Posted March 11, 2014 by Greensuper in Tech 911

Tech 911: What technology to include in shop renovation

I am in the process of planning a new maintenance facility. I was wondering if you had any suggestion for installing technology; what has worked for others? What to stay away from so I am not wasting money? I am only going to have one shot at this building and I want to do it right. Thanks in advance.

I think the most important thing to have is good internet. At my previous course, I was able get the internet installed for FREE from Comcast because it was a new setup. Once you have good interent service, be sure to get a good or a few good wireless routers so you have an easy way to connect devices.(Computers, phones, tablets).
There are lots of superintendents going to digital job boards with flatscreen TV’s. Most are going with between 42” and 50”. A few have gone higher. I would get an Apple TV so you can easily share things with your mobile devices, but also have some VGA cables run from your office to the TV so you can easily share things from your computer to the TV.

Routers – This is a pretty good router HERE

Be sure to get your mechanic a good computer and system for tracking, not sure if you have that already. I invested about $1000 for a good desk, computer and wireless card for my mechanic and it made us so much more efficient from an operation standpoint.

I would make sure you get a good computer in the break room. You can either run it to the TV or have a separate monitor. Setting up Google forms and putting them on a computer for your staff to track things like fuel is a huge help to you. Let your staff take ownership in keeping records for you.

I visited one course over the summer, one of the best shop features I saw, outside of technology was a mud room. This was a room that all employees would use to enter and exit the building during the day. It had hangers for work clothes, shoe racks and benches. The floor was pitched to the middle with a large drain. This room allowed the shop to stay very clean as this was the area staff would get dressed and undressed for lunch and the end of the day. All the mud, clippings, smell stayed in this room. The room also had a hose to wash the floor and boots.

If you use Toro, the My Fleet system is nice and if you have a wireless router in the shop, it makes this even easier to integrate.

Be sure to set your irrigation computer up to internet. This will be a huge time saver for you as you will be able to run the system remotely. This saved us a TON of water and time for me not having to run back to the course all the time.

The last thing you may want to look into is wireless webcams. With wireless internet around the shop, they sell very inexpensive wireless security cameras. This will both record and provide you a live look at things. I put two up when I was at Hartefeld. One was put by the gas pumps, which also showed me wthe weather. Was it raining, snowing, etc. The second place I put one was in my pump station. I was able to access these cameras right from my iphone. I was able to check on the pump station activity 24/7.

I lied, one other thing. A good weather station. Spectrum Technologies has some great solutions for about $500. Again with internet you can broadcast this station to your members. This also gives you some great real time data to track environmental issues.


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