installed by the range to suit an existing ball washing and conveying system or can supply a grid-covered reception pit as an option to complement the machine.

Price of the RangeRunner is £55,000 to include initial site survey and programming of the machine to suit the specific requirements of any golf range.

A demonstration site has been set-up by Turfmech at its Hixon headquarters to allow the machine and its ball-collecting abilities to be shown in action to prospective customers.

Demonstrations are available on request by phoning 01889 271503 or email: sales@turfmech.co.uk

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