Football Foundation and GMA provide the help
By Mark Bolton – Brinscall VJFC
It has been three years since Brinscall VJFC took the plunge in obtaining new machinery, with the excellent support from the Football Foundation and the Pitch improvement report (PIP) from the GMA. Since then we have had probably the most extreme weather I can remember, the drought of 2018 and the never-ending rain of 2019/20, but even with these severe conditions, we strive to improve our pitches. One of the most common issues that I have seen is the lack either quality of cut or the frequency of cutting, both are detrimental to the health of the grass plant, and to be honest, we were guilty of both. This required us to change our ways, and we have never looked back. We had no pitch maintenance plan, and our machinery was not suitable, it was continually breaking down, making the task more difficult.
Visits to Saltex
So, in the winter of 2016/17, we started to derive a plan. We made contact with the Lancashire FA who were very helpful, and they advised the route via the then IOG. We then had the pitch inspection completed on our Abbey Village site; throughout this process, I was creating my shopping list. However, with no background knowledge in this field, the internet was a great source of information, then visits to Saltex16 and BTME 17, and I have been a regular to these events since.
A good piece of engineering
With over 30 years of experience in the aerospace manufacturing sector, I have an eye for a good piece of engineering, a shortlist was made, and I was onto our local dealers and even arranged several demos. My focus was on the Mower initially, then the most suitable power unit so that way you know your initial focus is on the activity you need to undertake.
Bomb-proof design and sleek looks
After several discussions I selected the Wessex RMX-180 rotary roller mower, this is a slightly heavier than the CRX, I liked its bomb-proof design and sleek looks, with anti-scalp design and swing tip blades, some fabulous features. It’s so easy to maintain, just ten grease nipples and a simple dip check on the gearbox oil, the thick steel belt covers have positive fastenings which are easy to remove. The height of cut is simple to adjust, just release the four locknuts and alter the height using the four screws, making sure they are all at the same setting then tighten the lock nuts firmly. I change the six blades probably twice a year and the belts every two years. The cut quality is class-leading, and the cuttings get distributed evenly across the width of the machine due to the baffles. We get lots of positive comments on our pitch preparation, and as a club we are looking at expanding our equipment, striving to get our pitches playable each week, which believe me is not an easy task in the Lancashire Hills!
Overall, The RMX-180 a fabulous machine and best of all it’s made in ENGLAND.