With a reputation for excellence in the turf care market, two Kubota tractors are now playing a role in the rejuvenation of synthetic grass surfaces.
Replay Maintenance is using Kubota B2530 and B1620 compact tractors to power its specialist Beaver Rejuvenation machines which restore tired synthetic pitches to their former glory.
In recent years, organisations from schools to premiership teams have swapped traditional turf for synthetic pitches to benefit from cost savings and their ability to sustain intensive use through all weather conditions; but everything has a finite life and with sand-filled sports surfaces, the sand becomes contaminated and compacted. This leads to reduced drainage, poor play surface and player discomfort.
And that’s where Replay Maintenance comes in. A specialist in synthetic turf maintenance and repair, the company is a partner of the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) and the UK licence holder for the specialist Replay Rejuvenation process. This uses the patented Beaver Rejuvenation machine to force compressed air into the weave to remove the compacted and contaminated sand.
The company operates two sizes of Beaver; the B2000M powered by the Kubota B2530 compact tractor for renovating full-sized rugby, football and hockey pitches, and the B1000 powered by the Kubota B1620 which is used for tennis courts.
Each tractor is specially adapted by Replay Maintenance’s sister company, Charles Lawrence International (CLI) for the task. The axle is moved backwards to widen the wheel base, and the hydraulics are modified to incorporate lift arms and allow the Beaver’s auger to run alongside the tractor body.
Once the removal process is completed, new sand is brushed into the synthetic weave to restore the surface. The whole process, which takes around five days to complete a 6000m² synthetic sports surface, is designed to minimise downtime, meaning the pitch isn’t out of action for long. What’s more, it solves compaction, drainage, Health and Safety and play issues, extending the pitch’s life by a further five to six years.
Garry Martin, Director of Replay Maintenance, said: "It’s important to remove as much sand as possible from the weave, so we needed a tractor with a large enough engine to power the Beaver yet one that is easy to operate at slow speeds.
"The Kubota B2530 and B1620 compact tractors not only meet these requirements but offer a robust design and are extremely reliable. This is essential because we’re contracted to do a job within a specific time – for instance to get a premiership pitch ready for the start of the season – and matches simply can’t be delayed."
In addition to holding the UK licence, Replay Maintenance also sells licences for the Replay Rejuvenation process to companies based overseas. The Beaver machines and modified Kubota compact tractors are then supplied by CLI.
John Bramwell, Operations/Commercial Director at CLI, added: "When we first looked for a tractor to power the Beaver, we turned to Kubota; as market leaders in compact tractors they have an excellent reputation with an extensive dealer network, so spares, maintenance and repairs won’t be a problem for our customers.
"Most importantly, Kubota has worked closely with us throughout the development process, which ensures that when we export the modified tractors to our customers overseas, they are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and accepted by the customer’s local dealer.
Of course, dealer support is just as important for Replay Maintenance as it is for their customers. The company uses local dealer, Farmstar, near Newark, for servicing, maintenance and spares and Garry reports that their level of service is ‘top notch’. "I’d have no hesitation in recommending Kubota or Farmstar," he added.