It is suited to use on sites from sports grounds and golf courses to camp sites and race courses. What’s more, the range of models available means you should find one to match your requirements — fitting both your tractor and your budget.
There are high-tipping Groundkeepers for those needing to empty into skips or trailers and also ground-tipping machines. There are tractor-mounted and trailed versions plus a Jumbo model with extra capacity for those seriously large-scale jobs. We take a look at the GH135 — a 1.35m-wide unit that only requires a 27hp tractor with single-acting hydraulic service to operate the ground-level-discharge hopper.
The cutting/scarifying gear on this machine is robust. Adjustments to height of cut or depth of work are easy to make — and that proves just as well on the test day. With the GH135 hitched to the tractor, the tester takes a short run of a couple of metres. “Stop! Too deep!” yells the other tester. We gather round the back of the machine.
The rotor on the Groundkeeper GH135 has been fitted with scarifying blades plus short wing blades. While the scarifying blade can be used on its own, the wing blades will also trim the grass and provide a little more draft to lift the debris into the collection hopper. Blades, arranged in four rows on the rotor, are simple enough to change — just zip one off, line the new one up and hook it onto the hanger. The cutting blades are made from treated steel for a low wear rate and to survive rough ground conditions. They are also double-edged so they can be turned to get the most life out of each one.
We are hoping to scarify, cut, collect and roll in one pass. The intention is just to remove the winter thatch and present the pitch ready for play. With the blades set low the action is too vigorous for our purpose today.
“That’s fine for a renovation job — and would be lovely if we could top-dress as well,” comments our tester. But he needs the pitch back in play, so we adjust the height and the driver sets off again. Following in the wake of the machine, our tester is pleased. “Perfect,” he says.
With increased confidence, the driver revs up the tractor and strikes out at a good pace. At this rate we will have the pitch finished within an hour. Because the Groundkeeper is cutting and scarifying, there is a lot to collect and several trips are needed to empty the hopper. This is the basic GH model and tipping is hydraulically actuated but is at ground level rather than high up.
It’s back to the pitch. And it’s taking on a whole new appearance. Despite the fast speed, it is hard to imagine a better finish.
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