A Lancashire golf course is maximising the efficiency and effectiveness of its top-dressing operations by using a Dakota 410 Turf Tender from Campey Turf Care Systems.
Located near Bolton, Harwood Golf Club bought the machine as an attachment for its John Deere Gator utility vehicle. Head Greenkeeper Martyn Durham uses it on the 18-hole facility's greens, tees and fairways.
"The Dakota 410 is really excellent," he says. "It used to take five of my staff two days to top-dress all 18 greens. Now I can do it myself in 2-3 hours, freeing up other team members for other essential tasks."
The machine's large spinning discs optimise application of materials and its 9m maximum spreading width means one green can be treated in just two passes.
Previously, top-dressing was a manual chore involving trailer loads of material and lots of shovels. Seeking a better alternative, Martyn had demonstrations of several machines from different manufacturers, but the Dakota 410 was easily the best.
"The layout is much better, with all the controls right in front of you," says Martyn, who joined Harwood Golf Club straight after leaving school 16 years ago. "It's easy to alter the rate of application by adjusting it from the driver's seat. We get perfect results every time, even in damp conditions, with even applications of top-dressing or a rootzone mix of sand and soil. I have never needed to stop and brush it in manually."
The Dakota 410 has a variable spreading width of 3.55-9m and its dual spinner discharge system gives a uniform distribution pattern. Hopper capacity is 0.65 cu m and turf tyres are fitted as standard. The machine is available in several versions to attach to popular work vehicles or tractors, and the latest models have been redesigned with fewer parts for easier maintenance.
"It was a big decision for the Club to invest in the Dakota 410, but the results have been excellent," says Martyn Durham. "It's well impressive!"