Andy Richards, Grounds Manager at Shrewsbury School, one of the country's leading independent schools, has recently purchased a new SISIS Rotorake TM1000 complete with a range of interchangeable reels to complete end of season renovations.
The new machine, which was delivered by Jim Clarke Machinery, will be used by Andy and his team of grounds staff on not just the football, rugby and lacrosse pitches for end of season renovations but also the cricket wickets.
The SISIS Rotorake TM1000 is a tractor mounted heavy duty scarifier and linear aerator which removes and controls thatch on fine and other quality turf.
Boasting first class sports facilities, Shrewsbury School's U15A cricket team have recently secured a place in the Finals of the National ESCA/ECB U15 T20 and Andy and his team are paying particular attention to the cricket squares to ensure a quality team play on a superior surface.
"We are starting our autumn renovations on our cricket squares and have decided to fraise mow the surface to remove the organic matter. To do this we've been using the SISIS TM1000 with the fraise mowing reel," said Andy.
Fraise mowing is one of the most important areas of maintenance on any sports or amenity turf area to reduce or remove 'thatch' and moss. By carrying out this procedure in autumn, it helps turf drain and end of season over-seeding establish before winter sets in. Andy's aim is to apply a heavier top dressing this year so that he doesn't get any trapped organic matter underneath the surface, which can affect ball bounce.
"The fraise mowing we've completed on this square with the TM1000 has given us excellent results in a quick and easy manner.
"We will use this machine not just purely on our cricket pitches, but also for scarifying our first team football pitch in four or five directions down to a depth of 10 mm. We will also use it on our lacrosse pitch and our rugby pitch to verticut and thin out unwanted growth and not only do we fraise mow our cricket squares but we also scarify our junior squares. All of this is possible with the TM1000 because of the new interchangeable reels; meaning one machine can carry out a number of different jobs," he said.
Andy has been the grounds manager at Shrewsbury School for the past four years and the arrival of the SISIS TM1000 has signalled the end of under-performing machinery he has previously used.
"We purchased the SISIS TM1000 because of its versatility and its ability to do different tasks. Our previous scarifier was one dimensional," he said. "One of the big plus points with the SISIS TM1000 is the interchangeable reels. We can quickly change the fraise mowing reel to a scarifying reel to a verticut reel which makes it a much more versatile machine than any other scarifying machine on the market.
"I'd recommend the SISIS TM1000 to any sports facility. Its versatility and user friendliness will benefit any surface, whether it's a light scarificaton, verticut or fraise mowing."