Goldacres unit delivers at Moorine Rock

Goldacres unit delivers at Moorine Rock

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A Goldacres G8 Super Cruiser during a demonstration run. Moorine Rock farmer Alan Nicholson is happy with the performance of the latest model.

A Goldacres G8 Super Cruiser during a demonstration run. Moorine Rock farmer Alan Nicholson is happy with the performance of the latest model.

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Moorine Rock farmer Alan Nicholson was happy to hear that his old Goldacres Crop Cruiser had been purchased from the Goldacres Sprayer Centre at Goomalling by a tour operator from Cape York, Queensland.

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MOORINE Rock farmer Alan Nicholson was happy to hear that his old Goldacres Crop Cruiser had been purchased from the Goldacres Sprayer Centre at Goomalling by a tour operator from Cape York, Queensland.

His old unit was purchased by the Kendall River Safaris business run by George Muirhead after he traded it for a newer G8 Crop Sprayer.

After seeing the sprayer for sale online and getting it transported to Cape York, Mr Muirhead removed the tank and boom before kitting it out with a covered-in platform that seats seven in order to operate as a tour bus on Kendall River Station.

The station is arguably one of the most remote hunting destinations in Australia and covers an area of 323,749 hectares.

Because the station is dissected by four major water courses, with deep river crossings, and has swamps and creeks, Mr Muirhead thought the 4WD sprayer offered a viable option to get hunters into the dense rainforest.

The Goldacres head office in Victoria said he had finished the fitout of the "tour bus" after giving it "a fresh coat of paint, new decals, fatter wheels for better flotation and giving the para lift arms a height adjustable box mounted for guns, ammo and gear".

It was now ready for tours.

 Moorine Rock cropper Alan Nicholson's old Goldacres Crop Sprayer converted as a tour bus by George Muirhead of Kendall River Safaris, Cape York, Queensland.

Moorine Rock cropper Alan Nicholson's old Goldacres Crop Sprayer converted as a tour bus by George Muirhead of Kendall River Safaris, Cape York, Queensland.

Mr Nicholson said he was delighted to hear that while the sprayer had been stripped back all the parts had been kept in case the idea didn't work and Mr Muirhead would use it as a sprayer on the station.

The Crop Cruiser, serial number 8648, was originally optioned with a 4500 litre tank, a 32-metre boom, four-wheel steering and mechanical four-wheel drive.

Mr Nicholson said it was bought in 2005 by Stewart Nicholson & Son, his farm business name, and did 4000 spraying hours over 15 years before it was traded in.

He said while it was still in good condition and workable order it was "just time to update" it.

Mr Nicholson said the purchase of the new Goldacres G8 Crop Cruiser offered some important updates that he required.

"I was happy with the old one," Mr Nicholson said.

"I contemplated doing a refit on it, but it also needed some work on it."

The G8 model offered a much larger tank at 8500L and while still a mechanical drive - which he preferred over hydraulic - it was "easy to use and newer".

"I didn't want a hydraulic drive," he said.

"A mechanical drive requires a lot less upkeep and a lot smaller engine to drive it.

"It has a 260hp Cummings engine in it - an 8.3L.

"Most hydraulics would need a 350hp engine to drive it."

Mr Nicholson said with the smaller engine there was a saving on fuel costs which was one of the reasons he bought it.

"It's made in Australia - that's a big tick for me," he said.

The undulating landscape at Moorine Rock required an auto boom height option as well - which the older model didn't have and meant it clipped the ground often.

"The auto boom height was a big plus for me," Mr Nicholson said.

"With the bigger tank we can get more done.

"It's also more comfortable."

Mr Nicholson said the G8 would be his last sprayer and he has already put 300 hours on it, saying it was "a delight to use".

He operates Moorine Rock Ag Supplies from the farm along with his brother John.

They are the third generation on the farm which has been in the family since 1923.

They normally crop 3000ha but this year are doing a smaller 2500ha of solely wheat.

Mr Nicholson said between the farm and the supply business, they kept busy enough without having different crops to manage.

The weather hasn't been too kind in Moorine Rock lately with just 120 millimetres of rain last year - down from the 220m average.

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Seroja recently delivered much-needed rain to the region, setting them up for a good start to the season with 40mm.

The Goldacres G8 Crop Sprayer is currently in the shed, waiting for its next outing to hit the weeds.

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