The winter of 2013–14 was one of the worst in Michigan’s history. Sheets of ice were prevalent on surfaces of greens, with 20–30 inches of snow covering them. Snow blowers would not initially work to remove the snow, so David J. Pawluk, CGCS, golf and grounds superintendent, at The Inn at St. John’s Golf & Conference Center in Plymouth, Mich., developed the snow pusher idea for the 2008 Bobcat T-190 with rubber tracks. A 6?-foot piece of 6-foot diameter PVC Schedule 40 pipe was used where a “gap” was cut from one end to the other and a “notch” was placed on each end for the pipe to slip over each side of the bucket. The pipe was then slipped over the bucket cutting edge and two Northern Tool double J-hook ratchet straps held it in place. There were no modifications to the bucket. It takes about 20–25 passes to clear a green, about 30–45 minutes total. There is about a 2-inch buffer from the bottom of the bucket edge to the bottom of the pipe so the turf is not scarred. Snow blowers were then used to clear the remaining snow. Black gypsum from The Anderson’s was used to break down the ice. About five to six greens were done per day on the 27-hole layout. Each pipe would last about 10 greens. The pipe then broke apart because of the cold temperatures and it was replaced. Twenty feet of PVC pipe costs $75; and straps $35. It took two employees one hour to complete.
Triplex Backpack Blower Rack
The four 2013 Toro Greensmasters 3150 Triplexes have been fitted with backpack blower racks for the Red Max blowers models EBZ 7001, 7500, 8500 (Husqvarna backpacks also fit). The roll bars were slightly modified so the racks could be bolted to them using the existing holes. Fifty-one inches of 1-inch angle iron; 18 inches of 1/5-inch by 3-inch channel iron; 30-inch by 4-inch of 1/8-inch steel; one 6-inch by 6-inch of 3/8-inch steel plate; one 24-inch bungee cord to secure the blower to the rack; and one 12-inch bungee cord secures the blower tube in place. It cost $30 in materials. Don Garrett, CGCS, is the instructor and academic advisor at The Walker Course at the Clemson University Turfgrass Program. Bobby Garrett is the equipment technician.