Line Marking Machines
Nowadays you turn on the television to view a premier league football match or a heineken cup rugby match to see beautiful straight glowing white lines. So has the art of line marking changed dramatically over the past 50 years??
Well the technology of line marking machines and line marking paint have certainly been improved but not drastically. The ‘old reliable’ transfer wheel line marker has been around for a long time and is still going strong today in some of the world’s most famous stadia. The transfer wheel line marker is the simplest of operations; you pour the line marking paint in, line the machine up and away you go. There are 3 different wheels turning at the one time all connecting to each other, one wheel in the tank, another dimple wheel which transfers the paint to the outer wheel. The outer wheel being the one that actually line marks the pitch. But for this machine what could possibly go wrong? The answer is very little can go wrong. I have seen these machines around grounds that have been there 25/30 years and still working perfectly.
The sprayline line marking machine works on a similar process to the transfer wheel apart from a more complicated way of transferring the paint from the drum to the nozzles. The sprayline machine is a very handy machine to have. You don’ t have to pour any paint into a drum, you place the 10 litre drum of line marking fluid onto the tray, insert the hose into the drum and with you pushing the machine, this enables the front wheel to compress the line marking fluid up the hose and out the end of the line marking machine as a spray. Once again, a simple but very effective machine. This machine can be tricky in wet or soggy conditions as it rely’s totally on the motion of the front wheel in order to spray the liquid. There are a number of things that can go awry here; It is very important to clean the hose and nozzles out thoroughly straight after you have finished. This avoids the line marking paint within the hose and nozzles drying out and hence letting no fresh liquid through. There are a number of small parts with this machine so it’s probably best to keep a reserve in stock. All in all a good machine though.
The most significant breakthrough over the last 20 years is the introduction of a battery operated line marking machine. A wonder to behold if you have to mark 4/5 sports pitches at the one time. Designed and manufactured with the groundsman in mind, the comfort of flicking a switch and an immaculate line is spread to the set width and all you have to do is push it. It comes with a heavy duty battery that can be put on trickle charge overnight and will last for a full days marking. There are twin spray heads which can be turned on/off depending on the amount of spray you would like. There is a bung underneath the 30 litre tank to drain the excess fluid back into a container. Unbelievably impressive machine that will provide you with an impeccable line with the utmost of ease.
I have seen many line marking machines from an improvising groundsman with no funding using a wheelbarrow with a hole cut out over the wheel allowing the fluid to drain onto the wheel and creating a line. I have also seen state of art line marking machines which are driven like a go-kart. So when it comes to it, is it all about budget? Absolutely! The groundsman is generally the last one to put his hand in the pot so trying to get blood out of a stone can be hard but if i was to recommend a line marking machine, the battery operated is the way to go – good value for money with impressive results.