An alternative approach has significantly benefited a West Midlands golf club faced with the challenge of aerating heavy 'rig and furrow' fairways.
The team at Ladbrook Park GC, led by Course Manager, Kevin Fellows, opted for a trailer bogey system when they purchased a Wiedenmann Terra Spike XP210 deep aerator.
The bogey assembly allows turf professionals to use smaller tractors than normal. Because you are not having to lift the machine and are only towing it, you can get away with using a tractor which usually would not operate the machine.
The machine is lifted clear of the ground via the two hydraulic rams which operate the wheels up and down rather than lifting the machine via its three point linkage hydraulic system.
"We manage a heavy clay loam course and throughout the site's 100 year plus history the topography of the land has developed through - estate, partial farming (during the war years) and golf course construction and management" explained Kevin Fellows. "We had to be mindful of the shock load a 2.1 metre wide aerator weighing 1.2 tonnes would impart on the tractor across our acutely 'rig and furrow' ground.
The bogey wheel system makes perfect sense as you just need hydraulic capacity and the relevant PTO capacity so the shock load becomes remote from the tractor. It also means we can transport it on the road so we can access the outskirts of the course with no difficulty."
All six green keeping staff regularly use the Terra Spike and praised its versatility and ease of use.
"The beauty of the Wiedenmann is that it doesn't lie to you," enthuses Kevin Fellows. "You set its QuickSet Depth with one tool free adjustment to say, 200 mm, and that's what you get, regardless of the length of tines. You can come back the next day and set the same depth and it's all completed with uniformity. We use it on our greens, tees and fairways and we couldn't be happier."
Local dealers T H White at Redditch, commented: "It's really satisfying when you can deliver bespoke solutions for individual situations. Wiedenmann's products are technically excellent while remaining incredibly simple to operate."
Picture :-Left to Right: Mark Brazier, Rob Tomlin (1st assistant), Ian Holden, Graham Foster (Deputy Course Manager) & Kevin Fellows (Course Manager), and sales representative Jon Lewis, from dealer T H White, Redditch