ALS Contracts have invested in six new pieces of machinery and taken on new staff to help with their increasing workload and demand.
The ALS Contracts team is led by Contracts Manager, Dave Harvey, who has over 25 years’ experience in the industry. The team provide a nationwide service, with their number one priority being to provide a fast, safe and efficient, professional service. To accommodate this, it was imperative to update and expand their fleet.
The expansion comprises of three new John Deere 4066R compact utility tractors, a Dakota 414 top dresser, a Vredo 2.2 Super Compact seeder and a Blec Laser Grader. Machinery like this is simply not cost effective for many facilities to purchase, so they view the contracts team as an extension to an integral part of their own operation. Expanding the fleet has therefore been crucial in maintaining the professional and quality service the ALS team are renowned for. They have also increased the size of their team, taking on two new operatives in 2016; Gareth Lanchbury and Sam Ridgway.
In peak season, these additions will enable the team to complete jobs more efficiently, with little disruption, whilst maintaining the highest standards possible: The Dakota 414 top dresser has a higher output; it can apply wet or dry materials, for light to heavy dressings, with an output of 600-700 tonnes per day. Dressings can be applied quickly and accurately with less disruption overall. The Vredo 2.2 Super Compact has 35 ml disc centres, which enables it to distribute a denser concentration of seed, providing a high-density sward in just two passes as opposed to the traditional three. The Blec Laser Grader allows the team to grade to the correct levels across the length of the pitch prior to the final prep and seeding during pitch constructions. The use of this machine helps to reduce the possibility of error or deviation, providing a true and level playing surface.
Two periods of the year are particularly hectic for the Contracts team; March to May and July to October. “Before we purchased our new machinery, trying to fit everything in was interesting” said Dave Harvey. “March to May tends to be spring renovations for golf courses and football pitches. With these coinciding, scheduling in all the work took some serious advanced planning. Then between July and October, golf courses have a ‘shut down week’ which means they want all their work done in this period.”
Investments in the team and the fleet have helped to ease this pressure, as work can be done quicker and more efficiently without compromising on the finished product. Not only that, but it means customers may only have one day of disruption to their usual service, rather than the three to four days it would take if they completed the work themselves.
Of course, there are other factors that influenced the decision to increase the size of the fleet; “You need to take into account the unpredictability of the British weather!” Dave continues; “If the weather isn’t suitable it can cause a backlog in work. Which is why it is so important that we continually invest in our team. With more machinery and more man power it is much easier to manage the increase in demand for our services, even when the elements aren’t on our side!”
The team recently did some work at Parkstone Golf Club in Poole which involved aerating the greens and approaches with the Wiedenmann Terra Spike, hollow core and collecting on the fairways and semi rough, and a top dress.
Course Manager, Grant Peters said: “We are extremely happy with the end result. The new top-dresser has made a massive difference with the quality of spread and the time taken to apply. We only have a very short window to complete our work, and ALS provided a fast, clean service with flexible and well-trained machine operators. I would be happy to recommend ALS to other course managers. I’ve already booked them in for our summer maintenance week!”
The ALS Contracts team is planning to expand even further in 2017, and intend to take on an additional two members of staff to manage their upcoming projects.
To find out more regarding the services on offer from ALS Contracts, visit their website at www.alscontracts.co.uk