Here John explains what machine and paint he uses and why. “I think the concept of the Xcel is totally unique in having a separate chamber for paint with the ability to alter the density of the paint whilst on the move. If one pitch has had more use than the one next to it or there is an important fixture coming up and it needs to be a little brighter, what can be easier than turn a dial to strengthen the paint. This also means you have the flexibility to do the same with individual lines that show more wear, for example the halfway line on football pitches. As a result money can be saved.
Another time saving feature is being able to turn the paint tap off and in seconds flush the system with clean water so no drying of the tubes or nozzle if you need to stop for a significant amount of time.
My machine is now 9 years old, having only had a couple of problems in this time I have always had good support and service from Supaturf and Vitax.
The development of the SupaStadia ECO paint in recent years has meant over 50% less storage and less down time topping up. I get good coverage with SupaStadia ECO that will last up to a fortnight and longer in dry spells. Out of a single 5 litre drum I can mark 2 full size rugby pitches, 2 full size hockey pitches, a mini soccer pitch and 1200 meters of training lines. Another benefit of the Xcel is if the weather is going to be poor or I am going on holiday I don’t have to double mark, I just turn the dial up a little to strengthen the paint.
I have been marking out for athletics, so I reverted to using my 15 year old TXE marker purely to make good use of the athletics boom attachment as it marks 3 lines at once. Although it takes time to mix the paint it saves a lot of leg work and effort. I still use the SupaStadia ECO paint through this machine and mark out 2 x 400 meter running tracks that are 6 lanes and 3 rounders with a single 5 litre drum, mixed at a ratio of 10:1.
I have tried just about every paint going and although we all know there are some poor products out there it is fair to say there are also some very good ones with some good machines and concepts too. Despite what the sales guys may say, in my experience you have to do the trials and do the maths yourself.
So when I weighed up the overall package I came back with SupaStadia ECO paint, it gives good coverage and as I have over 5 hectares of marking out to do it has proven to be reliable. As with all my other grounds work looking after two large sites I don’t want to spend an unnecessary amount of time just marking out, but most importantly there is an excellent balance between performance and cost. “
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