COURSE CARE
Tidy Maintenance Facilities Yield Quality Course Conditioning March 16, 2018 By Brian Whitlark, agronomist, West Region

A clean, well-maintained maintenance facility sets a positive tone for employees and helps lengthen the lifespan of equipment.

The maintenance facility is the hub of the golf course agronomy team. It is where maintenance staff report for work, have breaks and eat lunch. It’s also where the agronomic team holds meetings and where hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of dollars in turf care equipment is housed.

An attractive, organized maintenance facility is important. It sets the tone for staff members and guests while also reflecting the professional attitude and standards of the entire maintenance staff. This spring, take a close look at the maintenance facility and its surroundings. Consider making operational changes and commit to maintaining an organized, clean facility daily. Here are a few areas to focus on:

  • Equipment Storage – Storing turf maintenance equipment outside and on gravel or dirt reduces its lifespan and sets a poor example for staff members. It is ideal to keep all equipment parked inside a secure building. Also, pave around the entire maintenance facility with asphalt or concrete to reduce dust and erosion. These tactics not only prevent vandalism, they help protect equipment from premature weathering and extend its useful lifespan.
  • Equipment Technician Work Area – Maintaining a clean and organized equipment technician work area is essential for the safety of all employees. It also demonstrates the importance of equipment maintenance. Consider using a polymer coating to protect the floor in the mechanic’s work area. Floor coatings facilitate cleaning and can be used with anti-slip additives that improve safety.
  • Equipment Wash Area – Equipment wash areas can be a major source of odors and poor appearance. Install a self-contained wash rack system along with a compressed air cleaning station to optimize equipment cleaning efficiency. Also, conduct regularly scheduled maintenance to reduce odors and improve the appearance.
  • Trash Bin – Consider recessing the trash bin or build a ramp along the side of the bin to facilitate loading. Making it easy to dispose of trash will help reduce the debris that often collects near trash bins.
  • Employee Break Room, Locker Room and Lunch Area – Maintain clean areas for employees to begin and end their day, eat lunch and take breaks. The organization, upkeep and appearance of these areas makes an important statement to employees. Add a fresh coat of paint every few years and upgrade the appliances and amenities to help improve morale and demonstrate the value of your employees.
  • Landscaping and Garden – Consider adding simple, attractive landscaping around the maintenance facility. Employees may also welcome an outdoor break area with ample shade. Some courses have even added gardens for growing vegetables and fruits that the staff members can enjoy.

 

Do not underestimate the importance of a clean, safe and inviting workplace for maintenance staff. Commit to cleaning the maintenance facility daily. Rotate the responsibility among employees or consider hiring an outside service to conduct regular maintenance. A daily commitment demonstrates the importance of a clean, safe environment for staff members and makes for a happier, more efficient work environment.

For more strategies about optimizing a maintenance facility, please contact the USGA Green Section.

 

West Region Agronomists:

Patrick J. Gross, regional director – pgross@usga.org

Larry W. Gilhuly, agronomist – lgilhuly@usga.org

Brian S. Whitlark, agronomist – bwhitlark@usga.org

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service 

Contact the Green Section Staff

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