If you are fed up with walking back to the shed for more paint, then take a look at these - machine and paint working in harmony.
Now in its third generation, the Advance version of the iGO is designed to provide high-pressure delivery of Impact Gold - the ready-to-use paint that comes in a plug-and-spray format. That means no pouring and no mixing. It only takes 1.1 litres of paint to overmark a standard football pitch.
Upgrades from the original iGO include more robust deflector discs, extended spray head and a lever on the handlebar to lift the head for marking staggered lines.
A solenoid has been added so the spray cuts off immediately when you stop marking. It also gives improved atomisation of the paint to give very small droplets that adhere to grass blades rather than sliding down them, although this machine can also be used on hard and synthetic surfaces. It also features a battery-condition meter and a charging point on the handle.
Designed to be lighter than other spray markers, it has a square-ish shape to increase stability and it is effortless to operate. Hopkins notices the push-fit piping. "I like the clear piping," he says. "You can instantly see if you have an air bubble."
The Advance can be used with 10-litre drums or five-litre Eco-Bags, but it can also be converted for traditional water-diluted paints by quickly dropping in the optional 18-litre paint pod. "I like it," says Hopkins. "It covers a lot of options. It's sturdy and robust - a machine for the professional market, whether mobile crews or stadia."
The iGO Mini is, as the name suggests, a smaller version. Aimed at those with just a couple of pitches to mark, it is lightweight and collapses down for transport in the boot of a car. It is study, shares most of the features of the Advance and uses paint from five-litre plug-and-spray packs.
Line widths: 1.5-6in
Price: £656.95 + VAT (Advance)/£349 + VAT (Mini) - online
Tel: Rigby Taylor - 01204 677777
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.