“I got exactly what Major promised me”

Geert Olthuis was appointed Head Groundsman of De Graafschap Football Club in Doetinchem, Netherlands this Spring. He and his team are responsible for maintaining the turf at De Vijverberg Stadium and the club’s training fields. One of his first tasks in his new role was to purchase a Major Swift Roller Mower.


Olthuis began his career as a greenkeeper at Lochemse Golf & Country Club. “I have been working with grass for over 20 years. It is my passion,” he explains. “I want a professional finish on both the training fields and the De Vijverberg Stadium. The Major Swift has an important role to play in this strategy.”

Rotary Mower Research

Olthuis searched the internet for a suitable rotary mower for his sports fields. He came across the Swift range of roller mowers from the Irish company Major.  Olthuis watched YouTube videos of the three point linkage versions of the Major Swift. “One of the main criteria was to ensure our compact tractor could power the mower. That is why I chose the MJ71-190 model with a working width of 190 cm. The machine runs very solidly that I decided to buy it straight away through our local sponsor and dealer Munsterman.”


Olthuis is an experienced machine operator and knows that self-propelled cylinder mowers can be time consuming to set up and operate. “I can send my team on their way with the Major knowing it will deliver a high quality finish.”


Olthuis uses the Major roller mower to mow three newly renovated training fields twice a week, at a cutting height set to 26mm. The playing pitch at De Vijverberg Stadium is cut three times a week during the summer. “We mow about 250 hectares with the Swift every year,” says Olthuis. “It has three rotors, each with four overlapping blades that deliver a really nice cut. The mower is designed to lift the grass upwards to ensure it is cut evenly. The full length rollers help remove small divots and other damage to the pitch while we mow. The machine mulches the clippings and evenly disperses the cut material behind the machine.”


Setup and maintenance

The cutting height of the Major Swift can be easily adjusted. Says Olthuis, “It’s easy to access the nuts, there are no protective caps so dust or grass doesn’t accumulate. Maintenance is a simple matter of cleaning, lubricating and checking the oil level in the gearbox once every two weeks. This machine is simple, strong, robust, and it gives an excellent cutting pattern. In terms of maintenance and replacement of parts, the costs are far lower than a self-propelled cylinder mower.”


Olthius used the Major Swift on the three newly renovated training fields. “Two weeks after re-seeding, the grass was long, limp and wet. The Swift mowed, mulched and distributed the grass excellently. Our trainers commented that the training fields are of the same quality as the stadium pitch.”

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