We asked readers of SportsTurf magazine, What is on your short list of repair or diagnostic tools that must be in every turf manager's shop?

Repair/diagnostic tools that must be in every turf manager’s shop

We asked readers of SportsTurf magazine, What is on your short list of repair or diagnostic tools that must be in every turf manager’s shop?

My favorite diagnostic tools are only two which I have under lock and key: my soil probe and my macro scope. These two tools are essential for my watering and pest management program.-Kevin Mercer, LICM, superintendent of grounds, St Mary’s College of MD

A height gauge for reel mowers and strips of paper to check the quality of cut. Using the DPA reels it is much faster and easier to adjust this setting each day before we mow. Also it is helpful to have anyone who grew up or currently lives on a farm because they usually find a way to fix anything even if it is only temporary to keep you working for the day.-Josh McPherson, CSFM, director of sports turf management, University of Missouri

 1. Ground thermometer 2. Hex plugger 3. Soil profiler 4. Stress glasses 5. Moisture meter-Stephen Crockett, CSFM, director of turf management and athletic operations, City of Union City, TN

 [The] two most important items in my shop are the equipment service manual and the parts manual. Without those two items servicing and repairing equipment is really a shot in the dark. The service manual allows my crew to perform for the correct and complete maintenance on the equipment (which reduces equipment down time and increases productivity). Also, the service manual typically has a troubleshooting section, which really helps minimize the time and uncertainty of what is causing a piece of machinery to be down.

The parts manual with drawings and part numbers enables me to have an intelligent conversation with the equipment supplier’s part department. Having this information also means I can usually order the part online, speeding up delivery, and most manufacturers offer a discount for parts ordered online, which helps my parts budget.-Josh Bertrand, manager of turf operations, Infinity Park, Glendale, CO

 Diagnostic tools: soil profiler, hand lens, pocket knife, measuring tape. Repair tools: spring rake, spreader, shovel, sprinkler head tool, grass seed.-David J. Pinsonneault CSFM, CPRP, DPW operations manager, Lexington, MA

 Diagnostic: a soil probe, smell and feel are both important when checking the core. Repair tools: Hula hoe, a flat square point shovel, a multi tool pocket knife and hand trowel, all kept sharp.-Ron Hostick, CSFM, lead groundsworker, San Diego State University

Here is our short list: Diagnostic tools—soil probe, prism, pocket knife, eyes and good sunglasses. Repair tools—leaf rake, backpack blower, hula hoe/edger/sod cutter, nitrogen.-Jeff Salmond, CSFM, director of athletic field management, University of Oklahoma

·         Aerator

·         Sod cutter

·         Soil probe

·         Shovel

·         Seed                  

·         Turf disease book

·         Money!!!

Money is the tough one!-Bret Baird, head turf manager, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO

I think a voltage meter. Being able to check to see if there is power coming through a piece of equipment or not helps to narrow down the list of things that might be causing a problem. But nothing replaces a handy maintenance guy that is not afraid to take something apart to figure it out and make the repair.-Andy Gossel, athletic director, Covenant Christian HS, Indianapolis

Shovel, multifunction knife, camera, phone, computer, (don’t have a smart phone yet!) soil sample bags, soil thermometer, work ethic, plus The Mathematics of Turfgrass Maintenance by Nick Christians and Michael Agnew, and Sports Fields by Puhalla, Krans, and Goatley.-Martin Kaufman, CSFM, head groundsman, Ensworth Schools, Nashville, TN

A cell phone, today you can take a picture send it to your network of buddies and you can have a second opinion is there in a few seconds! A history log, we have history records dating back to 1999, so we can see our disease history. Access to an onsite sod farm, even if it is only a few strips, to repair any small hiccups. Rely on your assistant’s knowledge and your own educational background to prevent and repair any issues that may come up.-Joey Stevenson, head groundskeeper, Indianapolis Indians

·         Soil probe

·         Digital camera

·         Voltmeter

·         Assorted shovels (trenching shovel a must)

·         Cell phone

·         Soil thermometer

·         Assorted tool set (wrenches, sockets, etc)

David M. Presnell, CSFM, assistant parks maintenance supervisor, Gainesville, GA

My short list would include: the Internet with the world of resources it puts at our fingertips; the digital camera which gives us the ability to share a view instead of just an explanation; and the cell phone for enabling us to communicate with other people conveniently. Since many of us carry mobile devices that provide each of these functions in one pocket-size package, I would list it as the most important diagnostic tool in our shop.-Kenny Nichols, Westerville (OH) City Schools

·         Irrigation quick coupler stem; handy to check irrigation head repairs, spray distance and rotation

·         Golf course cup cutter; quickly trims grass around irrigation heads and tells soil profile story

·         Golf course divot filling jugs; quickly pour sand and seed into large divots

·         Leatherman pocket tool

·         Digital camera

Mark Frever, CSFM, Albion College (MI)

 My short list:

Digital multimeter. Invaluable for diagnosing all those pesky electrical issues that seem to leave you stranded at the most inconvenient times.

Gear-type wrenches. One of the best additions to my tool box in a long time. They allow you to really work in tight conditions and also speed up basic mechanical work.

Calibration pitcher. Extremely useful for making sure the sprayer is working properly and the tips are in good condition. In the end, it helps save money by making sure the sprayer is set properly. My Athletic Director likes it when I save money.-Marc Moran, Atlee HS, Mechanicsville, VA

 from LinkedIn

Jim Cornelius, CSFM: Latest soil sample report, divot mix, soil profiler, thermometer, calcined clay.

Timothy Legare, CSFM: soil probe, soil profiler and moisture sensor.

Mike Tarantino: Clegg impact hammer, soil thermometer, soil probe