Monster Machine solves tough problems
By Susan Meeken
Sports ground maintenance contractors need high work-rate equipment that is robust enough to withstand the rigorous usage they receive. Typical of these is AT Bone & Sons, who also trade as ATB Sports Solutions, based near Borehamwood in Hertfordshire,
Established more than 15 years ago, the company meets the needs of customers over a considerable area that extends from Oxford to Peterborough and eastwards to Southend, as well as parts of Greater London. Clients include local authorities, private schools, golf courses and sports clubs.
"We are often called in to tackle tough jobs that others don't want to, such as renovating sports grounds that haven't received attention for years, if ever at all," says Director Russell Bone. "We also work at reclaimed 'brownfield' sites that may have metal, rubble and even wartime debris under the surface. We need tough equipment that can perform in these arduous conditions."
Essential components of the Bone fleet is a wide selection of Verti-Drain deep aerators from Charterhouse Turf Machinery. The company has various models for different situations, the most recent acquisition being a monster Verti-Drain 7626 Contractors machine, designed for the highest work-rate.
This 2.6m-wide (8ft 3in) machine has a heavy-duty gearbox and weighs 2 tonnes. Its weight helps it to penetrate seriously compacted ground, and a large rear roller combined with robust construction enables it to perform under the toughest conditions.
The 7626 has 25mm (1in) diameter, 400mm (16in) long solid tines as standard, and can accept the full range of solid or hollow tines. Despite its weight, the machine is designed so that pressure on the turf is minimised.
Like all machines in the range available from Charterhouse, the 7626 operates with the same Verti-Drain action that gives a 'heave' effect. This lets more air into the rootzone and helps water percolation. This, in turn, encourages nutrient take-up.
"We've looked at other machines, but only Charterhouse's meet our demanding needs," comments Russell Bone. "They are up to any challenge we impose on them and gives us confidence whenever we tackle any renovation job."
Russell's brother Daniel, who is also a Director in the business, says that the machines are a big hit with customers. "The Verti-Drains have a strong reputation which is recognised by all our clients. They set the standard - everyone today refers to "Verti-Draining", rather than aeration."
"When customers know we have Verti-Drains, it gives them reassurance, knowing that they'll do the job to the highest standard," adds Daniel.
The 7626 is also user-friendly, with fewer grease points to maintain, and it has important Health and Safety features such as improved guards.
"The Verti-Drains give us the speed and efficiency we need, and they have earned their reputation for performance and reliability," continues Daniel.