Monday, January 21, 2019

Surface Plate

I've just posted a new short video on setting up cutting units on the surface plate:

Of course as soon as I published this I thought about something I missed - set the height of cut after paralleling!


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Beaver Power!

Note to equipment manufacturers: If you are not going to spend the (small amount of) money on sealed electrical connectors, at least coat the terminals with dielectric grease prior to assembly! One thing that really irritates me is when a factory made unsealed electric terminal fails due to corrosion, especially when the machine is only three years old! We operate our turf equipment outside in the elements! Okay - rant over...

I finally found a good source for the snap-in terminals found in the unsealed connectors used in some circuits like glow plug and fuel cutoff solenoids. I had previously located the .250" tabs and receptacles, but was having a hard time tracking down the larger .312" pieces used in the high power (glow plug) circuits.

Set up primarily to supply the large motorcycle aftermarket in Japan, Eastern Beaver has sourced the best O.E.M. grade terminals used on the Denso components used by engine manufacturers, as well as most Japanese cars. They also carry high quality crimping tools, and the Carling Contura rocker switches used in most turf equipment these days.

Shipping from Japan can take a while, so I suggest using the Express Mail Service (EMS) option to get your package in less than a week. I was able to get a good selection of terminals for less than $25.

Oh, and we are now preemptively going over all of the other connections in our three year old fleet...


Thursday, November 1, 2018


Yes, yes, I know - six months between posts is a bit much, but the summers here are quite busy and I just can't bring myself to post much up on any media platforms when I'm working 1/2 days (6:00am to 6:00pm).

I have been looking at several different web-based Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) platforms over the years - there are many on the market. I recently renewed my efforts after participating in a beta test program which ended with my telling the developer that their efforts were a train wreck, and the developer then deciding my input was no longer what they were after (imagine that). Apparently they have enough people telling them to move forward with a system which is slower than pencil and paper, and almost as effective.

Most of the commercial CMMS software on the market is geared for facilities maintenance at the enterprise level (read: expensive and large). I have reviewed systems which cost anywhere from $2,800/year (with no inventory management) to $6,000/year (with an additional mandatory three-day training commitment at $6,800). Then I found Limble CMMS.

The Urban Dictionary defines Limble as a combination of Limber and Nimble - seems reasonable.

I contacted Miguel at Limble and arranged for a free 30 day trial. After a week of playing with the system I was ready to commit, and we have decided to go all-in with implementation. Limble does everything we need a maintenance management solution to do, and does it for a very reasonable cost. We will be setting up our technicians with Galaxy Tab A 8" Android tablets in Otter Box cases, and I will run it from my desk and phone. We also have a large flat screen display in the shop running on a Chrome box which will display shop operations in real time.

For shops of all sizes I recommend checking out Limble. At $25/month/user even small shops can have a fully modern CMMS with inventory management that can run on your phone just as well as on your PC. $35/month gets you multi-location implementation for operations which have more than one shop.


Thursday, March 8, 2018


I am thrilled to announce that moving forward I will be representing SIP Corporation in Georgia as the owner of
SIP Direct GA, LLC. I am not leaving Atlanta Athletic Club; I am fortunate to have an employer who  knows my commitment to excellence in the equipment maintenance facility, and who also supports me in this endeavor. I am excited for the opportunity to represent what I truly feel are the best grinders in the business. I could never represent a product that I didn't believe in 100%. Over the past ten years SIP grinders have proven to me time and again how superior they are to other brands. 

I have purchased around a dozen SIP grinders over the course of my career, at facilities ranging from 18 hole private clubs to 90 hole resorts, and I believe they have been integral to my success as an equipment manager. I take great pride in the quality of cut and after cut appearance from the equipment under my care. In fact, I believe my reputation with cutting units has been largely responsible for my career advancement within the golf industry.

Along with the design of the machines, one reason I like SIP grinders so much is the owner of the company, Mark Pilger. Mark is an engineer. Mark is focused on solving problems and improving processes. Mark listens. When I told Mark that I wanted a method of mounting bedknives in the Ideal grinder which referenced the pivot bolt location horizontally, he invented the pin alignment system - in two weeks. Mark then took that idea further and developed the V-mount system, which aligns the bed bar both horizontally and vertically, indexing the knife from it's mounting position, which I feel has truly revolutionized the way bedknives are ground. What used to take me ten to fifteen minutes I can now do in three to five, with better consistency. Saving five to ten minutes once isn't a big deal, but when you multiply that savings by the number of knives we grind, it adds up quickly.

Prior to the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio I began producing cutting unit maintenance videos, and in my videos I want to share the importance of the different aspects of cutting unit maintenance - how all the different parts of the puzzle come together to achieve excellent results. Mark used one of my videos in his booth at the show, and I think several people said I could be an SIP salesman - Mark and I started talking about my representing SIP shortly after we got home.

If you are in Georgia and would like information about the best reel and bedknife grinding equipment available, please give me a call at (561) 512-4632.


Friday, March 2, 2018

What a Relief!

I wound up having a great month of February, starting with an excellent visit to San Antonio, TX for the Golf Industry Show and Education Conference. It was my first time in San Antonio (as an adult - I vaguely remember a stop at The Alamo when I was a small boy) and the conference center there is beautiful, but the trade show area was cramped and the floor plan seemed jumbled - it was hard to get a feel of the layout. I had the honor of moderating a discussion panel which featured presentations on Tier IV emissions technology and lubricant technology, and I also gave a presentation on the show floor about implementing computer based fleet management. I will be repeating the presentation on the 21st of this month as a webinar on the GCSAA website, so go register if you would like to check it out.

We had another early green-up here in Atlanta in February, so another early first todressing on the greens, and other related spring activities. I was finally able to get another video done, this time on relief grinding on the Peerless 7000. The video wound up being longer than I like at around 47 minutes, but hopefully it will help folks understand the importance of relief grinding to the operation overall, and get an idea of how easy it is to do with a Peerless.

When I first started in this business back in 1993, and for some years after, I was of the opinion that relief grinding didn't matter, because "the front side of the reel blade does the work - who cares how thick it is?". Then I had the chance to compare a fresh reel compared to one with no relief and track bedknife wear - it was obvious. Then I added hard bedknives to the mix and my grinding frequency dropped  dramatically. I am now grinding half as often as before.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Parallel Lines

The latest video covers the process of paralleling the reel and rollers when setting up to grind on the Peerless 7000. I'm starting to learn the editing process, so don't feel the pressure to get every take 100%. I'm also getting used to talking to that fish eye on the tripod - it's weird...

I hope to see many of you in San Antonio next week at the Golf Industry Show. I will be moderating a panel discussion on  Monday afternoon covering Tier IV emissions and Lubricants, and also giving a 30-minute presentation on the show floor Wednesday afternoon, covering Computerized Maintenance Management System implementation.

I will get back to the videos after the GIS - we will really be ramping up in the shop then!


Friday, January 19, 2018

Reel Intro

I was finally able to get some time to spend in the shop and shoot some video, so I put together this introduction to our cutting unit maintenance program. Sorry, but I can't keep from sounding like an SIP salesman - the grinders are just that good (and no, I'm not a paid spokesman).

I'm having fun with the video editing process - it's amazing how powerful the software has become over the last few years.

I will be producing more videos as time permits - with the unusually cold winter we are having in Atlanta I expect to have time soon!