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Meet the Operator – Michael Kelly

Meet the Operator – Michael Kelly

1.    What is your current role at Replay Maintenance? How long have you been there and what was your route into the industry?
I became part of the Replay team following a recruitment drive day that Replay held. I have now worked at Replay for two years, as a Synthetic Surface Technician.

2.    What training did you undergo when you started the job?
I began by shadowing an experienced member of the team who taught me the principles of the job and have continued to progress through the in-house training programme. Since starting, I have gone on to learn all of the various Replay Maintenance processes and completed my telescopic handler licence and forward tipping dumper licence. I have also attended first aid and health and safety courses.

3.    What time do you start work in the morning, what does an average day entail?
Generally, my start time varies depending on the jobs I have scheduled to do that day, though it is normally sometime between 6am and 7am. My average day usually entails two jobs, one in the morning and then another in the afternoon.

4.    How much information do you receive in advance of a site visit? What technology do you use to track and monitor your work?
All information is fed direct to me on a daily basis through the Replay PitchPassport365 system. I receive the name of the job and the address, the name of the site contact and their contact details along with any information that is specific to that site such as the size, and type, of surface. PitchPassport365 has a job timer on it to which is started on arrival at the site and is turned off on completion. This helps us to track all of our visits. The average Replay Revive® visit takes approximately four hours to complete. The PitchPassport365 system also allows me to add before, during and after photos of the job, as well as alerting the office instantly of any issues that I find on the surface during a visit – fed through using Replay Rescue.

5.    What are the essential pieces of equipment on your truck, to complete the days task?

The Revive machine, which uses a wet and dry filter, is the core piece of equipment I use. I also carry three sieves of different sizes, which gives me the choice of which to utilise depending on the type of surface I am working on, the size of the infill and the weather conditions on the day. In addition, I have a leaf blower, refuse sacks, weed and moss sprayer and various other items in the van which are used during a site visit.

6.    Most of your work is conducted independently – how much interaction do you have with the facility manager and are there many decisions you have to make on site?
On arrival at a site I will report to reception who will then point me in the direction of the caretaker who facilitates my visit. Working independently, I have to use my initiative when completing the job but if any major problems arise, I will speak with the main job contact.

7.    Have you experienced any changes during your time at Replay, and if so, how have these impacted on, or improved, the service you provide?
The main improvement has been the introduction of Replay’s PitchPassport system which has significantly improved the sharing of information between the Replay office, the customer and the operators on the road. The system instantly connects us all, and the work I carry out on the pitch can be viewed ‘as-live’.

8.    Is there a particular service you enjoy conducting?
There are many elements I enjoy, but in particular, I get a great deal of satisfaction conducting the specialist Revive visits. It’s the service we probably conduct the most often but it’s very rewarding seeing the improvement in the appearance of a surface. I also enjoy familiarising myself with people over the visits, getting to know them, their pitches and working together with them to produce a maintenance regime that works.

9.    In your role you spend a lot of hours travelling between sites – what do you listen to and which song can you be caught singing along to?
When I’m in between jobs, I mainly listen to Radio 1 but if you’re going to catch me singing it’ll likely be to any song by The Courteeners.

10.    How do you spend your free time?
I spend my spare time with my girlfriend and enjoy socialising with friends. I also follow Nottingham Forest Football Club.


Turfix successfully launched at BTME

With a stand theme of Your Turf Our Passion Pitchmark report a successful launch at BTME of Turfix, the newly formed subsidiary of The Pitchmark Group.
“BTME 2019 was a huge success for Turfix, with lots of interest in our stand and new product ranges – particularly our range of ICL’s updated ProSelect seed.” Says Darren Rodman, Marketing Director of The Pitchmark Group. “It was great to start 2019 with a bang by launching Turfix, and BTME proved the right platform to do that.”
Turfix will act as Pitchmark’s sole UK distribution arm, offering premium pitch solutions to the professional sports turf sector. This will include bespoke advice, education and the supply of a wide range of products from manufacturers including Pitchmark, ICL, Harrod Sport, Tildenet and BMS. Turfix is set up to offer quality of service with turf support managers, who have been groundsmen or greenkeepers, able to spend more time with customers and implement specifically tailored solutions for all their requirements. Turfix customers nationwide will also have access to a unique GPS pitch-marking service using Pitchmark’s LineMaster system.


Rigby Taylor’s Cold Start Boost-R Fertiliser Will Kick Start Your Season!

Rigby Taylor has introduced Cold Start Boost-R 11-5-5 +8 Fe + O.8 MgO as a true cold start fertiliser that provides turf with nitrogen in cold conditions, in conjunction with a rapid colour boost.
Effective at temperatures of 5 degrees C, Cold Start Boost-R will prepare the plant for the spring, greatly improve early season colour and assist in combating turf disease attack while enabling grounds staff to produce playing surfaces that continue to meet expectations.
With a nitrate and high iron content, as well as magnesium for increased colour, Cold Start Boost-R also includes zeolite to reduce leaching and improve cation exchange capacity
Nitrogen: an application of a fertiliser containing sulphate of ammonia, urea and nitrate in temperatures of 5 degrees C, will enable the nitrate to provide the plant with a quick ‘kick’, while waiting for the sulphate of ammonia to become available.
Iron provides an almost instant visual response and will assist in the hardening of the plant foliage as a defence against early season disease pressure. This also helps reduce surface scarring.
There are three-fold benefits of the use of magnesium compared to formulations containing just nitrate and iron. Magnesium allows the plant takes to up nitrate when it is photosynthesising, even at cold temperatures, naturally provides colour and increases the plant’s ability to utilise iron.

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