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One of the best things about trialing at TNT in Midland, MI is its turf floor. It has just the right amount of cushioning and is oh-so-flat. As we all know, not all turf floors are created equal. I had the opportunity to chat with Lisa Lundahl, TNT’s owner, at last weekend’s trial held August 11-13, 2017. She filled me in on all the details, and I can see why TNT’s turf so great to run on!
The right installer
“The turf is a special type, similar to the turf they used at the Silverdome,” Lisa said. It was installed by Oakwood Synthetic Turf Installations in Macomb, MI. In fact, the same crew that laid the turf at the Silverdome, put down the turf at TNT. “The crew was excellent to work with. They were friendly, yet very picky about their work. I’m very pleased about that.”
It’s what’s underneath that counts
To begin the job of installing the floor, they removed about 1 1/2 feet of dirt. Then they added 4 to 6 inches of larger rocks at the bottom. That was followed by layers of broken up rocks, fine rocks, and finally sand. “They used silica sand,” Lisa explained. “Adding silica prevents the sand from clumping up when it gets wet. Good plan for an agility floor!”
After the foundation was down, the rolling and packing equipment came in, making numerous passes on the floor. When things seemed right, they laser levelled it, getting it perfectly level before finally rolling out and applying the turf itself.
Importance of crumb
The final step was spreading 2 to 4 lbs. of ‘crumb’ – the rubber pellets that give it cushion and bounce. “It was expensive,” Lisa said. “But I wanted a good floor, and I got one!”
Turf floors need to be maintained, and TNT makes sure their floor gets the proper attention. “We maintain it every few months,” Lisa said, “depending on use and how many trials we have.”
Why dogs slide
“When turf flattens down, dogs slide,” Lisa went on. “So it’s really important to keep it maintained. Dogs slide for other reasons though, and many people don’t understand that.” She emphasized that, “when the turf is correct, the biggest reason a dog will slide is because his handler que’d him improperly.”
Clean, spread, refresh the crumb
The maintenance process involves sweeping the hair out, and then adding more crumb. “The crumb gets redistributed with use too, so we drag it and lift up the turf to keep it looking as even as possible.”
Keeping smells away
The final step is to spray a natural, enzymatic odor remover to take away any urine smell. “We use a backpack sprayer to do a thorough job,” Lisa said. “Once that is done, it’s almost like having a brand new floor.” So agility peeps, now you can enjoy TNT’s turf floor even more, now that you realize what is really below it, how it is maintained, and why it will stay nice for a very long time. Happy Q’s to you!