St Joseph School District uses the Turf Tank line marking robot to increase efficiency painting their fields

St Joseph School District is a district in MO where nearly 11,000 students are enrolled. Community is one of the most important values in the district, as each member of the staff strives the create a culture of collaboration within each school in the district. And one of the important places where children get to create this community is on the sports field.

The district has 10 athletic fields between middle and high school where the students can practice a wide range of sports, from football and soccer to javelin, discus and shotput.

Over the years, maintaining such a big area proved to be quite a challenge for the grounds crew who had to prepare all the fields manually. That is why in July 2022 they decided to look for alternatives and got their Turf Tank Robot.

I looked into line marking robots trying to find an easier and more cost-effective and efficient way to do the markings.

Casey Housman, Coordinator of Maintenance and Warehousing

Increased efficiency

One of the biggest benefits of having the Turf Tank that the district already registered is the increased productivity. In the past, it would take a 4-person crew to mark all the lines on the fields manually. Now, with the robot, it only takes one person. And while the robot paints the fields, it lets the rest of the crew free to focus on other tasks such as weeding around the edges, taking out the trash or mowing the fields.

4 people
Stressful process
Uneven results
1 operator
Easy process and more time for other tasks
Perfect lines every time

Anyone working in turf management knows that the fading lines represent a big issue, when maintaining fields manually. The staff at St Joseph District faced this problem too, wasting precious time and paint remarking every week, simply out of fear of not losing the lines, even if the fields were not being used. Ever since they got their Turf Tank that challenge is solved, too!

“We would paint the fields no matter what, just so we don’t lose marks. Now, I don’t have to worry about it. It’s already programmed into the Turf Tank and it knows where it’s going every time you take it to the field.”, says Casey Housman. 

Paint usage was another area where the Turf Tank assisted the district save money, according to Casey Housman who mentioned they reduced their paint consumption by 50%.

Improved Accuracy

Myles McGlaughlin is a groundskeeper at the St Joseph School District and the one who uses the robot on a daily basis to mark all the fields.

For him, the robot completely changed the way he works and the process of painting the lines.

“In the past painting fields was a pretty drawn out, stressful process to make sure your lines are straight. There’s any little uneven spot in a field and all of a sudden, when you look down at your line, it’s not straight anymore. Whereas with this robot, now, you don’t have to worry about that. It can go over a little bump, divot, anything like that. The line is still going to be accurate, precise, like you want it. There’s no human error to worry about anymore. You just set it and your lines are gonna be straight.”, commented Myles McGlaughlin.

What we liked most about our Turf Tank robot, and what we have got the most compliments on is the accuracy and the line, the straightness of it.

Casey Housman, Coordinator of Maintenance and Warehousing

Creative use of the robot

One creative way the district uses the robot is to mark sprinklers heads on the field. The sprinkler heads represent an important part of the maintenance of any facility, so it is crucial to be able to identify the location of each head, in case one is not working properly and needs repairing.

St Joseph School District currently has 244 heads across their fields and they decided to use the robot to mark them to optimize their process even more.

In the past, the district used two people every week to go around the field to mark the sprinkler heads. Now with the robot this process is more efficient. The robot saves in the software the location of each sprinkler head and can go and mark them all by itself.

Conclusion

The St Joseph School District has been using the Turf Tank robot to paint lines on their sports fields since July 2022 and they have seen many benefits since then.

The robot has increased the efficiency of their line painting process, improved the accuracy of the lines and has helped them save on paint usage. Overall, the Turf Tank robot has made a positive impact on the district and has helped them improve their operations.

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

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