Stow Acres Turf

Golf Course Maintenance News & Live Updates from @stowacresturf

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Custom Landscape Trailer

One of our projects in the shop this winter was to build a custom landscape trailer that would hold everything the crew might need when trimming bunker edges, greens surrounds, trees, railroad ties, etc.  The base for this project was a 4’x5′ trailer purchased from Harbor Freight.  From here, we started the process of tailoring the trailer to our specific needs.

First, we switched out the tires/wheels to net a lower center of gravity and lessen the angle of the tailgate ramp.  Next, we extended the tailgate by 24″ to further lessen the angle of the tailgate ramp:

From there, we covered the deck in 3/4″ plywood and began building mounts for the assorted tools and equipment that the trailer would service.  The backpack blowers were mounted with bars through the cavity between the blower and carriage:

The string trimmers were mounted to upright posts and clipped in with carabiners to ensure they would not fall off of the trailer.  As an added safety measure, we installed fail-safe wire in the event that the carabiner or plastic on the string trimmer broke:

Alongside the string trimmer, we mounted a 5 lb spool of string along with a trimmer line cutter:

For the hand tools, we used the plasma cutter to cut holes in flat stock, which was then mounted to upright bars (along with mounts for the backpack blower chutes):







All of the welds were cleaned up and smoothed out, and the bare metal was painted to match:

The last addition will be two gas cans mounted on the tongue (mix and regular gas):





If you see the crew using this trailer out on the course, feel free to drop in and take a look at it!

-Justin Parker, Equipment Manager

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An Update from the Shop

Winters are a welcomed change of pace for the shop here at Stow Acres Country Club.  We put quite a bit of time into preparing and planning for the upcoming season,  to produce a progressively higher quality product for the customer. 

Every winter we service approximately 50 reels from the greens, tee, and fairway mowers.  Each reel is evaluated, broken down, rebuilt, sharpened, and has a new bedknife fitted to it.  This process ensures that we start out the season in the best possible position as far as quality of cut and reel reliability are concerned.  Sharpening the reels is an intensive process that grinds the blades down to a precision level of .0005″.  For some perspective, that’s 10 times smaller than the width of a human hair.  It’s incredibly important that the reel be straight, as it’s the passing motion between the reel and bedknife that cuts the grass at a consistent height.  Any minute difference in the distance between the reel and bedknife can lead to an unclean cut, torn, or completely uncut leaf blade.  The less clean a cut is made on the blade, the more that plant is prone to disease and environmental stresses.  For the golfer, uncut or unevenly cut grass (particularly on a green) equates to unpredictable ball roll, and a generally unsightly appearance.  This being said, quality of cut is of extreme importance here at Stow Acres Country Club, it’s a win-win for the golfers and staff alike. Here is a short video of the grinding process (audio is included, so we advise turning your speakers to a low setting at first):

We spend a considerable portion of the winter season researching methods, tools, and equipment.  One project in particular we’ve been working on is a landscaping trailer that will carry rotary mowers, trimmers, blowers, and various hand tools.  In the past, it would take multiple carts/trailers to accomplish the same task, sometimes with many trips back and forth to the maintenance barn for another tool.  Our expectation is an increased quality in the hand manicured areas such as bunker surrounds, tee complexes, pond edges, etc.

From a shop perspective, the 2011 season is going to be characterized by quality of cut and improved efficiency.  Coming into our 4th season as a core management team, our ship has never sailed any smoother.

-Justin Parker, Equipment Manager


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