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Spring 2016

Hino Hybrid Trusted For A Decade Of Duty In Darwin

As Hino Australia celebrates 10 years since introducing the 300 Series Hybrid, the City of Darwin has bolstered its trust in hybrid technology and Hino by training operations staff at its Winnellie headquarters. In conjunction with local dealer Vanderfield Hino and Hino Australia, Council workers were taken through a diagnostics and product familiarisation course focused on the Hino Hybrid battery unit that was conducted by Hino Australia's Fleet Training Manager Sergio Bonvini. City of Darwin is no stranger to Hybrid technology: it was the first council in Australia to introduce Hino Hybrid trucks to its fleet in 2007. Vanderfield Hino have advocated the hybrids and worked tirelessly in partnership with Council since the inception of hybrid technology in Australia to ensure that these trucks have been well received and perform in the demanding applications they are put to use in.

City of Darwin's Fleet Manager Peter Newcombe said Hybrid trucks are becoming commonplace in its fleet. "It's getting harder to compare the Hybrid versus diesel performance in our fleet because we're running out of diesel trucks to compare them to," he said.

Mr Newcombe says a reduced carbon footprint and improved cost of ownership has been influential in the Hino Hybrid purchasing decision. "We've seen a 15.84 per cent economy advantage [over diesels] in our urban applications, helping us improve our bottom line and reduce costs over the life of the Hino Hybrid.

"Hybrid technology also reduces our carbon output significantly, which is an advantage you can't put a price on," Mr Newcombe said. "We also have Toyota Camry Hybrids in our passenger car fleet so we're big advocates of the benefits Hybrid technology has to offer." The City of Darwin currently operates 13 Hino 300 Series Hybrids and will add seven more to replace existing diesel variants in the next year.

The Hino 300 Series Hybrid trucks are used for landscape maintenance and waste management duties. City of Darwin also participates in Hybrid driver training held by Vanderfield Hino to further maximise economical operation of the Hino Hybrid vehicles. The Hino 300 Series Hybrid is Australia's premier and market-leading hybrid light duty truck with 454 Hino Hybrids sold (as of April 2016) since launch.

Vanderfield Emerald Chosen by its Community

Vanderfield Emerald received the Award for Community Champion Small Business at the Small Business Week Breakfast on May 18 this year.

The Central Highlands Regional Council awards recognise the contribution of local business, not only to economic vitality but also to creating a strong, healthy, vibrant regional community. The 2016 nominations showcased the diversity and dedication of the Central Highlands business community and celebrated the efforts and achievements of local businesses.

‘We are committed to play our role in the success of local organisations, clubs, committees and groups, and are very proud of having been nominated alongside so many great local businesses’, says Branch Manager Mark Tosswill.

Mark has been with the branch since its opening on the 18th of February 2013, and Vanderfield Emerald has been heavily involved in its community all this time. ‘Our focus and commitment is to provide consistent, excellent service that adds value to the lives of our customers. We see ourselves in partnership with our customers and to the whole community to help bring prosperity to the area’, explains Mark.

Some of the ways in which the branch has supported the community include sponsoring a wide range of events from the annual Central Highlands Cotton Growers and Irrigators Association dinner to the Emerald Show Society through local car shows, camp drafts, athletics clubs and even providing breakfast for school children. ‘We support the development of young people in the area, particularly those facing big challenges, through our contribution to the Backing Our Youth initiative’, adds Mark.

Vanderfield has 13 branches in Australia and supports many community projects. Each Branch Manager personally assesses requests for local support. For a copy of our guidelines, visit your local Vanderfield branch or go to http://www.vanderfield.com.au/community-support.html

O Week

Vanderfield’s most valued asset is its staff. We have 14 branches located across Australia and currently employ 360 men and women who work in in the areas of Administration, Sales, Parts, Service, Stores, Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources and Precision Farming Technology.

Apprentices are the seed core of many aspects of our business. We offer apprenticeships to individuals who are motivated, ambitious, dedicated, skilled and committed to providing excellent service. Like Brad Thompson, from Vanderfield Emerald, who appreciates how ‘as an apprentice parts interpreter, I have the opportunity to interface directly with customers, and it means a lot to us to get a good relationship with our customers. I want to make sure they are satisfied with my services’.

Vanderfield apprentices have to undertake formal studies. Alex Dalgliesh, doing his apprenticeship in Chinchilla, likes ‘the opportunity to travel and research John Deere machinery’ as he works towards completing his TAFE course in Warwick, and Kane Golding, from Katherine, is getting proficient with Toyota cars while doing a course at Charles Darwin University.

But the advanced resources and training offered at Vanderfield is one of the most valued aspects of the apprenticeship experience. Lachlan Thompson, originally from Central Queensland but now in Toowoomba, really enjoys ‘the hands-on training and help given to us’, and Hayden Brimblecombe, a mature-age apprentice from St George, really appreci- ates ‘the opportunities and large amounts of training Vanderfield gives us’.

Our apprentices nominate the branch/area they would like to train in, and they can be found in all corners of the Vanderfield agricultural machinery, Toyota and truck dealerships operations. Earlier this year, 33 of the 51 apprentices came together for ‘ Apprentice O Week’, a three-day event held in Toowoomba. It was a tremendous chance for everybody to meet everybody else in a great team atmosphere. As Alan McGarry, a mature-age apprentice in Chinchilla says, ‘this is a fantastic place to work, doing a lot of different things with a lot of great people’. Which may be the reason why Bryce Pearson, an ag apprentice from Darwin who likes to be able to work on different engines, big and small, is following on the steps of his two brothers who also started their careers as Vanderfield apprentices and are still working for the company.

To learn more about careers with us, visit our website or google ‘Vanderfield careers’.

Backing Our Youth

At the end of last year, Vanderfield joined forces with Scripture Union and the Artesian Foundation to create the Backing our Youth initiative. This project raises funds to support the work Scripture Union chaplains do among young people in regional Queensland.

Apart from the option of buying Backing our Youth merchandise, Vanderfield customers contribute to the development of youth resilience in their area through their dealership’s donation of a percentage of agricultural equipment sales. The funds are collected and managed by the Artesian Foundation, who then distributes them to SU QLD chaplains through a grants process.

Vanderfield’s Managing Director, Bruce Vandersee, is very satisfied with the outcome. ‘With the support of our customers, we have reached our goal of raising $50,000 in the first half of this year. Although our branches back their local communities in a variety of ways, we are especially pleased and excited to be involved in supporting the children of today become adults who have a great outlook on life and contribute valuably right where they are’.

Chaplains can apply for a grant of up to $2,000 to fund a range of projects. Tony Dodge, who works in schools in central Queensland, was able to organise life skills events in two different towns. ‘Supported by the principals and in partnership with our local Police, children from years Prep to 6 were divided into three groups by age and learned how to support one another and look at things differently’. And Ross Grierson bought equipment to improve the food served at the Breakfast Club in Emerald State High School. ‘Toasted ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches are providing students with a hearty breakfast meal before the school day begins on Thursdays, historically a low attendance day. Records are being kept by the school and already they are noticing an improvement in attendance’.

Mango Trees Under UV Light

Back in mid-June, Vanderfield and Hardi jointly organised three demonstration days for the Hardi Mercury 4000 Mist Blower, with about 50 attendees in total. The demos were held in mango tree farms located in Lambells Lagoon (30 minutes south-east of Darwin), Berry Springs (40 minutes south) and near Katherine.

Hardi’s Trevor Pahl and Paul Tuohey, from South Australia, kicked off each event at 3pm with a presentation. They explained the machine’s options and functions, including the two types of Controllers – Manual Electric Control Box and the 5500 Sprayer Controller. Both are easily mounted inside the tractor cab.

The sprayer carries up to 4000 litres of liquid, with a 464 Diaphragm Pump producing a flow of 280 litres/min and an SF85 fan that is 920mm in diameter. It comes with a basket mixer and has a robust, durable steel chassis. Another nifty feature is that the tough shaft uni joints can be greased without having to pull the sprayer apart.

Trevor and Paul also explained that the blower offers better air distribution and higher air flow with lower horsepower consumption, while being very simple to adjust air flow direction onto the target areas.

Next came the actual demo, with three different spray rates per Ha: 800, 1200 and 1600 litres. The Hardi Mercury 4000 needs to be driven by a tractor with some oomph, so Vanderfield provided a John Deere 6100D. With its 100 hp of engine power, it made a nice job of it.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the Hardi’s sprayer in terms of coverage and penetration, a spray dye that shines under ultra violet light was used. Vanderfield cooked up a barbecue for all the attendees while waiting for the sunset and then everyone went back into the orchard to have a look at the droplet sizes, leaf coverage and spray penetration into the canopy. This was done using UV spot light.

Andrew Simon from Vanderfield Darwin comments that ‘attendees really appreciated how Vanderfield and Hardi actually brought the sprayer around and did the demo, but being able to use UV light to see exactly the penetration and coverage of the spray was probably everyone’s highlight’.

Andrew and Vanderfield colleagues Monique Vajda and Adam Pollard have sold three Hardi Mercury 4000s so far, with customers reportedly very satisfied with their choice.

Watch the video on https://www.you- tube.com/watch?v=k0N9osUNetA or google ‘Vander- fieldable Hardi 4000’ phone 1300 VANDER.

Applying Technology For Best Practice In The Central Highlands

Cowal Agricultural is a Queensland company that owns and operates eight properties in the Central Highlands around Emerald. Their 5,000 Ha of irrigable and dry cropland grow cotton, mungbeans, sorghum, chickpeas and wheat along the Nogoa River. Irrigation comes from the Fairbairn Dam, 20Km upstream. The land contains also riparian and anabranch areas, ephemeral billabongs and sand ridges that sustain a variety of ecosystems with their plant and animal life.

Cowal business is run with family-farmer care in mind, and it also prides itself in implementing industry best management practices in every facet of its operations. Cowal employs around 15 employees, 10 full-time with 5 added during the peak summer cropping season. One of the managers is Paul Yates.

Paul has been using John Deere since he left college in 1991. As he likes to put it, ‘green runs through my veins’. As an operator, Paul praises the Deeres’ ease of operation and high levels of comfort, and he values how Vanderfield have been there for him ‘day and night, chasing parts for us or doing whatever needed to keep us going’ and offering a smooth experience when buying new machinery.

But Paul mostly appreciates the benefits that John Deere products and services have brought to his operations. They have been using GreenStar 3 and RTK steering for a while, but it was when they changed their base station to a 3000 that the computerised system began to offer its full potential. ‘Everyone uses it now, and with My JD I can keep track of what the tractors have been doing day and night, as well as having a range of accurate data easily available’.

Paul is looking forward to increased productivity when they introduce variable rating. As an example, they recently acquired a new 5430i self-propelled sprayer and Paul anticipates will result in optimised spraying through the use of data transfer from the software, which will yield both economic and environmental benefits.

Call 1300 VANDER about precision farming.

Loeskows in Bundaberg

In the 1960s, Neville and Des Loeskow bought 1600ha in the Bundaberg area so he could graze beef cattle. Twenty-odd years later, though, Neville’s son Jason was not so enthusiastic about the cattle, and with the future of the cane industry looking good back in the 80s, the shift began. Remarkably, the Loeskows have managed to turn the yield of their sandy, very marginal soil from an initial 50 tonnes/ha to an average of 104 tonnes/ha in 2015. These results got them the Incitec Pivot Cane Growing Excellence Award for operations greater than 60ha, given to cane growers who achieve high standards of farm efficiency and have implemented practices to ensure the longer term sustainability of cane growing.

But none of this happened by chance.

The first step towards increasing production was not depending so much on rain irrigation; as Jason says, ‘water is the biggest single factor in having a good yield’. When they started irrigating, their water allocation from underground supplies was 2-3 megalitres /hectare, and this went up to 4-5 Ml/ha when some surface storage was added. With an expansion in the 90s, however, water availability was again reduced to 2-3 Ml/ha. The shortage was addressed in 2007 by dedicating 100ha to storing 8000 Ml, which translates to a current availability of 10 Ml/ha, and irrigation has also become more efficient with a change from the initial overhead practice to flooding.

Water was only the start. In the 90s, the Loeskows began to rotate 20-25% of their land into peanuts. Cane production then went up from 60-65 tonnes/ha to 80 tonnes/ha, and there were numerous other benefits including fixing nitrogen, increasing organic matter in the soil, easier control of grass through herbicides, and nematode control. In addition to environmental benefits, Jason reckons that if they had to use nematicides now as they did in the early 90s ‘the cost would probably be in excess of $300,000 per year’.

The next step in reaching the 100 tonne/ha mark was adopting best practice farming. Jason has addressed the issue of soil compaction through a multi-faceted approached that includes controlled traffic on 3m centres, minimal tilling (although deep ripping was also adopted for a time to increase soil water content) and recent investments in new technology and equipment like TerraCutta software from Vanderfield in Bundaberg and an 18ft Notch boxblade. This equipment has reduced the tonnage of the equipment needed to level the paddocks and increased the covered area per pass.

‘If your paddock is not level, the effect of the increased water contents in the lower areas snowballs; it affects fungal control, use of equipment, irrigation efficiency... costs go up and yield down’, explains Jason. ‘We got the system going in July and have already surveyed and levelled 150 of the 250ha we need to do. With the TerraCutta, we have been able to do our own design and level the farm from one end to the other’.

When Jason first learned about the TerraCutta four years ago, he thought ‘it was out of a farmer’s league to operate’, and his impression was that GPS technology was complicated and impractical. Jason credits Stephen Frahm, precision farming technician in Vanderfield Bundaberg, with changing him from ‘a farmer who refused to use an iPhone to one who is now using a high technology system. Once you’ve got support, you are convinced’. And we are also convinced that the Loeskow’s can now look forward to a 115 tonne/ha yield in the near future.

Ring us on 1300 VANDER to find out how precision farming could work for you.

The One Rod Challenge

A recent challenge between Channel 7’s Hook, Line and Sinker’s duo Nick Duigan and Andrew Hart provided the perfect opportunity to put an Isuzu D-MAX from DARWIN NT ISUZU UTE, through its paces on some of the most remote roads in the country. Andrew Hart explains...

When fishing far northern Australia you are always faced with a bit of a quandary. There are so many hard fighting fish and so many different techniques to catch them that you need to travel with a veritable tackle shop to cover all the bases! With this problem in mind and in fear of once again blowing the Hook, Line and Sinker budget on excess airline luggage, we decided for our latest trip to the top end, we were only allowed to take one rod each. One rod to rule them all.

 

The destination in question was a camp ground in east Arnhem Land, a leisurely six hour drive from Darwin, Legend has it that these waters are about as close as it gets to unfished and with a bit of preplanning and the required permits, campsites right on the foreshore can be organised where you can watch fish busting up from daylight to dusk. We left Darwin early, enjoying yet another crisp clear Territory morning, the D-Max loaded up and lopping down the Stuart Highway. A left hand turn put us on the Arnhem highway and the speed limit kicked up to 130km/h. For the next two hours we ate up the km’s.

After a quick lunch stop (there’s not much at Jabiru!), we headed into the tourist hotspot of Kakadu. Then when the tourist road stops at the East Alligator River, we kept going. Powering across the river and careful not to run over any crocs, once we were on the other side there was no turning back!

We had a permit to drive to a place called Wiligi Outsta- tion (you can find it on Facebook if you search). It was a drive of another 100 kms, but took us the rest of the day on the red dust track. There were another three major river crossings and the D-MAX loved it all! It was smooth sailing over corrugations and around the many wash outs.

Once we arrived at the camp, we met the Traditional Owners who made us feel at home. The next day we went to go fishing only to find that our one rods, which were both in a tube, hadn’t been packed particularly well and had fallen out somewhere between Wiligi and Kakadu! Our episode was looking in a bit of trouble.

Instead of wallowing in self-pity, we went fishing anyway with the other boys who came on our trip, who happened to be from Wilson Tackle so they had heaps of spare rods!

We launched the boat off the beach, and within half an hour were getting our arms stretched by big Queenfish, Trevally and other big things that proved unstoppable. At the end of the first day we knew we had to find our one rod for the remaining few days, because this was the perfect place to test them!

Luckily, over a feast of coral trout and mud crab word reached us that the local policeman had found a black rod tube some 60 kms down the road! We were back in business and by the next morning had our one rods rigged and ready to go! The fishing over the next several days was mind blowing! We caught everything you think of on our rods, from barramundi in the creeks, to Giant Trevally on poppers. We caught coral trout on the bottom and mackerel on the troll. And we proved that all we needed was one state of the art fishing rod each, some 30 pound braid line and a suitable spinning reel and we could catch anything!

As with all Hook, Line and Sinker there is of course a twist in this tale. My rod, which I still use all the time, is a proper fishing rod, with a spinning reel. Nick’s however, which he calls the Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon, is the world’s first double reeled fishing rod. With a spinning rod and a bait caster, he was running two lures at once and spending plenty of time in a tangle! It made for a great episode and was well worth going to effort of driving into a very remote part of Australia!