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Winter 2014

A Defining Moment!

Receiving life changing and unexpected news propelled this young couple into making a decision which was to alter their future direction entirely.

Ross and Leesa Sheppard were both working hard back in 2003. Ross was employed in a full time position during the week and at weekends used a Bobcat and Tipper to bring in some extra money. Leesa was occupied with her career in customer service.

So when they were told mid-way through 2004 they were expecting twins it was a complete shock for them. Knowing Leesa would need to care for them well after they were born it certainly was a pivotal and defining moment in time. Especially as they were uncertain of how they would move forward.

They determined together the best way was to start Sheppard Earthmoving and to specialize in excavation and earthmoving and to concentrate on working locally. Both Ross and Leesa are now immersed in running their successful company and engage 10 full time employees.

Operating with a fleet of Tipper trucks, Excavators, Bobcats and 4 Hino trucks with Vacuum Excavators fitted, sees Shepphard Earthmoving prepared for any job and emergency around the clock, seven days a week.

The Vacuum Excavators fitted to the Hino’s are one of the safest ways to expose or excavate around underground services. It is a highly non-destructive, fast and reliable technique.

Any why choose Hino’s? Ross commented, “They are well priced and a good reliable truck. They also look quite good and the Vacuum Excavator fits well to the back of the trucks.

Growing our business on the recommendation of our customers has added to our success, thankfully. We now assist with local government departments, Main Roads and work with Electricians and Plumbers, concentrating on what I call our local area. This includes Millmerran, Goondiwindi, Miles, Clifton, Crow’s Nest, Oakey and of course Toowoomba”

Nearly Indestructible!

On the banks of the Comet River 40 klms east of Springsure is a remarkable property called Arcturus Downs. Named after the star called Arcturus, a mere 36.7 light years from earth it is classified as the fourth brightest star in the night sky.

Managing Arcturus Downs which is a family owned Company is Sam Bradford. Early last year when Vanderfield acquired the John Deere dealership in Emerald, Sam viewed it as a good opportunity to make a fresh start with the dealership. He decided it was time to develop a new working relationship with a company in the locality.

Sam relies heavily on good staff to assist him with the day to day running of the various operations on Arcturus Downs. Many of these 16 staff has family who also live on the property. In reality they not only work together but form their own community.

In fact it was Ludwig Leichhardt on his 1844-45 expedition who discovered this area was suitable for grazing and it was he who made possible the settlement of Central Queensland.

Describing his days and the property as busy, varied and diverse Sam explained, “We breed and fatten cattle and grow dry land crops such as sorghum, sunflowers, wheat and chick peas. In addition to this another 2,500 acres are irrigated from the Comet River. Crops of cotton, corn, sorghum and mung beans are grown on the fertile flood plains. The nature of farming combined with climatic conditions certainly presents its challenges especially with little rainfall recently”!

Consideration for the distance involved with travelling to other dealerships not based in Emerald when needing equipment and machinery serviced and repaired after it is purchased is an important part of any new purchase choice for Arcturus Downs. These factors certainly played an important part in Sam’s decision to buy a new John Deere 8285R Series tractor from the Vanderfield Emerald branch. Sam genuinely feels Vanderfield will be able to fulfil all of these requirements and is hoping to standardize his fleet of equipment to John Deere in the future and expressed confidence in his belief.

Speaking of the most recent John Deere tractor addition Sam said, “The drivers love it. It’s like driving a Toyota Landcrusier. It’s nearly indestructible”.

John Deere To The Rescue!

Outside of Brisbane, the largest number of registered boat owners in Queensland is claimed by residents living in Mackay/Whitsundays area. Easy to understand when you think of the easy access they have to the picturesque Whitsunday Passage and the stunning number of Islands there.

Water search and rescue missions for missing boaties in the Mackay area is undertaken by VMR or Volunteer Marine Rescue. A strong presence of 100 members, both men and women form their base.

Initial discussions began with David Pace of Vanderfield Mackay mid-way through 2013. “VMR wanted a John Deere tractor to fulfil certain criteria. Specifically the tractor/boat combination had to weigh less than 4.5 tonne. It was required to tow a purpose built 8.5M boat with 2x 250hp outboards which was being constructed for them. The vessel was to be used as a fast-response boat which had the capability of going out as far as the reef”.

It was a time consuming process however in the days leading up to Easter the John Deere 5075E Tractor along with the new boat were delivered to VMR. Much to their excitement and anticipation it was added to their existing fleet and very necessary equipment list.

Proving the new boat and tractor were vital elements in the large number of rescues over the Easter four day break is an understatement. VMR completed five successful rescue efforts.

David said, “It’s great to know Vanderfield assisted with such an important group within the Mackay community who provide a critical service to boat owners here. Especially when you think of a John Deere Tractor helping to save lives makes it all the more special”.

The Others’ Right Hand!

Contemplating the events of the past twelve months is a bitter sweet experience for fifth generation farmer Jason Klotz of Red Rock Macadamia’s. On reflection Jason’s voice was tinged with sadness as he lost his right hand man in 2013. His father John!

Ten years ago Jason along with his wife Fiona and his parents John and Beth decided growing sugar cane was not a viable crop for them anymore. Together they came up with the idea of a macadamia plantation. Due to the length of time the trees take to mature they grew watermelons as an interim measure.

Found directly 8 kms east of Bundaberg, Red Rock Macadamia’s grow five different varieties of Macadamia’s, each with varying characteristics. From planting they take five to seven years to mature and the trees are planted by hand but harvested mechanically using a Pinwheel Harvester after the nuts fall naturally from the trees. Interestingly the rows were formed using John Deere Greenstar. One of the first seen in the district at that time!

Exacting growing conditions are needed for the trees to perform. A comprehensive irrigation system keeps the trees fed nutritionally, watered and in top shape. As the higher the quality the greater the return!

Macadamias are sometimes referred to as the Queensland or Bauple nut, where they were first found. They are a highly nutritious and popular nut amongst consumers. Flowering once a year they yield one crop per tree but the harvest is spread over the months of March through to August. While the last 2-3 years have been reasonable, this year has resulted in a good crop. But this adds somewhat to Jason’s regret. That his father didn’t get to see their combined hard work and efforts pay off!

“Reliability at the end of the day is what I look for in a John Deere and from Vanderfield. A new John Deer 6125R tractor, a 6430 and a 5425 with a front end loader and fork lift as well as diesel Gator provides me with one of everything I need. And I find the after sales service at Vanderfield in Bundaberg offer is second to none”!

Standing proud and strong is 25,000 macadamia nut trees as a living legacy to John’s life. And Jason now stands proud and strong knowing his father John was the best right hand man he could have ever wished for and his best mate in life.

Mindful of having a wonderful role model, Jason is now endeavouring to emulate his fathers’ example as he mentors his own nine year old son, Samuel.

Top Genetic Team Work

A tenacious couple complement each other and have combined their individual skills and interests to forge a creative enterprise just ten kilometres from Rockhampton in Central Queensland.

Wendy and Ken Cole breed Brahman cattle on their 1000 acre property ‘Kenrol Brahman Stud’ using the best genetics they can find. Mainly sourced from Texas, Houston in the USA their embryo work has gained the status of a fully approved Australian Government centre.

Working with one full time assistant, Wendy supervises the embryo programme with a qualified Veterinarian at intervals of 6-8 weeks. The collection of embryos takes place for export overseas and here in Australia. She has actively grown and expanded this aspect of their business now for fifteen years with the aim of producing and selling the best Brahman seed cattle stock.

This allows Ken the space and time to concentrate on what he loves doing. The farming side of things! Primarily he grows fodder and harvests it for their cattle. A John Deere 6300 100Hp and a 5075E 75Hp tractor plus a round baler allows Ken to make lots of cattle feed. He explained, “When cut, the hay needs to be baled fairly fast. One tractor loads the bales while the other is unloading in the shed so the bales are quickly in out of the weather free from any risk of being damaged. I buy John Deere because I believe they have a better finish than most other brands on the market. You really get what you pay for! Both tractors offer good visibility and as I am a large man the seat in the 6300 model adjusts to my weight which I like.

The Vanderfield Rockhampton branch after sales service is fantastic and Peter Jenkinson or ‘PJ’ as he is known is dedicated to his customers. If ever we have any issues nothing is ever a problem for him. His is great to deal with and helps us no end. This is real important to us”.

If you would like to check out ‘Kenrol Brahman Stud’ further look them up at www.kenrol.com.au or alternatively Wendy and Ken can be contacted on 07 4933 1405.