With approximately 80 acres of sports turf making up the 250 acre estate of Merchant Taylors' School, the key word for Grounds Manager Richard Ayling when it comes to maintenance is 'efficiency'.
Delivering that efficiency when it comes to topdressing is a Rink 2020 dropdresser from Redexim - purchased originally for the purpose of applying loam to the schools 11 cricket squares, but now demonstrating versatility for year-round applications around the site.
Richard and his team of nine are responsible for the upkeep of the surfaces, which alternate between summer and winter sports for use by both the pupils and a number of teams from the community. "It's a high usage site and the equipment we use needs to be able to keep up with the tight turnarounds and renovation windows we have to work to" explains Richard, who has been at the independent day school for 26 years.
"Every cricket renovation season, we're applying around 32 tonnes of loam dressing and our previous machine would only hold a quarter of a tonne at a time so we needed something bigger to make the job quicker and less labour intensive." After researching the options available, it was a Rink 2020 that fitted the bill - accurately and evenly distributing dressings and offering a 2.0m3 hopper capacity, equating to two tonnes of cricket loam per load.
"What we didn't want with a bigger machine is something that would result in increased compaction. The design of the Rink, with its large rear tyres, effectively spreads the weight so we pass over the squares and leave no marks. It's incredibly easy to use and adjust meaning we can simply load it up and go - getting the operation done, quicker and with improved quality of distribution."
Thanks to its ability to accurately adjust the spreading thickness, once cricket renovation season is complete in early autumn, the Rink will then switch to hold sand and/or topdressing soil for in-season dressing and repairs to the football pitches and lawned areas. "What was initially purchased as a solution to one specific problem, has become a versatile machine which we use in different ways throughout the maintenance calendar. It's been a fantastic addition to our fleet."