Meet the new operations manager at Tru-Turf: Daniel Thomson

By Alistair April 6, 2024 08:58

Daniel Thomson was appointed the new operations manager for Tru-Turf in the UK and Europe earlier this year. Here, he talks about the company’s lightweight rollers, its new heavier roller and how rolling can save golf clubs money.

Daniel, as the new operations manager for Tru-Turf in the UK and Europe, could you share what drew you to the company and how you envision enhancing our greenkeeping practices?

I was working on the dealership side of things, selling Tru-Turf products in the Middle East, and liked the direction the company was moving in. I was totally on board with their plans for the UK and European markets and felt I could add value to the customer experience with my knowledge of the industry. Joining a manufacturer with such a great reputation, especially in the golf industry, was also a great incentive for me to get on board. So far it’s been a good fit for both of us.

Tru-Turf, known for its commitment to human-centred design, is elevating greenkeeping with ‘The Brumby’, a revolutionary heavy-duty roller. Can you highlight its key features and its expected impact on greenkeeping?

Tru-Turf is famous for lightweight rollers which keep greens smoother and truer for longer, but there’s a whole chunk of the market that is looking for a heavier roller. We decided to incorporate the technology we use for our lightweight rollers into a heavy duty roller. With The Brumby getting a heavy roller but with our offset patented smoothing heads, so even though it’s about double the weight of our usual machines it is spread very evenly. We also give the option for single roller drums on each of the three heads which are all multiple drive, so you will have more traction.

Perhaps the most innovative thing about The Brumby is that it’s our first multiple application machine. The majority of rollers are called greens rollers because they are used on putting greens, but The Brumby can be used on a grow-in for a new golf course, fairways and approaches as well as greens. We hope this will help clubs keep costs down as well as revolutionise this crucial aspect of course maintenance.

The Brumby was really well received when we unveiled it at the GIS in Phoenix. At that show we got feedback from end users about what they thought would be the best features of The Brumby from their experience with our machines or similar heavy duty rollers that are on the market. They were particularly excited about the ConnectAssist™ feature which, like our lightweight rollers, has an inbuilt trailer system, something most heavy duty rollers don’t have.

Understanding your expertise in parts and servicing, what does your job for Tru-Turf entail?

My role and background means I can provide a ‘one-stop shop’ in the UK and European time zones for anything you might need to know about Tru-Turf parts, servicing and sales. I’ve also been creating and updating our servicing guides for UK dealers to train end users and for use within dealerships themselves. My experience in dealerships means that I have a good idea of what type of advice they need. I can also provide demonstrations of machines from our demo fleet here in the UK, such as the fully electric RE50 with the new Trojan batteries. Being able to take the machine and show it to potential customers is a huge benefit.

Sustainability in greenkeeping is more crucial than ever. In what ways do Tru-Turf products help courses achieve their environmental goals?

Rolling is becoming more important than ever now because there’s evidence that rolling more often reduces the need for cutting, and cutting machinery and parts are expensive. If you can reduce cutting your greens by once a week and throw in an extra roll, you could save yourself a huge amount of wear on your cutting machinery and it’s more sustainable and environmentally friendly overall. Lots of studies now conclude that it’s possible to achieve the same speed and trueness on your greens with rolling instead of cutting. With some chemicals, pesticides and fungicides being taken off the market it’s also important for greenkeepers to know that rolling regularly can reduce things like dollar spot, algae and moss dramatically. Electrification also goes hand-in-hand with sustainability and is at the core of what we do. Our new RE50 can do 26 to 28 holes on a single charge, so we’re getting to the stage where we can provide like-for-like electric replacements for petrol models and the benefits, such as lower cost, fewer repairs and no waste oil, are huge. We’re looking to electrify all models in the next couple of years.

You attended BTME 2024 and GCSAA 2024 on behalf of Tru-Turf? How was the experience?

It was my first time at both and they were incredibly well run. Being on a stand gave us the benefit of having all our customers and the whole industry in one place and we were able to get a lot of feedback to move forward with. It got me right up to speed about who our customers are and what they think.

For our readers considering the latest in greenkeeping technology, what final thoughts would you share about the benefits of partnering with Tru-Turf for their course maintenance needs?

If you buy a machine from us you will have support for the lifetime of that machine. We will be there to give help and advice on parts and maintenance anytime you need it, so you can have peace of mind. Tru-Turf is also an innovative company that listens to customers and will act on feedback, which is why we’ve been the market leader for rollers for so long.

Email Daniel at

By Alistair April 6, 2024 08:58

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