Regular maintenance of artificial turf is necessary to keep playing surfaces clean, bacteria-free and allow water infiltration. So, offering a maintenance package to clients who have just installed a new synthetic pitch is an important part of Smith Construction's business.
"Having a regular maintenance regime in place is a requirement of our guarantee for the new surface, and as part of our offering to the client, we wanted to be able to carry this out on their behalf," explains Manager Russ Smith.
"If clients wish to do their own routine maintenance we can sell them the equipment for this," Russ explains. "But we do the specialist deep cleaning operation, and we recently purchased a Verti-Top from Charterhouse Turf Machinery to perform this task."
Russ comments that he has a good relationship with Charterhouse and with the company's synthetics specialist Curtis Allen and knows the build quality and effectiveness of the company's machines.
"We also have an Extreme Clean and sometimes hire in an Eliminator so we know and trust the way the machines are built and how well they work," he says. "There are other synthetic maintenance machines on the market but these are the best."
The Verti-Top 1200 employs a highly effective synthetic rotary brush to remove debris and top layer infill from the turf, then sifts the debris out in a unique vibratory shaker which redistributes the clean infill back on the pitch. A rear lag brush finishes the work, leaving a clean and smooth playing surface.
"We have a decompactor that we designed and had built to our specification, and that is used to revive older sand filled surfaces that have not been maintained and have become compacted. The decompactor digs out the infill and the Verti-Top filters the sand to remove debris and contaminants so that it can be re-used," Russ explains.
The Verti-Top has been in the fleet for just a few months, but Russ comments that there is growing demand for this niche service. "It does a great job, working about three days a week at the moment, but this is increasing all the time, and with the great build quality offered by Charterhouse, we would expect the machine to last a long time."
The company has added a new Kubota tractor to the fleet to work with the Verti-Top. The 25hp B2530 is the latest in a long line of Kubotas owned by the company. "We use them for everything from landscaping to lawn mowing. You know what you are getting with Kubota - they are well built, reliable tractors that are simple to maintain and hold their value," comments Russ.
The 2530's compact size means that it can fit in the company's long wheel base Mercedes van with the Verti-Top, and it has been specified with a hydrostatic transmission.
"The infinitely variable speed means that you can set the forward speed and maintain it regardless of the demand on the PTO made by the Verti-Top," comments Russ. "We have also specified a ROPS rather than a cab for convenience. The tractor will be dedicated to the Verti-Top and is also proving to be a good purchase - you can't go wrong with a Kubota."
Kubota (UK) Ltd., Dormer Road, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3UN
Tel: +44 (0)1844 268167 - Fax: +44 (0)1844 216685 - Web: http://www.kubota.co.uk