96% time savings and 84% paint reduction in Alexander City, AL

The mission of the Alexander City Parks and Recreation department is to enhance the quality of life for their citizens, families and visitors to their cities. To do so, the department oversees and maintains more than 200 acres of park land in their city, which offer people in the community the ideal space to work out and enjoy the outdoors. This includes playgrounds, sports fields, walking trails, and more.

The huge area proved difficult to maintain, especially when it comes to marking the lines on the athletic fields. So recently, they decided to look into more efficient alternatives and upgraded their line marking equipment with a Turf Tank line marking robot.

THE CHALLENGE

Manual line marking = a time-consuming task.

  • 18 fields: 9 baseball/softball, 1 football, soccer complex with 8 soccer for different age groups
  • 200 acres of park
  • Forced to skip some maintenance activities due to time constraints
  • Affects the quality of the facilities

THE SOLUTION

2020: Automation of the line marking process

96% time savings 84% paint savings $1,300 saved on every football field marking

96% time savings

Brian Riddle, Parks and Rec Maintenance Superintendent together with his team are responsible for the line marking for all the fields: nine baseball and softball, one football field and a soccer complex composed of eight fields for different age groups.

When looking at the time needed to paint just a football field, they realized they needed to change something.

We were looking to cut our time. Just to do a complete football field it was taking six-eight people a whole week to get it done.

– Brian Riddle, Parks and Rec Maintenance Superintendent

In the past, it used to take a team of five or six people about fifteen hours just to paint the lines on a football field. Now, with the Turf Tank line marking robot, the same task can be completed by just one person setting up the robot, which then paints the entire field all by itself in three hours.

Painting a football field

5 people
15 hours
50 gallons
1 person
3 hours
8 gallons

This efficiency gain is thanks to the autonomous design of the robot.  This means that once the parameters of the field have been inputted into the system, the robot can automatically map out the desired lines. The operator then simply has to guide the machine around the perimeter of the field and push a button to start painting.

My staff is more productive now than back when we didn’t have a Turf Tank.

– Brian Riddle, Parks and Rec Maintenance Superintendent

In the past, due to time constraints, the personnel was forced to overlook certain activities because line marking was one of the most time-consuming tasks. But now, while the robot paints the fields, the staff can focus on other responsibilities and properly maintain the entire 200-acre region.

84% paint reduction

Another area where the Turf Tank robot has helped Alexander City significantly is in their paint consumption. In the past, it used to take 50 to 60 gallons of paint with their line laser machines. Now with Turf Tank, that same football field can be completed with just eight gallons of paint, including all the lines, hashes, and yard marks.

This reduction in paint consumption is due to the fact that the Turf Tank robot can apply paint much more consistently than traditional line painting machines. This not only saves on material costs, but also reduces environmental impact as there is less paint waste.

The amount of paint saved could be seen on the paint bills as well, as they reduced their paint cost on each football field marking from $2,500 to $1,200. The money saved could be better put to use to achieve other projects around the facility, which could improve the experience of the visitors.

All the money that we can save with Turf Tank goes back into here at the Sportsplex.

– Brian Riddle, Parks and Rec Maintenance Superintendent

Increased line accuracy

Another big benefit that Alexander City has seen since switching to the Turf Tank robot is an increase in accuracy when it comes to painting lines. In the past, it was a difficult task to get the lines perfectly straight and very often they ended up being crooked. But now with the robot that is not an issue anymore.

 “Not many of us could do it, you had to have a steady hand. And even then, your lines are not gonna be as straight as you want them to be.”

Now with Turf Tank, we’ve got the straightest lines we’ve ever had.

– Brian Riddle, Parks and Rec Maintenance Superintendent

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Alexander City Parks and Recreation Department has seen many benefits since switching to the Turf Tank line marking robot. They have been able to significantly reduce their manhours painting fields, their paint consumption, and have increased the accuracy of their lines.

For those who are still skeptical about the the technology, Brian has an advice:

“If you don’t have a Turf Tank, you’re missing out.”

“You could use this thing to shorten your day of painting. Coaches, you could shorten your field time that you could be putting it in for practice or planning.  Money savings, is there.”

Want to learn how the Turf Tank robot could increase your efficiency?