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Trofil and SMG Synthetic turf seminar organised by the Siegburger Turnverein 1862/92 e.V.
Together with the Bavarian maintenance equipment manufacturer SMG, the synthetic turf manufacturer Trofil Sportbodensysteme based in Hennef, Germany, held a seminar concerned with the topic of correct expert maintenance of synthetic turf surfaces on 11.04.2013.
A synthetic turf pitch costs not just money to install, regular maintenance work must also be carried out. If this is not the case, the life expectancy of the turf can be shortened by several years and unnecessary damage can occur.
According to Eike Wedell, Managing Director of Trofil, the most frequent reason for damage such as tears or rips near the penalty spot is incorrect maintenance, lack of expert knowledge and time for the maintenance work, too little filler material, mossing (growth of moss) or use of the wrong equipment. It is also important that the trained groundsman is well informed about his turf (pile height, strengths and weaknesses) and that all necessary preparation work is carried out (filler material, closure of the pitch when ice forms, the correct maintenance machines). Naturally, many tips and tricks are discussed, e.g. how monofilaments can be cut off by a knife effect of ice slab formation and that ice represents a high risk of injury for players. A snow blower must be set exactly above the pile height and may only be used with fresh, not frozen snow. Synthetic turf should never be cleaned in a dry state and sprung steel forks should only be used very carefully and should be considered a critical point, especially in combination with quartz sand.
Annual maintenance work amounts to about 90 hours per year. Around 40 hours must be calculated only for dragging the pitch. The filler material should be completely replaced every 3 – 5 years at the latest, the quantity involved is dependent on the previous amount used. In addition, it care should be taken that pitch is protected from damage by use of the wrong sports shoes, inline skates bicycles, prams and similar articles, stated Heinz Siebertz (Vice President of the sport club TSV Siegburg 1862/92 e.V.). He emphasised that the pitch installed by Trofil still looks like new despite being surrounded by trees and heavy use, because it is of such high quality, is given regular care and because the users have defined rules and regulations for its use.
A synthetic pitch costs money – although natural turf also costs around 25,000 to 30,000 Euro per year - the maintenance work is not free of charge and must be regularly budgeted. It is not enough to simply brush the pitch, after each in-depth cleaning at least two wheelbarrows full of dirt and refuse are removed.
Jochen Bäurle, SMG Sportplatzmaschinenbau GmbH, recommends calculating for the maintenance costs of a pitch right at the start and to plan long term. He considers it very important to discuss costs with other owners and to use independent planners.
In practical application, the groundsman should regularly and manually refill worn areas of concentrated use with sand and rubber granules, whereby a larger share of rubber granules than sand should be used as otherwise the areas will become hard and can cause serious injury to players.
Further information from: www.trofil.de/www.smg-gmbh.de