Reap What You Mow

Groundscare men and women are often overlooked when it comes to sports and community playing fields. Maintaining a large area of turf is no easy task – it requires planning, hard work and specialist equipment to get the job done.

Just like sports itself, a lot of time and effort goes in to making sure the pitches and playing fields are looking and performing at their best.

One team that made headlines last year was Leicester City FC, not just for their fairytale Premier League winning season but also for the hard work of head groundsman, John Ledgwidge. Throughout the season, Leicester’s pitches took on all manor of designs.

For example, to mark Remembrance Day, the groundscare team at Leicester City FC’s King Power Stadium meticulously cut poppy shapes into an extravagant pattern on the pitch – and not a blade of grass was out of place.

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What a wonderful, touching tribute to all those who have served our country, past and present.

It got us thinking – nowadays much more care and attention is paid to the quality of a playing surface, gone are the days when teams, rugby and football players alike, had to turn out to play on pitches like this…

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You would be hard-pushed to find a pitch in a state like this today, even at semi and non-professional sports grounds.

The Institute of Groundsmanship strives to promote quality surfaces and services throughout the UK. Founded in 1934 by W H Bowles BEM, head groundsman at Eton College, the IOG is recognised by the National Governing Bodies of Sport and the public, private and voluntary sectors for its industry knowledge and technical expertise.

Groundscare teams up and down the country have been recognised in the Institute of Groundsmanship’s Industry Awards 2016. This time, the Football Grounds Team of the Year Award went to Tottenham Hotspur FC, with Leicester City FC scooping the award in the previous year. The IOG Industry Awards also recognise students who have made promising and commendable progress on their first steps to a career in the field, helping to strengthen and encourage the profession in the future.

Pitch perfect!

When looking after large playing fields, it is important to maintain the surface as best as possible during the winter months. This will save you work in the long run and keep the playing surface consistent for matches and training all year round.

It is a good idea to keep cutting the grass during January. Be careful not to overcut, however, as this can ‘stress’ the grass, inhibit growth and expose it to disease and fungi. We would recommend maintaining a height of approximately 25-30mm.

Aeration is vital to the health of a pitch. It allows air do get down into the soil, easing the pressure between the soil particles and allowing rainwater to reach the grass roots.

To achieve this on a large scale like a football pitch or school playing field, you will be need the right machine for the job. Billy Goat’s AE1300H 30” Hydro Aerator has been designed with precisely this task in mind.

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The AE1300H 30” Hydro Aerator combines true 30” wide aeration and speed up to 4.3 mph to complete a quarter of an acre in as little as 15 minutes! It is also built with ‘in-ground turning’, meaning you don’t have to lift the machine to turn corners, you can aerate in reverse, do trim and edges with ease and significantly improve hole quantity and quality vs. that of drum aerators.

The AE1300H also features Patent Pending Variable Aeration Density (VAD™), to create 2-10 times more holes and drum models in one pass. This will save you a significant amount of time, because there is no need to aerate two or three times like you would normally have to with a drum aerator. VAD™ also offers you the ability to do patch repair and seed bed prep in one pass by simply slowing down over bare spots.

We love this machine, it offers unrivaled maneuverability, fatigue-free, one-man crew operation and improved production. It also has independently moveable arms that drive plug depths up to two times that of drum aerators.

In no time at all, your pitch will be aerated and compaction-free, ready for the warmer temperatures in March when the grass (and the footballs!) will be kicked back into life.

Don’t procrastinate, rake and aerate!

 

At this time of year, it is fair to say your turf may not be looking at its best. Bare patches are starting to appear, the soil feels hard, rain isn’t draining very quickly and there is a buildup of matted thatch and moss. Billy Goat has a range of power rakes and aerators designed to combat these problems, requiring minimal elbow grease from you!

We know that maintaining a large area of grass is a big commitment, so we’re not surprised that you’re looking for solutions that are fast, reliable and involve minimal effort.

Now is a good time to act, you can eliminate these problems and get your lawn in a healthy shape ready for the spring and summer.

Billy Goat’s power rakes, including the PR550, removes thatch from turf in 20” passes, and its rugged design withstands the most demanding use. It is also self-propelled, reducing energy and effort needed to control it.pr550

Additionally, because it is sturdier than other scarifiers on the market, with steel guards, heavier wheels, premium bearings, and a 10-gauge steel engine base, the PR550 absorbs much of the vibration within the main body of the machine, making it more stable and more comfortable for the user to operate.

The PR550 will remove thatch swiftly and efficiently, making light work of an otherwise daunting task!

Once the thatch has been removed, Billy Goat’s range of core and reciprocating aerators are on hand to finish off the job. Aerating lawns and turf is vital to the health of the grass, helping water, nutrients and air penetrate the grass roots. The result will be a stronger, verdant lawn.

Punching tine core depths to 2.75” (even in hard soil conditions), many of Billy Goat’s aerators, including the PL2500SPH, do not require any lifting, add on weights or have any chains, making them easy to operate and less fatiguing than others on the market.pl2500sph

It is certainly much easier than trying to do the job with a garden fork, which could take weeks (if not months) – never mind the back-ache!

The Billy Goat range of power rake and aerator equipment is available nationwide through Henton and Chattell’s dealer network. For more information and to see videos demonstrating their performance visit www.billygoat.co.uk

An autumnal display

Whilst the stunning autumnal displays of leaves of a spectrum of colours forming around the country might look fantastic, for grounds staff it can be a lot less pleasant!

When looking after large areas, conquering the fallen leaves can seem an endless task! That’s where we come in! It’s not just leaves that are a problem at this time of year, with winter coming many people are in the midst of clearing up other types of debris and litter. We can help with that too!

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To save hours of work, you’ll need a vacuum. Billy Goat has solutions for all needs and property sizes.

The wheeled, lightweight Little Billy is perfect for domestic and residential applications. At 51cm/20” wide it is designed for small gardens, yet with a wide nozzle it provides superior suction. It also has an easy height adjustment and felt bag with 105litre collection capacity making it the perfect partner for domestic gardeners wanting to increase their efficiency.

Also designed for the domestic and residential market is the KV Series, however these models are also suitable for small commercial applications. With a width of 69cm/27” and a 5 blade impeller with serrated edges, the KV Series maximises suction and tackles debris with ease. They are also available with an on-board 5cm/2” chipper to add clearing branches to your list of autumn clean up jobs.

On the industrial and professional side, Billy Goat produce the MV Series that are ideal for larger properties, commercial sites, streets, councils and festivals – you name it, Billy Goat’s MV series has it covered! With a width of 74cm/29”width, MV Series models pick up can, litter, bottles and other debris with complete ease and wolfs down rubbish. Prices of these heavy duty leaf/little vacuums start from £1750 inc. VAT.

A final addition to the extensive Billy Goat vacuum range are the unique QuietVac™s – the world’s quietest vacuum. If noise is a concern for you, then look no more. The QuietVacs’ filtration system reduces dust in dry conditions without compromising on suction power. This means that wide, vast commercial and industrial
areas as well as large estates can be cleaned up with minimal effort by these heavy duty machines. At 84cm/ 33” wide, the QuietVac™s are Billy Goat’s widest vacuums. Prices start from £1799.99 inc. VAT.

Don’t just take our word for it though, click here to see the Billy Goat’s in action to help decide what’s best to help you this autumn.

 

Do not disturb!

When working in public areas such as parks, schools, hospitals or tourist hotspots, sound levels are always a concern so as not to disturb the peace. Likewise, noise levels are also an issue for the user with prolonged periods of exposure causing hearing problems and often, permanent damage.

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The Control of Noise at Work Regulations stipulate that hearing protection is mandatory for equipment over 85 decibels. At just 77 decibels, Billy Goat’s QuietVac series whispers while it works and has the lowest dB compared to other vacs on the market.

The QVs are part of Billy Goat’s extensive vacuum range and are the world’s quietest vacuums. Available as either hand or self-propelled models the QVs can hold an impressive 36 gallons (136 litres) of debris in its collection bag. In addition to this, the machines feature exclusive dust sock technology that drastically reduces dust particles as small as 0.1 micron. for additional operator protection and improved air quality. Dust reduction is furthered by a state of the art, unique cyclonic filtration system that reduces dust in dry conditions without compromising on suction power.

With an industrial width of 33” the QuietVacs are ideal for wide areas of commercial, industrial land and municipal clean up. This means that wide, vast areas and estates can be cleared with minimal effort and noise disruption.

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The self-propelled models utilities hydro drive transmission with forward and reverse speeds from 0 to 3mph to help negotiate tight spots with ease, making them first pedestrian vacuums to be able to do this. They also have durable front castors for easy operation on uneven surfaces, and the height can be adjusted from half an inch up to three inches.

The Billy Goat QuietVacs weigh between 80kg and 113kg (dependent upon the engine size), and prices start from £1889.99 (including VAT). An optional hose kit that expands to 10 feet can be purchased separately.

A portable solution for autumn clean up

Clearing vast areas of land can often be daunting. Having mountains of leaves and debris to clear can be a tiresome, labour intensive and energy zapping task; particularly with heavy, hard to maneuverer equipment to move around as you work.

Wheeled vacuums from Billy Goat are the solution for all residential, commercial and municipal property clean up requirements. Suitable for use on both lawns and hard surfaces, Billy Goat wheeled vacuums are built to last with many being in service for over 20 years. With light yet incredibly durable wheels, the vacuums from Billy Goat increase portability and remove the strain from autumn clean up.

The range consists of vacuums for all applications. At 20” wide the wheeled, lightweight Little Billy is perfect for domestic and residential applications, yet with a wide nozzle it provides superior suction. It also has an easy height adjustment and felt bag with 105 litre collection capacity making it the perfect partner for domestic gardeners wanting to increase their efficiency.

Also designed to meet the needs of both the domestic and residential markets is the KV Series, which are also suitable for some commercial applications. With a 27” width and a five blade impeller with serrated edges, the KV Series maximises suction and tackles debris with ease. It is also available with an on-board 2” chipper to help clear branches too.

On the industrial and professional side, Billy Goat produce the heavy duty MV Series that are ideal for larger properties, commercial sites and council needs. With a width of 29” width, MV Series models pick up all rubbish and debris. They are designed for both hard surfaces and turf and are ideal for larger properties and commercial plots.

See for yourself how Billy Goat tackles really tough jobs at www.billygoat.co.uk.

Where’s the great British summer?!

It may only just be the start of August but some days recently have felt like autumn is on its way. With that in mind perhaps it’s not too early to start considering your autumn clean up regime.

Here at Billy Goat autumn clean up is our speciality! It’s when we really get to show off the power of our vacuums and blowers!

The first step is to use a force blower to gather the debris into one area. Start in the corners, blowing towards the centre of the lawn/area, and work inwards, doing one section at a time. A top tip is to work with the breeze, not against it! Use it to your advantage to help make the job even quicker.

Wheeled Force Blowers from Billy Goat aren’t just versatile and powerful, they are also light and the quietest leaf/debris blowers on the market. They are self-propelled with reliable engines, so there is no need to push which will increase your productivity. The range of blowers from Billy Goat contains models of many different size with varying force to suit all requirements – all the way up to the ultimate F18 which has an air velocity of 200mph!

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Once you have used your force blower to gather the debris, the next step is to remove it. For this you will require a vacuum for suction and to save hand collection. Once again, Billy Goat has solutions for all needs and property sizes.

The wheeled, lightweight Little Billy is perfect for domestic and residential applications. At 51cm/20” wide it is designed for small gardens, yet with a wide nozzle it provides superior suction. It also has an easy height adjustment and felt bag with 105litre collection capacity making it the perfect partner for domestic gardeners wanting to increase their efficiency.

Also designed for the domestic and residential market is the KV Series, however these models are also suitable for small commercial applications. With a width of 69cm/27” and a 5 blade impeller with serrated edges, the KV Series maximises suction and tackles debris with ease. They are also available with an on-board 5cm/2” chipper to add clearing branches to your list of autumn clean up jobs.

On the industrial and professional side, Billy Goat produce the MV Series that are ideal for larger properties, commercial sites, streets, councils and festivals – you name it, Billy Goat’s MV series has it covered! With a width of 74cm/29”width, MV Series models pick up can, litter, bottles and other debris with complete ease and wolfs down rubbish. Prices of these heavy duty leaf/little vacuums start from £1750 inc. VAT.

A final addition to the extensive Billy Goat vacuum range are the unique QuietVac™s – the world’s quietest vacuum. If noise is a concern for you, then look no more. The QuietVacs’ filtration system reduces dust in dry conditions without compromising on suction power. This means that wide, vast commercial and industrial areas as well as large estates can be cleaned up with minimal effort by these heavy duty machines. At 84cm/ 33” wide, the QuietVac™s are Billy Goat’s widest vacuums. Prices start from £1799.99 inc. VAT.

Don’t just take our word for it though, click here to see the Billy Goat’s in action to help decide what’s best.