Category Archives: Vitax Amenity

News relating to Vitax Amenity

Mike King

Meet the Vitax Amenity sales team

 

Mike King, Sales and Marketing Manager

Mike King

Mike’s job takes him around the UK supporting Vitax distributors, meeting key customers and co-ordinating the national sales team, offering technical back-up when needed.

He entered the industry soon after leaving school, first with Kings Horticulture then for the last 16 years with Supaturf and Vitax Amenity.

In what is an ever-changing sector, it is the loss of so many chemicals in the face of swingeing legislation that has presented Mike with his greatest challenge, he says.

When it’s time to chill, fishing with his dad and his son are favourite pastimes, as is being “out on the golf course playing badly”.

E: mike.king@vitax.co.uk

M: 07816 870061

Allan Wainwright, Technical Sales Representative

Allan Wainwright

An inquiring mind has enabled Allan to broaden and deepen his knowledge base in a diverse industry.

Covering the South-East, London, Home Counties and East Anglia, Allan “listens and learns

from those who know so much more than I do” – key to developing strong contacts across his region, he says.

“I’m not afraid to admit I don’t know the answer to a question or the solution to a problem,” he adds, “but I’ll always find out and go back to that person with it.”

An habitual off-roader, Allan’s main hobby is riding his beloved mountain bike – or carrying it up peaks such as Snowdon as he did recently “just for fun”. He also enjoys a round of golf “when it’s not raining”.

E: allan.wainwright@vitax.co.uk

M: 07816 849559

 

Graham Wingfield, Technical Sales Advisor

Graham Wingfield

Graham covers Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Cleveland, County Durham, Northumberland, Cumbria, Lancashire and West Cheshire.

He commands wide experience in several sectors, including the mushroom compost industry, 20 years in horticulture machinery and the last six working for Vitax.

Converting his agricultural crop production management training to the challenges of turf amenity keeps him sharp and focused, he says, as do his hobbies – motorsports and photography.

E: graham.wingfield@vitax.co.uk

M: 07813 108613

 

Alex McDermott, Technical Sales Representative

Alex McDermott

One third of the country is Alex’s patch, from the Midlands, up to the Mersey and down to Land’s End and all of Wales.

“Finding the time to see everyone as often as I can presents my biggest challenge,” he reveals, “but I am grateful for a brilliant distributor network.”

Seldom far away from sports turf, Alex plays rugby and golf, then indulges himself with “all forms of motorsport”.

E: alex.mcdermott@vitax.co.uk

M: 07720 806148

 

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Fast track at Writtle College

Turfcare professionals learning the fundamentals of linemarking at one of the UK’s top colleges are discovering how to accelerate marking out athletics tracks, with help from Vitax Amenity.

Sports contractors and groundsmen attending the `Marking Out – Pitches and Athletics Tracks` one-day course at Writtle College can put the morning’s theory into practice using Vitax linemarkers fitted with a special boom attachment designed to lay out three lane lines at once instead of just a single one.

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Nigel Beckford, Sportsturf Lecturer and Course Manager for Apprenticeships in Horticulture, sourced Vitax to provide the machinery to demonstrate the linemarking principles he outlines in his morning session. “I do all the technical content,” he explains, “then Allan Wainwright of Vitax Technical Sales comes down with all the kit, which includes the Briteliner Arrow wheel-to-wheel and TFS25 spray linemarking machines, fitted with the athletics boom attachment. “It makes for a great day for everyone. We attract a wide mix of participants, including local authorities, sole operators and now school caretakers, who increasingly are taking on pitch marking duties.”

The course provides participants with the knowledge and legal aspects of linemarking, including the materials and machines provided, Nigel notes.

The content includes:

Setting out a right angle

Initial marking sequence

Over-marking routes

Metrication and safe working practice

They also learn the basic setting out and preparation of linemarking materials. “I run a spring course around Easter time then another in the autumn for the changeover to winter pitches,” Nigel adds. Those attending can also try their hand at marking out pitches using the Arrow and TFS25 machines, hearing from Allan how to clean and maintain them.

Writtle College is one of the largest land-based university colleges in the UK, and one of the oldest, launching its extensive course programme on the 220-hectare estate as far back as 1893.

 

SWOZI close up

SWOZI scythes through linemarking tasks

Thirty minutes is all it takes to mark out a new full-size football pitch from scratch – complete withSWOZI machine and tripod centre circle and goal box Ds – with Supaturf SWOZI GPS linemarking. When time is money, just one operator can deploy SWOZI, allowing you to assign staff more efficiently for other tasks.

Perfect for sports contractors and in-house on large-scale sites, this cutting edge technology delivers exceptional accuracy – 10mm over 100m – relying on Swiss precision and reliability, Bluetooth connectivity and British engineering for matchless results. Job for job, Supaturf SWOZI takes only a quarter of the time of laser linemarking and is unaffected by weather conditions such as heat haze, glare or uneven ground.

The on-board computer, with LCD touchscreen display and 4GB memory stores and names the linemarking layouts for the sports you cater for, while SWOZI’s advanced actuating arm keeps lines pin sharp and straight. If you veer too far off course, the spray stops automatically, as it does when you complete the line, sounding a warning bleep a metre from the end.

Supaturf ready to useSWOZI can be used with all Supaturf concentrates and Supaturf Ready-to-Use so is highly adaptable, creating any size and shape anywhere, from circles and running tracks to junior pitches marked out within senior lines.

A full three-year warranty covers any manufacturer defect and Supaturf provides full back-up and support 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, plus phone out-of-hours support.

We provide full commissioning and training to ensure you are fully at ease with all aspects of the system.

Kings Lynn golf club

Colin’s `Masters stroke` greens up King’s Lynn

Applying Masters thesis trial results for Vitax Ultraflo wetting agent solved a persistent problem at the top 100 course.  Colin Robinson came to King’s Lynn Golf Club as course manager with a job to do. The 18-hole parkland course, believed to be the first fashioned by design doyens Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas when the club moved from its old site in 1975, nestles in traditional Norfolk woodland right by The Wash.

A labour intensive course, the seven-strong greens team stay busy managing the impact of theKings Lynn golf club many thousands of trees, such as Scots pine and silver birch, that line the fairways.
“We like to keep everything tidy,” notes Colin, conscious that King’s Lynn is a highly respected course, ranked among England’s top 100. With its own borehole and seepage ponds, the course relies less on mains water but the sandy, free-draining soil can create its own problems, given the windswept, isolated location. Since coming to the course eight years ago though, he has wrestled with what until recently had seemed an intractable problem – outbreaks of dry patch on a number of the fairways.

Despite regular application of turf treatments, the patches persisted, particularly on the 17th fairway. “Whatever treatment I applied, we could never seem to regain full grass cover,” he says.

Even in rain-sodden 2012, when in one month alone the course recorded a whole year’s precipitation (11 inches), the dry patch stubbornly stayed firm and reseeded turf failed to thrive. Conducting soil tests only served to confirm his worst fears. “Half an inch below the surface the rootzone was bone dry.”

While searching for a new way to tackle the outbreaks, Colin cast his mind back nearly ten years toVitax Ultraflo Advance his time at John of Gaunt Golf Club, Bedfordshire, where – as part of his thesis on ‘Water Management on Fairways’ for a Masters Degree in Sports Surface Technology at Cranfield University – he had trialled Vitax Ultraflo wetting agent. Results after testing the product over a 6-8 week period at the 36-hole venue had been dramatic, he remembered, so he called in suppliers Collier Turf Care, who are Vitax distributors to advise Colin on aspects of managing the course.

Last year, Colin began applying the wetting agent monthly to the problem areas, particularly evident on the 17th fairway. “The impact was startling,” he says. “The green returned to the sward, we gained 100% grass cover for the first time and the benefits lasted throughout the year.”

After success on this fairway, Colin applied the wetting agent to the 10th, with similar outcomes. He then began applying it to greens, fostering what he reports are firmer conditions with bents predominating in the sward. “There’s been a big improvement in greens quality and I like the fact that we only have to apply the liquid once a year.”

Application of the wetting agent across the course has brought environmental gains too, Colin adds. “I estimate that we now apply up to half the water we did. We tend to be conservative with water and the massive benefit of Ultraflo allows us to irrigate less than before.”

In the midst of a three-year course improvement programme that includes bunker and tee upgrades and refurbishments, as well as woodland management involving the removal of swathes of trees around greens to create more light and space, Colin can look back on how the appliance of science has helped solve a real bugbear on his fairways

“Members tell me that they have never seen the fairways looking better,” adds Colin. In the final analysis, surely that’s what counts most.

SSR supawipe deal Spring 2016

SPREADERS FOR ALL SEASONS AND REASONS

Spreaders can get the rough edge of landscape and grounds maintenance.  These workhorses come out of the shed from early spring, applying fertilisers and turf treatments when grass starts to shoot during the growing season, in late summer and autumn for delivering winter feeds, then ice prevention duties as the days darken.

Lifetimes will vary with quality of course, but you can expect to be replacing a spreader every two to five years, if only because of wear and tear to bushes and the rotating distribution blades.

Turf technologists Vitax Amenity stock units to suit whatever the size, scale and frequency of the job and all feature accurate application, reliability and easy maintenance.

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Designed for efficient, cost-effective delivery of granular and powder fertilisers such as the Enhance and Endure range, SSD Microbial and Green-up Lawn Sand, Vitax spreaders come with durable, moulded plastic hoppers from 25 kg to 45 kg capacity, corrosion resistant frames, pneumatic grass tyres, heavy-duty Nylon gearboxes and 2.4 m to 3.7 m coverage.

The free rain covers keep the product dry until it’s needed and a built-in sieve reduces the risk of clogging.

Maintenance is simplicity itself – a wash-off after every use helps prolong life, as does oiling some moving parts occasionally.

The 25 kg capacity Supaturf SSR 50 is the natural choice for smaller areas of managed turf and lawns, while the 45 kg capacity Supaturf SSR 100 is ideal for all types of dry fertilisers.

SSR 50 spreader

For those who want the spreader for all reasons and seasons, choose the Supaturf SSR 100 DL Deluxe. Constructed with sturdy, high-grade stainless steel frame, with deflector shield to control spreader pattern, this 45 kg capacity all-rounder delivers the goods in spring, summer and winter.

Its resistance to corrosion allows it to be used for applying dry salt and other treatments such as Vitax Ice Free (up to five times more efficient than rock salt) when winter weather strikes.

Purchase any Supaturf spreader before 31 May 2016 and receive two packs of 100 SupaWipes heavy duty antibacterial handwipes for removing oil and grease.

SSR supawipe deal Spring 2016

Arrow Ricoh

On the Right Lines

Football and Stadium Management April May 2016 issue

Pitch marking paints are proving their worth across football and rugby, Vitax Supaturf’s Mike King reports. There’s paint and then there’s paint. It’s important for grounds managers to know what they are buying and whether they are up to the challenge of marking out pitches day in day out as stadium use intensifies and diversifies across sport.

Supa StadiaQuality linemarking paint contains high-grade titanium dioxide (TiO2) and these fine particles are suspended as an emulsion in a water- and resin-based medium – the finer the particles, the higher quality the product. Quality control is everything. Turf technologists Vitax Supaturf for example manufacture their marker paints at the Coalville, Leicestershire, headquarters, where mixing and formulation processes are closely controlled to ensure that only premium quality product emerges, whatever the colour required. Finer particle size means paint can flow more easily and more consistently, with less risk of congealing and blocking linemarker machines, whether they are spray or contact (wheel to wheel) models.

Titanium dioxide is introduced to optimise brightness and reflectivity – critical properties when sport is televised for example. Paint adherence is also vital. Grounds professionals want to minimise the time they take to mark out pitches, whatever the sport at whatever level but they also need to match the paint to the purpose. Top quality paint should stay tight on the grass plant leaf for more than one fixture, even if rain falls. On the other hand, a multi-sport grass surface may demand marker paint that can be washed or brushed out quickly after, say, rugby when football is played there soon after.

That’s true at Bristol Rovers FC, where head groundsman Eric Kingscott uses differing marker paints on the dual-use Memorial Ground venue. With the likes of Gloucester, Bristol University and local cup finals staged there, he needs a marker paint that will do the job on the day then be quickly removed ready for League Two action.

“I use BriteLine paint in a single pass for marking out rugby,” he notes, “then after the fixture I can brush the lines out easily with water, with no show-through.” He also usually applies the paint once a fortnight at the Golden Hill training ground where Bristol’s School of Excellence is based – marking out the U18s full-size natural grass pitch and the six other varying sized turf playing areas used by U9s upwards.

Traditional marking out demands machines that are easy to use, given the distances groundcare20150716_082435 professionals have to push them, Eric stresses. “My Briteliner Arrow wheel to wheel is light, manoeuvrable and convenient to clean – the tank pops out of the frame then it’s flushed out in no time with the power wash.”

For the football demands at Memorial Ground, Eric stands by SupaStadia marker paint. “I have tried several brands over the years,” he explains, “but find this paint delivers a bright, sharp line that lasts well for us – a single pass is usually enough.”

When you have to rely on volunteers to divot the pitch, budgets must be tight; a fact of life confirmed by Chester FC head groundsman Michael Barrow. Moving to the supporter-owned Vanarama National League club last December, the lifelong fan knows what he likes. “We hold so many matches here,” he reports, “around 100 a year, including Liverpool U21 midweek fixtures, that keeping the ground in prime condition is always a challenge, especially as I’m the only one looking after things on the pitch. “Fast, easy marking out is a must here, using paint that will stay bright and clear for at least a couple of games. A 50:50 dilution of a tub [12.5l] of SupaStadia will get me round with a single pass and that does the job. The Arrow is light and simple to use too so saves me time, freeing me up for other tasks.”

Earlier this year, sports manufacturer and construction contractor Greenfields (Sports Surfaces) UK20151117_131554 Ltd sourced marker paints for its Ricoh Arena (Coventry City FC’s home) and Oxford United grounds following the company’s appointment to manage the sites, which include a new XtraGrass reinforced pitch for the League Two highflyers’ Kassam Stadium base.

“We looked at all the different linemarker paints and machines,” says head groundsman Paul Currier, who tends the Kassam Stadium pitch – his son Paul managing the Ricoh Arena surface. “I set high standards and wanted something that hit you in the face visually and chose SupaStadia, which really looks the business pre-match and is so reasonably priced I can apply it neat, especially if we are being televised – and there’s no issues using a spray linemarker. ”

Arrow at Ricoh 2Paul keeps busy preparing for Saturday and Tuesday fixtures at Oxford, while son Paul prepares the Ricoh for both football and rugby matches, applying SupaStadia with the Briteliner Arrow.

“Achieving the same colour green to blank out lines is hard work and we are working closely with Vitax Supaturf to tailor a solution for us,” adds Paul senior. “We’ll persevere until we find the right blend to do the job. These are exciting times for Greenfields and both sites are delighted with our work to date. We will soon have managed both pitches for a full season and will be able to assess our full impact on the grounds management then.” Certainly sounds like he’s moving in the right direction.

SWOZI machine and tripod

Time and Labour Saving with Supaturf SWOZI

Vitax Supaturf’s new state of the art SWOZI machine is a revolutionary development in linemarking.  SWOZI’s exceptional features are:

  • Only requires one person to mark out from start to finish – allowing you to reassign staff onSWOZI machine and tripod other jobs.
  • Up to eight times quicker to mark than traditional string and measuring method.
  • Up to 75% time-saving compared to laser line marking systems.
  • Mark a new full size football pitch from scratch in just 30 minutes including the centre circle and goal box D’s.
  • You can name and store all your markings from multiple sites in the SUPATURF SWOZI and it remembers their size and exact locations. No need to re-plot your pitches every time.

Ultimate Accuracy

  • Exceptional levels of accuracy, 10mm over 100m giving you perfect lines quickly.
  • Connects to more satellites than a standard consumer sat-nav at any one time, giving you a supreme level of accuracy down to the nearest millimetre.
  • Swiss accuracy, reliability and Bluetooth technology combined with British engineering gives you military-grade precision lines.
  • Advanced actuating arm automatically keeps your line straight as you walk, and stops the spray if you veer too far off course or if you stop.
  • The spray also starts at the beginning of the line and shuts off automatically when you complete the line giving a warning bleep 1 metre from the end.
  • Uses components and technology from Leica, the optical technology experts.

Easy-to-Use

  • Can be used with all our Supaturf Concentrates and the Supaturf Ready to Use.
  • Auto-stop/start feature and actuating arm does the hard work for you!
  • No experience of setting out pitches required – anyone can do it!
  • Touch screen with simple operating software, just like a smartphone.

Innovative and High-Tech

  • Create any size, any shape, anywhere – including circles, running tracks, or even junior pitchesSWOZI close up inside senior pitches!
  • System will also automatically work out the straightest lines possible using your current corner flags or goal posts, even if they do not line up 100%.
  • 4.3” LCD touchscreen display unit with built-in 4GB memory to store and name all your pitch layouts.
  • Custom built Supaturf spray marker with proven technology with a powerful 34Ah battery.
  • Advanced Swozi base unit fixed on a Leica tripod allows you to mark anywhere within 500m radius (line-of-sight).

Reliability & Support

  • Full 3-year warranty covering any manufacturer defects.
  • Full back up and support 8am-6pm Monday to Friday, with out of hours support available via phone
  • Complete commissioning of and training on the system by Vitax, ensuring you are comfortable with every aspect of the SUPATURF SWOZI.
  • Unlike laser-style line marking system, the SUPATURF SWOZI isn’t affected by weather conditions i.e. heat haze, glare from the sun or uneven ground.
  • Full service package available from Vitax to suit you, ensuring the machine is maintained in perfect working order and to make any adjustments, replacements or repairs needed.

CONTACT VITAX FOR A DEMONSTRATION:

Mike King, Sales & Marketing Manager (Amenity)

Tel:   0781 687 0061  

e-mail: mike.king@vitax.co.uk

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Moses Mabhida Stadium durban 2

Vitax visit to South Africa

 

Greg Holden undertook another series of long haul flights in January; a trip to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention, once again held in Baltimore, and a trip to South Africa. A week in the U.K. in between trips, meant three continents in three weeks!

NSCAA Baltimore with Jaypro SportsThe NSCAA Show in Baltimore marked the first exhibition with our partners Jaypro and gave Greg an insight into the vast market available to Supaturf. Line marking is a bit of a departure from Jaypro’s core business but it fits in beautifully with what they are currently doing, and what they want to achieve in the market.

Displayed on the booth was the new TXE353 Pro, an updated version of the internationally renowned TXE252. The interest from the American public was astounding and the TXE range will prove an excellent addition to the American market, for both professional and amateur sports. From football to lacrosse, the TXE353 will be working in all sports at all levels, proving its durability and cost effectiveness.

 

Next stop for Greg was South Africa. Abandoning the cold and rain of the U.K., Greg headed for the summertime heat of Durban and Johannesburg.

Meeting with Russell from Supaturf South Africa, Greg saw the excellent work being done there,Kings Park Stadium Durban especially at the Moses Mabhida and King’s Park stadiums. Greg stated, ‘’It is always a great feeling to visit stadiums that I have only previously seen on television, it gives a greater sense of perspective.’’

The two stadiums have both been used in World Cups, the Moses Mabhida Stadium in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the King’s Park Stadium in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Both stadiums are truly impressive; one can only imagine the atmosphere on a match day.

At the time of the visit, both pitches were being prepared for upcoming matches and final preparations for marking the pitch were being undertaken. Both matches were to be televised so only the best premium paint would do; Supaturf Supastadia applied by the Briteliner Arrow giving a precise, clear and unrivalled finish. The white lines against the green turf will look impressive to players, officials and 50,000 spectators, not to mention the millions watching at home.

 

Moses Mabhida Stadium durbanWhat was certainly apparent on the South Africa trip was the need for quality machines and paints. Quality was not compromised; from professional sporting venues to academies and schools, such as Kearsley School in Durban, they wanted the best. Wherever Greg visited, it was only top quality products that were required.

The importance of sport and, more importantly, the presentation of pitches and facilities, were amazing. Groundsmen understood the importance of the value of the products that were being used, and it was inspiring to see that Supaturf Supastadia paint and the TXE or Briteliner Arrow were the tools of choice!

SWOZI machine and tripod

Book your Demo now

To experience linemarking that’s out of this world . . . . . . with no strings attached

The Vitax Supaturf SWOZI GPS-guided linemarking system is bringing new levels of accuracy to one of the most fundamental groundcare duties and here is your chance to put it through its paces.
SWOZI delivers pin-sharp accuracy when marking out pitches without using using strings, markers or lasers.  After testing the system recently, Loughborough University said: “A remarkable machine if you have to do a lot of marking out and means one man can mark out from scratch without a tape measure, string line or even an on/off switch on the sprayer; everything done for you. Brilliant.”

The specially developed linemarking machine assembled by Vitax at its Coalville, Leicestershire, factory carries an onboard computer that is uploaded with software for marking out the sports required. A GPS receptor positioned on the pitch talks to the onboard computer via Bluetooth, which triangulates SWOZI’s position with help from its own GPS unit, directing the linemarking machine to the appropriate line selected.

Deviation from the marking map by even a few millimetres triggers the head to adjust to maintain an accurate line. If the machine moves too far out of correct alignment, the computer tells the linemarker to stop spraying until the operator positions the machine to the correct marking pattern.

In UK field trials, the SWOZI system has been used on existing marked-out pitches to correct alignment inaccuracies, such is the precision of the process.

Council sport and amenity contractors, stadium managers, head groundsmen and estate managers are expected to find the SWOZI system particularly attractive because marking out a pitch is far quicker than by traditional means, freeing up time for other tasks.

BOOK YOUR DEMONSTRATION NOW

Call Mike King, Sales and Marketing Manager on 07816 870061 or email mike.king@vitax.co.uk

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ConstellationGPS.gif#/media/File:ConstellationGPS.gif

To view a video of SWOZI in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig3gQsDYCE8

SWOZI close up

Supaturf SWOZI assembly capability impresses visiting VIPs

Manufacturing capacity at the UK headquarters of Vitax drew praise from a Swiss delegation visiting the turf treatment and technology specialists to learn more about their linemarking machine assembly and paint production plant.

The force behind the pioneering SWOZI GPS linemarking technology that Vitax is delivering to theSWOZI machine and tripod UK turfcare sector, Mario Hutter of SWOZI AG, flew in to meet managing director Daniel Wilkinson and sales & marketing manager Mike King this week. Their mission? To view first-hand the purpose-built machines equipped with the GPS driven technology that allows turfcare professionals to mark out sports pitches with pinpoint accuracy without aids such as tapes, string or laser.

Mario Hutter was delighted to learn of the overwhelming interest in the linemarking system, marketed here as Supaturf SWOZI, when it was unveiled at Saltex last November. “Vitax have the facilities to deliver what customers need,” he said. “The company has the expertise to design and develop machines and paints that help them provide reliable, professional results for sports turf.”

The scope of the Vitax manufacturing facility at Coalville, Leicestershire, also drew praise from the visiting VIPs, who remarked on the efficiency of the linemarking machine assembly area, paint formulation facility and design functions.

“The clear vote of confidence in our capacity to roll out the Supaturf SWOZI as state of the art technology enabled by our purpose designed and built linemarkers is vital in delivering what is the most advanced system of its kind available,” said Mike King.

Vitax is currently organising demonstrations for the Supaturf SWOZI GPS system throughout the UK.

http://www.vitax.co.uk/supaturf/supaturf-swozi/

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