This is our new bagging unit, based in the Sevenoaks depot. At this time of year, it is used especially for 25-kg bags of cricket (Surrey) loam, but it can of course be used for any material going into small bags.
At the back of the picture, you can see a grey bag hanging in place under a small hopper. This is fed with material from a conveyor belt, which is located outside the store, behind the wall. To the right of the bag is a weighing unit which displays how much material has gone in the bag, to ensure the correct fill every time. Once the bag is full, it drops down on the conveyor belt below and is moved, upright, to the sealing unit to the left (the grey box on the wall). The bag is heat-sealed and then moves further to the left and onto the upwards conveyor, ready to be placed onto the waiting pallet. Once the pallet is full, it is moved outside with a forklift and then shrink-wrapped for stability and protection.
The unit can be operated by one or two people, allowing for up to 1,200 bags on 30 pallets to be produced daily.
Well! - another very close competition with many excellent entries. In particular, there were several excellent pictures of Bourne lorries in action - but we had decided to give preference to non-lorry images for the month of June. Therefore, the worthy winner is the above example of rural activities - the logo here is on Charlie's purpose-built compost spreader, operating in a lovely Sussex vineyard. The picture is by Peter Traill, who will receive his prize on the next suitable occasion.
Keep the photo entries coming - perhaps your snap will be the perfect image this month?
The grape vine (Vitis vinifera) is one of mankind's oldest friends, having been domesticated at least since the neolithic era and sought out in its wild forms long before then. England famously used to grow a great deal of wine in mediaeval times, but a colder climate during the "little Ice Age" made it generally believed to be beyond the northern limit of commercial wine production. Things changed in the 1950's, when commercial vineyards were again established in the south, and today, England has the fastest-growing vine cultivation area (proportionately) in the world.
Of course, we are there to assist. In modern viticulture on these latitudes, vines are considered to benefit from a good application of compost when they are first planted, or the year after, and then every 4 - 5 years after that. The product applied is PAS100 compliant 20mm screened compost and typically, it is applied at 50 tonnes/hectare (or 20 tonnes per acre if you are still working in imperial). The benefits of compost are threefold: weed suppression, moisture retention and soil improvement through the addition of organic matter.
However, the compost needs to get to where it provides the most benefit, which is around the vines themselves, so accurate spreading is very important. In olden days, this would mean a worker with a wheelbarrow and a spade - backbreaking and tedious work. Today, the job can be done very efficiently by mechanical means - if you have the right kit for the job. In the photo above, you can see the specialist compost spreader built by our contractor Charlie Moon - it fits very precisely between the vine rows (which are usually planted 2 metres apart - any closer than that and it's back to manual methods). It was designed based on many years' experience and can put down the precise amount of compost desired just where it's needed. The spreader is big enough - taking up to 4 tonnes of compost - to minimise the loading effort, yet small enough to fit into the narrow spaces available.
The contact for this type of work, and any other agricultural compost spreading is Peter Traill, on 01797 252298.
Took a trip to the Withdean Stadium in Brighton yesterday, to see the Bourne Sport track washer in action and get some pictures and videos.
It is an interesting piece of machinery, built around a Kubota L5040 51hp tractor. Clean water is sprayed on to the track via the front-mounted cleaning aggregate, which also contains rotary brushes. These dislodge the dirt and other debris and the dirty water is then vacuumed away into a 400 litre waste-water tank. This vacuuming process is driven by a separate Briggs & Stratton engine with a large pump. The cleaning process has a relatively low water consumption, requiring about 1 litre per linear metre - so the machine can complete one circuit of the track before having to be emptied and re-filled with clean water.
Although the track at Withdean is said to be relatively new, impressive amounts of dirt were removed by the machine - regular maintenance of this kind will clearly prolong the usable life of the surface.
Withdean stadium - the site hosted Brighton Zoo from 1920 - is now primarily used for athletics, but there is a grass pitch for football as well, which was the temporary home for Brighton and Hove Albion between 1999 and 2011. Next to the stadium is a big sports complex for indoor activities.
Bourne Sport unleashed its new custom built track washer on the Julie Rose stadium in Ashford on Friday.
The track washer was built in our own workshops and designed to improve further on some of the proprietary machines currently on the market. After extensive testing and final adjustments to our initial design the machine performed excellently. It will next appear at the Guildford Spectrum and the Withdean Stadium, Brighton.
The machine is built around a Kubota 50hp compact tractor and comprises a high pressure washer mounted on the front and a high output vacuum pump with clean and dirty water tanks located on the back.
It is designed for cleaning polymeric running tracks but can also address any artificial surface where high pressure washing and removal of dirty water is required.
Where tractor access is restricted, the machine can be used with two high pressure lances on long reels and pedestrian vacuuming units.
Regular washing not only makes the surface look good, but also ensures its longevity and performance. An opportunity for our customers to liven up their summer playing surfaces!