For Hay Australia, a large-scale exporter of high-quality fodder, equipment productivity and reliability are critical, which is why the business has just added the new Dieci Agri Plus 42.7 to its fleet of telehandlers.
Operations Manager Geoff Walker says the business has been using Dieci telehandlers for about four years, and they go non-stop.
“We sell about 140,000 tonnes of fodder, mostly oaten hay, each year through sites in WA and Victoria. We are constantly moving hay around the sites, from delivery to dispatch to the plant, and it’s all done by telehandlers. These machines run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and they clock up 2,500 hours per year,” he says.
“Dieci is the best brand of a number we have tried.”
In fact, before bringing in the new Agri Plus 42.7, Geoff bought a 40.7 Dieci telehandler, even though he knew it was probably not the ideal size for his high capacity, non-stop operation.
“We were still running another brand at that time, but we put the Dieci in to give it a challenge. That Dieci machine is actually still running now and has done upwards of 6,000 hours!”
He says the upgrade to the premium Agri Plus is already paying dividends, not only in productivity but in operator comfort and reliability.
“The 40.7 with power shift is an excellent machine that will meet most farmers’ needs, but the hydrostatic single speed Vario Evo 2 in the 42.7 Agri Plus is just ideal in an around the clock production facility.
“It’s like an auto transmission. Put your foot down and it drives. It also has a comfortable cab, which really matters when you are asking an operator to sit in there for a long period of time. They need space and good air-con because there’s a lot of glass, and Dieci has the best air-con I have come across.”
The business has invested in two new 42.7 Agri Plus machines, in the specialist Haymaster model. They are both based in Victoria, where the original smaller Dieci is still hard at work.
“The Haymaster has a side shift on the boom and it’s surprising how often we use it. It lets you shift the carriage side to side to tightly pack the load. If you lift up and realise a bale on the front needs to move left or right, you can do so in small increments without having to move the whole machine. It takes some getting used to but once operators learn to use it, they love it.”
As in most businesses, time is money for Hay Australia, and breakdowns can get very costly, very fast.
“Dieci’s reliability really has been excellent, but the reality is, every brand has breakdowns. It costs a lot when a machine is down. For us, losing the opportunity to do a couple of containers could cost $20,000 in cashflow plus we’re paying wages to people who are just waiting around, we’re unable to load trucks coming in from farmers. It all just snowballs.
“It really comes down to your dealership and their response time, their ability to carry spare parts and their knowledge of the machines. Farm & Diesel near Bendigo is our dealer and they have really looked after us. If we have a problem, they have always had us back up and running within a day.
“We wholly and solely rely on Farm & Diesel to look after us. A good relationship with the dealer is paramount.”
Hay Australia sells into Asian and Middle Eastern markets, servicing customers who demand high quality fodder for their equine, dairy and beef operations.
“It’s critical to our business that we have the logistical and processing capabilities to handle large volumes, so we can minimise risk and maximise returns for both growers and customers,” Geoff says. “Choosing the right equipment and creating relationships with the dealership are an important part of being able to deliver on our promise of quality and reliability.”
About the new Dieci Agri Plus 42.7:
Maximum load 4,200 kg
Maximum lift height 6.9m
Maximum forward reach 3.75m
230 litre/min hydraulic oil flow
Peak power 153 hp
Maximum road speed 40 kph
Boom suspension and 460/70 R24 traction tyres
Four driving modes, changed via an easy-to-read and LED screen
Revamped cab with suspension seat, adjustable steering column and armrest, sound damping and more.