Field Notes: Building a better float…not that kind

King County Parks field staff Chad and Larry
King County Parks field staff Chad and Larry

A “ballfield float” is an integral tool that King County Parks staff use to keep our fields in good shape for athletic play. In general, its purpose is to create a smooth, uniform playing surface, which, as most of you soccer/baseball/lacrosse/field sport athletes out there know, is pretty darn important.

With nearly 100 ballfields in our system that see year-round play, King County Parks field staff spend a lot of time smoothing out  athletic fields.  So two of our staff, Chad and Larry of the North Utility Crew, took it upon themselves to design and build a better float. They wanted a float that could provide greater strength, longevity and mobility, and one that was more efficient, user-friendly, and easier to maneuver.

Their system uses an electric winch that allows the operator to choose where and when to dump excess dirt gathered by the float, eliminating the need for shoveling or lifting. When finished with the field, the operator activates the winch to raise the float into ‘trailing’ mode and then drives off to tackle the next field.

The end result? A safer ballfield that saves the backs of numerous staff at a cost savings for KC Parks! Many thanks to Larry and Chad for their innovation and hard work. And keep them in mind next time you’re playing ball in a King County park and don’t get that bad bounce off the infield!

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