Why are pre emergent herbicides important?


Before turning to any chemical for any reason it’s important to make sure you have good cultural practices in place, simple things like washing down machinery between fields and hand weeding before the problem gets out of hand.

So what are pre emergent herbicides, they are a form of chemical weed control which prevent germinated weed seedlings from becoming established.

The most important thing to understand before using any a herbicide to control a weed is what is an actual weed.

A weed is a plant considered undesirable plant where you don’t want it to grow.

Once you know the weed you are targeting you can then move onto the next step by choosing the right chemical for the job.

There is many ways your sports surface, grassed area or lawn can be infested with weeds.

Things like the following 

*Weed seeds falling off footwear or machinery from other areas or sites.

*Flooding with flood waters or storm water run off bringing in weed seeds.

*Bird droppings and pets 

*Wind blowing seeds onto your surface 

*Grass stolons and rhizomes (runners)

Using a pre emergent herbicide can protect your surface from situations out of your control especially in open spaces to the public and flood affected areas where seeds can float onto your surface.

If you have areas that have great coverage and low traffic you should be able to manage weeds manually by hand as weed will mainly take advantage of a weak point in your surface giving it a chance to thrive, but if you are in a high risk area of weed seed contamination a pre emergent herbicide could be a great choice.

It is always important to remember not to apply any pre emergent herbicide if you want to re seed any areas as pre emergent herbicides prevent seeds from germinating.

Pre emergent herbicides are available in liquid and granular form from the home lawn to sports fields. It is very important to chose the right one for your situation as majority of them cause root shearing where roots from stolons (runners) cannot anchor down into the soil.

So if you surface is highly used your options shrink compared to an area where the grass coverage stays the same all year.

For more information on Pre Emergent Herbicides check out our website for your free International Greenkeepers – 2022 Turf Pesticide manual.


If you are still uncertain on what path to choose please do not hesitate to contact International Greenkeepers for some great free advice.

Thanks Daryl Davidson 



The Groundsman Test Drive / Toro Reelmaster 5010 Hybrid

The Groundsman Test Drive

Huge thanks to Michel Guirgus from the GYC Mower Depot in Sydney Australia for coming out to demonstrate a great machine from Toro.

Model ?

Toro Reelmaster 5010 Hybrid

Price range ?

From $86000 AUD depending on the selected accessories.

Purpose ?

Cylinder mower for large area sporting surfaces and fine turf.

Specifications ?

The Reelmaster 5010-H is the industry’s first and only fairway mower with a true hybrid drive system. The Reelmaster 5010-H utilises a Kubota 24.8 hp diesel engine in concert with an in-line motor generator and a self-recharging 48-volt battery pack to provide seamless power to the machine and cutting units. The combination of these two power sources comprises Toro’s patented hybrid power delivery system called Power Match. Power Match enables the Reelmaster 5010-H to match the power generated to the power required for all cutting conditions. The result is the availability of over 40 horsepower, but only when cutting conditions require it.

Fuel Type ?

This is a Hybrid Mower that runs on Diesel Fuel but also has a 48V battery back that drives the electric motors on the reels.

Height of Cut range ?

8 blade reels range is 13 mm to 25 mm

11 blade reels range is 6mm to 19 mm

The high height of cut kit (HOC) which is optional increase the range from 25 mm to 38 mm if required

What makes it different from the rest ?

• QR code System enabling the operator or a technician to scan it and login directly to online material related to the machine (operators manual, spare parts, hydraulic, electric and wiring schematics, etc).
• 96 less potential Hydraulic line leaks.
• New and improved DPA (dual point adjustment) Edge series reels. The new reels offer less reel to bedknife adjustments, less griding, and longer edge retention. Because of the modified reel geometry, it provides a cleaner cut and better grass collection. They come standard with low-drag seals and low-friction bearings which reduces the power required to run reels which will also increase available power for the traction system.
• You can control the reel speed and clip rate using the onboard InfoCenter.
• On-board backlapping through the InfoCenter.
• The 48 Volt battery system provides supplemental power, matching power output to the actual requirements of your application.
• Less hydraulic maintenance by eliminating more than 96 potential leak points.
• Fuel efficient; 20% to 35% fuel savings.
• 30% longer usage without grinding.
• Electrical components are sealed for protection from elements – can be washed.
• The machine is much quieter during both, transport and mowing than any other competitor.
• Significant reduction in the machine’s carbon footprint.

How long do the batteries last for and what happens to them if you don’t use them for long periods of time ?

There are four 12V Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) sealed and maintenance-free lead carbon batteries, they last at least 3000 hours

The AGM batteries will hold charge for extended periods of time and also automatically recharge (if needed) as soon as you start the engine.

How much does it cost to replace the batteries ?

Approx $1500 AUD

How much fuel do you save being a hybrid ?

20-35% less fuel consumption

How do you adjust the Height of cut and Quality of Cut ?

There are two simple adjusters for the height of cut, dual adjustments on the front of the reel, then spacers on the rear roller to adjust how aggressive the cut is if needed, which helps produce darker stripes but if the cut is too aggressive, could potentially wear out the blades quicker. If the cut becomes ‘too aggressive’, there is more risk of over stressing the grass, especially at lower height of cuts.

To adjust the quality of cut there is a new and improved DPA (dual point adjustment) Edge series reels. The new reels offer less reel to bedknife adjustments, less griding, and longer edge retention.

Alex Gill, the Assistant Head Groundsman from Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness test drove the beast and here are his comments.

How does it perform ?

Performed really well. Machine was quiet and quality of cut was amazing.

Is it comfortable and easy to use ?

Very comfy. Felt very smooth going over the turf. Pretty straight forward to use. Didn’t love the way you control revs but other than that was fine.

Score out of 10 from Alex Gill ?




Glyphosate will kill you! By Wendy Morris

Another great article by Wendy Morris from Turf Wicket Maintenance.

Glyphosate will kill you!


Upon learning I’m a greenkeeper, many people become very concerned that glyphosate will kill me.  Now, notwithstanding that we use limited amounts of the chemical, it always surprises me how entrenched the fear is and how quick they are to warn me of the dangers.


I ask them ‘why not worry about the sun?’


I’m exposed to the sun nearly every day of my life.  It is a proven carcinogenic.  Australia has the highest melanoma rate in the world and by the age of seventy, two thirds of us will have been diagnosed with some type of skin cancer.  Ask your GP how they feel about you foregoing the long and long, the sunscreen and the hat, and they will quickly counsel you to not doing anything so stupid if you want to live.


But for whatever reason, many people don’t trust the APVMA, an organisation filled with people whose education on chemical safety far obliterates any layperson’s knowledge, when they tell us Glyphosate doesn’t pose a carcinogenic risk to humans.  Nor do these people trust the European Food safety Authority or the US Food and Drug Administration, who also found that Glyphosate is unlikely to be a carcinogen.


‘But there was that court case in America!’  Well, yes, there were court cases in the US, where civil juries agreed with plaintiffs that RoundUp caused cancer.


To understand why a jury may have reached this conclusion, we need to understand how the legal system works.  In many countries, including Australia and the USA, to prove someone is guilty of a criminal case the prosecution needs to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt, whereas for a civil case (such as Johnson v. Monsanto Co) the plaintiff (person initiating the lawsuit) only needs to prove there is a higher than 50% chance that they are right.


Now imagine you are selected to sit on a jury.  The plaintiff is arguing that an imported species knowns as Bobble Lizardkills dogs, and the plaintiff wants a million bucks in compensation because his Bobble Lizard killed his dog.  The defendant denies this and asserts the plaintiff’s dog died of natural causes.


Lawyers from both sides argue their case.  They are presented equal opportunities to present evidence which may or may not be independent.  You yourself may not understand what ‘peer reviewed’ evidence is, and you can’t do any research on Bobble Lizard during the trial, because the rules of the game forbid it.  In short, you have two parties arguing their case and you are inherently led to believe that both sides are of equal merit.




In 2015, Dr Stefaaan Blancke, an Assistant Professor at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, published an article titled ‘Why do people oppose GMO’s even though science says they are safe’.   While the article relates to attitudes towards Genetically Modified Organisms, I believe a lot of the feelings that people have towards GMO’s have the same basis as their outlook on Glyphosate.


Glyphosate is unnatural, and therefore goes against the will of nature.  As humans, we are nervous about anything unnatural.  We like to believe that natural design isn’t nearly as flawed as it actually is.  Look at organic products for instance – they are generally well received by the public, despite organic chemicals being just as toxic as synthetic ones **


As you sit on a jury, half the time you’re hearing that Bobble lizard kill dogs, and the other half you’re hearing the Bobble Lizard don’t.  You are suspicious of Bobble Lizard because you know nothing about them, and the plaintiff’s lawyer seemed very convincing.  Your intuition is saying unfamiliar = unsafe.  Plus, the defendant’s lawyer failed to adequately explain why the dog lost a tooth two weeks after the Bobble Lizard moved into the defendant’s home.   You figure that all things being equal, you’re going to side with the plaintiff, who is also doing a great job at showing their distress over the loss of their dog.  The defendant, meanwhile, wears a suit and at one point rolled their eyes at the plaintiff’s testimony.


I’m not surprised Monsanto lost the case.


Now you might have finished reading this article and figured I love spraying.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We’re contractors, and spraying is time consuming and expensive.  We need to lug chemicals and equipment to site, we need to find suitable areas to measure and mix.  Spraying often constitutes a separate visit to site, which puts us behind our usual program, and costs us money in fuel and tolls.  Spraying is a pain, and we’d far rather improve our cultural practices to avoid doing any in the first place.  I don’t doubt the overwhelming majority of greenkeepers feel the same way.


However, sometimes the only way to get on top of a problem is to spray.  And frankly, as an industry we deserve to use inexpensive, effective chemicals that the experts deem safe, rather than being forced into using less safe, less effective and more expensive products because of a layperson’s ‘intuition’.






You stumble upon a bar.

You stumble upon a bar.

By Wendy Morris

Operations Manager at Turf Wicket Maintenance.


You stumble upon a bar and enter.  Everyone inside is female and Taiwanese.  Most ladies are between thirty-five and fifty-five and you can tell by the way they look at you that they’re surprised you’re there.  One of them may ask you your favourite Taiwanese beer, and if you fail to answer, she and several others scoff at you. It’s not an auspicious or enjoyable start to your evening.


Next door is a bar that friends and family have recommended.  Inside, everyone else is the same demographic as you.  You know the beer, you know all of the ‘rules’ and you won’t stand out.  You know you will feel safe and welcome and if you don’t fit in, you won’t take it personally – you already know of a similar bar down the street, where other friends go, where you know the rules, and where everyone is the same demographic as you.


Where are you going to go?  Probably the second bar. The first bar wasn’t welcoming, you didn’t feel at home and in reality, if you hadn’t accidentally stumbled upon it, you wouldn’t have even known it existed.   If you consider the first bar is a sports field complex and the second a supermarket, it should give you some insight as to why greenkeepers are overwhelmingly white and male (government statistics show that only 3% of greenkeepers are female*).  


Now let’s say you’re the owner of the first bar, and you want to expand your business.  You want some white blokes to come along, spend their money and drink your beer.  Running an ad in the paper isn’t going to help.  You need to go out there and make your bar inviting.


That, in a nutshell, is why there aren’t more women in greenkeeping, and what you need to do to if you want to attract a broader range of employees.


There are certainly those in greenkeeping who prefer male workforces.  Men can, as a rule, lift heavier stuff, and if every employee is male, there is no need to worry about ordering in a uniform that fits a woman.  On the flip side, women have a better reputation for maintaining machinery and paying attention to detail, and if you’re not gender specific, your pool of potential employees is a lot higher – which benefits an industry that struggles to attract applicants.  


Frankly, I think more women should look at greenkeeping.  Sure, it isn’t always a fun job.  Sometimes it’s hot, sometimes it’s frigid, sometimes the traffic is bad and machinery breaks down and you have clients breathing down your neck, interfering and putting you further behind.  But it is also a field where almost every day you get to see the sun, and move around, and use not only your hands, but your mind.  Your uniforms are supplied, there is no expectation to wear heels or make-up, and most greenkeepers can go on holidays without being obligated to check emails or answer phone calls.  The industry is growing and work is more likely to be full time than in other industries.  


Further, while we all know the pay isn’t terrific, it’s an industry where equal pay for equal work isn’t a pipe dream – it seems to be reality.  While there is little statistically valid information available, what data there is suggests that women don’t seem to suffer the irritatingly common fate of being paid less than their male colleagues for doing the same work with the same qualifications.


So if you’re an employer looking to attract more talent, or a woman looking to enter the field, all I can say is ‘go for it’.





Greenkeepers on the Frontline


Here is a great article from one of our team members at International Greenkeepers, Damien Curtis is spearheading a team of people in our industry working on the frontline in a lockdown zone in Sydney’s worst affected areas by this Delta Strain of Covid19 risking their lives to help make the community safe.

International Greenkeepers would like to personally thank every person in the Turf Industry around the world putting themselves in the front line to make sure the world can have somewhere to go outside their house during this pandemic.

Damien Curtis -Acting City Works Manager Liverpool City Council

With all work scrutinized during a hard lock down due to Covid 19 work in Local government areas get broken down into 2 groups -Essential / and non essential .
Most of us would expect Garbage collection and the repair of roads as essential but we also define Parks and open space areas as essential also .
In open space areas we have a duty of care to provide a safe and clean areas for the public to exercise in which in our areas include walking tracks in native bush land ,open space sporting fields ,playgrounds ,play gyms, dog parks and general passive open space areas .
Sports have been cancelled but our sports fields are probably getting more wear and tear now due to the sheer number using them to exercise .
Without eyes checking that these above areas are safe we leave ourselves exposed to residents and guests injuring themselves especially when exercise is there only form of outside entertainment in a hard lock down scenario.
This is why in our local government areas grounds staff are a critic part of our work force .
The first item to consider in any lock down is what are the latest public health orders and how will they affect the safe delivery of service to our open space areas.
We like all industries will be given perimeters to work within then we must apply for essential work permits which come with many restrictions that are necessary for us to work in .
The fines for businesses and individuals are quiet large and the other side to this is we do not want to have staff or the public put in danger if we are not abiding by strict legislation put in place by multiple Government agencies .
Some of the provisions this time round are collecting data on staff living in hot zones that require Covid testing every 3 days .
The use of extensive PPE and hiring additional vehicles to service areas due to distance regulations in trucks and work vehicles.
Recording all entry and exits into depots by staff with bar codes and manual recording and restricting visitors if possible.
In house Covid Testing for staff to minimize the distribution to there already busy lifestyle of working and living in hard lock down areas .

Creating work schedules where sanitizing hard stand amenities such as playgrounds and seating become more important than mowing or gardening.
Staggered start and finish times to avoid congestion in our depots .
Creating satellite depots to spread the work force out in case a close contact takes out a whole section for 14 days and we can continue with the delivery of critical work from other depots.
In regards to our sporting fields and high profile areas we are continuing with our spraying programs for Pests /Weeds and Disease  especially targeting weeds such as Burr Medic and Bindii as these weeds pose considerable a safety risk to our users if they flower so it’s important for us to reduce this risk .
This is still deemed essential as is auditing and fixing irrigation issues as again water leeks and breaks are a danger to the users of our open space areas.
Last lock down we completed many renovations processes as the sports were cancelled but this lock down all construction and non critical work has been fagged so we cannot use this window to complete small capital works on our fields .
Providing the best PPE and making sure our staff use this and are updated on the latest public health orders which are changing daily .
We still continue to maintain our open spaces to a standard but with a focus on sanitizing and litter removal combined with more stringent inspection on assets to identify safety concerns in a more efficient time frame.
One of the difficult issues is a large amount of our residents are out of work or stood down temporarily due to the hard stage 4 lock down which has greatly affected our local government area which is 310 square kilometers in a high density area with lots of blue collar trade employees in our local government area .
We actually get busier now with the only form of normality for residents is to go into our open space areas and exercise the body and mind .
We also get more vandalism and theft and lots of our staff can be subjected to abuse from frustrated open space users who feel the need to take out life’s frustrations on them .
This issue gets tool boxed and talked about so we can give our staff strategies to deal with these issues as it is a very challenging time when residents cannot feed there families or service there debts due to no income coming in.
We must also manage our staff mental and physical well being implementing guidelines to identify risks ,allow different leave patterns to be authorized and effectively communicate from the high levels down to the field staff with clear messaging.
In terms of maintenance most Local Government staff are the last line of call outs and we call this the phone a friend scenario due to being called out to electrical issues with our tree teams cutting fallen trees over power lines,our civil teams spreading sand on major and minor roads after an accidents and stopping pollutions going into water ways with spill kits and bundling .
Our traffic control teams are always utilized in storm events in conjunction with other state organizations to block roads and put in detours to reduce risk and make people safe from hazards .
Like all emergency management the layers only work when tryouts have clear and concise information communicated to all staff .
We are very lucky to have very experienced staff who have worked all over the world in critical situations and there calm demeanor and ability to mentor the less experienced staff has seen us adapt to the ever changing world we all now live in .
In times of crisis the great staff rise to occasion and i am very lucky to work with a fantastic team continuing to maintain our open space areas so our residents .
Stay safe and reach out to your industry friends and associates to help in times of need as no person has all the tools in there kit to solve all the problems or issues that come our way especially dealing with living organisms.

From a management prospective we need to record daily the below information.

-Staff leave -at present due to working in a hot spot we have many staff using up there accrued leave .
We have not forced this but are happy for staff to take leave as many look after there elderly family or kids who at the moment must be home schooled .

-We have staff redeployed from other areas of council who have been stood down in there substantive roles.
For this at the moment council pays a 4 week full time wage then our union is in negotiations to get some form of payment as local government workers are not covered by the old job keeper payment .

-Daily meetings with emergency management which includes NSW Health / Police/ RMS /Office of Local government .

We have set up many Covid Testing clinics in our open space parks and these change quiet often depending on the areas needing more resourcing.
The last week has seen us working to set up much needed vaccination hubs which are critical for the community .

The management team also look at our own hot spot congregation areas a and work with the authorities to close areas off .
Last year we closed sporting fields and play grounds but so far we on the direction from NSW Health have kept these facilities open so we dedicate more resources to clean and inspect above what we normally do outside of lockdown.

Kind Regards

Damien Curtis



SISIS Flexibrush gets results at Greetham


After the withdrawal of certain chemicals, Adi Porter, Course Manager at Greetham Valley Golf Club, has found the SISIS Flexibrush to be an ideal solution for dispersing worm casts.


Adi has been working at the East Midlands club for nearly thirty years and throughout that time he has seen it become one of the finest golf, hotel, leisure and conference venues in the area.


“We made a conscious effort to really push the standards,” said Adi. “It enabled us to significantly improve the presentation and we went from strength to strength. We soon found our membership at full capacity and had to put a waiting list in place – which was unheard of for clubs in this area.”


Under his remit, Adi is responsible for the maintenance of two 18-hole courses and a 9-hole course, a driving range, and a bowling green. Standards to Adi are everything, and he leaves no stone unturned when it comes to presenting ‘picture perfect’ facilities. It is for this reason, that he admits to being frustrated by an all-too-common issue.


“Worms are becoming more and more of a problem on every sports surface because we lost the chemical control a few years ago,” he said. “Here at Greetham, the worm population has undoubtedly increased and the worm casts can be a nuisance. If they are not kept on top of then they just get smeared into the grass with the golf that is played and foot traffic, trolleys and buggies.”


In looking for a non-chemical solution, Adi, who has been a long-term user of SISIS machinery, decided to investigate the SISIS Flexibrush.


The Flexibrush is a tractor mounted brush which is equally effective to disperse top dressing and remove excess material on natural turf and on synthetic surfaces. The versatile Flexibrush can also be used for dew dispersal and striping for improved presentation. It has a 5.35 metre working width, its brush sections float to follow ground contours and the outer sections fold for transport and storage.


A demonstration was arranged at the start of 2020 and Adi has not looked back since.

“It is a fantastic, quick and cost-effective way of removing or dispersing worm casts,” said Adi. “What really sold it to me is the size of it – some of the other brushes on the market for outfields and fairways are a lot narrower and I don’t think there is one wider than the Flexibrush.


“It is very productive, and we can easily do 36 holes in a day. I also like the fact that it folds up quicky – you can easily move it about the course, through trees and from fairway to fairway.


“Another main reason for purchasing it was so that we can use it for presentation,” he continued. “We will use it forbrushing before mowing to stand the grass up because it provides a better cut. Also, in the autumn and winter months when we are not actually cutting the grass, we can still present a fairway nicely by striping with the Flexibrush.


“It’s been a great purchase for us and as always we get a great service and back-up from SISIS,” Adi concluded.


For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact SISIS on 01332 824 777 or visit www.sisis.com


For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow SISIS on Twitter or Instagram @SISISMachinery and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/SISISMachinery. You can also view the latest SISIS videos by visiting www.youtube.com/SISISMachinery

Greenkeeping on a budget

Title: Greenkeeping on a budget

Author: Wendy Morris, Greenkeeper, Turf Wicket Maintenance Services


I didn’t intend to become a greenkeeper.  Prior to joining the industry, my last foray into the heady world of horticulture was back in the nineties, when I learned the high school agriculture teacher turned a blind eye to student’s smoking so long as when we were asked to work, we worked.  I was agreeable to this deal.


Well, that was over twenty years before my husband accidentally ended up with a greenkeeping business (a story for another day), and his sole staff member urgently needed time off.  I was happily working a white collar job, but had a frightening amount of annual leave up my sleeve.  The answer, it seemed, was obvious and so I traded the computer for a roller and spent the better part of the following three weeks going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.


Somehow, I ended up on the payroll, obtained a Cert II in Horticulture, completed a spray certificate and went through the tick and flick process of procuring a white card.  The office job became a distant memory.  Covid saw me half step out of the industry and move part time to production horticulture, but I continued mowing and spraying, fertilisingand advertising, marking and rolling.


After several years I finally felt confident enough to start talking to my industry peers.  And that’s when it hit me that we did things very, very differently to many of them.  Unlike my husband, who completed his apprenticeship at the Gabba under Kevin Mitchell Junior, I’d been inducted into a very different, much more cost conscious, world.


Our business has always been with local sporting clubs, small to medium sized schools, and the odd private client.  Equipment sheds are small, budgets are smaller still.  Often our fees are one of the highest expenditure items, outside of uniforms, that a club will face each year.  Committees can change annually.


The challenge is not to produce a premium product, but to produce a quality, consistent product in the most time efficient manner possible.  We are fortunate in that we receive significant support from club executive’s who largely have no practical experience in greenkeeping but have quickly learnedenough to respond to disgruntled team captains who are unhappy with our wicket selection for the round, and to nod appropriately when we discuss the pythium that’s made an appearance on their wicket after the team ‘forgot’ to remove the covers when the game got called off late Friday night. There isn’t much that beats the support of our client, and we are immensely grateful to all of the volunteers who keep their clubs running.


It is up to us to uphold our part of the bargain and justify our worth, and in between negotiating with dog walkers who don’t see the issue with Fido and Oscar cavorting on the wicket block as we are trying to seal a wicket, we have learned a few tricks to ensure the best possible outcomes.


Here are some of the things we’ve learned.


Maintaining turf coverage is tricky when you have a limited budget, year round cricket, and spikes aren’t worn by all players.  Throwing out a bag of urea is cheap and will get coverage up, but consistent use will lead to excess thatchinessand we do not have a single client that owns a scarifier (one doesn’t even own a functional cylinder mower).  Further, to keep costs down, we need to keep a close eye on the amount of labour we utilise in maintaining and preparing wickets, andscarifying every two months is not what we consider an effective use of time.


So what’s the alternative?  We have had to play around with different products at different grounds, but we consistently find ourselves using a lot of kelp based products.  We mix foliars with granulars, and save our premium products for periods where the turf is under high amounts of stress.


When it comes to covering wickets, there is no substitute for firm communication.  We are fortunate in that all our clients now own a hessian, a strip cover and a block cover.  What many players don’t understand is the cost and relative delicacy of a hessian.  We no doubt sound like broken records at times, but ensuring the club is drying and folding the hessian correctly on Saturday morning when the covers come off means we are not begging for a new hessian every nine to twelve months.  And asking a club to fold covers your preferred way can also result in significant time savings when it comes to putting covers back on!  We remind them that we budget x amount of hours at their Club each week and if we have to spent an hour untangling a mess, then that hour is deducted from their wicket prep.


Machinery maintenance and repairs is another area where costs can skyrocket.  This is where we as greenkeepers need to take the five minutes to do a pre start check each and every time and to operate machinery properly and with full care.


My habit of eating breakfast while backing a roller out of the shed seemed harmless until the chain on a roller snapped and two tonnes of steel suddenly picked up more speed than had hitherto been seen out of a Mentay.  With a half-eaten breakfast biscuit hanging from my mouth and a can of Pepsi Max precariously balanced on the front of the roller, I realised that if I didn’t divert the roller I was going to slide into a carpark and take out a hatchback.


I searched desperately for a tree to use as a blockade, but there were none in roller-turning-distance.  The decision was made to steer the roller onto the road where it would hopefully hit a traffic island and stop.  Fortunately, in between my current location and the traffic island was an area where council had recently upgraded the sewer line, and the ground was sitting unusually proud.  This was sufficient to stop the roller in it’stracks.  It was also sufficient to remind me that if I had to eat while on a roller, I should at least wait until I was on a flat surface!


Irrespective of how well we look after our machinery, it still needs servicing and at some point it will need to be repaired.  Newer machines may have specific requirements to ensure that warranties are retained, however it still pays to shop around.  It is important that service and repairs are well priced and undertaken within a reasonable time frame.  It is no use saving $50 on a repair if the shop you’ve chosen will take an extra three weeks to return your machine.


Developing a relationship with a competent mechanic can be a lifesaver.  Our mechanic has pulled our clients out of binds more times than we can count, and as they are independent, they can fix long-out-of-warranty mowers and rollers without demanding we wait three months to have a genuine replacement shipped from the US.


One last point for today – an extra jerry can or two can be the difference between having to buy fuel when you need it, andbeing able to stock up during low price periods.  We’ve paid between $1.09/L and $1.749/L for unleaded this year.  For a client using 15 litres of fuel a week, the difference between paying an average of $125.9/L and $1.45/L is $150 a year.


This might not be much to a stadium, but for us, it means that our clients can cover the cost of the tent pegs that disappear each year just prior to Easter, a container of Halosulfuron, and a bottle of Bundy for the best low-to-mid budget greenkeepers in Brisbane.


Mount Lawley GC impresses members with new equipment

Mount Lawley Golf Club, located in Perth, Western Australia, has taken delivery of a fleet of machinery from renowned turf equipment manufacturer Jacobsen, with local dealer McIntosh & Son making the delivery.

Rohan Farrow with an Eclipse2 walking greens mower in front of the clubhouse.

The golf club decided to invest in brand new machinery to improve the playing surface of the golf course for their members. The machinery leased through Jacobsen included two Eclipse 322 ride-on greens mowers, two LF570 light fairway mowers, one LF1880 super-light fairway mower, one AR722 rotary mower, one GP400 greens mower and four Eclipse2 walking greens mowers.

Rohan Farrow, Interim Course Superintendent at Mount Lawley Golf Club said he had carried out a lot of research before committing to Jacobsen machinery.

“I looked at our capital expenditure and took things into account, such as reliability, running costs and back-up support, before putting a case forward to the club. Jacobsen came out on top in all of the criteria and the demos that we had on the course, so it was an easy decision in the end.

“I am particularly impressed with the quality of cut that the Eclipse 322 and the Eclipse2 mowers produce. The members have noticed the difference on the greens, and the team really enjoys using the machines; they are easy to use and in my opinion, they are the best cutting machines in the industry,” Rohan commented.

The Eclipse2 walking greens mower also features a unique password-protected LCD menu which allows users to set the frequency of clip, mow speed and other settings to customise the mower to course conditions. There is a range of models available in both hybrid or electric.

“I also spoke to other Jacobsen customers before purchasing any machinery, and their feedback was very positive. Everyone spoke very highly of the machines; especially about the quality of cut and improvements they have seen on their respective courses,” Rohan added.

“I am particularly excited about the LF1880 fairway mower; I believe it will transform the course here and double our efficiency when cutting surrounds,” Rohan concluded.

Mike Foskett, Regional Sales Manager at Jacobsen, commented on the new fleet at Mount Lawley saying this was a significant deal for Jacobsen.

“Mount Lawley is a top-end club and has been using competitor equipment for a long time. We are pleased that they are seeing results on the golf course with the new Jacobsen equipment, and we look forward to building upon our relationship with Rohan and his team in the years to come.”

Mike Foskett, Regional Sales Manager at Jacobsen (left) with Rohan Farrow, Interim Course Superintendent of Mount Lawley Golf Club.

Mount Lawley Golf Club is located just 10 minutes from the centre of Perth city and is one of Western Australia’s premier sporting clubs. Since its formation in 1928, the Club and has hosted numerous State and National Amateur golf events and hosted the Western Australian Open Championships in 2013. The course measures 6,234 metres (Par 72) with a USGA Scratch Rating of 73 and is consistently ranked in Australia’s top 100 courses.


TBE Series mulchers latest innovation from Nobili

Nobili, the Italian manufacturer of precision munchers, has been represented in Australia by Silvan Australia for almost two decades and continues
to win international markets for its mulchers based on product quality and innovation.

The latest addition to the Silvan Australia range of Nobili vegetation mulchers is the hydraulic offset model TBE series with a working width from 1900 to 2600mm.

The latest Nobili innovation is the TBE series of mulchers that can be used both centrally behind a tractor and offset (left and right hand offset versions
are available). This makes them ideal for pasture mulching as well as roadside edges, verges or sloping ground.

The new Nobili TBE Series gives farmers, land managers and local government bodies a uniquely effective machine. With a working width from 1900mm
to 2600mm, the TBE Series is an ideal choice for a 70 to 180 horsepower (or 60 to 130kW) tractor.

The rotor blades of the Nobili TBE spin at 2205 rpm based on a PTO speed of 540 rpm with the choice of two different blade types depending on the type
of vegetation.

With a total weight from 925 to 1100 kgs, the Nobili TBE series is supplied complete with double skin, durable working skids and guards that ensure the
mulched material is deposited safely on to the ground behind the machine.

Silvan Australia’s machinery specialist Gavin Wheatcroft says Silvan has sold thousands of Nobili mulchers into all markets and application areas Australia
wide and despite a number of copyists they have earned an unparalleled reputation for quality and performance.

“Newly introduced, we will have the Nobili TBE Series of versatile offset mulchers available for demonstration across Australia.”

For more information on the Nobili range contact Silvan Australia on freecall 1300 SILVAN (1300 745 826) or email info@silvanaust.com or visit the website for technical specifications.


Cromer Golf Club keeps residents happy with Eclipse 322

Cromer Golf Club, located on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, has combatted regular noise complaints from local residents by investing in an all-electric Jacobsen
Eclipse 322 greens mower.

The Eclipse 322 was purchased to combat noise complaints from local residents

Half of the bushland championship golf course is surrounded by the Wheeler Heights residential area, and after an abundance of complaints about the early
morning noise levels, Superintendent Leon Hennessy decided that action needed to be taken.

“I was getting phone calls at least once a week from residents who were not happy with being woken up early due to the noise that our machinery was creating.
I can understand their frustration to an extent, so with the club’s backing I decided it was time to do something about it,” Leon said.

“I did some research, and came across the Jacobsen Eclipse 322. After seeing it in action, I knew that it was the machine we needed. It is such a quiet
mower, which means that I can now be more effective with my mowing route, as I don’t need to worry about waking anyone up! The Eclipse 322 also provides
us with a better quality of cut than before; I had heard about the Jacobsen quality of cut, but I didn’t realise quite how good it was. This has only
been reiterated by our members during club championships, where the feedback on the quality of the greens has been astoundingly positive.”

Superintendent Leon Hennessy on the Eclipse 322 at Cromer Golf Club

Cromer Golf Club uses the 15-blade variant of the Eclipse 322, which also features electrically adjustable cutting frequencies and mow and transport speeds.
The innovative machine does not use hydraulic oil, thus eliminating the chance of leaks. A Hybrid variant of the Eclipse 322 is also available.

Commenting on the after-sales support, Leon said the local Jacobsen dealer — JT Turf — has been brilliant.

“The machine arrived on time and as expected, and I am confident that if we ever needed technical support, our dealer would be with us straight away to
help us out. I’m very happy with the purchase of our new machine and the process of acquiring the mower from JT Turf.”


Ransomes Jacobsen celebrates 185 years of mower manufacturing

2017 sees a major milestone in the grounds care industry with Ransomes Jacobsen celebrating its 185th anniversary of mower production at Ipswich.

The first mower produced by Ransomes in 1832: the “Buddings Patent”

Edwin Budding’s historic lawnmower design was patented in 1830, and JR & A Ransome was the first company to obtain a licence to manufacture this
remarkable invention. The first Ransomes-manufactured machine for domestic use was produced in 1832, and this signalled the beginning of commercial
mower production in the UK.

Although the company no longer produces domestic lawnmowers they are one of the leading commercial mower manufacturers supplying equipment to golf
courses, local authorities, landscape contractors, sports clubs and major sports stadia around the globe.

Alan Prickett, Managing Director of Ransomes Jacobsen said this is a hugely significant milestone in the history of the company.

“From this small beginning, we are now one of the leading grounds care machinery manufacturers in the world. Ransomes mowers have been supplied to
monarchies and nobilities across Europe and Asia, and the Ransomes name has become a by-word for quality British engineering. Through the years,
the company has had its ups and downs, but today it is a vibrant company with a modern manufacturing plant providing employment and career opportunities
to the people of Ipswich.

“If you look at the grounds care manufacturing industry today, you’ll find a huge number of people who either began their careers in Ipswich or have
worked for the company, and this has been the case for decades. On a personal basis, I am delighted to be heading a dynamic management team at
this significant moment in the company’s history and thank everyone, past and present, for their contribution,” Mr Prickett said.

Significant milestones

  • Production of the Ransomes Budding begins in Ipswich in 1832.
  • Innovations quickly follow, and by 1852 some 1,500 improved versions of the 21-inch mower had been produced. In 1870 the range was extended with
    the introduction of horse drawn mowers.
  • Shortly after the dawn of the 20th century, Ransomes engineers produced the world’s first petrol driven lawn mower. This single innovation in 1902
    was to change the way that grass was cut for ever.
  • By the end of the 1920s, the Ransomes catalogue featured Quintuple and Septuple gang mowers, using cutting cylinders from horse-drawn triple mowers
    ganged into combinations of five and seven units.
  • The new White City works in West London opened in 1937 to meet the growing demand for Ransomes mowers.
  • In the late 1930s greenkeepers began to overcome their reluctance to use petrol-driven machines, and this was as a result of the introduction of
    the Overgreen, a machine featuring a power unit with large pneumatic tyres that pulled three Certes cutting units and enabled a single greenkeeper
    to cut 18 greens in a day.
  • After World War II a number of new machines were introduced, including the Auto Certes, a mower that developed a worldwide reputation for its exceptionally
    fine cut.
  • 1964 saw the introduction of the Ransomes Quint, the world’s first tractor-mounted, power-driven five-unit gang mower. In the same year, the Motor
    Triple was launched- a highly manoeuvrable, high output mower which elevated Ransomes to the forefront of the European professional turf care
  • In 1978 Ransomes acquired an interest in an American rotary mower manufacturer, which subsequently became a wholly owned subsidiary, Ransomes Inc.
    The result of this fruitful union was the Motor 180, with power units manufactured in the USA and cutting units built in Ipswich.
  • The Motor 213, a hydraulically driven triple reel mower for the local authority market was launched in 1982. This high work rate, ride-on triplex
    mower heralded the change from large-scale pedestrian-operated mowing practices to more productive and cost-effective maintenance of roadside
    verges and housing areas.
  • 1988 and Ransomes acquires Cushman Ryan, the U.S. manufacturer, which provided access to the Cushman Turf Truckster and its wide range of accessories
    for topdressing, spraying, aeration and other maintenance duties on sports turf areas.
  • The E-Plex is introduced in 1994, the world’s first electric ride-on triplex greens mower, providing noise and pollution-free mowing of fine turf,
    particularly golf greens in suburban areas.
  • In 1998 Textron Inc., the multi-industry U.S. company operating in 33 countries with approximately 37,000 employees, acquires Ransomes plc and
    establishes Textron Turf Care & Specialty Products group.
  • Company re-branded in 2001 as Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd, focusing on core brands: Ransomes for local authority and municipal mowers, Jacobsen for the
    golf sector.
  • 2003 sees the launch of dedicated environmental programme under “Driving Environmental Performance” streamline.
  • Ransomes Jacobsen produces the first hybrid walking greens mower in 2007 and the first hybrid riding greens mower in 2009.
  • In 2016, Jacobsen signs a contract to become the “Official Machinery Supplier of the Ryder Cup 2018.”

Interesting facts

  • A catalogue from 1851, published for the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park included a 16-inch Budding grass mower priced at £6 5s. Today, the Ransomes
    MP653 wide area rotary mower, retails at around £60,000.
  • In 1904, two years after the introduction of the first motor mower, King Edward VII requested a demonstration of the 30-inch version and two were
    purchased for the Buckingham Palace gardens.
  • Ransomes introduce Britain’s first battery-powered electric truck in 1920 and in 1926 produce the first mains electric operated lawnmower.
  • During World War II the Ransomes factories at White City and Ipswich produced bomb trolleys, trailers for 25-pounder guns and parts for Bren gun
    carriers, Crusader tanks, Rolls-Royce aero engines and Mosquito aircraft.
  • An extract from the 1954 accounts records sales of 42,500 hand mowers, 1,100 gang mowers and 9,500 motor mowers.


Rover Pedestrian cuts to the chase

There are few better feelings than finishing mowing your lawn, looking back at your work and seeing your backyard looking the best it could possibly look.
With the new Rover Duracut 400 and 800 series, the task of mowing becomes an enjoyable, efficient activity, and the results will be a source of pride.

Rover have just announced the Duracut Series with four new models — they are the 18” Steel Deck Pedestrian mowers. These mowers start the first
time, every time and will make your next mow an enjoyable experience. Your Rover will become the envy of your street.

Packed with a powerful 159cc Rover 800 engine that punches out 8.04ft-lbs of torque, the four swing back blades featured on the Duracut 820 and 850SP
will cut through any length of grass like a breeze. On the other hand the 410 & 420 models pump out almost 5ft-lbs, making either series an
ideal domestic and commercial product. An extra-wide 46cm high quality steel deck on all models with ten different height adjustment settings will
shave valued time off your personal best mowing time.

Keeping safety at the forefront of the design, Rover’s Safe Stop technology will stop the mower automatically if the user is not in control, minimising
injury and providing peace of mind for the user. Incorporated into all four new models, this design feature is core to Rover’s philosophy of safety

Durability is a core attribute of the Pedestrian series. They feature a superior 1.8mm thick steel deck that offers increased strength on component
contact and wear points; in addition, they are fitted with full 8” ball bearing wheels matched with a Zag 2 grip pattern for optimal performance
in rugged conditions. These mowers are enhanced with ergonomic levers that optimize comfort and joint protection over extended periods.

Each mower and engine is proudly backed by a 5 year warranty domestically and 90 day warranty commercially.

Rover leads the design and innovation industry in quality, which means you’ll be counting down the days until you get to manicure your lawn again.

Available now Australia-wide. To find your nearest Rover dealer visit their website.


Jacobsen showcases HR800 at BTME

Jacobsen, the renowned manufacturer of turf maintenance equipment, has introduced the HR800™ wide-area rotary mower at the BIGGA Turf Management
Exhibition (BTME) in Harrogate, UK.

The 16-foot HR800 is powered by a 74.3 hp Kubota® engine

The 16-foot HR800 is powered by a reliable 74.3 hp Kubota® engine, and sets a new efficiency and power-to-weight ratio standard. That efficiency, combined
with a massive cutting capacity of more than 20 acres per hour, makes the HR800 the ideal mower for customers who want to spend less time, labour and
fuel maintaining large areas of grass.

“The HR800 has a 30% greater power-to-weight-ratio than its direct competitor, which allows the machine to utilise power incredibly efficiently,” said
Richard Comely, Director of International Product for Jacobsen.

“By utilising a compact chassis design and high-strength, high-performance steel, there is simply less mass to move around, thus requiring less fuel, hydraulic
capacity and power.”

The HR800 is the second mower in a new series of wide-area rotary mowers from Jacobsen. In 2016, Jacobsen introduced the HR700, the first and only 14-foot-wide
rotary mower. The series is built on a common narrow platform that easily navigates through gates and onto transport trailers. The HR800 is almost
two feet narrower than its direct competitor.

The HR800’s Tilt Sensor Technology (TST)™ automatically monitors and adjusts mower decks to prevent rollovers when working on slopes.

“The whole HR series is centred around the operator experience, and nothing is more important than operator safety,” said Richard.

“Any company or organisation that is concerned with the safety of its operators will appreciate the HR Series’ Tilt Sensor Technology.”

The HR800 weighs nearly 900kg less than its competitors, and can mow 20-plus acres per hour

The operator extends to the HR800’s optional cab, which was designed to integrate seamlessly into the traction unit. The cabin provides reduced noise and
vibration and features air conditioning, a heater, a fan, ventilation windows, an industry-first heated windshield and an air suspension seat.

New SureStrength™ decks constructed with high-strength, high-performance steel deliver greater durability in a lighter, more robust design. Q AMP
variable rate steering provides optimal response to operator input to mow effortlessly around obstacles. In addition, a new AdaptiCut™ system
automatically adjusts mow speed to ensure consistent cut performance.

Individual hydraulic deck motors with self-lubricating integral bearings deliver cutting power to each blade and do not require daily maintenance. The
HR800 boasts nearly half the daily grease points of its direct competitor.

The HR800 weighs nearly 900kg less than its competitors, and can mow more than 20 acres per hour, making it well-suited for golf courses, sports fields,
parks and green spaces, schools, sports fields, airports and commercial grounds.

More information can be found at Jacobsen’s website.


Smithco XL 70 Roller debuts at BTME

Jacobsen, the European distributor of Smithco rollers, showcased the all-new Smithco XL 70 roller at this year’s BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME)
in Harrogate, UK. The new Smithco XL 70 ride-on greens roller features the widest available rolling width of 70”, providing unrivalled productivity
on all fronts.

The XL 70 features the widest available rolling width of 70”

The XL 70 green roller is powered by a 16hp Briggs Vanguard gasoline engine, and the productive roller is able to work at a ground speed of 10 mph.

The hydraulically driven greens roller features a triple roller drive system for superior traction and safety in all turf and terrain conditions. Additionally,
the direct drive hydraulic motors to each roller cylinder eliminates the maintenance required on mechanical drive systems featuring no chains or sprockets.

Richard Tyrrell, Product Manager at Jacobsen said they are delighted to be distributors of the Smithco greens roller range.

“They are fantastic products with a great track record of being reliable and easy-to-use. This particular model is Smithco’s most productive roller to
date with an impressive 70” rolling width, which will undoubtedly mean that the XL 70 is going to be a staple machine in any greenkeeping facility.”

The Smithco XL 70 has been engineered with operator safety and comfort in mind. The roller features an easy-to-use keyed ignition switch, engine throttle
and choke which are all easily accessible from the operator’s seat. Dual drive pedals control left and right operation and rolling speed, and pedals
are connected to a hydraulic pump by a fully steel linkage system for a high level of durability. The operator’s seat is high-backed and cushioned,
providing ultimate comfort for the operator.

Independent articulating roller heads produce a wider and more stable ride

The independent articulating roller heads produce a wider and more stable ride. Other benefits, including a 3-roller independent driving system, direct
drive and power steering ensures that the bar has been raised with the introduction of the new Smithco XL 70 greens roller.

More information can be found at Jacobsen’s website.


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