While fans may not fully realise it, pitch quality can have a big impact on match-day performance; so to ensure that the Cardiff Rugby Football Club's pitch can provide players and fans with an exciting game, the groundcare team uses a Kubota GL5240 tractor to keep it in perfect condition.
Head groundsman Brian Walker uses the GL5240 mid-range tractor for a wide variety of different maintenance duties at the full size, 10,000 sq yards, 12,000 seater Cardiff Arms Stadium.
The Kubota GL5240 is designed to offer maximum productivity and usability thanks to its 52hp engine, variety of attachments and comfortable ergonomic layout. It features the latest in engine transmission, both PTO and HST transmission together with Intellipanel information system.
But it is the tractor's versatility that has ensured that the team at Cardiff Arms uses the GL5240 for a wide variety of different ground maintenance duties from dressing to drainage.
Rugby pitches are graded according to structural, presentational and playing qualities - ideally the pitch should have no undulations or depressions, be firm, covered with dense sward and well drained. If this is achieved, it provides both good grip for scrummage as well as appropriate cushioning for the impacts players receive when tackling and diving.
As a result, during the rugby season, Brian and his team use the Kubota three to four times a week to ensure that the pitch remains in tip-top condition.
"If we have a game at home on a Saturday, then from Monday onwards we are out spiking the pitch. The GL5240 is a multi-purpose machine and easily has the power and performance to take the deep spiker on the back.
"What's more, it is ideal for top dressing too. It will take a tonne on the front loader without any problems and when we hire a top dresser to use with it, the tractor will go all day long."
When fitted with sports tyres the GL5240 helps to avoid turf damage by limiting drag over grass surfaces, even at increased speeds.
"The tractor is so light," says Brian, "that when it is fitted with sports tyres it doesn't even leave any wheel marks. This is essential for preparing a quality rugby pitch - the Kubota is ideal for our needs."
Servicing and maintenance is provided through local dealer Chris Hopkins at Ted Hopkins Ltd, which offers a range of groundcare and agricultural machinery, plant hire services, leisure equipment and related maintenance across South and Mid Wales, Somerset, Avon and Gloucester regions. But, says Brian, it's the Kubota's reliability that really impresses:
"The tractor is a doddle to use - even the front loader is easy to fit - and with HST which is like an automatic transmission, it can't really go wrong. With the CD player, it's like being in a car, so it's great to use all year round."
Kubota provides a market-leading range of compact tractors and ride-on mowers, together with its class-leading RTV900 all-terrain utility vehicle and is the global leader in the sub 50hp tractor sector.
The company's machines have a legendary reputation for quality, performance, reliability, ease of operation and outstanding value-for-money and a national network of Kubota tractor and groundcare dealers, such as Ted Hopkins, provides the highest standards of advice and after-sales service.
For more information about Kubota's market leading compact tractors, ride-on mowers, and their class-leading RTV900 all-terrain utility vehicle, together with details of your local dealer, contact Kubota Tractor and Groundcare Division Tel: 0800 023 1111/ROI: 1 800 848 000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.kubota.co.uk.
Image: Head groundsman, Brian Walker is pictured with the Kubota GL5240 mid-range tractor which is used to maintain the Cardiff Arms Stadium.