Retaining all the best features of the original TXE 252 and 505, these upgraded spray-markers feature improvements such as a bigger lid and larger filter for easier filling. The chassis arrangement is also new - redesigned for greater control and cleaner lines.
The tank shape remains the same so paint drains to the bottom but the sides are now domed, giving an anti-flip feature that allows the tank to be safely tipped backwards against the handlebars.
All the controls are handlebar mounted. There is a new eyelet for accurate circle marking and the liquid in the main 25-litre tank is agitated to give consistent colour. For ease of maintenance, all components are more accessible and the wash tank uses clean water to flush the filter, pump, spray lines and head.
But the biggest change, and perhaps the best, is the elimination of the front axle. This means that bumps and bounces are no longer transferred through to the nozzle from the front wheels.
"I like the simplicity of these machines - so simple that if something goes wrong you could fix them yourself quickly - and they are bulletproof," says Hopkins. "They are ideal for schools, local authority contractors and top-end clubs."
So what is the difference between the 353 and the 606? The 353 has a 7Ah battery for two hours of marking - perhaps up to six pitches. The 606 has an 18Ah battery to give five hours' marking time for overmarking up to 15 pitches.
Line widths: 1-5in
Price: £600 + VAT (353)/£770 + VAT (606)
Tel: 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.