Spring Time Tip: How To Get Your Turf Rolls from Delivery Truck to Your Batting Cage Area
Published February 1, 2024
Are you a high school or little league ordering turf this spring? If so, there’s a good chance your batting cage area is a hundred, or HUNDREDS, of yards away from the driveway or parking lot with any number of obstacles or dicey terrain in between.
Learn from our experience. While we know our customers have enough common sense to eventually figure these things out themselves, we think it’s helpful to explain the potential obstacles and scenarios so folks can be prepared and save some time and some big headaches.
The ATXTurf team has delivered turf to schools and facilities through open fields, mud, snow, ice, deserts, over running tracks, up hills, down hills, through gates, over gates, through doorways, over hand rails, up ramps, down ramps and even through windows. You name it. We’ve delivered turf through it.
Before we get started, turf is not light. Batting Cage Turf Rolls usually weigh between 300 lbs, for shorter 15 x 40 rolls and up to 1,200 lbs for a 15 x 80 of padded turf and will be 15’ long and up to 24 inches in diameter.
So it’s best to be prepared when the delivery driver appears and have a plan of action at your field.
In many cases, folks are lucky enough to have the cages right next to the parking lot; there’s plenty of space and it’s fairly easy to get the rolls where they need to go, as seen at this school in Alabama:
However, it’s often not that easy, or in a tight space, and requires some forethought.
A common high school or little league scenario looks like this.
You may have several fields and maybe two of the batting cages are next to the parking lot, BUT, the other two cages may be all the way around the outfield and back towards the woods, accessible only through grass and mud.
These areas are often at the bottom of banks and can be muddy for weeks as winter thaws out. You might want to get a 4-wheel drive vehicle lined up with a trailer in order to get the rolls of turf back there. Just push the rolls off the delivery truck directly onto the trailer, as we did in this picture here, and drive them out there, in 4 wheel drive.
Many schools or facilities have a bobcat available but it’s hard to lift a roll of turf with a bobcat bucket. IF you have forks for a bobcat, it can work. Make sure to slide the forks under the roll, and not into it. Otherwise, you’ll have 4 inch holes every few feet in your turf.
Tip: ATVs are not great for pulling rolls of turf. They don’t have enough front end and power. It really only ever works with really small rolls, like 15’ x 20’s or 30s.
Or maybe you need to get the rolls of turf over a track or other sensitive flooring like this:
In this case, it’s best to cover the track before driving any equipment over it. 4′ x 8′, ¾ inch treated plywood is ideal. It’s tempting to buy the cheaper OSB, (the stuff with blue edges at Home Depot), but that’ll disintegrate about the third time driving over it, with the slightest bit of rain, and you’ll ruin your track.
If you have a really nice, brand new track and want to be extra careful, you may even want to lay some plastic and foam under the wood as in this case:
Once you get the turf rolls to where the cages are, the rolls, often, need to be pushed through a chain link fence door, or some gate. Well, you can’t drive your truck through that, so it’s manual labor from that point moving forward. Fortunately, since you have a baseball team, you might have about 16 kids around who need something productive to do, as was this case here in Atlanta, GA.
In some cases with chain link fences, especially tennis courts, if you have multiple rolls, it’s easier to unscrew the chain link and peel back the fence. A wider opening may just be easier. We’ve run into some tight spaces in cities, where we had no choice but to take down the chain link, as was this case in New York City..
This is often also the case with doggie daycares and training centers, as they are, of course, fenced in really well, as seen below. It can be easier to take a section of the fence down, rather than trying to lift all of the rolls over the fence, if you don’t have the right kind of forklift available. Its really not that difficult undo a section of chain link. Just unscrew the screws holding the clamps and peel the chain link back. The screw it back when you are done.
We hope this post saves you some time. We’ve spent countless late evenings at fields and facilities unloading trucks and getting turf to where it needs to go. Hopefully, this information will help save you some time and maybe you’ll get home in time for dinner.