Hello, my name is Scott Holmes and I’m the Executive Vice President at ABI. I want to introduce you to a product that is so innovative, so unique and so revolutionary that it takes infield maintenance to a whole new level and is endorsed by top industry experts. If you maintain infield surfaces, don’t be left behind. Be sure to watch this entire video. I’ll tell you right up front. This is going to take some time. So sit back, get a snack and your favorite beverage (maybe two) and let me introduce you to the ABI Force from ABI Sports Turf.
The ABI Force is reinventing the way sports complex facilities are managing their properties and specifically their infields. And I know this to be true because of these three reasons. Number one, ABI’s motto is always be innovating. We never bring a product to market simply to have something to sell. Never. We research, invent and solve problems like no one else can, or we won’t sell it. Period. Secondly, ABI is always listening to you, our customer, on the challenges you are facing in your day to day workload. And we are always making our equipment better. We never settle for what we have done in the past, but are always challenging ourselves to provide you something better. And the third reason that I know that ABI is reinventing the way you manage your complexes is that we start at the top and seek out real industry experts to help us design and develop our equipment that you will be using.
Now for the ABI Force. We have teamed up with industry expert Grant McKnight and the DuraEdge products DuraEdge is the world’s premier field materials company, and Grant McKnight is responsible for the game changing concept of engineered soil technology and has set the industry standard for infield surface materials.
Two thirds of the Major League ball fields work closely with Grant McKnight and the DuraEdge products to make their infields the best in the world. So as I’m walking you through the ABI Force, you don’t have to believe me. I know that trust has earned, it’s not given. But know that many of the world’s top industry experts trust us and stand behind the products we built. So let’s take a closer look at the ABI Force.
To start. You’re looking at a self-propelled, stand-on platform, zero-turn radius, and multitask piece of equipment. An 18 horsepower Vanguard V twin engine with electric start powers the Force. This engine offers a three year commercial warranty and generates tremendous power to accomplish tough jobs. The engine also has an advanced debris management system that ensures it runs clean, even in dusty environments. The ABI Force has a zero-turn machine that can easily operate in both forward and reverse, giving you the operator much more maneuverability over a tricycle type machine.
This additional maneuverability increases productivity and allows the Force to respond as if it were an extension of your body. No more, wide turns are difficult maneuvering around obstacles. Go where ever you need to whenever you need to get the job done.
The Force has a stand up machine design which has become recognized with increased productivity through out the contractor industry. Instead of sitting down and not being able to clearly see the ground engaging attachments, the Force’s stand up position empowers the operator to clearly see the mid-mount attachments working the ground without looking back and straining your neck.
The Forces compression spring floor, knee pads, and soft grip controls provide comfort while having total command over your work. You will always know where the attachments are working and exactly what they are doing. No more popping up base plugs or sprinkler heads or are getting into turf edges.
The ABI Force allows you to control the mid-mount attachments and what they are doing to your infield. Why is this important and vastly superior? Well, because an attachment with no operator control will never produce consistent results. Never. Let me say that again. An operator who has no control over the ground engaging attachments can never get consistent results. The moisture in your ground changes from day to day. The conditioner’s moved around during games. How hard or soft the infield is changes from week to week with the weather and the volume of play. Your infield is never the same, and if you want an infield where the ball bounces true, athletes stay safe, and your most traffic areas properly manage moisture, then you must have control of the infield groomer and not be satisfied with an attachment that just flops around while you drive in circles.
The ABI Force has a patent pending hydraulic mid-mount system that is far more useful than traditional single position manual flipped down systems that competitors use. The control levers are right at your fingertips and they allow you to raise and lower and pitch forward and backward all of the attachments. The Force’s hydraulic system has two thousand pounds of lifting power and is spring loaded to provide constant downward force. So now you know where the name came from: downward force.
This downward force is essential to having a consistent result. And yet, we build in a safety release that prevents damage if an immovable object is struck below the surface. And why is it superior to have your primary ground engaging components positioned underbelly, and at the midway point of the machine? Because it now operates just like a motor grader, providing the ultimate ground plane between the wheels, so you have consistent and level results.
We know that an expert operator is not always available, so the ABI Force has controls for the controls. By simply loosening these knobs, adjusting the stop, and retightening the knobs, you can control and limit the speed of the Force, so that an operator doesn’t get out of control. We call this our speed lock feature. Additionally, we have provided an adjustable depth lock to control the amount of penetration that the mid-mount attachment has into the ground. By simply flipping down the stop and putting on the desired amount of stop collars, the Mid-mount attachments will never go deeper than desired.
Now that you understand that you need this kind of control and that ABI has provided the necessary safety controls for the operator. Let’s take a look at the actual controls of the ABI Force. The speed and direction handlebars operate similarly to a skidsteer. When both handlebars are pushed forward, the Force is going straight and as fast as you have it set to go. When one of the handlebars is held back, the Force will slightly turn in that direction. You do not need to fear the learning curve for this operation. During prototyping, I put my inexperienced wife on the Force and within minutes she was zipping around the shop with complete control. I actually have video of this, but she would kill me if I posted it to the web. Now, although that would be effective. It is not worth the risk. It might look a little intimidating at first, but really the Force is easy to operate.
A lot of the Forces innovation comes in the proprietary primary ground engaging attachments. During this part of the video, I’m going to discuss the mid-mount infield attachments, but later on I will get into the turf, gravel, and fertilization components.
The first attachment I’d like to show you is the one that you will want to use on a daily basis. We call this the VibraFlex attachment because of the action that it offers your service. This technology was designed in conjunction with Grant McKnight and DuraEdge, so we know we got it right. When daily grooming an infield, it is critical that you produce the exact results you want, regardless of the condition of the ground. The VibraFlex attachment allows you to get these results. Instead of using a homemade nail board which gouges in the infield when wet and hops around on top when the ground is too hard, the VibraFlex pins flex with a condition of the infield and vibrate side to side, literally dancing across the infield to properly shatter surface tension. So with the controls of the Force, this action produces a beautifully consistent mix of your soil and conditioners at the exact depth that you desire. A bit later, I will be going through all of the infield attachments. It will get into more details about the VibraFlex.
Now let’s talk about the biggie. The one attachment of ABI infield groomers that has the whole industry buzzing and our competitors scrambling. Let’s talk about the profile blade attachment. ABI has invented the way to manage one of the most difficult conditions in the infield maintenance. The compacted substance. Your infields are always in great condition when the first game of the season is played, but after the rain, games, and the wear and tear of hundreds of ball players, the subsurface becomes hard as a rock. The problem is, it’s not even consistently hard. The infield is so compacted and hard that the ball bounces in all directions and bounces hot. No one wants to see a player get hit in the face because the ball doesn’t bounce true, so all ground keepers want to relieve this compaction at least once or twice a year. But how do you do it without tearing up the infield and having to get a laser box out and put it back to grade? The ABI patent pending profile attachment is the way.
For light renovation work, the Profile blades will renovate your ball field by slicing through the profile of your infield at any desired depth between a half to three inches. And the depth depends on the structure of your soil layers. Now these blades will slice through the subsurface without displacing the material. They simply lift and release the infield skin without pushing it around like the attachments that have rippers or loosening teeth. These other attachments will change the grade of your infield and will require a skilled operator with specific equipment to set it back to grade. The Profile blade will effectively loosen a compacted infield, allowing air and moisture to get back into the mix. Now, when you reset the infield, it will be as firm as needed while still having a slight cushion and perfectly consistent depth. By using the profile blades and the VibraFlex attachments to lightly renovate, you can now decompact and reset your infield in just a few hours. Now, an additional benefit to the profile blades is that they will cut weeds in grass at the root level to remove creeping grasses from infields and warning tracks, as well as remove lip buildup along the outfield edge.
Attached to the underbelly mounting system of the Force is a multi-function rake. This rake is made up of a half inch thick, abrasive resistant, hardened steel and can be hydraulically pitched to quickly finish renovation work by breaking up and smoothing out clods of dirt, pulling materials into low spots and pulling vegetation debris into piles and much, much more.
Finally, on the back of the Force is where you will select which finishing attachment is best suited for your conditions. The ABI Force has several quick-swap finishing attachments to choose from and each has a specific place in your attachment arsenal. There are no tools required when swapping these out and the switch can be done in no time at all.
On this particular ABI Force, we have the rigid drag mat with a leveling bar. All of the rear quick-swap finishing attachments can be manually latched out of play for transport. However, if ultimate efficiency is a critical concern, our available hydraulic lift allows fingertip control of these attachments so that you don’t have to get on and off the Force. If you have multiple infields to maintain, I strongly recommend purchasing this very important option. I’m going to move this Force out and bring in a display stand with all of the infield attachments so that I can go into more detail on how these innovative ground engaging attachments will work with your infield material.
Now that we’ve moved out the Force, I’m going to go a little deeper on each of the ground, engaging attachments. The first attachment on the stand is the row of scarifying or ripping teeth. These teeth come standard with the ABI Force. Let me say upfront that these ripping teeth were not made to be used on an infield. Once in a great while, we have had a customers who use them for installation of a new infield or complete renovation, but they are not designed to be used on a daily basis. It’s these scarifiers or ripping teeth that make the ABI Force powerful for off the field work, such as grading gravel parking lots, seedbed preparation, and trail maintenance. These ripping teeth are made with a casted shake and a bolt-on replaceable tip and can penetrate the ground from a half an inch to seven inches deep.
The second attachment is the VibraFlex drag, and one of these two models comes standard with the ABI Force. As I mentioned earlier, when designing the VibraFlex drags ABI spent a lot of time picking the brain of the industry’s leading expert in infield materials, Grant McKnight. Grant’s the one that taught us that one of the many weaknesses of the traditional nail board is that there is no finese to it. It does what it does, no matter what you really want it to do. You can’t control it. Depending on the conditions of the infield, it might do nothing but bounce on top or it might dig in so deep that it makes the infield unlevel. So ABI developed the VibraFlex drags to give as much finesse as possible and yet be aggressive when needed. And here’s how we did it.
We have designed two different VibraFlex frames. The 5800 and 3800. These numbers refer to the amount of evenly staggered u-pins. In the 5800, the fifty eight pins create a half inch spacing and will accept either the 1/8 inch or the quarter inch u-pins. The 5800 should be used in a more professional high-clay content infield where the skin plays really firm and the materials do not move around much at all. In this example, you would want to use the one 1/8 inch pins so that they literally dance across the surface, shattering the surface tension at less than a quarter inch in depth. That’s all the depth you really need to properly groom an infield with a higher-clay content.
It’s with the 1/8 inch u-pins that you will get the most flex and vibration. You can swap out the 1/8 inch u-pins for the quarter inch pins. If you want a more aggressive loosening action at different times in the season. More often than not, most of our customers will want the 3800 VibraFlex because for recreational and high school level infields where the silt and the sand content is higher, this model will work better. And here’s why. The 3800 has thirty eight u-pins, which creates a three quarter inch spacing, not the half inch spacing of the 5800. This allows more material to flow through the VibraFlex drag without the material building and plugging up.
The 3800 accepts a one quarter inch and the 3/8 inch u-pins and the quarter inch is what will most commonly be used for daily grooming. You will only want to use the 3/8 inch u-pins first thing in the Spring if you really want to open up the infield. Now, I will say that for many of the multi-field complexes, you might want both the 5800 and 3800 VibraFlex drags, as they can be swapped out in minutes and will give you great flexibility in maintaining your infield.
At the bottom of this display stand as a combo piece, which is for display only, and it’s made of the rigid drag mat and the coco mat. Now, both the rigid and coco mat are members of a quick-swap finishing attachments for the ABI Force. Both of these finishing attachments are six foot wide and come with an integrated leveling bar which consistently floats your infield material, keeping it level as it knocks down the high spots and fills in the low spots. It’s made with a nearly indestructible tow bar, and the steel mesh, and the coco mat is designed to be replaced when worn out. When you’re infield material is dry, you will normally want to use the rigid drag mat. But, when there’s a lot of moisture, mud puddles on the field, you will definitely want to try out the coco mat.
[00:17:04] Now, on this side of the display stand, we first had the profile blades that come standard with the ABI Force. As I mentioned earlier, these profile blades are primarily designed for light renovation and decompaction work. However, the profile blades are the only way to decompact your infield without pushing around the material and taking it out of grade.
When you use perpendicular loosening teeth, such as a traditional nail board or a box scraper or rototiller, there is no way not take away the grade of the infield, and the grade is critical to safe play and proper and quick percolation of rainwater. These profile blade slice beneath the surface of the infield, similar to a sod cutter, or like a knife that’s going through butter and it will lift and aerate the infield mix from a depth of a half an inch to three inches. And you don’t lose your grade. All you have to do to reset the infield is to run the VibraFlex drag over it a few times while pulling a heavy duty drag mat behind and your surface will be ready to play in just a few hours.
Additionally, these profile blade can be used to remove vegetation at the root level without using a herbicide such as Round-Up. This is becoming a bigger issue throughout the United States. Also, many of our customer use the Profile blades for removing the creeping grasses along the edge of the infield. I recommend that you edge the outfield line and then use the profile blades to slip under the vegetation and the unwanted creeping grass will peel right up. This is an incredible time-saver.
We often get questions about the wear life of these blades. It depends on the type of material you have. It depends on how often you use them and where you use them. For most customers who use the profile blade just a few times a year, they will last for many seasons.
Below the profile blade is the 3800 VibraFlex. We’ve already discussed that in great detail. So I’m going to move right on to the fine finish broom. This broom a seven foot wide and comes with three rows of replaceable bristles. You will notice that the mounting arms are adjustable, so that you can get the exact working angle that works best for your material and moisture content.
This broom floats independently from the mainframe and has the perfect way to produce a beautiful finish to your infield. My personal opinion is that if your infield is already clod free, the fine finish broom leaves the best finish in both high and low moisture content. And the maintenance of the broom is very simple because when the bristles wear out, they simply slide up and you put the new ones back in.
So there you have it. The revolutionary, innovative and groundbreaking ABI Force as it is set up for your infield maintenance. But wait. That is not all. I know, I sound like an infomercial, but really, that’s not all. Give me just a moment, and I’m going to swap out this Force for one that has the turf, gravel and fertilizer options on it. And when I’m done sharing these options with you, you will be convinced that the ABI Force is not only a vastly superior infield groomer, but a groomer that could easily be converted to handle many other tough jobs around your complex and that no other machine on the market can do what it can do. I’ll be right back.
Well, through the magic of video, I have instantly replaced the ABI Force that was configured with the infield attachments with one that has some of the turf management attachments on it. Although you may not be able to snap your fingers, and change out all the Force attachments like I just did, It still quickly transforms from the world’s leading infield groomer to a zero-turn, commercial grading, seeding, fertilizing, plug aerator, scarifying rake, and overseeder. It only takes minutes and not hours to switch out the attachments and to put the ABI Force to work outside of the infield.
There is a term that’s used in the world of marketing. It is the term purple cow. Now, a purple cow is a feature or a benefit that nobody else has. It’s completely unique. Well, I dare you to find an infield groomer that can transform itself and become a powerful turf and gravel maintenance tool. That’s our purple cow. The ABI Force for infield grooming is in a class all by itself. You can’t even really compare it to any of our competition. But when you add the ability to capitalize on the same piece of equipment, and turn it into a highly effective turf and gravel maintenance tool. Well, then you’ve got the ultimate purple cow. You just won’t find this anywhere else. Guaranteed.
The hydraulic and seed fertilizer spreader can hold 120 pounds of material and can spread it a pattern of five to twenty five feet. This spreader is ideal for precisely broadcasting grass seed, fertilizer, and even conditioner on your infield. Use a spreader option to spread grass seed while using the aerator, and pull the cultipacker behind, and you’ve got a powerful overseeding combination. This spreader must be purchased with the ABI Force so it can be installed at the factory.
Now this 40 inch plug area is capable of working eighty thousand square foot per hour. It can produce core depths up to three and a half inches. With a hydraulic down pressure, you will always have consistent penetration into the ground. If you add the extreme-duty drag mat rear attachment while aerating, it will break up the aeration cores in the same pass. This option may be purchased after the original sale was made. The 48 inch seed drill cultipacker attachment weighs 272 pounds. It will press freshly spread seed into the soil for ultimate germination. This unit also has two pneumatic tires for easy flip over transportation.
Once again, I quickly switched out the mid-mount aerator for the hydraulic scarifiers. These scarifiers and rake make a powerful combination when tackling hard packed gravel parking lot potholes, seedbed preparation and trail maintenance. When you combine the scarifiers and rake, the hydraulic seed spreader, and pull the call the cultipacker off the back, you have an incredible seeding tool that allows you to seed in tight areas near buildings, around irrigation heads, trees, landscaped beds, between sidewalks, and along curbs and fences.
So there you have it, a complete education, albeit a long one on the ABI Force. No other infield. groomer on the market can make the claims of the ABI Force. No other infield groomer has the backing and endorsements of the world’s leading experts in infield materials and maintenance and no other infield groomer can do the work of multiple tools both on and off the field.
Bottom line, there is no other infield groomer like the ABI Force from ABI Sports Turf. To find out more about how to make the ABI Force a part of your infield and property maintenance program, call our toll free number at 877-788-7253 and speak with one of our product specialists. They will talk you through our current pricing, financing, money back guarantee, and current delivery availability.