Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Winter equipment maintenance

One of the questions we hear about 20 times every winter is "so what do you guys do over the winter?"  I can't blame them, they're just not aware of what it takes to keep a course running at this level.  The presumption is that there isn't much to do and it must be nice to take it easy.  The answer I give in response is the list of items that we tackle over the winter, and inform them that we transition into our "winter" schedule which is back down to 40 hours a week.  So while it is nice to have a less hectic schedule, we still have a laundry list of items to complete to insure the course is in great shape for the following summer.

Typical winter projects include: detailing equipment, service and heavy maintenance on all equipment, clean and repair course supplies (tee markers, ball washers, trash cans, benches...) make repairs to and paint maintenance building, tree trimming, tree removals, snow removal as needed, and all the scheduling / planning /purchasing that is required for the upcoming season.

The last few weeks we have been focused on the equipment, more importantly, sharpening all the reels and bed-knives.  This process is probably the most important task we embark on every year, without a perfect cut the turf will tear, which decreases the quality of the playing surface.  With 10 pieces of equipment with reels, consisting of 30 individual reels and knives, we have a lengthy process of breaking down each reel, replacing bearings and applying a sharp edge.

Jim replacing bearings on a front roller of a fairway reel.

Evan working on a fairway reel.

Eric, removing a reel from the grinder.

Wayne has been busy detailing the equipment, he makes a 6 year old piece of equipment look new.
Eric, Jim, Evan and Wayne have been doing a great job, working together in an assembly line like fashion to get these reels cutting better than they ever have.  I know it's a few months away yet, but I can't wait to see these mowers in action.