One of Britain's most progressive sports turf contractors has equipped 10 of its specialist turf renovation and soil working machines with a Turfmech Viba-Timer vibration-activated hour meter.
Sheffield-based Premier Pitches put its new Viba-Timer hour meters to work for the first time during the renovation in mid February of the pitch at Bolton Wanderer's Reebok Stadium. Within a week of completing this job, the company's staff, tractors and Viba-Timer equipped machines headed south to prepare the ground ready for the laying of a new pitch at Stamford Bridge, home of 2006 Barclays Premiership Champions, Chelsea.
Launched last November, the Viba-Timer uses a highly-sensitive vibration detection system to capture every movement of the machine to which it is fitted. The movement is recorded and displayed in hours and tenths of an hour on a quartz crystal display, which has a guaranteed accuracy of + or - 0.01 per cent.
An important feature of the Viba-Timer is that it requires no external power source and no wiring. All of the power needed is supplied by an internal battery with a working life of up to eight years.
Managing director of Premier Pitches, Carl Pass, said that the Viba-Timer hour meters would be of tremendous long-term benefit to his company in a number of areas including the accurate scheduling of future machinery maintenance, assessing the wear rates of working parts and boosting future resale values.
"The major plus point of being able to record accurately the working hours of each machine is that we will now be able to carry out routine servicing and maintenance in full accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations," he said. "Previously, we could only guess at the number of hours actually completed by individual machines and, to be on the safe side, we were probably servicing them far more frequently than the recommended intervals. This not only pushed up costs but meant we had to have additional machines as a back-up for those being serviced."
Now, with Viba-Timers fitted to 10 important front-line machines and more planned for the future, Premier Pitches is able to maintain an accurate daily record of working hours and machine performance which will help it keep the lid on running costs while ensuring that future servicing is carried out on time and on schedule.
Carl Pass commented that knowing how many working hours a machine had actually completed would be of great help to the business when the time came to replace the item. "Additionally, being able to compare the timing of component failures and the replacement frequency of wearing parts from different suppliers will be extremely useful when considering new equipment," he explained.
"There is not a huge choice of specialist pitch renovation and soil preparation machinery on the market. Knowing how a particular machine has performed in the past over a specific number of hours will tell us what we can reasonably expect from its replacement in the future. The Viba-Timer's ability to record the working hours of just about any machine not equipped with an in-built hour meter makes it both an extremely useful management tool and a great aid to machinery owners, operators and service personnel."
Turfmech Machinery Ltd, Hangar 5, New Road, Hixon, Staffordshire ST18 0PJ, UK
Tel: + 44 (0)1889 271503 ▪ email: email@example.com ▪ www.turfmech.co.uk