Since 2002 the pitches at Newcastle United's Darsley Park training ground have been cut with Ransomes and Jacobsen mowers.
Currently, three LF570s and five Mastiffs are used to cut the 13 pitches that are maintained by head groundsman, Mick Curran, and his staff with two of the original Mastiffs from 2002 still in use.
Through the years Newcastle's ride-on fleet has graduated through the LF range, and it is the new features and excellent service from Ransomes Jacobsen dealer, Rickerby, that has kept Mick cutting with orange and green for almost three decades.
"I started off with the LF's in 2002, and they've got better as the years have gone on," Mick said. "On the newer model you can set the reel speed and forward speed, so if I think the lads are cutting too fast, I can peg them back, and that's a big point. It helps with the consistency of cutting across the site, and the cut we get from the mowers is first-class."
"Reliability, quality of cut and being able to get spare parts easily has kept me using them for 17-years along with the service and back-up we've received from Rickerby which has been excellent."
"It's very important for us if we get a break down in the summer when we're cutting 24/7 that we can get a part or have it fixed as soon as possible. Nine times out of ten they'll be out the same day sorting the problem, and that really is important for us."
While the LF570's are in action for the summer, once winter rolls around the Mastiffs take over. Like most training grounds, Mick is under pressure to keep the pitches cut and ready for use, and the warmer wet weather in September and October 2019 has highlighted the importance of having reliable pedestrian machines.
"The little club I started at had Mastiffs, so I've been brought up on them. It's in wet conditions like we've had over September and October this year that the Mastiff's really work well for us. The quality of cut is second to none, the finish has always been good, the blade setting and height of cut is dead easy to set, and the maintenance of them is easy as well."
"We need the reliability from the mowers because if you get behind it can be really difficult to catch up. We've had horrendous weather in these last two weeks, and the grass is still ticking away where you need to cut it twice a week. So, when you get that sort of weather this time of year, and you can't cut for two or three days you start falling behind."
"In the winter, we put the LF's away, they get cleaned down and serviced, and we get the Mastiff's out. We use them in the winter when the grass isn't growing as much, and you're looking to avoid stressing the turf and using the pedestrian machines rather than the ride-ons is perfect for that."