When Adur & Worthing Councils first looked at robotic line marking a few years ago, “the technology simply just wasn’t up to scratch”, says Grounds Maintenance Supervisor Steve Grant.
“But when Rigby Taylor last year announced its TinyLineMarker (TLM), I could clearly see the multitude of benefits of machine that can, for example, initial mark a full-size football pitch in just 20 minutes, compared to around 1.5 hours manually.”
He continues: “Indeed, in one instance for a football tournament, TLM took just 2.5 hours to mark 17 mini (seven-a-side) football pitches of 60 yards by 40 yards.
“With around 72 regular line marking operations on sites having full-size football and rugby pitches, plus mini pitches, as well as summer sports like cricket (we mark the boundaries at six pitches) and four running tracks, the potential for savings – in terms of time alone - are enormous.
“Our return on the investment will only improve when our work with the local secondary schools and colleges, where there is a wide variety of sports including rounders, is also taken into account.
“And the advantages of, and savings with, TLM don’t end there. We’re now using a single 10-litre tub of Rigby Taylor’s award-winning ready-mixed Impact paint] to mark three pitches.”
The ready-to-use Impact, which produces bright white lines that last longer than other paints, means operators have no contact with the paint either, as a flow tube is simply inserted into the paint container.
With a highly-skilled team of grounds people undertaking all manner of groundscare maintenance – and renovation – tasks, Steve joined the councils five years ago and is part of a 50-person operation that maintains a variety of open spaces, including historic gardens and cemeteries, as well as playgrounds.
Two-thirds of the team, which formerly operated as a contractor to the council, also undertakes cricket table maintenance and, at some sites, end-of-year renovations. A group of seven is charged with line marking tasks as their prime role, and teams of usually two/three work together on each TLM application when, for example, they also undertake additional groundscare tasks while TLM is operating.
With wide experience of line marking, which has also involved his role as a contract supervisor looking after 178 schools in Sussex - and the demands it places on people and time - Steve says he was initially considering all options in terms of ‘automated’ marking.
“With an established background in groundscare, I have enjoyed a long relationship with Rigby Taylor. When I was introduced to TLM and witnessed a demonstration, I was confident in what I saw and I knew it would be a cost-effective replacement for our traditional manual/dimpler machines.”
Lightweight and easy to transport, TLM utilises the latest GPS technology with RTK receiver and antenna that connects with global satellites and mobile network connections. It takes the input of pitch line dimensions and multiple pitches via an App and re-positions them to best fit the site using Google Maps. Once stored, the lines are never lost, even if they disappear if a pitch is not used for any length of time.
Steve adds: “Our operators immediately picked up the programming side and they particularly highlight the functionality for plotting/initial marking out.”
Initially aimed at football pitches (any length/width), and rugby union and league pitches as well as multi-lane athletic tracks, tennis, lacrosse and American football pitches, TLM will also prove useful in the future for Adur & Worthing Councils because it can also mark bespoke shapes, which is often required for some smaller locations and events such as school sports days.
Rain Bird's latest ESP-ME3 irrigation controller for residential ...
To keep on top of the maintenance of a newly-laid 4G astro...