Turfgroom is the name given by Howard Marshall Engineering to the machine that was developed to assist in the renovation program on some of the finest football training pitches in the land. Steve Braddock the head groundsman of Arsenal Football Clubs Shenley training ground is known throughout the ground keeping industry for the world class condition in which he and his team produce football pitches. Steve Braddock requested a machine to clear away the grass clippings and associated debris in the first stage of preparing the ground surface for the renovation process. Previous machines that were used caused problems with collecting in that they were trailed driven and the material was compressed into the ground by the weight of the machine driving the sweeper along, also with insufficient hopper collection capacity being another factor that needed addressing. Howard Marshall Engineering (HME) took up the challenge to develop a machine to meet the requirements.
The Turfgroom employs a hydraulically driven sweeping element that delivers the collected material into a rotary hopper. The hopper being large enough to allow a pass up and down the pitch before emptying. At two meters wide and being mounted on a front loader it clears the residue in front of the tractor wheels. The machine has front and rear full width rollers to ensure stability. The front roller is height adjustable to allow the correct brush bristle to ground contact to be made and the brush continuously wipes the roller to prevent any build-up occurring that would adversely affect the performance. Also adjustable is the front feed plate, which, along with the brush speed, dictates how the collected material is delivered to the hopper. A ‘floating’ headstock arrangement between the Turfgroom and loader, allows the machine to follow the ground surface to ensure accurate brush height setting.
Unloading is simply a matter of raising the Turfgroom, placing it over the trailer and hydraulically rotating the unique barrel hopper. This method of emptying the hopper does not increase the overall dimensions of the machine. A full emptying cycle only takes a few seconds
The Turfgroom has achieved the desired results in debris collecting and has become a valuable piece of equipment in the extensive renovation process that is carried out on a yearly basis at the training centre.