TRAVELS WITH TERRY

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Globetrotting consulting agronomist Terry Buchen visits many golf courses annually with his digital camera in hand. He shares helpful ideas relating to maintenance equipment from the golf course superintendents he visits — as well as a few ideas of his own — with timely photos and captions that explore the changing world of golf course management.

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Blower Auxiliary Fuel Tank

An additional 5-gallon plastic fuel tank and two metal holding straps recycled from a former Buffalo Blower were added to this 2014 Toro Pro Force Debris Blower. A Y-shaped brass fuel line hose barb was used to connect the dual fuel lines. A plastic fuel line shutoff valve was slightly opened to drain both tanks at the same time, as the auxiliary tank is gravity-fed and the OEM tank is a siphon-type. The electric motor/pulley used to move the blower nozzle from side to side was repositioned because it was in the way of the auxiliary fuel tank — as a new custom-made steel bracket was designed and built in-house. This idea eliminated the use of portable gas cans being carried in the tow vehicle. It took about eight total hours and about $50 for materials. Brian Bressler, equipment/shop manager at the Medinah Country Club in suburban Chicago, came up with this excellent idea. Director of grounds Steven M. Cook, CGCS, MG, leads the talented turf team.




Nearly Unbreakable Fairway Aerifier Tines

Heavy clay soils with rocks have been breaking fairway aerifier tines at the Noyac Golf Club in Sag Harbor, New York. Superintendent Brian Goleski and equipment manager J.R. Wilson solved this situation by designing and building an iron forge to manufacture nearly unbreakable solid fairway aerifier tines. The forge was built from a large recycled metal pipe acquired for free, where Rutland Fire Bricks were laid on the bottom floor on top of firewall insulation. Chamber Safe Cement was applied by mixing and hand-troweling it over the insulation. Three vertical pipes, each with their own orifice and hand valve, that control how much heat is generated from the propane tank heat source, were welded on top of the pipe. A metal table was welded into place onto one end. 11/16th-inch diameter cold rolled steel is heated until it is “cherry red” and non-magnetic, which is then hardened with 30 weight oil to quench the hot tine to solidify the hardening. Each tine is cut to 10-inch lengths from each 12-foot-long rod. Total cost was about $200 and labor time was about a day, and the newly built aerifier tines last three times longer.

Terry Buchen, CGCS, MG, is president of Golf Agronomy International. He’s a 51-year, life member of the GCSAA. He can be reached at 757-561-7777 or terrybuchen@earthlink.net.