Head Groundsman at Great Yarmouth racecourse for the past three years, Richard Bradley describes his New Holland TN75 utility tractor as his 'right hand man'.
Purchased in 2004 to replace an agricultural-type tractor, the TN75 offers 76hp in a tidy package, giving plenty of muscle to pull a variety of implements while maintaining a light tread on the precious turf.
"I use the TN75 every day," comments Richard. "It is such an all-rounder. We mow, harrow, pull the irrigator and the roller as well as towing trailers and transporting materials and equipment around the site."
He points out that the TN75 has revolutionised the mowing regime, allowing a switch from trailed gang mowers to a front linkage mounted rotary deck.
"Mowing used to be a two man operation with the gangs and they were so weather dependent - the slightest bit of moisture affected the cut. The rotary deck will perform in nearly all weather conditions, which is fantastic as the elements can turn on us very quickly!" Richard explains.
Mowing takes place three times a week from May to September depending on the rate of grass growth, while aeration is carried out weekly and harrowing once a month. Richard also has the irrigator on standby to be used as conditions dictate.
Located close to the sea, Great Yarmouth offers testing conditions for Richard's team to contend with.
"We have a shallow root zone consisting of a sandy loam. Drainage is usually excellent until you get too much rain. The water table is quite high as we are not much above sea level, so certain parts of the track flood, yet we can also lose up to 60% of moisture in the summer," he explains. "So we can be irrigating daily, which is hard work. I also spread a tonne of fertiliser every six weeks from May to September to keep a good coverage on the ground as it does not retain nutrients well."
Richard comments: "You can see the TN75 has a lot of work to do! It is such a different vehicle to our previous tractor. The cab is so much more comfortable, the controls are well laid out, and I wouldn't be without the CD player now!"
Great Yarmouth hosts 23 flat race meetings a year, including popular evening fixtures with musical entertainment which attract holidaymakers and locals alike. The season's highlight is the three day festival meeting in September featuring the John Muska filly stakes.
It all adds up to a busy workload for Richard, who says: "My job is very rewarding and there are many elements to it. I take great pride in the course and keeping everything to a very high standard, and I would not be able to do such a good job without my TN75."