WGA/Channel 4 Trailer
The Wiltshire Groundsmans Association (WGA) is a member of Wiltshire Cricket Ltd (WCL) and plays an integral part in ground development and maintenance throughout the county.
The role of the association is to support clubs throughout the county when it comes to pitch advice and to offer support and guidance when it comes to issues such as ground relocation or machinery funding applications.
One of the great benefits that the WGA can offer to clubs is the ECB Channel 4 Trailer that is owned by the association and is available to hire by any affiliated club in Wiltshire. The trailer consists of a scarifier, spiker, broadcast spreader, sarrel roller and loam spreader. The trailer was given to the WGA during the times of Channel 4 coverage of Test Match cricket but since this time the trailer has been added to in terms of pieces of machinery with WCL securing funding through the ECB Machinery Grant to add pieces of equipment such as the loam spreader.
WCL and WGA are very proud to have the trailer available to clubs to hire and want to see the trailer continually improved and maintained so that it remains a fantastic service for clubs. Many clubs have got great use out of the trailer over the past few years for support with autumn renovation but the WGA would like to see far more clubs make use of the trailer.
Over recent years demand for the trailer has grown to the point where it has been fully booked for the entire month of September. As a result, the WGA has spent considerable time and effort in trying to source a 2nd trailer so that more clubs can have their squares renovated and improved ahead of the next season. For 2014 the WGA is delighted to confirm that it will have a 2nd trailer in operation meaning that more clubs will be able to benefit from access to a dedicated trailer.
Obviously it is very important that the trailer is kept clean and is returned in the same state that it is delivered. This has been an issue in the past and so going forwards the WGA will only hire the Trailer with an operator who will transport it to the ground and carry out the work with the assistance of the club groundsman. This will help ensure that the kit is kept in good condition and is used correctly. Also, through using an operator it will mean that the trailer can be transported to and from a ground within one day meaning that clubs will not, for example, have the trailer for a whole weekend. This process should help the trailer to be used by more clubs as availability of dates during the peak time of the year for autumn renovation will be better.
Please note that since 2009 there has not been a weekend option for hire of the trailer. Clubs will only be permitted to have the trailer for one day unless they have two squares. The WGA will not be enforcing that clubs use an operator but would strongly urge that clubs consider this.
Bob Corke, Chippenham CC
I can confirm that as far as Chippenham CC is concerned, the trailer, couple with the expert work and advice of John Wilkins, is an unqualified success. As I told Tony Shardlow last week, it is an excellent way for the ECB to use its money to assist clubs since it offers them the benefit of modern machinery which few clubs could afford by themselves.
Can I make sure of our place on next autumn's rota by booking it now accepting, of course, that if you use us for next year's groundsmen's course we synchronise the two events.
Patrick Stayt, Erlestoke and Coulston CC
The trailer, which we have used from when it was first introduced I think, is a tremendous service - without it we would not be able to undertake our end of season renovations to the current standard.
The fact that all the equipment arrives with an operator who knows what he is doing and who knows the machinery is a great asset. Some will say the costs are high, but I disagree. I think it is very good value and not much of an investment if a Club wants to have a chance of good playing surfaces the following year.
How things go on the day can clearly be weather dependent, but I think it would be helpful to tell Clubs in advance what will be done (e.g how many passes, the extent of the passes) and what the operator wants from the Club (e.g square mown as low as possible, loam, seed and fert located near the square, fuel to be supplied by Club, manpower to be available to empty boxes, load top dresser etc etc).
Trailer Hire Rates
From 2015 onwards
- To hire the equipment for a full day complete with an operator will now cost £250, and this figure will include a one off second visit to carry out the spiking of the square when the ground / weather permits. The cost of the hire is based on a square not exceeding 10 wickets. Over and above 10 the added on cost will be £25.00 per each extra strip. The costs for hiring will not be varied should clubs so wish not to have their square spiked.
- Spiker - The Groundsman Spiker can be hired out separately if the clubs so wish.
The costs will be:
- 1 days hire of Spiker with clubs collecting and returning using their own trailer / van facility will be £45.00 per day
- Clubs wishing to hire the Spiker with an operator for one day's hire will be charged out at £65.00 per day.
Clubs undertaking this hire arrangement must provide at least one member from the hiring club to assist with the renovation works for their club’s square. If for some reason the renovation works runs into the second day, even if only a part day, then the full charge per day will be levied to the respective hiring club. Please note that the costs as set out above are inclusive of transport costs and fuel. The clubs hiring the trailer equipment on this basis Must have all of the materials, loams, seed and fertilizers on site for use on the day of the booking and must have the square suitably mown off and ready for scarifying.
The WGA has made arrangements for two trained operatives to use and or deploy the machinery throughout the county and each operative will have a designated working area. The two operatives are Phil Mortimer and John Wilkins. All bookings must be made through the WGA secretary, George Clift (tel: 01380 813928) who will then co-ordinate/liaise with the operators and also as dual role as treasurer, will then invoice the respective club’s treasurer once the works are completed for record purposes. The committee has made a decision, that once a firm booking has been made, then payment must be made to the WGA Treasurer G Clift and cheques made payable to the Wiltshire Groundsmans Association, in advance, no later than three weeks prior to your clubs confirmed booking date.
If you have any queries regarding the new hiring system for the Channel 4 Trailer or would like more information on the service itself please do not hesitate to contact either George Clift or Pete Sykes.