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 03-10-2003, 20:26 Post: 50920
Elystan Miles
2003-03-10 20:26:53
Post: 50920
 Soccer Fields Tractor

Can anyone recommend the ideal tractor & equipment for around 8 acres of soccer fields. I'm a coach and know nothing of such things. I live in the Bahamas, so temperature is a consideration.
Thanks






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 03-11-2003, 08:29 Post: 50952
TomG

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 Soccer Fields Tractor

The task is basically lawn mowing and maybe with some special equipment for rejuvinating worn areas. Some people do pro landscaping can comment about special equipment better than I can. Most any compact (probably with a mid-mover and turf tires) should do the job. The size of compact would be mostly determined by how much time is available for mowing. Bigger ones would get it done faster, but they also are heavier and might have to stay off the fields during wet weather.

3ph and pull mowers also should work but they aren't as good at keeping a level cut and are more prone to scalping areas around bumps. Of course, soccer fields should be flat and pull type mowers probably are OK and they wouldn't require a tractor with a mid-pto. I would keep in mind that scalped or areas that are cut too short on a soccer field will 'fester' and turn into mud-flats.

Apart from equipment issues, I'll comment from an organization perspective. One of my jobs as a District Executive and Provincial Board member was allocating fields to member leagues and ensuring that the policies of the municipal parks who owned the fields were carried out.

The most important thing in maintaining soccer fields is to have clear and absolute policies that keep usage within the capacity of the fields. The capacity is determined by the soil and type of grass, weather and availability of water. Permits are issued and use outside permit times is not allowed. Practice permits may be issued but no pickup games allowed. Games have to be canceled when the fields are wet. It's good to know the capacity of a field and to limit a field's use accordingly. Once a field starts going downhill, it turns into a mud flat quickly and then the only alternative is to take it out of service for a season. Or, get a roller for the tractor and try to keep it at least safe to play on. You have to have good cooperation from leagues to maintain policies, but the results are that everybody gets to play on grass.






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 03-11-2003, 09:31 Post: 50962
DRankin



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 Soccer Fields Tractor

OK Tom, now you are starting to worry me.

When acting in your Official Capacity I hope you don't wear one of those white wigs.

If you do, I shall have to regard your writings in an entirely new light.

Please! I have to know!! Smile






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 03-11-2003, 10:23 Post: 50965
WillieH



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 Soccer Fields Tractor

WOW !

I used to be a member on our soccer team. I loved the sport, still do...I think. What a dissertation. I'll never take the soccer field for granted again! Especially if I'm being chased by a guy wearing white wig.

The action that we practice in our areas, and keep in mind every geographic location differs somewhat, is to use a 3pt finish/grooming deck or a MMM. If the 3pt deck is of newer variety, it should come equipped with anti-scalping / front rider wheels and rollers. Hence, the deck is travelling on the ground the same way that a MMM would travel. Besides this, we have incorporated a trail behind roller that rolls the fields at the same time that we cut...It leaves a fantastic job, and, the clippins are virtually immediately set into the field for rerooting. As they say..."Try it, You'll like it!"

Willie H.






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 03-12-2003, 06:07 Post: 51012
TomG

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 Soccer Fields Tractor

I've been out of soccer for about 10 years, but funny thing that Mark mentions wigs. One of my early jobs with the District was Chair of Discipline & Appeals. I was the soccer judge. A case can be made that FIFA is the only true world government. The judgments of even lowly district officials as I was are intentional in scope. No wigs though.

Ejected players are banned from all soccer immediately on ejection until cases are heard. Penalties are proscribed and harsh, judgments are final, referee decisions are virtually never over-turned and the only grounds for appeal are mistaken identity. There are variations. In Portugal, the Referees' Association handles discipline. Cases of players ejected in Portugal are likely heard by the same referee who ejected the player. Mark may well have appreciated the nature of soccer discipline in his law enforcement work.

A little closer to tractors is that field maintenance can be a profession and there definitely are roles for compact tractors. From listening to a parks superintendent I found that there is far more to the grass I ran on than I ever imagined. A lot of it has to do with the original construction but on-going maintenance can be a big deal for fields that receive heavy use. The only alternative to good construction and maintenance is not to use a field very much, which sort of defeats the reason for having one.






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 03-12-2003, 07:45 Post: 51018
BigJohn



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 Soccer Fields Tractor

Elystan, please let me know which island we are talking about, we work in the Bahamas quite a bit, and we keep some equipment down there since it is cheaper than shipping it back and forth constantly. I'm sure the boss would be willing to sell some of it, as he has done in the past.

You also didn't say if any new work was being considered, or if you were just looking to accomplish routine turf maintenance.






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 03-13-2003, 01:33 Post: 51071
Elystan
2003-03-13 00:00:00
Post: 51071
 Soccer Fields Tractor

*phew* thanks guys. I never knew there was so much range to these sites. Even information on the Portugese Referees Association. Excellent information Tom & Willie, I'll be coming back here frequently, I can see.
Big John - We've spent the last two years raising the capital and have just acquired 18 acres of land which is, as we Bahamians call it 'bush, bush and bush on bush' (not the president). We're still a good way from laying the turf. At the moment, I'm still pricing as much as I can. We're in the Captital (Nassau- New Providence Island) and yes, we could well be interested in acquiring equipment from your company and possibly discuss contracts, etc. What's it called?
Again, thanks a million all, a thousand Bahamian children will be happier.






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 03-13-2003, 07:07 Post: 51080
TomG

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Elystan: That sound like a very good project. Good luck with it. Playing soccer makes most everybody happy. Kids especially, and it's a good thing to see.

I imagine that your group has the construction project well in hand. It might be worth me passing along part of my conversation with the parks super that I mentioned. The fields he had to maintain were actually unmaintainable.

His park was a large ravine park where a sizable athletic area had been carved out of mature forest and hillsides. In his mind the problems were that the project was done by parks people who knew about parks rather than athletic fields. Quite a bit of slash and stumps had been simply buried by fill rather than removed. The result was permanently settling soil that created 6" sink holes 10 or more feet in diameter on several of the fields. I remember those sinkholes from my fullback days. Sometimes they tackled about as well as I did.

On those same fields the drainage came down from the remaining hills and collected along one side, and tiles should have been installed. The result was that scheduled games on these fields were canceled a lot. The super said things like: 'It's great as a picnic area and that's what it should be.' I remember those canceled games from my league days. I had to reschedule them, and usually on the bald man city fields that didn't have a permit system.

Fields across the city were constructed in a wet area but specifically as athletic fields. They were raised and crowned and the entire area was tiled into a drainage ditch. No help for defenders there and far fewer canceled games.






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 03-16-2003, 12:17 Post: 51274
Elystan Miles
2003-03-16 00:00:00
Post: 51274
 Soccer Fields Tractor

Thanks again, every ounce of information I can get is helpful. I'm currently scouting for teh best turf maintenance vehicles - do I go for petrol, electric or diesel?
Thanks again from an upstart groundsman!






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