This is transfer wheel technology for the 21st century and it solves all the issues that for years have plagued users of metal tank models.
From the SupaTurf brand, the Briteliner Arrow has a plastic body, so no rusting. There are no corners where paint can stick and solidify. When it comes to cleaning it out, this one is a dream. The tank sits on a hinge at the back so it can be tipped backwards to empty out excess paint into a tray. Mind you, it is so lightweight you could pick it up and drain it over a bucket. If you prefer to drain, there is also a drain hole.
There are no moving parts to remove - pressing down on the back axle allows the tank to be removed from the triple-coated steel framework. Then it's ready for pressure washing. The transfer wheel comes out for cleaning or transport. "I like it. It all comes apart so easily to help with maintenance," Hopkins confirms.
It even comes with an on-board round brush, sitting in the basket filter. You can use it for penalty spots or to clean inside the tank. There is also a sturdy scraper on the front wheel to stop dirt getting in the tank.
There is a lot of attention to detail on this machine. All the nuts have black plastic caps to prevent rusting. An eyelet on the side lets you attach a string for marking circles.
We especially like the strength of this user-friendly unit is. It is mounted on pneumatic wheels and has a long wheelbase so less wobble is transferred from the operator's hips as the machine is pushed along.
"The pneumatic wheels are good," says Hopkins. "They are unlikely to burn the ground. It's ideal for every level of sport. From a mobile point of view, you can throw this one on and off the lorry and the handles fold for easy transport, so one worker can go out in a van - it's great. The handles are a good height and give you options to hold high or low."
All of the parts can be replaced quickly and each machine comes with a serial number - ideal for the service records.
Line widths: 2in, 3in, 4in and 5in
Price: £440 + VAT (4in model)
Contact: Vitax - 01530 510060
Tested This Issue
Fleet Kombi 3
Supaturf TXE 353 & TXE 606
Rigby Taylor iGO Advance & iGO Mini
Pitchmark Eco Club & Eco Pro
Trevor Hopkins, head groundsman, Farnborough Sixth-Form College, Hampshire
For many groundsmen, line marking is one of those tedious jobs that has to be done - and done all too regularly. But with the right machine for the job, the conditions and the operator, lines can be produced effortlessly and accurately.
Transfer or wheel-to-wheel markers remain hugely popular, perhaps partly because of their attractive price but also because of their simplicity. There is little to go wrong and if you look after the machine it will give you many years of service. That does not mean they are not without issues. Metal ones can rust. Some can be difficult to clean. In this test we look at two of the newest transfer markers to see what improvements have been made.
When you only want one marker to do all sizes of lines, on all types of surfaces and in all sorts of conditions, you cannot beat the spray marker. Easy to adjust to give lines of 1.5in up to 6in, capable of working on turf, hard and synthetic surfaces, and less likely to get bogged down in muddy conditions, the spray marker is seen as having advantages. Eight such markers join our test.
The test was conducted on the sports ground at Farnborough Sixth-Form College, where the excellent condition of winter games pitches and the summer cricket field bears witness to the expertise and skill of the grounds staff. Conditions on test day were warm and sunny.