The two-man Auckland-based Aeration Services Ltd is expanding rapidly towards becoming a nationwide business as bowling clubs everywhere demand its imported expertise in providing them with healthier and more efficient greens.
Former sports field maintenance and construction specialists Daniel Quinn and Mark Perham began the business in June last year after purchasing a $55,000 self-propelled hydrostatic air injection machine –an aerator known as the Air 2G2 – from its Florida manufacturer GT Air Inject which rolled out its first model using all-new technology eight years ago.
Since then, the company has sold several thousand to US, UK and European sports clubs, 16 to bowlers and golfers in Australia – and now one to New Zealand.
Daniel and Mark saw potential for the turf-care system at home where they are country franchisees for the 420 kilo aerator.
“We were confident it would work here,” Daniel says. “We are experienced green-keepers and did a lot of internet research before taking it on.
“The reaction here has been very positive and growing all the time - the machine is getting busier as it becomes better known and we have taken it to work at more than 100 clubs all over the North Island already, some several times.
“Demand is so great we plan to buy a second unit in the next six to 12 months.”
Most of the green work is performed by part-time operator Jim Corric, President of Riverhead Bowling Club which was among the first clubs to use the aerator after its arrival from the US.
One operation t takes up to three hours while Aeration Services charges $330 for a single green and $550 for two on the same site. Repeat visits are recommended until required green health has been achieved, then just one or two annually to maintain standards.
The 262 is powered by a 19hp petrol engine which also compresses air to 60psi through probes mounted on three discs to blast vertically and horizontally underground.
These systems immediately break up compacted soil, improve irrigation and drainage, provide new channels for deeper roots and generate better turf - all achieved in any weather and with no disturbance to the playing surface above while developing a healthier green which also feels better to play on.
All processes can be automatically controlled by buttons on the machine or from settings on a computer pad.