Dakota Tender fills contractor with delight
By Sue Meeken
The tremendous versatility and high work-rate of a newly acquired Dakota 440 Turf Tender are enabling a drainage contractor in the northwest of England to achieve quality results in the most efficient manner.
Lanchashire-based Philip Dixon Land Drainage has a large and varied client base encompassing local authorities, private sports clubs and golf courses. The operation needs equipment that can perform quickly and effectively. The Dakota Turf Tender is ideal, as it allows users to move materials, apply top-dressings, fill bunkers with sand and many other essential turf care tasks.
"The machine does exactly what we need," says Senior Partner Philip Dixon. "It carries bulk loads of materials which we can place precisely where it is required on site. It gives us absolute control over everything we do, and the discharge rate and volume are easily adjusted."
Many of the company's projects involve the backfilling of drainage trenches, and the Dakota 440 makes this a simpler task. "Because of the accuracy of discharge there is no need for shovelling, which saves on manpower. We initially fill the trenches with gravel, and then we follow up by using the Dakota's side conveyor to dispense the correct sand/soil mix for the top rootzone layer at exactly the right depth, between 4-6in (10-15cm). What used to take two people no
Dixons have also used the Turf Tender to regularly fill a sand banding machine for slit drainage installation, and it can also undertake top-dressing applications. It has two spinner discharge discs that can be easily adjusted to provide spreading widths from 12-40ft (3.66-12.19m).
The 440 can be powered by a 40hp tractor and has a level capacity of 4.2 cu yd (3.21m3), or 5 cu yd (3.82m3) heaped. The machine benefits from a more durable power chute that is electrically operated for greater control over material placement, and for faster material handling. A floating box scraper gives even greater operational flexibility for golf course and sports field tasks.
"A particularly impressive feature of the machine is the incorporation of independent walking beam axles," says Philip Dixon. "These give the unit a light footprint on the turf, avoiding damage, and it also means that ground contours are negotiated with ease.
"The Dakota 440 Turf Tender is really useful and it's very popular with our operators. It does what previously required two separate machines and it frees up labour for other tasks. It has made us even more efficient and gives high-quality results."
Investment in specialised machinery is a priority for family run Philip Dixon Land Drainage as it enables the company to offer their clients a complete service using the latest professional equipment.