With a fleet of natural and synthetic machinery from Charterhouse Turf Machinery, Head Groundsman Robert Cheape is well equipped to maintain the four separate sites that make up The Glasgow Academy. He has recently taken delivery of his third Verti-Drain®, a 7521, for the regular aeration of the eight grass rugby pitches, while an X-treme Clean is ensuring the playability and safety of their four artificial surfaces.
With facilities for cricket, ladies and men’s hockey and tennis, it is the rugby section that is best known – with Glasgow Academicals RFC celebrating their 150th anniversary in the 2016-17 season.
“Our rugby pitches see a lot of play, from both external clubs and the 1400 pupils of the academy” explains Robert, who has been at the school for 36 years. “Weather permitting, we carry out aeration once a month, and for over 20 years that’s been with a combination of a Charterhouse slitter and Verti-Drain®.” Upgrading their machine roughly every seven years, Robert’s latest model – the 7521 – was delivered by local dealer Hamilton Brothers.
“It was the 2.1m working width and the range of tine options that really appealed with the 7521. We can go out with solid tines working at depths of up to 16″ through the winter months alongside our slitter, then incorporate.some hollow coring between March and September. This gives us ultimate flexibility to react to ground conditions and adjust penetration and heave accordingly.” By keeping on top of routine maintenance, Robert has also been impressed with the reliability of the Verti-Drain®. “They’re well-built and easy to operate and maintain – with all of our Verti-Drain’s® we’ve never had any issues with breakdowns.”
On the club’s two full-size astro hockey pitches, together with their two ¾ size MUGA surfaces, it’s a trusty combination of brushes from the Charterhouse synthetic collection used alongside the X-treme Clean 1200. “We brush once a week and then follow up with a monthly pass of the X-treme Clean.” Using horizontally rotating brushes, the X-treme Clean lifts the pile and agitates the infill – removing dirt, debris and compaction. “As with all of our Charterhouse kit, it’s efficient, reliable and does exactly what you want it to. We’ve used it for years and will be happy to do so for many more to come.”