There are a lot of new responsibilities for a groundsman who has just inherited an artificial turf pitch to care for, quite different tasks to the maintenance tasks that would have been required when the field comprised of natural grass. Not only will there be new artificial grass maintenance tasks to perform but there will also be new equipment to buy to make the job easier.
Artificial Turf Equipment
There are a number of specialist pieces of artificial turf equipment that each major stadium will have invested in so that the field is kept clean, fresh and ready for the next game. For large areas such as a football field using the right equipment is essential for maintaining the condition of the surface. Performing jobs such as brushing and grooming will not really be possible without large, tractor-connected pieces of equipment.
The first piece of equipment that you should use on the artificial turf field is a cleaner. Something like the Wiedenmann Terra Clean which is attached to the back of a tractor and operated over the entire surface of the grass. The cleaner can be set to a particular working depth and it will pick up surface debris such as dirt, leaves, pieces of paper and other similar small items. Some models have screening processes that are able to separate the debris from the infill which is then returned to the surface again.
It is important that the artificial grass is kept dry to ensure algae does not take hold. For this reason the first piece of equipment that is needed is a hand powered machine that will soak up any surface water. One such brand is known as the BowDry.
To help redistribute the infill, should it become displaced through repeated use, another piece of equipment, an artificial turf groomer, may be used. This is essentially a large brush that is typically made up of zigzagged bristles that effectively shifts the infill from one part of the artificial turf to another. If you set the brush at a certain height it will pick up and move any infill that sits above that height. A turf groomer performs a number of functions simultaneously, as well as moving the infill around it will stand the turf fibers up and relieve compaction at the same time amking it very effective as an essential artificial surface groomer.
Speaking of the infill, whether the turf requires sand or rubber granules, it may be necessary to have a piece of equipment that will spread the granules on the turf. Not only do the granules need to be spread evenly but they must be packed down into the knap of the grass and then the grass fibers must be brushed upright when the process is completed.
For times when the sweeper is not going to work an industrial strength vacuum can be used. There are models that are specifically designed to clean artificial turf.
It is envisaged that each of the pieces of equipment mentioned above would be used in a large-scale operation such as a major sporting arena or large playing field complex. They would be required to operate over large surface areas, areas too large to perform these duties by hand. The initial outlay for the equipment may seem expensive but over the long term they would pay for themselves because the life of the artificial turf would be prolonged through the care provided.
There are a number of artificial turf maintenance equipment manufacturers who provide quality heavy duty equipment that are very effective at keeping the turf in “as new” condition. Here are some companies to visit if you are kicking off your investigation into buying some artificial turf maintenance equipment.
GreensGroomer Worldwide – USA
Wiedenmann North America – USA
Wiedenmann UK – UK
Redexim Charterhouse – USA
SMG Sportplazmaschinenbau GmbH – Germany
SweepFast – UK
GoGroomerGo – US (for artificial turf groomers)
All of these forms of synthetic grass maintenance methods will ensure that the grass is kept healthy looking and fresh for as long as possible.