New high capacity self-propelled sprayer from Techneat
Techneat Engineering has launched the new high capacity SPPS-125, to extend its range of Self-Propelled Pedestrian Sprayers (SPPS). The top-of-the-range model incorporates a large 125-litre tank, uprated pump capacity, wide low-ground pressure tyres and the option for spray boom width of up to four-metres - along with optional foam bout markers for accurate application.
The SPPS-125 is specifically designed to fulfill the needs of football and rugby club grounds' managers, local authority ground keepers and professional contractors maintaining large areas of fine turf and grassland.
Operators can now treat a full size football pitch in just two tank fills, compared to up to five fills with a 75-litre capacity machine. Fitted with a two meter boom, the SPPS-125 can spray over 3km of pathway at 200 l/ha from a single fill.
Tom Neat of Techneat Engineering reports: "The existing Techneat SPPS range has proven an extremely reliable, accurate and convenient tool for all spray applications, including liquid fertilisers, herbicides, fungicides and grassland nutrient supplements. Now operators can manage larger areas faster and more effectively.
"The SPPS range is a low-cost and simple to use option that enables grounds' managers to undertake spray applications in-house. The machine's ease of use ensures jobs are done quickly, efficiently and at the optimum time for the best results," he adds. Liquid fertilisers are most effective when applied little and often during the growing season to keep turf in the top condition, for example.
Incorporating its own power unit, the SPPS-125 is always ready for use, without the hassle or inconvenience of coupling-up to a tractor. The low boom height minimises the risk of spray drifting onto adjacent areas. Folding booms of 2, 3 or 4 metre width can be fitted. A precise and accurate boom control unit provides simple on/off control of the complete boom, with individual boom section isolators for treating restricted widths.
Low ground pressure tyres ensure the SPPS-125 can be used in any ground conditions suitable for spraying operations. The unique front-axle differential and rear castor wheel configuration makes the SPPS-125 highly maneuverable and eliminates turf scuffing when turning.
Existing users for the Techneat Self-Propelled Pedestrian Sprayer range include all the UK's Championship grass-court tennis venues, Premiership football clubs, rugby stadiums, bowling greens, golf clubs, schools and local authorities.
The SPPS-125 costs from £3015.
Training courses for SPPS operation and spray application techniques are also available.
Chelsea Football Club groundsman Kevin Fowler reports the Stamford Bridge pitch has never looked so green, an attribute he puts down to regular feeding with foliar fertiliser just before the big games.
The eyes of the world's media may be focused on the multi-million pound players that grace Chelsea's Stamford Bridge pitch. But it is down to Assistant Head Groundsman, Kevin Fowler, to make sure they have the perfect playing surface on which to perform.
Keeping the grass healthy, clean and, most importantly, green is a constant battle with a heavy playing schedule. Highly successful runs in cup competitions, in addition to topping the Premiership, not only takes its toll on the players, but the pitch has to stand up to extra games - often with three or four televised high profile games in the space of a fortnight.
One of the key tricks learned by Kevin this season has been to use a liquid foliar feed a few days before a game, to give the grass a real green boost. Using the club's Techneat SPPS-125 self-propelled walk-behind sprayer the high potassium Microflow formulation, with trace elements and rooting agent, are applied most weeks throughout the season.
"Granular fertilisers still provide the core nutrient requirement for strong rooting, but the nutrient release is just not predictable enough, particularly in the colder months. With the supplementary foliar fertilisers we can refresh the green leaf and keep it looking really good," reports Kevin.
Application of the liquid fertiliser is made in the relatively low water volume of 300l/ha. This retains as much of product as possible on the leaf surface for rapid absorption. The further advantage of low water volume application is the ability to spray the whole pitch with just two fills of the SPPS-125 sprayer's 125-litre tank. The whole process takes less than two hours from start to finish - half the time taken with a tractor mounted sprayer.
The tractor mounted sprayer took too long to set up, wasn't nearly so accurate or easy to use and, most importantly, left wheel marks that were clearly visible on match day TV cameras, adds Kevin. "That must have had some affect on the soil surface and drainage as well. The wide tyres and low weight of the SPPS-125 leaves no mark on the pitch."
Kevin highlights that it is important to keep the machine clean and flushed through with water after use, but other than that it is ready to use out of the store each time. A jug test checks the calibration before use, but has proven very consistent and highly accurate.
Although the Stamford Bridge undersoil heating and fibre sand base construction helps to maintain a good playing surface in the depths of winter, it does eliminate any beneficial winter kill of grass leaf diseases, and creates the perfect microclimate for disease to develop. In the past, the pitch has been affected by Helminthosporium Leaf Spot; once the disease takes hold the secondary melt out phase breaks out fungicides have little or no effect, advises Kevin.
Where any disease does occur, fast action to spray the affected areas can stop spread and minimise any effects. An application of Fusonil Turf (chlorothalonil) when any early spots are identified has helped prevent it developing further. Early spring applications also prevent Fusarium Patch developing as weather conditions warm up. Rimidin (fenarimol) has also proven effective on Fusarium Patch. "Having the sprayer conveniently on hand makes it quick and easy to tackle any problems," he adds.
But Kevin believes the creation of a healthy grass sward is by far the best route to eliminate the need for any routine fungicide treatments. Avoiding compaction, regular verti-draining and keeping the sward open and well fed are the key elements - ably achieved with the help of the Techneat SPPS-125.
Tel: 01353 862044