Category Archives: Vitax Amenity

News relating to Vitax Amenity

Futurescape logo

Vitax Amenity Supaturf at FutureScape 2016

A solution for every contractor

Reasons for the popularity of Vitax Amenity Supaturf’s products among landscape and sports contractors will be clear for all to witness on their stand at Futurescape, Sandown Park Racecourse, this year.

The turf technologists sell untold volumes of linemarking liquids and aerosols throughout the sector because of their cost effectiveness and reliability. Formulated in the company’s factory, Stadia and SupaStadia marking paints deliver clean, shining, robust pitch lines no matter how large the job and demanding the climate – and the TFS25 is the linemarking machine helping contractors make a big impression on public and private sector sportsgrounds since its launch less than a year ago.

Showing their true colours across landscaping and sport are Supaturf aerosols. Ground care professionals demand purity when marking out for different sports and the range does not disappoint – proving just the job for initial marking out as well as a wealth of other grounds tasks.

Shaking up the sector is the new Supaturf SWOZI GPS-guided linemarking system, introduced to slash the time taken to mark out a pitch from scratch – typically just 30 minutes for football by one person. Contractors are warming to the opportunity to boost their business by being able to complete more linemarking tasks per day. Over 12 months, those time savings add up to a major benefit for them, and their customers.

Across sport and amenity, at Futurescape Supaturf will display the technology and knowledge that allows it to serve needs across the spectrum of provision. Its sprayers and spreaders, for example, broadcast fertilisers and turf treatments for all seasons, soil types and settings.

Futurescape will take place at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey, on Tuesday 15th November 2016.

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Stencils kit 2

Stencils – draw your own conclusions

Public and private sites can draw their own conclusions – literally – about the stencil kits launched by Vitax Amenity. Made from organic wood pulp, recycled paper, textile fibres and pure bitumen, the sturdy stencils provide a robust, convenient and green solution for freshening up car parks and marking out sportsturf permanently or for temporarily marking them out for special events or occasions.

Schools, golf clubs and parking organisations will find them indispensable, given current budgetary constraints. Biodegradable, the stencils can be composted safely or landfilled at the end of their useful life.

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Dimensions for the six stencils in the numbers (0 to 9) kit range from 105mm width x 230mm height for 1-0 and the single stencil providing all ten numbers, to 250mm width x 380mm height for 1-2; 3-4; 5-6; 7-8 and 9-0.

The car park kit provides a spread of sizes:

790mm width x 480mm height for the disabled symbol;Stencils kit 2

250mm width x 485mm height for `In` and `Out` instructions;

680mm width x 250mm height for `Parking`;

820mm width x 400mm height for `Stop`;

530mm width x 380mm height for the arrow symbol;

840mm width x 250mm height for `Visitors`;

810mm width x 225mm height for `Reserved`;

410mm width x 140mm left height and 110mm right height for a straight line;

530mm width x 60mm left height and 110 right height for a curved line.

 

“We’ve tested the stencils extensively at various locations and they’ve gone down very well indeed,” said Mike King, Vitax Amenity’s Sales and Marketing Manager.  “They’re a fast, cost-efficient DIY solution for a host of temporary or permanent requirements, complementing our SupaMark aerosols range, which are available in two grades and a spectrum of colour options,” he added.

The car park stencils pack cost just £55.00 for a pack of ten, while the numbers 0 to 9 pack costs just £50; both prices plus postage and VAT.

 

Arrow 3

Arrow sharpens its appeal

Already a hit with grounds professionals across sport and amenity, the popular Briteliner Arrow features enhanced benefits to boost turfcare performance. Line integrity is always key to delivering quality. That’s why we’ve fitted a pre-assembled cartridge system to the machine. Consistent wheel alignment is the result.

Arrow 1

We listen to customers and respond to their recommendations. You wanted a drain-off bung to remove paint when the machine is not in use, so we’ve included it in the latest version of the Arrow, though you can still tip and even remove the tank as before.

Arrow 2

The streamlined handlebar offers more hand-position options to improve comfort in use, while the twin arms on the scraper bar provide added sturdiness to a machine valued for its lightness and manoeuvrability.

If you want to increase the centre wheel weight on the machine, the hollow central wheel can be filled with sand to increase contact pressure.

Lightweight, removable tank, 3, 4 and 5in wheel width options plus a handy on-board brush for penalty/centre circle spot marking make the Briteliner Arrow a must-have machine in the shed.

Greg Holden

The world is enough

Export manager Greg Holden once had to dig deep to discover his first love in life. Now, another passion confronts him face to face pretty much every day – selling Vitax turf products to customers around the world.

“Ancient history and archaeology are my great interests, especially the Greek and Roman periods,”Greg Holden announces the 45-year-old, who took a degree in the subject from Liverpool University. “I was lucky enough to unearth a Roman nail and Celtic iron hearth during excavations. A real thrill at the time,” he recalls. These days, selling is his lifeblood, although he admits that he “fell into it” after working in the packaging industry early on. The sports, amenity and horticulture sectors are thankful that he did.

In post for more than five years now, Greg spends many months of the year meeting turf professionals and businesses in more than 20 countries, from Switzerland to Sweden, Cyprus to Brazil, Japan to the USA. Hard work undoubtedly, but he carries with him a key advantage, he believes. “The UK is seen as a worldleader in turf. Our groundsmen are considered the gold standard, so people abroad tend to listen to you when you talk about groundcare products.”

That can come in handy.  “I’ve seen some staggering sights on my travels, not only historic masterpieces but magnificent examples of how not to mark out pitches,” he recounts, “like the Brazilian groundsman who was daubing on decorating paint with a brush on the end of a stick. I had to point out tactfully that there was another way of doing it.”

Clocking up the air miles is no trouble to him. “I don’t mind the travel, you get used to it, in what is a far more competitive marketplace than when I first started selling. The really tough part is organising flight times to fit in with meetings.”  There’s also the thorny perennial of communicating globally. “You have to choose your words very carefully indeed sometimes.  Bullet points leave less scope for ambiguity in emails,” he advises. “Fortunately, English is the lingua franca in many countries.”

Resident in Preston, Lancashire, Greg, wife Anna and Staffie rescue dog Star are close to some of the most glorious sites in Britain. “We love Silverdale in the South Lakes – fantastic views and plenty of walking: That and Hutton Roof limestone paving.”   If the weather turns nasty, his attentions turn to restoring classic cars. “I’m tackling a Mini at the moment – one of the original designs – so that keeps me busy. I do like a round of golf too.”

Greg on the golf course

An old cliché it may be but the world really is his oyster, Greg says. “I’m lucky, I can sell anything I want. There are so many opportunities and many of my customers are keen to learn what’s happening in the UK.”

He always keeps tabs on developments in-house at Vitax. “I attend sales meeting at the Coalville head office and listen attentively to what the reps say and learn from them as they are at the coalface. “My watchword is always to be honest when selling, as people buy people – another cliché but so true.”

 

Giggleswick pitch

Never a line out at Giggleswick, except during a rugby match

School rugby is certainly moving along the right lines at Giggleswick School where the youth game is mining a rich vein of form, whether non-contact tag rugby for the seven-year olds or the powerplay of the U18s.

Giggleswick pitch

Geographically, Giggleswick’s location in Settle, North Yorkshire, is at the epicentre of northern counties competition and stages a host of events across its age groups, such as the festival held this November for Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire and Northumberland/Cumbria/Durham/ U16s teams.

When England selectors are attending, presentation is paramount, which is why Head of Grounds Craig Eccleston ensures his ‘Fields of Dreams” are pitch perfect in every respect.

“Boys and girls rugby are big here,” says Craig,” we hold festivals for the U9s, U10s and U11s right up to the U18s. Our pitches are in good condition, well-drained and maintained so that they can withstand intensive use for several months of the year. They have to look the part and laying down bright sharp lines is an important element of our preparations.”

Seeking to emulate the success of last year’s U16s festival Craig has, once again, applied Supaturf Stadia paint with the TX252 line markers that have served him and his grounds team so consistently well over the years.

Giggleswick TFS line marking

“We had tried several makes of marker machines and paint but had suffered various problems with them,” recalls Craig. “Either the machines were prone to blockages or the batteries had issues. My predecessor used the Supaturf machines and paint when he moved to another school and recommended them. Since then, we’ve never looked back.”

Rugby is just one of several sports Gigglewick provides that need the reliability and professional finish Craig’s TX252s and Stadia paint provide. The floodlit synthetic sand-dressed hockey pitch comes in for heavy use during the autumn and winter, while football enters the arena at the turn of the year before cricket on the three squares and rounders start in earnest over the spring and summer terms.

After boundary marking on the squares, using their TX252s, the team reverts to hand painting the creases applying neat Stadia paint to provide “a bright strong, hardwearing line that fits the bill”, Craig says.  The grounds team use the machines for marking out athletics for summer also doing the job on the three grass tennis courts too he adds.

Their manoeuvrability means the team can quickly mark out corner quadrants and other curved lines on playing surfaces. “Our different coloured aerosols serve us well there too,” says Craig,  “Depending on which sports are planned, we use red, blue and yellow. They also come in handy for measuring out pitch dimensions initially and for `Ground under repair` notices

“Our wheel-to-wheel line markers had proved good value for money but when I was given a demonstration of the spray markers, I just had to switch,” Craig adds.

Rothwell Juniors poster

Rothwell’s dual delivery solves 3G linemarking issues

Early 3G pitch adopter Rothwell Juniors are celebrating a decade of robust service from their synthetic pitch, heavily patronised by schools and local club junior levels for match fixtures and training. Facilities manager Steven Walker has been in post since the synthetic area opened so knows that only regular maintenance will keep the playing surface safe and sound – and that includes the linemarking.

Rothwell Juniors poster

“When you have a surface that sees action every night of the week and at weekends, you have to ensure your lines are crisp, sharp and longlasting,” Steven stresses.

Rothwell line marking

He used Supaturf Artificial Surface Paint and liked its professional finish and durable lines. Not easy to achieve when you are dealing with 3G’s shifting rubber crumb infill, he explains.

“The solution is to apply the artificial paint first to establish the lines on the pile, then spray every month or two with Supaturf SupaStadia paint to ensure a longlasting result on the rubber crumb.”

SupaStadia also fits the bill for the natural pitches in his care, which also come in for heavy use.

Rothwell pitches

He relies on his Supaturf TXE 606 and 505 linemarking machines but had suffered problems with paint, until he switched to a Supaturf product, he says.

“My previous paint kept clogging the machine nozzles, which was a real pain having to keep clearing them of build-up.  I asked Vitax regional technical manager Graham Wingfield for advice and he suggested SupaStadia, which does the job time and again and produces a really white line that looks a treat on match days.”

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.