Shrewsbury School Head Groundsman Andrew Richards is testament to the belief that when you find machinery that works, you stick with it and his seventeen years spent using Dennis mowers proves the point. Andrew is keen to pass on this knowledge and experience and earlier this year he was involved at the School with a Dennis/Sisis Seminar & demonstration day when a number of Shropshire Cricket Club groundsmen were in attendance.
For cricket square maintenance Andrew uses two 510mm (20") Dennis FT510s and for football two 760mm (30") G760 mowers. He says, "when I joined, the school had two FT510s which we were extremely happy with. That said the two new model FT510s we purchased in July incorporated the latest improvements which have enhanced cut quality, versatility, ease of set-up and maintenance.
We use the FT510s to bring cut-height down from 12mm to a match day 5.5mm and with a very heavy cricket fixture programme over a ten week term they work really hard. The four quick-change cassettes used daily throughout the season, are the 2mm tungsten tipped scarifier, the verti-cutter, brush and sorrell roller."
For his football surfaces Andrew is an advocate of hand mowing, adding, "the G760s were one of the first pieces of kit we purchased when I came to Shrewsbury School about three years ago. They work extremely hard year-round, maintaining cricket squares at 12-15mm and cutting football pitches three to four times a week to cope with a heavy programme of eighty matches a season.
The first team pitch here is maintained at 25mm-28mm. In spite of all this continuous work the G760s are as good as the day we bought them. In conjunction with the G760 we use the verti-cut cassette every ten days, the sorrell roller and brush are used every two weeks.
Andrew continued, "for football work the wet summer has given us good growth and because we cut regularly wet grass has not been an issue. The G760 gives us the best possible playing surface we can achieve. The build-quality and after sales service are excellent and I have never had any issues. The products are good but are always being improved. They don't stand still."
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