Bernhard’s Director of Worldwide Sales, Steven Nixon, explains why investing in grinding equipment in your maintenance facility could improve turf quality and save your club serious cash in the long run Sharp mower blades make for a better cut. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it can also come at a cost. Your club can spend thousands every year sending off equipment to be honed, and the pressures on chemicals and agronomical practices could be making that a more regularly required exercise. Steven Nixon, Director of Worldwide Sales at Bernhard and Company, believes he has the answer. Here, he explains the benefits of buying your own grinding machines and outlines why doing the work in-house will save you money in the long run and give you a better golf course. Can you put into context what spin grinding has done for golf courses and how important it is to the overall maintenance of a facility? It ensures that when you grind a cylinder, you make it cylindrical again. There were other methods of grinders being adapted to sharpen one blade at a time but, by doing that, the grinding stone starts to deteriorate and results in high and low sections of the blade. To get around that problem, people used to use a mixture of an abrasive and a liquid. It was originally like an oil, known as a back lapping paste, to try and make the cylinder fit to the bottom blade properly. Spin grinding essentially spins the cylinder while grinding it, to ensure that everything becomes super uniform. You can then keep the mower set very precisely. The mower was never intended for the cylinder and the bottom blade – the two parts of the cutting action – to rub together. They were always designed to run with no contact. The bottom blade would hold the grass in place, the cylinder would pull it across the bed knife and the bottom blade would cut it off, replicating a scything action. But you need a super-precise cylinder to do that, or it just will not cut. Cylinder grinding, and especially our system, ensures that every single blade is perfect. We have no contact between the two cutting components of the mower, which delivers a far cleaner cut. The plant remains a lot healthier, or less damaged, after it has been cut and therefore needs a lot less input, such as fewer chemicals to fight off disease. When sharpening on a regular basis, and using this no contact system, it becomes obvious straight away that one of the major benefits is a reduced number of chemicals used on the golf course. In today’s world, where these chemicals are very expensive, if you can eliminate one spray a year through having a healthy cut, then you start to make savings. Also, because the two surfaces are not rubbing together, which creates friction and a build-up of heat, the mowing equipment runs better. There is markedly less wear on parts and the big...
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