Rugby School, in Warwickshire, has achieved a significant improvement in the quality of its sports pitches and cut mowing by a quarter thanks to an investment in a range of Toro machinery.
One of the oldest and most respected public schools in England, rugby boasts 180 acres of turf, comprising 16 rugby pitches, five cricket grounds, 16 football pitches, plus another 11 pitches at a separate site a mile away.
"Taking care of all this grass is a massive task," explains head groundsman James Mead, "even with 18 grounds staff. Maintaining the highest quality turf at the school is vital, so after years of using a variety of machinery we decided to look at bringing in something which could make more significant improvements all round.
"We trialed a Toro Groundsmaster 3500-D Sidewinder and it produced excellent results. What we were looking for was quality of presentation, finish and cut, and it excelled in all these criteria."
James has subsequently brought in three other Toro machines - a Groundsmaster 4500-D and two e2050 electric Workman utility vehicles. He is also trialing a ProCore 648 pedestrian aerator and results so far are positive. "We are very impressed with The ProCore's smoothness of operation, quality of hole pattern and speed. It's also easy to use and produces very little vibration, which makes it comfortable to operate.
"Since we've been using the Toros we have seen a four-fold improvement in quality, and cut our mowing time by a quarter. This means we can cut the grass more often, improving the turf still further, plus it gives us more time to do other maintenance tasks. And the team really love using the machines because they are so easy and comfortable to operate.
"We've had excellent service from both Andy Humble, from Lely, and our local dealer The Mower Shop. It's great to know we have reliable back-up and support."