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Grafton Jail Precinct

Coffs Harbour, NSW

Area: 220,000m2

We had been contacted about the supply of Turf for the construction of Grafton Jail.

The initial request was for 220,000m2 of Kikuyu. As we do not commercially produce Kikuyu our client went searching and could not find a single source of supply. After consulting and offering the client a better solution for the same pricing , we could get Wintergreen approved in place of Kikuyu. (Wintergreen was breed in Windsor NSW which is 6 hrs South of Grafton so the initial concern of Wintergreen Cold tolerance was never an issue once the client could verify this). Then we went and allocated paddocks to produce and customising a production program to suit.

Our client on this project was commercial landscapers who trade as Great Gardens who are based in Coffs Harbour, NSW. The head contractor on the Grafton Jail site was John Holland.

Project Time frame
We had been initially contacted in April 2019 with a plan to start Installation from May 2019 through to March 2020.

Turf Selected
Wintergreen Couch was selected in place of the original specified Kikuyu. Wintergreen was selected due to its availability, a single source supplier, cold tolerance, tolerance to chemicals, and recovery to suit the many sports fields within the jail.

We proposed we do the whole site wall to wall with Slabs including the large open areas and fields and not big Maxi Rolls as the benefits of the slabs harvesting machines of today are very beneficial, due to the following reasons: Increased productivity gain at harvest (harvesting slabs is twice as productive), truck loads (2000m2 slabs vs 1800m2 Maxi Rolls), Laying slabs is much more economical.

Hanceys Turf was responsible for the total of 220,000m2 of Wintergreen supplied, delivered and installed. We averaged 8,000m2 per week transporting B-Double trucks of turf to site, 4 days a week we would harvest the 32 pallets of 63m2 per day in the evening/night, load the b-double trucks, transport 6 hrs overnight ready for our install team at 7am in morning.

To keep the turf as fresh a possible we would use 3 Turf auto slab harvesters to cut 2000m2 in 40 minutes to minimise the time the turf was on a pallet. This was vital especially in the warmer months. We would have every load (4 days a week) harvest, transport and install the turf all within an 18hr window from the first slab harvested to the last slab being installed.

Our install team of 4 would install 2000m in 5 hrs, cut in, rolled and watered in each day for 4 days per week, for 36 strait weeks. We set up onsite our own forklifts and our own onsite flat bed trucks to haul the turf in and around the jail as at anyone time we would have to ferry the turf through 2,000 workers, 2klms of paths, 2 Vehicle X ray machines and many trade/service vehicles daily.