Terraplas is the market leader for Turf Protection, having pioneered the concept of ‘Turf Protection’, as opposed to simply ‘turf covers’, over 25 years ago. Offering up a comprehensive range of products to suit any environment and accommodate varying budgets – from Entry Level to Very Heavy Duty – they have a product to suit any client’s specific requirements. As the company boasts, “No Matter the Climate, Location or Event, Terraplas has the Ultimate Solution”.
When Terraplas was first established in 1990 by Robert Else, this fledging company worked closely alongside professionals at the old Wembley Stadium in London, to develop the original terraplas® product. Robert Else looks back on this seminal work with pride: “Wembley Stadium was then, as it is still to this day, one of the busiest concert and event venues worldwide.”
The development of terraplas® was designed to address the very specific needs of a stadium wishing to hold sports events and concerts in quick succession, with the need to maintain the quality of their ‘hallowed turf’ pitch.
As the story goes, Wembley’s original terraplas® system was sold to a rental company when the stadium was demolished for rebuilding. That system is still in use today, and is rented out on a very regular basis – a true demonstration of the longevity of Terraplas’ products. “Our quality of materials and the consistency of our professional design fully justifies why our prices are not as low as our competitors. In fact, having seen the accomplishment of Terraplas, they have been trying to mimic this, only without much success,” states Robert.
Today, having flourished since that initial big break, the reputation of Terraplas is self-evident. Robert’s proud statements, attesting to the prestige that his enterprise has gained, speaks volumes of his ambitions and the realisation of his business goals. “The name ‘Terraplas’ is synonymous with ‘turf protection’ and has become the generic term – like Hoover is to vacuum cleaners, Kleenex is to tissues and Coke is to cola drinks. Almost all of the world’s multi-purpose national stadiums have chosen Terraplas ahead of the competition. The quality of our products is evident in their continual outstanding performance and proven lifespan. Virtually every system that Terraplas has sold in its 25 years is still in use today – an unmatchable demonstration of why it is better to buy the best that the industry has to offer.”
Robert considers the practicalities that Terraplas must face in their industry, remarking upon the process from his expert perspective on materials, effective costing, and practical manufacturing.
“The cost of a system,” he explains, “is not limited to the initial purchase price; all of the ongoing costs must be considered, especially for projects of such a scale as a football stadium. For example, all of Terraplas’ tiles are pre-assembled in panels, made to an optimum size that can be handled by two people for fitting and lifting, whilst also covering as much area as possible with each panel. This means that compared to fitting single tiles – which often happens with other products – Terraplas can cover around four square metres with each panel, depending on which product, making fitting and lifting around four times faster, saving a huge amount of labour costs in the process.
“Additionally, knowing that the product has a long lifespan means that they do not have to go through the extensive process of researching a new system every couple of years. Nor, incidentally, do they need to replace broken panels under normal usage of the system.”
Terraplas’ products, made from translucent high-density polyethylene (HDPE), can be found in an increasing number of arenas, and that is not simply down to the sheer longevity of the product – since first introducing terraplas® to the market in 1991, their range has diversified to incorporate different panel types suitable for a variety of functions. terracover-ICE®, as the name would suggest, is designed as an ice conversion covering, but is also truly multifunctional. Being able to support ice hockey one day, basketball the next, then a concert, mass gathering or exhibition the day after, has generated considerable additional revenue streams for Terraplas’ clients through being able to field a greater range of spectator events.
In addition, the terratrak® family of products is Terraplas’ strongest, most cost-effective flooring solution. The full four-inch overlap between each panel does away with fragile joining loops, also incorporating a series of locating bosses. This design, as well as giving unrivalled strength, acts as a barrier to stop liquids from penetrating to the grass, ensuring that there is no damage to the turf.
Terraplas’ attention to detail and experience in this specialised market, Robert claims, is second to none, with each system being configured to match the client’s particular needs, ensuring a system that always fits the bill. He says: “Terraplas fully understands the challenges that stadiums face on a daily basis, in order to keep them in use as long as possible. We have extensive knowledge of how turf protection systems and quality turf both interact with one another. We are therefore able to provide guidance and support to the Groundsmen who need to maintain their playing surfaces, whilst the venue has the opportunity to raise considerable additional revenue from concerts and other events.
“It is a well-established fact in the business that a concert event can generate twice the revenue of a sports event, so it is vital that stadiums have access to the best turf protection possible, in order to be able to address both aspects without detriment to either.”
Terraplas’ noted presence and valuable contributions in the market has made them a well-recognised entity, and this has drawn the attention of some of the biggest, most authoritative names in the industry, around whom stadium sports and events revolve. Terraplas has become a stadium partner with the European Stadium & Safety Management Association (ESSMA) and the Event Stadium Suppliers Group (ESSG), both of whom are highly reputable organisations within the industry. Through these partnerships, Terraplas has the ideal platform from which to further increase their profile, as Robert explains: “It allows us to participate in their various events throughout the year, which gives us one-to-one contact with the people that matter; particularly the Turf Managers who have a vested interest in getting the very best solution for their stadium requirements, as the buck stops with them as far as maintenance of the playing surface quality is concerned. This makes establishing relationships with them one of our highest priorities.”
Being the pioneers in modern turf protection construction and provision, Terraplas cannot afford to be complacent – indeed, their business ethic continues in the same bold, pioneering spirit with which it began in 1990, as Robert explains: “Being the market leader keeps us on our toes. We are constantly monitoring our clients’ requirements to match with our designs and materials. We employ a continuous research and development programme to ensure we are always ahead of the game. Stadiums are subject to constantly changing requirements, so we have to be flexible enough to both anticipate and react well to these changes, and be ready to supply them with whatever alternative they desire.”
Owing to their successes over the last 26 years, Terraplas is now a valued part of the internationally renowned ‘Checkers Safety Group’, manufacturers of Yellow Jackets and Ground Guards, amongst many other products. Cabling channelling systems such as these are widely used in stadiums and arenas internationally. Recent acquisitions by Checkers Safety Group means that their portfolio now encompasses not only their own extensive range of safety products, but also a huge variety of heavy-duty outdoor matting products, commercial flooring mats and parking safety products. The prestigious range of Terraplas quality turf protection products take pride of place among them.
As Robert comments: “This new structure provides a comprehensive support mechanism for Terraplas and the sister companies going forward; their close involvement with this leading organisation signals a hopeful future, as it becomes easier for future products to incorporate these two crucial aspects of construction.
Company: Linebacker UK Ltd t/a Terraplas
Phone: 44 (0)1332 812813
Web Address: www.terraplas.com
Address: The Barn, Hall Farm House, High Street, Castle Donington, Derby, DE74 2PP, UK