Ranger keeps the crew moving

14 Oct, 2012 01:00 AM
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Alexandra and Charlie Mann with their Polaris Ranger Diesel Crew on Larra Station, Derrinallum, Victoria.
Alexandra and Charlie Mann with their Polaris Ranger Diesel Crew on Larra Station, Derrinallum, Victoria.

THE purchase of a six-seater Polaris Ranger Diesel Crew utilitarian vehicle has provided a versatile four-wheel-drive people mover and workhorse to complement the existing fleet of 11 ATVs on the Glenthompson Pastoral Company’s extensive rural enterprises in Victoria’s Western District.

With a complement of 20 staff to run the portfolio of properties, the Mann family need an efficient fleet of reliable farm vehicles to keep the business moving.

Their holdings include the 1760-hectare Larra Station at Derrinallum, Brie Brie at Glenthompson, Bakers Bridge Farm near Geelong and Doonaree, a 500-cow dairy near Camperdown.

Brie Brie is the hub of a sheep enterprise with 7500 breeding ewes. Larra has about 1000 cattle on agistment and takes the excess sheep from Brie Brie, usually first cross Merino wethers of which there are 4000 at present.

The enterprises grow all their own feed through pasture, hay and grain, with 120ha of silage on the dairy property, 1500 bales of pasture hay at Brie Brie and 160ha of grain at Larra.

Charlie Mann, who manages the family properties, said he decided on a Ranger Diesel Crew because it used a 904cc Yanmar three-cylinder engine coupled to Polaris’ variable automatic shaft drive transmission, making it simple to use with high and low ratios, plus forward and reverse.

The hitch towing capacity of 907 kilograms was also an important consideration for the sort of work it was required to do.

“The main reasons for choosing the Polaris Ranger were because of the diesel motor, the six seater arrangement and the four-wheel-drive,” he said.

“Going with a Yanmar diesel was the best thing that they could have done. We know how good these engines are. We use Yanmar on the portable dips and you just can’t kill them.”

Mr Mann said one of the main tasks for the vehicle was transporting jackeroos around the properties for jobs like fencing, with all the gear in the back.

He said he particularly liked the idea of having no radio in the Ranger compared with a ute - with no distractions the team got the jobs done quicker.

“We get six-up with the jackeroos and all the fencing gear in it. We use a big compressor for fencing and it fits in the back well. And we pull a good size 8’ x 5’ trailer full of wire and posts - or firewood,” he said.

“And the Ranger Diesel follows the fenceline. If you had a ute, it would need to follow the track. It means the jackaroos don’t waste time or get hurt lugging the compressor from the ute to the fenceline.”

* Visit www.polarisindustries.com.au

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