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Posts Tagged ‘machinery’

Ogos

Posted by mynormas on August 3, 2015

Kita ada 12 bulan dalam setahun. Kepada kita yang menjaga padang rumput; bulan yang mempunyai signifikan hanyalah bulan puasa iaitu bulan yang kita lakukan kerja-kerja penyelenggaraan lebih dari biasa dan bulan Disember yang kita anggap sebagai bulan ‘puaka’ kepada mereka yang negatif ataupun kepada mereka yang positif; bulan cuti kerana ini adalah bulan monsun yang mana tak banyak kerja yang kita boleh buat. Malahan kerja rutin biasa seperti potong atau baja (pupuk) juga menjadi masalah.

Saya ingin mencadangkan supaya bulan Ogos di jadikan sebagai ‘bulan mesin’ untuk kita di Malaysia, Indonesia dan juga Singapura yang menyambut hari kemerdekaan pada bulan Ogos ini. Saya cadangkan supaya bulan ini adalah bulan di mana kita bukan sekadar guna water-jet untuk tembak air cuci mesin, tetapi di bulan ini kita akan menggunakan berus dan shampoo kereta untuk mencuci minyak lama, rumput di celah-celah mesin dan tempat duduk dan sebagainya.

Setelah puas hati bahawa mesin adalah bersih sebersih-bersihnya, maka kita pasangkan bendera negara kepada mesin itu untuk menandakan secara simbolik bahawa mesin itu sudah termasuk ke dalam kategori paling bersih.

Kita bukan mahu membuat kenyataan politik (kalau mahu pun peduli apa sama orang lain?) ataupun mahu menunjukkan berapa patriotiknya kita (kalau mahu pun apa salahnya?) tapi untuk kebanyakkan kita yang mahu tahu whats-in-it-for-me maka ia adalah untuk melanjutkan usia mesin kita dan menambah kebanggan pekerja tentang mesin mereka dan juga untuk kita menunjukkan kepada pelanggan dan kepada boss kita bahawa kita bersifat innovatif dan mempunyai inisiatif. Bukan kah nanti lebih senang untuk kita nak minta beli mesin baru satu hari nanti bila kita boleh beritahu dia secara tidak langsung bahawa kita MEMANG penjaga mesin yang berwibawa? Mesin baru tu MEMANG di perlukan, bukan kita tak tahu jaga mesin lama…

Bila boss atau pelanggan datang dan lihat mesin mengibarkan bendera, dia akan tanya; apa hal? Kita beritahu dia bahawa ini adalah ‘bulan mesin’ dan bendera itu hanyalah simbolik kepada pencucian dan kebersihan mesin di kalangan mesin lain.

Hanya untuk shampoo kereta/mobil yang berharga USD1 -2 sebotol, bendera dan batang penyapu pada harga yang sama serta cable tie  yang berapa cents untuk ikat tiang bendera itu. Kalau bulan Ogos mesin itu sangat bersih, saya yakin ia akan berterusan sehingga bulan Oktober ataupun November utk tahun ini. Dan jika ini di buat bertahun tahun, siapa tahu ia akan jadi satu tabiat?

Kepada anda yang tersenyum sinis dan berkata “Tak payah. Mesin aku memang tiap-tiap hari bersih”. Maka, kalau ikut hati saya nak menaikkan pandangan mata ke atas (roll my eyes), ketap bibir dan kata “Ya lah tu. Dah berapa lama tak masuk worsyop sendiri? Kau pukul 5 dah balik/tee-off kan?” tapi tak nak lah buat musuh kan so saya akan tersenyum dengan merendah kan diri dan kata “Ya?! Bagusnya. Teruslah pasang bendera!”

Sebuah mesin yang telah di bersihkan di pasang dengan bendera

An extra clean mower with a flag.

Nota:
Untuk menjadikan ini lebih efektif, pembersihan dan pencucian mesin mestilah di lakukan secara asing dan bukan pada lewat petang masa nak cuci mesin lepas potong tetapi pada Sabtu atau Ahad tengahari atau mungkin Jumaat petang. Jadikan ia operasi pencucian lengkap dengan ambil gambar sebelum dan selepas. Jadikan pengadilan untuk tentukan mesin itu bersih atau tidak sebagai suatu benda yang rasmi samada oleh kawan kawan pekerja ataupun anda sendiri. Tepuk tangan masa bagi bendera. Timbulkan kebanggaan. Begitu juga pembukaan/pembubaran bendera (jangan biarkan bendera koyak/kotor/lusuh di mesin; magic nya akan hilang) pada hari atau minggu selepas hari Kemerdekaan. Simpan balik supaya boleh di gunakan pada tahun berikut nya. 
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Posted in Fields, Golf Course, Padang, Padang Bola, Padang Golf, stadium | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Purchasing a machine?

Posted by mynormas on February 15, 2012

If you are thinking of buying a new machine for your football field, stadium or golf course – be it a mower, a topdresser, a tractor or whatever – a few things should be considered.

  1. Acceptability in performing a specific function

When you consider to buy a certain machine, you know what you want to use it for. Can the machine perform the function well in your field? If you buy the machine as a compromise (cheapest pricing, friendship, package etc) and it cannot perform well in your field, it may mean the machine will be underutilized or partially effective.

To know whether the machine is suitable or not, actual on-site testing is best way. Ask for a demo. Each field will have different conditions (very wet, soft, hard grass, bumpy, hilly, operators etc). It is important that the machine can do the job in the field as you wanted. And remember, demo the machine the way you are going to operate it normally (don’t demo in one area and then use it on another area. Or ask another operator to demo when the real operator is another person etc).

       2. Availability of after sales  parts and service

Filepic. Does the supplier support after sales training? Looonnnnng after the sales were done? Or is it difficult to contact them if they think you have no budget? Oh, please disregard the “Honda” t-shirt, it was casual day that day.

Is the machine one of its kind in your area, meaning the supplier do not stock all spare parts? Is the supplier in one part of the country, and you are in another part, so they cannot service you properly? Remember, most people cannot accept long downtime. Not many facilities can afford to have spare machines.

Suppliers must have adequate spare parts and repair facilities. Check out the suppliers track record and reliability from their other customers in your area.
Sometimes there may be little choice but to purchase more expensive units from another supplier who has a better track record of servicing. Or you may have to downgrade and buy a simpler machine, for example a tractor pulled mower. Tractors’ are used extensively in farms and plantations so there are many places to buy spare parts and find mechanics.

         3.  Quality

Some aspects of quality can be seen on the machine, some need to be seen while the machine is operating on the field.

Ask around at other fields that are already using the machine. Ask their mechanic how easy is it to service and repair. Ask their workers how easy is the machine to operate.

         4.  Cost

There is a need to balance performance, quality and serviceability. It is not just about purchase price. Must also include length of operational life and repair costs. What is the point of buying a machine cheaper by 20% but can be used only 50% as long as a more expensive machine? A cheaper machine may last for 3 years before being expensive to maintain while a more expensive machine may last for 7 years. Ask around.

       5.  Staff familiarity

Is the machine similar to what is already in use at your field or is the machine easy to train with? Can the mechanics handle the machine if it breaks down? Some machines uses the same engine or the same gear box as a previous model or another model from a different company. Some machines are very simple and intuitive to operate; especially those with hydrostatic drive. Tractors, are not easy to operate. The big ones are intimidating.

Buying a machine that is too complicated for the staff to operate or the mechanics to repair is just inviting trouble.

        6.  Similar Machinery / Package deals

There are pros and cons to buying machinery from many suppliers or buying a fleet of machine from one supplier. However you decide, all the above factors we talked about should be taken into consideration whether for one machine or for a fleet of machine. Remember some machines may be a compromise so you may have to live with having a sub-standard machine because it is part of a package/fleet.

The good thing about buying in fleet: A supplier may be more motivated to service you if you have been a loyal customer and also, they may not want you to bad-mouth them. The bad: its about putting all your eggs in one basket.

There is also an advantage of buying similiar that can do the same function in another area, for example, buying the same triplex greensmower and tee-mower. Or a machine that has the flexibility of cutting height that can cut both rough and fairway. I’m not saying you should buy less machinery so that you can use one machine for two purpose; I am saying that you can buy two of the same machine to simplify your operator training, spare part inventory and etc. The disadvantage? One of the purpose of the machine may have to be compromised. A machine that can cut fairways very well may not be able to cut roughs in rugged areas.

     7. The company

Should you buy from a big established company that has customers all over the country or do you dare to trust the smaller company that prepared to give you huge discounts? Difficult to say, big companies may have more clout behind them but are you really big enough a customer? Remember to view it from the other side of the fence. What is big money to you may be chicken feed to them.

On the other hand, the small guy may be more desperate to please you (go ahead, tell him to do the chicken dance on the table). Of course, the small company may not last long or have the stamina or even have the focus to be with you for longer than the next customer’s order.

So how should you decide? Try getting a second opinion…

There may be other things that I did remember or I have not experienced before. Please feel free to jot down your thoughts and share your experiences with others or point out other issues.

Posted in Fields, Golf club, Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Padang, Padang Golf, Taman | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Mowers for home lawns

Posted by mynormas on February 5, 2012

When I restarted this website, my target was to incite and create a response from Malaysian professionals whose work involves looking after turfgrasses like golf course superintendents, stadiums or municipal councils. Yet I think 80% of the response I get is from home owners and perhaps the rest are from students. If there are any superintendents that responds, are from Indonesia. Also I suppose I can count on non-executive staff from Malaysian golf courses who did make enquiries mostly on my Facebook page.

I guess Malaysian golf course superintendents and groundskeepers are shy or don’t visit local websites preferring instead for overseas advice. But this site could also be a forum to exchange ideas?!

Anyway, to honour the home owners who have numerous times asked me about the machinery suitable for their lawns, I will try my best to give a vague and non-specific answer.

Generally, there are two types of  ‘knives’ used on grass, the reel type and the rotary type. The type that you see people use on most lawns are what we call ‘brush-cutters’ or ‘bush-cutters’. No doubt there are many other names for it but basically, it belongs to the rotary type since the knives (even though its made of nylon rope) turn in a rotary fashion.

Lima pisau yang anda boleh lihat tu ialah reel. Ia akan bersentuh dengan bedknife di bawah.

The reels are what is usually used by professionals because they give a more consistent and cleaner cut. It is also sometimes called a cylinder mower because from the side it looks like a cylinder. You can count how many blades there are on the reels. Usually, the more blades; the better the cut. Problem is, the more the blades, the tougher it is to turn the cylinder. The reel works by turning itself against a stationary blade called the ‘bedknife’. To sharpen the reel-mower, we need to sharpen both the reels and the bedknife.

pandangan seekor cacing bagaimana rupa pisau rotary.

The rotary mower is simple to use and to sharpen. It is usually a knife that turns and cuts the grass by impact. The longer the blades are (i.e the bigger the radius of the cutting unit) the less accurate the cutting height since the ends of the blades may bend slightly.

My recommendation is that the average house-owner should get a rotary mower. Unless you built a golf course green for a lawn (no please don’t ask me how) a rotary mower is good enough 80% of the time.

Should a home-owner with a small to medium sized lawn use a petrol powered mower? I would advise against it. A petrol engine needs to be serviced, it needs to have its oils checked, spark plug changed etc etc. Get an electric mower. It has its disadvantages too but I feel it is still better than an petrol/diesel one.

The only time both the recommendations above can be err… superseded is if the home-owner decides to buy one of those reel-mowers that are powered by its tyres on the ground. The faster you push, the faster the reels turn.

Ini mesin yang mempunyai motor kecil dan hanya good for trimming di tepi longkang, rumah, pagar, pokok dsb. Lagipun ia mempunyai pisau yang 'open' yang boleh dangerous kepada pengguna dan sekelilingnya.

You can buy the average machine for the average home-lawns in most big hardware stores. In Klang Valley (Malaysia) I found a few brands that might interest you. Not that I’m recommending these brands but its just so that … you know… I don’t get asked the same questions over and over again.  The brands “Black & Decker” and “Bosch” are sold in ACE hardware stores that you can find in Summit USJ, Sunway Pyramid and Mid-Valley. No, I don’t get anything whether you buy them or any other brand, but that’s nice of you to ask.

ni hanya example. keputusan di tangan anda sendiri.

Posted in Rumput halaman rumah, Taman | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Tractor mounted mower

Posted by mynormas on March 7, 2011

Having an expensive 5-gang mower is nice. But for those of us in parts of Malaysia that are far from KL and with limited budget; may I suggest using tractor towed or tractor mounted mowers instead? Almost any mechanic can repair a tractor and spare parts are easier to find – and keep.

Unfortunately this option is limited to fairway, rough and open fields mowers only. You can’t mow greens and tees with tractors – and with a high center of gravity, mowing slopes would be difficult. Not impossible, just difficult.

Consider too that a tractor can be utilized for other works when not mowing; for example towing a trailer or even a sprayer.

Of course, I would advise getting the same brand and/or same model of tractors. I have seen golf courses haaving few brands/models. It would defeat the purpose of standardizing training, spare parts and – dare I say it – cannibalizing of parts.

Should you get a big tractor or a mini tractor? As long as it is not a huge tractor that will off-set the savings benefit compared to a 5-gang mower, it does not matter so much though I would insist that it is a four-wheel drive tractor – whatever the size. It stops from wheel slippage on slopes and wet areas and ensure you get the most of  your tractor whatever the weather.

The cut is pretty good and you can still get stripes.

Cutting height: about 15 - 17mm.

I’ve also seen another advantage of these rotary mowers on tractors as fairway/rough mowers: they can cut Lovegrass or Buffalograss flowers that a reel mower would simply roll over. One golf course had to deploy three workers with brush cutters just to cut these flowers!

Huge tractor - sure to create ruts.

Posted in Fields, Padang Golf | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

 
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