Newcastle United Football Club's Head Groundsman Mick Curran has returned to his local Ransomes Jacobsen dealer, Rickerby Ltd, and added three new mowers and a compact tractor to his fleet of turf maintenance equipment at the Premiership club's training centre on the northern outskirts of the city.
Three Jacobsen LF3800 five cylinder ride-on mowers, one with grass boxes, have been purchased to mow the training pitches together with an Iseki TG5470 compact tractor, which will be used for general duties around the training complex.
"I've had LF3800s previously and they are excellent mowers, perfect for our requirements here," said Mick, who heads a team of eight grounds staff responsible for maintaining the 13 full size pitches set within the 90 acre facility. "I chose the Iseki tractor because I've had an older model, which was easy to use, easy to maintain and thoroughly reliable. Add this to the excellent service from Rickerby's and I saw no reason to change.
"Earlier this season we became the first football club in the country to have Mansfield Sand's Fibrelastic turf pitches at both the stadium and training ground and the players love it. They incorporate small elastic fibres in the top 100mm of the rootzone which is similar to a typical fibre reinforced, sand rootzone but it's more player friendly because of the reduced hardness and extra resilience of the surface. The performance of the LF3800s is still excellent on these new surfaces."
Meanwhile down at the St James' Park stadium, Deputy Head Groundsman Andrew Tulley has taken delivery of Ransomes Matador walk-behind mower with a special 9-blade cutting cylinder for match-day pitch preparation.
"I was previously using a Ransomes Mastiff, but have switched to the Matador as it's lighter and will help reduce compaction. I've got it set a 27mm and it gives us a 'bowling green' type finish, which the boss and players really appreciate," he added.