Versatility and adaptability are the needs for RJ Jochimsen Contractors Ltd - and, in the area of aeration, a Verti-Drain and a pair of Verti-Quakes from Charterhouse Turf Machinery fit the bill. Formed in 1986, MD Rob Jochimsen undertakes various maintenance and renovation projects for councils, utility companies and sports clubs in the West Sussex area - with no two days the same.
Now heading up a team of 7, Rob started off his working life in the agricultural market before deciding to move into the amenity sector over 30 years ago. "Week to week we'll be working on different surfaces - football, rugby, polo fields, gallops, which all require different maintenance techniques but aeration is one that goes across the board. Having the two different machines and working them in conjunction with one another, means that no matter the requirement, conditions or sports surface we're dealing with, we have the machine to suit."
Their Verti-Drain 7626 is now into its 5th season. "We chose this machine initially as it was a good match for our tractor and since then it's proved to be a real workhorse. The weight of the unit means it penetrates the surface, rather than bouncing over it like some other machines do. Spring and autumn/winter are peak times for the Verti-Drain, though it's used whenever conditions allow." With the Verti-Drain 7626 taking care of the deep aeration work, the pair of Verti-Quake 2516's work on compaction within the top 6 to 8 inches.
"These come into their own when the ground is too firm or when the surface is wet, requiring lighter units to be used. The smaller, lighter Verti-Quake 2516 runs on a compact tractor, which gives us the flexibility when assessing customer requirements to choose the most effective machine to use."
"Another plus point for us is the range of tine options available. We've been working on some polo fields this year, using 1/2inch finger tines but we also carry tines right up to those suitable for hollow coring."
Final word from Rob, "These machines give us the versatility to deal with whatever surface comes our way, and even more importantly than this, the customers are pleased with the work they do. That's the main thing!"