Everyone has their own motivation for an aeration programme. Some see it as a way of maximising the playing season, keeping an operation playable as long as possible. Others focus on preparing turf for the extremes of weather, in readiness for coping with bouts of heavy rain or indeed a dry summer.
Whatever the impetus deep aeration is the prerequisite for healthy root growth. It is vital to decompact the ground regularly as that way grass roots penetrate deeper into the soil and take greater benefit from water and nutrients. Water and air circulation are enhanced, thatch is removed and shearing strength increased.
Wiedenmann's latest deep aerator, the Terra Spike GXi8 HD is at the fore front of deep-loosening technology. Installed in its launch year at literally dozens of courses and clubs up and down the country, it has forged a reputation for infinite precision at 250 mm and an immaculate neat finish. Engineered primarily for tees, greens and fine turf areas, its German designers deliberately crafted its crankshaft sufficiently robust for use on fairways, excepting those built on a rocky sub soil. Therefore consider the 'HD' standing for 'heavy duty'. Outstanding stability is also achieved as the centre of gravity is now closer to the tractor. The tines are now nearer to the front roller ensuring a uniform job on undulating greens.
With a working width of 1.8 metres it can cover an impressive 5800m²/ hour at 110 mm square hole spacings. Because of its rear roller fitted as standard, there is very little impact to the players or to ball roll. This unparalleled combination of effective working depth, speed and tidiness hasn't gone unnoticed by those who have to factor in an aeration programme with minimal disruption to play.
Bruce Cruickshank, course manager at Hamilton GC, says: If we've been over the greens and fairways there is no disturbance to the playing surface and members are unaffected."
The GXI8 HD really suits the new breed of medium size tractors, the 1.8m width of Terra Spike being wider than the tractor wheel span and so there are no issues with tractor tyres backing over newly tined ground.
Within the "dirt zone" the only consumables are the tines; the buffers and springs enjoy a long lifetime. Unlike shallow working machines, solid tines are available from just 5 mm right up to 20 mm wide. Coring tines start at 5 mm and go up to 17 mm wide. By using a variety of tines in combination, soil decompaction and soil exchange can be done cost effectively using only one machine.
In common with others in the Wiedenmann fleet, its balanced crank shaft, sprung-loaded headstock -the VibraStop-and PowerPacks are part of the anti-shock anti vibration system built into the machine. These protect the machine, the tractor and, crucially, the operator. The GXi8 also employs the Quick Set system altering depth, kick and heave angle with one tool-free, central adjustment.
Course Manager at Bonnyton GC, Ross Monaghan says: It offers a natural progression in Wiedenmann engineering with smooth effortless action. It moves better, there are less lubrication points making it easy to maintain and for the team, it's straightforward to operate, not complicated at all."
The Terra Spike GXi 8 HD comes with rear roller and PTO shaft as standard. It fits tractors from 35 hp to 60 hp and brings the number of deep fast aerators in the Wiedenmann Terra Spike range to ten.
Wiedenmann UK website www.wiedenmann.co.uk