What a time we have been having in Australia! After a fantastic week in Tasmania attending the DeLaval Grassland Robotics Convention, myself and Mike took off for Sydney.
After two days editing footage from our week in Tasmania, we took a day off to take in the sights of Sydney on Sunday last. Everything from Darling Harbour to Bondi Beach!
Right, back to work! On Monday we travelled south to the region of Avoca (about half way between Sydney and Canberra) to visit a large dairy farm. In all our visits, the one thing I have noticed is the lack of sheds! With cows grazing 365 days a year, the need for sheds is at a minimum with just the milking parlour enclosed!
The purpose of our trip down under is to take a look at Irish innovation in the agri sector and how we punch above our weight down under! This really showed on the Hayes Family Farm as their whole operation centred around an Abbey Tub Feeder! They biggest investment they made on their farm was a feedpad to feed the cows after they have been milked. They had used two other makes of tub feeder before but I never have seen happier customers than these guys! They couldn't get over the service they had received from Abbey, even commenting at one stage how one of the directors of the company had contacted them to make sure everything was going well!
Sneak Peak of the Abbey Tub Feeder in Action Down Under!
So that was Monday taken care of! We made our way back to the airport that night to catch a flight to Melbourne. We arrived late on Monday night in Melbourne and didn't get too much sleep as we were on site with Major machinery at 8am on Tuesday morning!
It was worth the early morning though! We met with two operators who have worked for the Boroondara city council for a long number of years. One of the guys, Rodney, has been cutting grass for the council for 20 years! I asked him how many pitches has he cut in this time and he didn't know but after giving me a few bits of info, I calculated that he had cut 31,293 pitches in his 20 years, not bad!!
So back to the machine, they are operating two 20ft TDR 20,000 roller mowers. The council had gone through a number of different mowers over the past number of years with lots of problems, but since getting the Major machines, they haven't looked back! It actually made me feel proud to listen to these men speak so powerfully about a machine that was manufactured about 5 miles from where I was born!
Sneak peak of the Major Equipment on show down under
On Wednesday, the trip rolled on to Diamond Creek, where the council there are operating a Major Swift roller mower. These guys were cutting 60 hectares a week using the mower, and again, they are having zero issues with the machine! This is a pure testament to the quality of the Major products.
We packed up on Wednesday, and headed to the airport where the plan was to get to the town of Gympie in Northern Queensland, but after checking in our bags and settling in to a McDonalds in the departures lounge, we got a phone call to say the town was getting evacuated due to Cyclone Debbie! Panic starts! I headed for the service desk where they were a great help and they got our bags back straight away! (Thank you Tiger airways!!)
What next? We were in a bit of a mess! No plan, no accommodation, and now no car!! Step in Steve from Fieldquip! (Importers of Major equipment) Steve told us to get the next flight to Perth where he had arranged another video shoot for us for first thing Thursday morning! I headed for the service desk again and got us sorted on a flight at 6am Thursday morning plus the lady at Virgin gave us extra legroom for the flight!!
Thursday morning and after a 4 1/2 hour flight, we landed in Perth and got straight to work! We drove to the town of Pinjarra, about a 125km drive south of Perth, where we met with the city council who were the first council in Western Australia to buy a Major mower.
They are operating a major TDR 16,000! Listen to this, since buying the Major mower, they have cut their mowing time by 75%! Yes you read that right!! The one thing they couldn't get over was the quality of the product. 12 months in, still operating the same blades and they don't expect to change them for a long time yet!
After we finished, we headed back to Perth and are now enjoying a few days off from recording (time to edit - maybe a schooner!!!)
But we're not finished yet! The last part of our journey sees us head 5 hrs north of Perth into the bush where we will see more Irish innovation in play! Make sure to check us out on Snapchat next Monday and Tuesday as we will reveal all!