Torque Talk

13 Feb, 2018 04:00 AM
Torque caught up with Bunbury Machinery parts interpreters Ned Richmond-Brown (left) and Henri Cant during a recent whirlwind trip to the dealership. Parts interpreters are arguably the 'clutch people' who can make a big difference in maintaining customer relations and encouraging repeat buying. And sometimes they take on the persona of Sherlock Holmes. See story.
Torque caught up with Bunbury Machinery parts interpreters Ned Richmond-Brown (left) and Henri Cant during a recent whirlwind trip to the dealership. Parts interpreters are arguably the 'clutch people' who can make a big difference in maintaining customer relations and encouraging repeat buying. And sometimes they take on the persona of Sherlock Holmes. See story.

Kubota’s new 2018 range

KUBOTA Australia flicked Torque a note this week about its launch of its 2018 implements range.

The launch showcases the entire suite of Kubota’s implements, Kubota’s M Series tractors, new release Great Plains machinery and German-based machinery manufacturer Krone’s hay and silage equipment.

Krone has by far the biggest swag of products, including square and round balers, Easycut TC trailed mowers, Big M 450 self-propelled mower, Swadro rakes, ZX and RX wagon ranges, SC Series seeding combination and mechanical drills.

Kubota’s senior product manager Lars Pasedag singled out the Krone hay gear for special mention.

“The HDP II square baler sets a new benchmark in large square bale production,” Mr Pasedag said.

“It features the world-first development of an eight-knotter system, which enables the machine to handle extremely heavy bales.

“The Krone Comprima round baler range also features innovative updates, with a new W-pattern tine arrangement, replacing the usual straight line, for a constant flow of crop.

“There’s also the Comprima Xtreme, featuring the same strong features as the Comprima, but offering faster elevator and pick-up speed for higher productivity.”

Obviously knowing he was on a roll, he continued to extol the virtues of the Kubota implements specialist spreading, cultivating and seeding equipment range, which has been upgraded.

“Farmers can access precision farming at their fingertips with the new SC seeding combination series, featuring ISOBUS iM Tellus and TellusGO universal terminals, which gives the operator ease of operation, monitoring and control,” he said.

Now a Kubota company, Great Plains also was mentioned with the availability of its new Turbomax seeder.

Mr Pasedag said this unit could be counted on for yield-boosting seedbed preparation because it conserved soil moisture.

Rear gangs offset the front gangs, splitting the blade spacing to 9.5 centimetres (nearly 4 inches) for superior residue sizing in one pass.

And Kubota’s M Series tractors feature the M7-1, with power ratings between 97 kilowatts (130 horsepower) and 131kW (175hp), and a transport peed up to 50 kilometres an hour.

In the 45kW (60hp) to 71kW (95hp) range, the M-40 is considered the economical series, ideal for applications such as property maintenance to commercial landscaping.

The MGX Series is known as Kubota’s utility tractor, offering one of the largest cabs in its class, as well as unmatched comfort and visibility.

Kubota Australia’s pre-season offer includes a special finance offer of 0.9 per cent across all implements and every round baler purchased comes with six net roles, equalling 6 x 2600 metres twine.

p More information: See your local Kubota dealer or

“Elementary” interpreting

IF you want to meet real characters, watch the proverbial brickbats fly or catch up on the latest “goss”, forget twitter handles and hashtags.

Just hang around any parts counter at a machinery dealership.

This is where the action is.

More times than not, it is a positive experience as Bunbury Machinery parts interpreters Ned Richmond-Brown and Henri Cant will tell you.

“We’re kind of like Sherlock Holmes many times,” Mr Richmond-Brown said.

“Sometimes you’ve got to shoot in the dark with the old girls (vintage tractors) because the owner is trying to restore it and is querying a part and sometimes the part is so old there’s little information to go on.

“We look into old parts books or try to get a serial number for the machines the parts are for, so that can mean a bit of investigation and involving several people.

“It can be hard, for example, if you get a query for a gasket to fit a modified engine where the head has been changed, so it can take a bit of time asking around or trying to find a different gasket.

“But that’s half the fun of the job and it’s great when you can solve a problem for a customer.”

Mr Cant admitted diplomacy played a large role in the job.

“We do get the odd terse customer and you’ve got to be diplomatic,” Mr Cant said.

“We understand breakdowns and how frustrating it is, so our job is to help out the best we can and just cop the criticism if it comes.

“We think we’re a good team because we share a lot of knowledge and bounce queries off one another if one of us hasn’t got an answer for the customer the other is dealing with.

“Having serial numbers of the machine you are chasing parts for is a big help because mostly we can fast-track supply through the computer, but with older machines you do have that old part that isn’t documented and that’s where the Sherlock Holmes in us comes in.”

Mr Cant has been with Bunbury Machinery for nearly five years and started there through a traineeship at the South West Apprentice and Traineeship Centre doing a certificate III in retail.

Mr Richard-Brown joined the branch last June and is married to Amy.

They have two sons, Jack and Leo.

His knowledge of the parts industry continues to grow through experience and exposure to new customers and the endless range of machinery that Bunbury Machinery offers.

Branch manager Darren Pulford also wanted Torque to know that the dealership’s focus was on service, which really was Darren’s middle name.

Torque reckons with the busy seeding season on the horizon, dealer principals should be shopping for a few cartons to make sure the parts interpreters are rewarded for their hard work.


And service and sales too.

WANTFA “demo” days

WA No-Tillage Farmers Association (WANTFA) marketing manager Graeme Currie gave Torque a heads-up this week on the association’s activities in 2018.

Pertinent to Torque readers are three machinery demonstration events to be held in August and September.

The first will be held on August 9 at Mingenew, the second at Goomalling on August 23 and the third at Newdegate on September 10.

“We’re coming off a successful machinery demonstration at Goomalling last year and there’s keen interest in us repeating that format,” Mr Currie said.

“We’re inviting manufacturers to showcase innovative machinery, including precision ag such as autonomous vehicles and new software systems.”

WANTFA is collaborating with the WA Controlled Traffic Farming Association to hold three CTF workshops, ear-marked for June and July.

WANTFA also will be involved in the national canola conference to be held in Perth on September 3-4, with a field day at Cunderdin on September 4.

Changing faces

FORMER AFGRI Equipment salesman Dermot Lombard, who charmed the farmers in Carnamah with his rant, “innovation not imitation”, has transferred to the company’s Esperance branch.

With experience in the Irish Sea, the affable Irishman will be right at home swimming in many of the picturesque bays along the South Coast.

Mentioning to keep an eye on white pointers, drew this retort: “I thought all the sharks were on land.”

Mr Lombard takes over from experienced salesman Mark Bratten, who has been appointed WA sales manager for Muddy River.

Mr Bratten takes over from Roy Thurston, who has returned home to Canada for family reasons after a long stint as a dual citizen in Australia.

Torque remembers the lanky Roy selling Rockamatic rock pickers at field days throughout Australia in the 1980s, earning the nickname, ‘Rockamatic Roy’.

Mr Bratten, is affectionately called ‘Brado’ and will be a worthy replacement.

“I’m excited at heading in a new direction and we’ve got some great new products coming out of the Horsch (Germany) factory,” he said.

“We’re also selling Delegman Pro Tills, rock pickers and land rollers and Honey Bee fronts.”

Muddy River dealers are McIntosh & Son (north zone), AIM Implements (central and east zone) and AFGRI Equipment (southern zone).

Give Mr Bratten a buzz on 0404 966 867 to talk about the Muddy River range, but expect him to be ‘Horsching’ around a bit.



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