19 Apr 2013
April 19, 2013

More of a Shetland workhorse than pony

When you’re so far away from the manufacturer it makes sense to check out the product in detail before you buy. That’s just what Magnus Malcolmson of Shetland Island Council did before he settled on a new Charterhouse VertiDrain 7521 and two years on he says “excellent quality, no problems or issues.” Shetland is where Scotland meets Scandinavia and the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Where the Shetland ponies come from; the sweaters and the Vikings. It lies 600 miles north of London and is made up of more than a hundred islands, just 15 of them inhabited. They boast abundant wildlife, a spectacular coastline as well as football and rugby pitches, an equestrian centre and a 9 hole golf course – all of which Magnus has responsibility to maintain.

A native “Islander”, Magnus took on the job of Leisure Facilities Officer for the Council 6 years ago, he explained, “as well as the maintenance of all the playing surfaces, part of my job role is looking for play areas and multi courts to develop”, for which his Civil Engineering Degree from Glasgow University has helped him. The department previously had a 20 year old Charterhouse VertiDrain, which was still giving good service, when they consulted Garriock Bros Ltd. “Garrick Bros are a very reputable local company that don’t just sell equipment, but carryout the maintenance as well. They also know the climatic conditions of the Islands. It is so wet here and very small so nowhere is too far from the salty air of the sea.” Magnus commented. “Whilst we knew a Charterhouse was a reliable and quality machine, we nevertheless took advice from Garrick Bros Ltd. Sales Manager Peter Jack to research the market. We narrowed it down to a choice of 2 manufacturers in the end, Charterhouse and one other, and had a demo from both companies.” Richard Heywood from Charterhouse led the demonstration, “he left the operators feeling very confident in the operation of the machine, and showed how straight forward the maintenance would be. We knew the better bits of machinery to look for and believe that ‘cheapness’ is not always the best – it can end up being a case of false economy. We weren’t too impressed with the other machine on our short list and considered the Verti-Drain 7521 to be far more cost effective. It was big enough and quick enough to handle the variety of jobs we had to carry out.”

Magnus likes to VertiDrain the pitches as often as he can, even in the dryer spells, to help maintain decompaction. This goes for the winter time too when it really, really has to be wet for them not to! Garriock Bros Ltd delivered the machine in 2007 and since then it has given outstanding service to the Islands 20 pitches, all with varying depth and soil conditions. Magnus has found the Verti- Drain 7521 to be “very reliable; simple and easy to adjust and operate; and the tines just as easy to change. It’s all straight forward – the tractor operator can do it all on site, on his own, fairly quickly saving many man hours.”

The VertiDrain 75 Series incorporates all the innovative technology of the second generation VertiDrain line. Its three-speed gearbox will match up to any tractor and can offer a full 16″ deep penetration with 1/2″ tines fitted at 21/2″ centres. It has a high productivity rate of up to 40,200 sqft/hr. To withstand the harsh conditions the 7521 would be operating in, Garriock Bros Ltd. coated all removable parts like tines, collars & lock screws with copper grease, this ensures that in the future these could be easily removed and replaced if necessary without the hindrance of corrosion. They also applied Waxoyl to the whole machine as “Standard Practice” on any new equipment to protect it against corrosion that the Shetland elements tend to inflict on metal machinery.