How Lincoln Community High School, IL paint fields easier and faster with the Turf Tank robot

Lincoln High School is located in Illinois, where Jeff Jording is the single groundskeeper in charge of maintaining the athletic fields. Manually painting the lines on the fields proved to be physically demanding and time-consuming, so they decided to land Jeff a hand and in 2021 they got a Turf Tank Robot.

Considerable time savings with the Turf Tank Robot

As a single groundskeeper for the athletic fields at Lincoln Community High School, Jeff found the time and effort needed to paint the fields as the biggest challenge. He explains how it would usually take four guys several hours to paint the fields by hand. However, finding volunteers is difficult, thus Jeff had to finish the task alone since help was not always available.

Before the Turf Tank, I painted the football field by myself and it takes the better part of two days to get it all lined out. But you don’t have a day or two to spend to paint the field. You’ve got other jobs to do.

Jeff Jording, Groundskeeper

Now with the robot, that job can be done much faster.

“For the Turf Tank to paint a soccer field – maybe takes 20-25 minutes. Football field takes a little bit longer with the numbers and everything, maybe five hours.”

“But the speed that the robot paints with, is just an added bonus. Because you’re not actually out there painting. You can spend your time doing something else. I’m not out there doing it myself. I can do something else.”

Turf Tank makes that better because one guy can do it and it’s not physically taxing.

Jeff Jording, Groundskeeper

As a single groundskeeper Jeff has many other tasks to take care of, so very often he would not have the necessary time to spend just painting fields. Now with the robot, the groundskeeper can let the robot take care of the painting, while he can take care of all the other tasks around the fields:

“You can spend a little bit more time cutting the grass, trimming around, picking up litter. There’s always something to do. By the time you’ve got trash picked up and the goals put back in place, it’s already done painting and waiting for you to go on to the next thing.”

Better work conditions

For Jeff to paint the fields manually in the past it was also a physically demanding job, not to mention the harsh environment, with the temperature reaching 90 degrees in the summer.

It’s 90 degrees outside. You can go stand in the shade instead of being out there pushing the paint around, carrying those templates, dripping all over the field.

Jeff Jording, Groundskeeper

Because the robot has an autonomous design, it can paint the entire field all by itself, without human intervention.

“You don’t have to stand around babysitting it. It’s fine, you don’t have to watch it.”

Another source of stress in the past was keeping the lines straight. Despite the time and effort spent on line marking, there was always room for errors. However, since the robot is equipped with GPS technology, it will always know where the lines are and will paint them with optimum accuracy. As a result, Jeff is happy that he can now have flawless lines without having to worry about it.

As far as quality goes, the robot is painting straight, true lines. And it’s the same every time.

Jeff Jording, Groundskeeper

“You don’t have to get strings out each time you’re not walking around reeling up the strings or anything like that, you just pick the program you want the robot to run”.

75% cut on paint consumption

Another benefit of the Turf Tank robot for Lincoln School is that it helped them considerably reduce their paint consumption. In the past, it used to take 15-20 gallons to paint a full football field, while now it needs under five gallons with the robot.

With the Turf Tank we are using a lot less paint.

Jeff Jording, Groundskeeper

With the money saved on paint, the school can redistribute the savings to other projects, that could better benefit the kids.

Kids learn get real life experience with robotics

In addition to having perfectly mowed fields, the kids can experience even more benefits of the Turf Tank Robot at their school. Lincoln High School offers a robotics class and the Turf Tank Robot was a great tool for them to see how robotics are used in real life applications.

“Public reception of the robot has been great. All the kids, students here love the robot, they’ll stop while it’s painting and ask questions and are just really interested in it. We’ve had the kids out doing things with it, driving it and they really enjoyed it. It gives them an idea of a real world application for a robot.”

Conclusion

All in all, the Turf Tank Robot has been a great addition to the Lincoln High School family. It has helped them reduce paint consumption, it has improved work conditions for the groundskeeper and it has also given the kids an opportunity to learn about robotics in a real life application.

Curious to see how the robot could benefit your organization?

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