To keep on top of the maintenance of a newly-laid 4G astro surface at their Ralston Training Complex, St Mirren FC have purchased an RTC unit from Charterhouse Turf Machinery. For the facility's sole Groundsman, Alan Michie, it has improved both the efficiency and speed of regular surface brushing.
Forming part of the 3.7 hectare site, the artificial pitch is home to first team and academy training throughout the week, and matches at the weekend. "Just before the 4G pitch was open for play in September, I was very pleased to find a new RTC brush unit from Charterhouse land at my door" explains Alan, who has been running the training ground for the last two and a half years. "We had previously used a tractor and brush combination which wasn't the most practical - timely to set up and, being in one of the wettest areas in the country, often meant I was unable to get out at all."
"The Chairman and Head Groundsman at the stadium had been in talks with Ian Lauder of Charterhouse and decided the versatility and simplicity of the RTC was a perfect fit to keep on top of the regular maintenance. Ian came in to do some training with me, but it's so simple to use, it's fantastic. If I'm struggling for time, the guy who looks after our youth department will go out and brush for me. He finds it therapeutic!"
The convenience of a self-contained unit means Alan can easily keep up with the regular maintenance on the high-wear surface, brushing on average five or six times a week. The RTC brushes fold to allow storage and access through gaps as narrow as 90cm, although when deployed, the unit will cover an impressive 200cm in one-pass. "I can also use the tow bar on the back to take other tools out with me that I use for work on the natural grass pitches. It pulls a small trailer no problem."
Proving itself to be a real multi-purpose machine, Alan adds, "it does a fantastic job of levelling off the pitch, spreading the rubber well to prevent compaction. The ongoing maintenance of the unit is also very simple. For me, it's crucial that the maintenance is simple, but effective. For this, the RTC is ideal."