Greenkeepers save on kit costs with strict maintenance regime

Greenkeepers have squeezed out more efficiency from their machinery by sharpening up their upkeep regime.

Leicestershire Golf Club course manager Chris Lewis said the "real secret" to getting more miles out of his mowers was proper machinery maintenance.

"We have a strict maintenance programme, he explained. "There are five full-time members of staff who are each responsible for the care of their own machine.

"As soon as the machines return to the greenkeeping buildings at the end of the working day, they are cleaned off using an air-line before being parked up.

"Jet-washing is kept to a minimum and used only if absolutely necessary to avoid getting water in machinery bearings. The machines are also regularly greased at least one or two times per week."

Another trick was to put in three or four weeks of intensive maintenance in January, which was when the team sent the cutting units off to be reground, he said.

Lewis said the club’s Toro Groundsmaster 4500-D rough mower and Reelmaster 6500-D fairway unit had clocked up working hours well in excess of the average machine life-expectancy of 4,500 hours, equal to thousands of miles of reliability.

The nine-year-old Groundsmaster had clocked up more than 8,000 hours while the seven-year-old Reelmaster had done almost 7,000 hours. That was equivalent to over 460,000 and 345,000 miles respectively.

"Maintenance costs for the two mowers remain low despite their age. The Groundmaster has needed a few replacement parts, but both models have the same engine and chassis and are otherwise still going strong.

"Our course is on old ridge and furrow agricultural fields. It has a lot of contours for the mowers to manoeuvre and they get quite a bumpy ride. The wear and tear they get as a result makes their longevity all the more remarkable."

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