A fleet of Charterhouse Verti-Drains are helping Mirfield, Yorkshire contractor Alan Chappelow return golf courses to optimum condition while keeping the members happy.
Alan, whose company, Alan Chappelow Sports Ground Contractor Ltd serves golf and sports ground customers all over the country, has more than 20 years experience in the industry, which he puts to good use in getting the best out of machinery.
"We have four Verti-Drains in total, two heavy duty 7626 models, a 2.6m working width 7526 and a smaller 7316, which comes into its own on greens and tees. We can use the three bigger machines together to give golf courses the best de-compaction service in the very short time window open to them." At Moor Allerton Golf Course in Leeds, head greenkeeper Marcus Oakey was delighted when Alan and his team - his two sons also work in the business - were able to Verti-Drain 27 holes in three days. "It can take weeks to do that big a job, but golf club members don't appreciate the course being out of play, so word has quickly got round and we have been approached by other clubs to do the same for them. They like the idea of such an efficient service," says Alan.
The Verti-Drain also offers the advantage of being able to work at full depth of 40cm, and at maximum heave, giving highly effective de-compaction. "And yet there is no surface disruption - Moor Allerton Golf Club were very impressed with the finish," says Alan. "There are faster machines on the market, but they just cannot work to this depth, which is essential on the clay and stone. The work at Moor Allerton was completed in the autumn, and gave the course an excellent preparation for the hard winter that followed."
The two big machines are pulled by 120hp John Deere tractors, and Alan says that while a smaller tractor would suffice, he 'likes to be on top of the job'. He comments that the ability to work so deep makes the Verti-Drain especially versatile, as it can still de-compact effectively even when the first 10cm of the tine is worn down. "The adjustable front roller is also useful as you can quickly and easily lift the machine clear of any obstructions on the course," he adds.
Alan admits that as a contractor, he works his machines hard, and has an in-house mechanic for servicing, with parts supplied by Campey Turfcare, but the Verti-Drain stands the test of time even with such a rigorous workload. The 7526 has been in the fleet for eight years, and Alan comments that after an overhaul this winter, it is working as well as ever.
He also has a Charterhouse Disc Seeder and Verti-Core in his armoury, and says "We wouldn't be the cheapest contractor in the area, but we like to reinvest in the best machinery. The Charterhouse machines represent real value for money and allow us to do a quality job."
Charterhouse Turf Machinery Ltd., Weydown Industrial Estate,
Weydown Road, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 1DW UK
Tel: +44 (0)1428 661222 - Fax: +44 (0)1428 661218 - www.charterhouseturfmachinery.co.uk