Tidying up the turf

Clean Sweep developers Clyde Carstairs and Steve McEntee at Melville City Hockey Club.
Clean Sweep developers Clyde Carstairs and Steve McEntee at Melville City Hockey Club.

The duo teamed up to create the Clean Sweep, a ride-on machine that cleans and treats artificial turf.

The Clean Sweep’s origins began eight years ago when Melville was installing new turf and was told it would last longer if it was cleaned and vacuumed regularly.

Mr McEntee said the only ride-on machines available to do this needed to be imported from Europe, were very expensive, hard to service and weighed up to a tonne, a weight that damaged the turf.

Otherwise, the job had to be done by hand, which could take hours and wasn’t as efficient.

So he decided to invent his own machine and the prototype for the 365kg Clean Sweep was born.

‘We were told the turf would last about five years, but eight years on, we are only replacing it next year because the white cockatoos have pecked holes in it,’ he said.

‘If it wasn’t for that, the turf would still be fine.’

The newest version of the Clean Sweep not only vacuums, cleans and waters the turf, but can also spray for algae, which lengthens its life.

Mr McEntee said a turf company from Victoria had been to see the machine in action and other Perth hockey clubs were interested in buying their own Clean Sweep.