Power Equipment Australasia

Print Post Approved PP 100002231 www.power-equipment.com.au INSIDE The Big Challenge can Australians manufacture again Pave the Way with permeable pavements Electro Weeding for herbicide resistant weeds Volume 43 No. 4 July - August 2022

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TOLL FREE sales@jakmax.com.au P: 1800 604 281 www.jakmax.com.au F: 1800 199 758 Exclusive to JAK Max FEATURES & BENEFITS: l 2 side log plates l high quality jockey wheel l adjustable leg stand l tow hitch l all spare parts available l exceptional after sales service ANOTHER AWESOME ARCHER PRODUCT AVAILABLE FROM JAK MAX! 30/40 ton vertical/horizontal log splitters powered by LOG SPLITTERS

REGULAR FEATURES COVER The Kohler range of generators includes; industrial and commercial generators, home and small business generators, marine generators, and portable generators. EPG Engines is proud to be the exclusive Australian distributors of Kohler Generators. PN6806_PEAFRONT_JulyAujust_2022_FA.indd 1 1/06/2022 2:12:34 PM Print Post Approved PP 100002231 www.power-equipment.com.au INSIDE The Big Challenge can Australians manufacture again Pave the Way with permeable paveme nts Electro Weeding for herbicide resistant weeds Volume 43 No. 4 July - August 2022 JAK Max - your complete forestry parts supplier TOLL FREE sales@jakmax.com.au P: 1800 604 281 www.jakmax.com.au F: 1800 199 758 FASTEST GROWING FORESTRY BRAND ON THE GLOBAL MARKET TODAY l Sold in 87 countries worldwide l Massive range l Top quality l Competitive pricing l Display stands l Ready to hang accessories l Easy to read packaging l Australian owned saw chain factory Exclusive to JAK Max SPECIAL FEATURES Editor’s Column................................................... 6 News........................................................................ 7 Research & Development................................. 11 Operator Profile.................................................. 12 Computer Guru.................................................. 15 Tech Talk.............................................................. 15 Marketing............................................................. 24 Turf Care.............................................................. 30 New Products...................................................... 32 Diary Dates.......................................................... 34 Kubota - a century of powering on................. 14 STIHL Celebrates 50 Years Down Under.... 18 The Next Generation of Generators.............. 26 The Big Challenge - can Australians be manufacturers again?. ... 28 JULY - AUGUST 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 5

Glenvale Publications and Power Equipment Australasia are pleased to provide the articles contained in this publication to keep its subscribers up to date on issues which may be relevant to their businesses. This publication is supplied strictly on the condition that Glenvale Publications and Power Equipment Australasia, its employees, agents, authors, editors and consultants are not responsible for any deficiency, error, omission or mistake contained in this publication, and Glenvale Publications and Power Equipment Australasia, its employees, agents, authors, editors and consultants hereby expressly disclaim all liability of whatsoever nature to any person who may rely on the contents of this publication in whole or part. Published by GLENVALE PUBLICATIONS A.B.N. 31 218 591 688 11 Rushdale St, Knoxfield VIC 3180 PO Box 50, Mount Waverley VIC 3149 Phone: (03) 9544 2233 Fax: (03) 9543 1150 Editor: Elaine Sharman Phone: 0411 550 808 Email: elaine.sharman@glenv.com.au Sub Editor: Jackie Joy Journalists: Jackie Joy John Power Gary Fooks ADVERTISING Alastair Bryers Email: alastair.bryers@glenv.com.au Mobile: 0498 555 085 Elaine Sharman Email: elaine.sharman@glenv.com.au Mobile: 0411 550 808 ACCOUNTS Melissa Graydon Email: melissa.graydon@glenv.com.au SUBSCRIPTIONS Melissa Graydon $60.50 – 6 issues subs@glenv.com.au ART, PRODUCTION AND ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS Justin Carroll PageSet Australia Phone: (03) 9544 2233 PRINTING Southern Impact Pty Ltd 181 Forster Road,Mount Waverley VIC 3149 Phone: (03) 8796 7000 EDITOR’S COLUMN Welcome to the July/August issue. The current global situation is that the world, including Australia, is in a crisis. Inflation is affecting Australians across the board, and among the drivers of this condition is the war-profiteering of gas and coal firms who are imposing runaway international prices upon all nations. At current prices for coal and gas, I can anticipate energy prices doubling over the short term. From my research, this should raise the Consumer Price Index to 3 per cent plus whatever businesses try to pass on. This translates to increased food prices - $15 for lettuce is a case in point - the high price of fuel, goods and services across the board. I know in our industry supply is still an issue along with staff shortages. There are lessons to be learnt in a study of how we got here in the first place. I truly hope so, but is it a case of too little, too late? Our new government at the Federal level has legislated emissions at 43 per cent and has created Jobs and Skills Australia. We have furious cross-bench Senators threatening not to vote because Albanese has cut staff allocations to Members of Parliament from four to one to advise on constituency. This proves to me once again how politicians are so far removed from the trials and tribulations of ordinary Australians. I would expect my elected MP to be educated and informed enough to be able to make a decision that benefits their constituents without three extra advisors. With all that is happening at the moment andwithwater-soakedQueensland in mind, go to page 9 to read about permeable pavements recommended for driveways, pavements and roads. This allows for the rainwater to be absorbed with long-term benefits to water retention for vegetation in times of drought.With energy costs, the way they are Gary Fooks talks about the future of generators and the possibilities on pages 26-27. How to maintain Kohler’s portable generator for optimum performance and longevity applies to all generators and can be found on pages 16-17. Businesses can save thousands by using the right battery for the right device with the cost calculator designed by Procell; read about this on page 15. On the same page, Biscount advises on how to make stocktaking easier. John Power writes about Electro Weeding as weeds become increasingly resistant to herbicides on pages 12-13. Jackie Joy interviews Emily Robinson for Dealer Profile, the first woman Dealer Principal in the OPE space on pages 20-23. Kubota celebrates their 100 years, an interesting read with their progress spanning two centuries on page 14. Warwick Lorenz, Managing Director of Australian Pump Industries raises the big question - ‘Can Australians manufacture again?’ on pages 28-29. Not such a bad idea given how we have learned how a global pandemic and war can affect supply chain issues. We celebrate STIHL’s 50th celebrations on pages 18-19 who have also kindly shared information on how to manage turf during winter, in collaboration with Charlie Albone, on pages 30-31. Thank you Jo Katsos for putting together your best business practice marketing advice on pages 24-25 despite being away at a conference. What a feat of time management that was! We finish off with our regular New Product feature and that’s a wrap. All the best for now. Elaine Sharman Editor

PICKLES LAUNCHES CUSTOM-BUILT AGRICULTURE MARKETPLACE Australia’s leading marketplace for transport, construction, mining, aviation, vehicles, general goods and salvage assets, Pickles, has launched a new marketplace with agricultural-centred services. Pickles Ag will support the local agricultural sector through buying and selling quality agricultural assets, expertly valued and remarketed. Its focus is on local industry knowledge to bring the best returns; plus the volume and variety of stock with a simple way to purchase providing customers with what they need. Pickles Ag National Sales Manager, Clay Redmond, said that when the Pickles family first opened their doors over 55 years ago as a stock and station agent, it was so local people with local knowledge could support local businesses. “Buying and selling with Pickles Ag allows producers and farmers with direct access to a large agricultural marketplace that has been built with farmers in mind. Our services provide the ag industry with resources that directly benefit local businesses around Australia,”Mr Redmond said. Pickles Ag has over 50 sales staff across the country atmore than20 sites, withadedicated team of Ag specialists. The Ag experts are supported by national resources to cultivate a successful, farm-centric marketplace. The Pickles website receives over 1million website users permonth,making it ahugemarketplace to reach buyers around Australia. WORKING DOG CHALLENGE NOW A TEAM SPORT For the first time in its seven-year history, the Cobber Challenge is showcasing how farm dogs work together, with nominations calling for working dog teams. The Cobber Challenge Relay recognises that dogs have different strengths – some excel at paddock work, others shine in the yards. This year it will be the hardest working team that will be crowned winners. “We are thrilled that our competition is showcasing teams of dogs, reflecting how they really operate on the farm,” Cobber’s Marketing Manager, Kellie Savage, said. The Cobber Challenge Relay is a unique opportunity for Australian and New Zealand farmers to measure just how hard their dogs work. The competition celebrates dogs’ contribution to farms, as well as the connection between farmers and their canine companions. Twelve teams from across Australia and NewZealandwill be selectedtocompete inthe three-week Cobber Challenge Relay. Farmers can nominate teams of two, three or four dogs. Each day of the three-week competition, they will select one of their dogs to wear the GPS collar for that day. The GPS collar tracks how far, fast and for how long that dog works. To ensure that the work is shared around, themost one dog teammember can have their work tracked is 12 days of the competition. “The Cobber Challenge Relay also lets dogs take a break, which is important when they work across diverse environments and climates, whether that’s hot and dry or cold and wet, or anything in between,” Ms Savage said. The 2022 Cobber Challenge will run from Monday 22 August to Sunday 11 September. Fans can follow along with competition progress at the Cobber Challenge website. Data will be uploaded daily for each working dog team. Last year’s winner, Victorian Ben Jeffrey and his kelpie Skyblue Jack set a Cobber Challenge record of 1012.6 kilometres over the three-week competition. For more information, visit www.cobberchallenge.com.au OUR FRONT COVER SHOWS… In 1920, Kohler introduced the world’s first engine-powered electric generator and officially entered the power systems category. Nearly 100 years later, they remain committed to empowering people all around the globe with reliable, leading-edge products and comprehensive after-sale support. Built for some of the most critical jobs on earth, Kohler generators are renowned for their quality, reliability and performance. An array of hospitals, airports and military bases around the world have all depended on Kohler generators. The Kohler range of generators includes; industrial and commercial generators, home and small business generators, marine generators, and portable generators. EPG Engines is proud to be the exclusive Australian distributors of Kohler Generators. MORE INFORMATION EPG Engines epgengines.com.au PN6806_PEAFRONT_JulyAujust_2022_FA.indd 1 1/06/2022 2:12:34 PM Print Post Approved PP 100002231 www.power-equipment.com.au INSIDE The Big Challenge can Australians manufacture again Pave the Way with permeable pavements Electro Weeding for herbicide resistant weeds Volume 43 No. 4 July - August 2022 OUR FRONT COVER SHOWS… NEWS Pickles first opened their doors over 55 years ago as a stock and station agent. Winners of the 2021 Cobber Challenge, Ben Jeffrey and his Kelpie Skyblue Jack. JULY - AUGUST 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 7

OREGON TOOL CELEBRATES 75TH ANNIVERSARY In 1947, forester Joe Cox observed the C-shaped jaws of a timber beetle larva deftly chewing through wood. This was the inspiration for his “Cox Chipper Chain,” which he invented in the basement of his home in Portland, Oregon. That same year, Cox started the Oregon Saw Chain Corp. to produce his saw chain – from a basement startup to a global manufacturer. Over time, Cox and his saw chain revolutionized the timber industry, today the company he founded is the manufacturer of the World’s #1 Saw Chain™. Known today asOregonTool –has grown into a multinational organization. Oregon Tool sells products inmore than110 countries. Oregon Tool is a manufacturer of saw chain and guide bars for chainsaws, diamond saw chain for concrete and pipe. Oregon Tool is the leading original equipment manufacturer (OEM) supplier of first-fit replacement parts and agricultural tractor attachments.. “Joe Cox sought to improve cutting performance for those in his industry. His innovative and pioneering spirit led him to look to nature for a solution, and what he learned from the timber beetle provided the blueprint for not only his namesake chain, but every saw chain made in the last 75 years,” Oregon Tool CEO, Paul Tonnesen, said. “Joe’s efforts changed the industry and gave way to our company, and what he did and who he was continues to inspire our TeamMembers around the world.” As a nod to their heritage and embracing their core values, Oregon Tool has launched the T.R.E.E. Initiative, focusing on four key areas: Training, Recovery, Environment and Education. As part of T.R.E.E., the company is continuing their partnership with Tree-Nation to further reforestation, with the goal of planting 75,000 trees in 2022. The company will be hosting its second annual RUN, WALK, BIKE event throughout the year, inviting team members around the world to get moving in support of the health of the planet. UWA IS WORLD’S TOP UNIVERSITY FOR PLANT SCIENCE AND AGRONOMY The University of Western Australia is the top university for Plant Science and Agronomy in the world, according to the academic research portal Research.com. The first-place ranking was based on the analysis of h-index and bibliometric indicators since 2014 and compiled inDecember 2021. The h-index is a metric that measures the productivity and citation impact of publications for any one scientist or scholar. For the discipline of Plant Science and Agronomy, Research.comanalysed and rankedmore than 2,575 researcher profiles frommore than 594 institutions and affiliations around the world. The UWA Institute of Agriculture Director Hackett Professor Kadambot Siddique said he was delighted with the number one position. “This ranking fortifies our international reputation as a world leader in plant and agronomy research,” Professor Siddique said. “It is the direct result of countless hours of hard work from our dedicated UWA researchers and collaborators. Our next challenge is to build upon our accomplishments and maintain this leading position.” The UWA integrates research, education, training and communication in agriculture and related disciplines across UWA. It fosters innovation and strengthens connections with local and international research and teaching institutions and industry leaders to provide research-based solutions to food and nutritional security, environmental sustainability, and agribusiness. UWA Vice Chancellor Professor Amit Chakma said the Research.com ranking reflected UWA’s standing as a highly respected research institution. “The UWA Institute of Agriculture is a standout in world class research and real-world impact at our University,” Professor Chakma said. PROJECT TO HELP PROMOTE AUSTRALIA’S DRAGON FRUIT INDUSTRY Australia’s emerging dragon fruit industry is set to grow thanks to a partnership between AgriFutures Australia and CQUniversity Australia, uniting the nation’s dragon fruit growers to strengthen industry knowledge and enhance research and development capacity. As part of an AgriFutures Australia funded research project, CQUniversity has helped to lead the formation of the Australian Dragon Fruit Growers Association in 2021 and now, the Association is looking to recruit more growers to the organisation. Lead researcher on the project Dr Stephen Xu said that the newly formed Association aimed to connect growers to share knowledge, skills and plans for the future, so that the industry could expand and open up to new markets. “The research data that is currently available shows Australia’s dragon fruit industry had a turnover of approximately $2.3 million in 2012, but there has been no further update to this figure to indicate if the industry has experienced further growth in the decade since,” Mr Xu said. “While reliable annual turnover figures aren’t available it is clear that inrecent years, the industry has rapidly expanded in Queensland, especially in the Southeast, where several larger farms have established dragon fruit crops. “We have also spoken to other producers who are either in the process of establishing crops or who are currently planning to establish crops. “The tropical and exotic fruit industry in Australia is estimated to be worth millions of dollars annually, and with dragon fruit classified as a high value crop there is strong commercial potential for growers within both domestic and international markets. “A national-level association, that can facilitate communication and information exchange within the industry, is essential to understand industry capacity and further develop the market potential, so that producers can recognise great returns on investment. NEWS UWA Institute of Agriculture leaders and collaborators. 8 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | JULY - AUGUST 2022

NEWS “The project will also foster industry engagement with potential R&D service providers to build networks and foster collaboration. “To achieve this, CQUniversity researchers have conducted several preliminary research cases studies with government departments and producers.” In conjunction with AgriFutures Australia, CQUniversity also participated the ‘Tropical Exotic Fruit Symposium’ led by the Northern Territory Farmers Association in 2021, which focused on the research development and engagement of several tropical fruit crops including dragon fruit. Dragon fruit growers or those looking toenter the industry can learn moreabouttheprojectorjoiningtheassociationbycontactingassociation secretary JasmineWang at australiandragonfruitgrowers@gmail.com. VICTA WINS ‘MOST TRUSTED BRAND’ For five consecutive years, Victa has been recognised as Australia’s ‘Most Trusted Brand in the Lawn Mower’ category of the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands Survey and once again in 2022. They have also placed as ‘Highly Commended in the Garden Power Tools’ category. In an uncertain climate where consumers have been feeling overwhelmed with lots of changes the biggest challenge is finding an authentic brand they can trust. By taking the top spot as Australia’s Most Trusted Lawn Mower brand, Victa has established themselves as a reliable, loyal and iconic lawn care supplier in Australia. Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Victa’s outdoor power equipment range continues to impress the public with innovative, high-performing and durable products. Victa continues to make advancements to its product range in response to the latest demands and trends in the lawn and garden care sector. The award-winning Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands that are featured in the Reader’s Digest 23rd annual survey stand out among their competitors. Throughout the pandemic, winning brands like Victa, have continued to build their customers’ trust, not only by consistently responding to their customers’ concerns, but also by expanding their services and product ranges to better meet the changing market demands. “Trust inconsumer brands takes years of careful planning, execution and nurturing,” Reader’s Digest editor-in-chief, LouiseWaterson, said. “But during challenging times, and the past year has been one of the most difficult on record, we’ve seen quality brands live up to their promises to their customers. These brands have been able to win and retain the trust of their customers.” The independently commissioned poll looked at hundreds of different brands within each category. Victa products can be purchased nation-wide at recognised Victa Gold Dealers. For more information, visit www.victa.com www.trustedbrands.com.au. NEW CLIMATE COURSE TO HARNESS THE POWER OF EMPLOYEES Climate-concerned professionals from across Australia can now apply to join a select cohort of employees in an innovative coaching and incubation program: WorkForClimate Academy. The three-month online course offers participants a unique curriculum combining technical corporate climate action (in energy, emissions, money and advocacy) and coaching in influence, presence and communication skills. Applications are invited from employees within the corporate sector who are prepared to amplify their climate impact by taking action at work: by building business cases, advocating for change, and driving initiatives that will transform their organisation. “This course is not for everyone. This work is challenging - it takes a lot of courage to drive climate initiatives inside a corporation, and to engage and mobilise leadership behind a particular course of action,” WorkForClimate Director, Lucy Piper, said. JULY - AUGUST 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 9

“But we have been inspired by what our alumni have achieved from our previous renewable energy cohorts, and we wanted to build a program that covered all areas of corporate climate action in order to help those people who want to push their company to do more,” Ms Piper said. Previous cohorts haveworked ina range of professions from engineering to banking, and as a result of the course, have been successful in creating change within their organisations. “We have seen professionals who have been galvanised into action on climate change – they feel helpless, hopeless even – but when they have a roadmap and a network of support they are able to lead extraordinary change,” she added. The curriculum has been designed to give employees both the technical and soft skills required to become influential corporate climate leaders, with in-depth workshops and tutorials covering - Why corporations are key to tackling the climate crisis, Building momentum in your organisation, Energy: Switching to 100% renewable, Emissions: Developing a meaningful climate program, Money: Aligning investments with a safe climate future, Advocacy: Using influence to shape policy and drive change, Developing your climate voice and Drawing your roadmap and plan of action. For more information, visit www.workforclimate.org. WHEN AI IS THE INVENTOR - WHO GETS THE PATENT? The day is coming – some say has already arrived – when artificial intelligence invents things that humans could not. It’s not surprising these days to see new inventions that either incorporate or have benefitted from artificial intelligence (AI) in some way, but what about inventions dreamt up byAI –dowe award a patent to amachine? This is the quandary facing lawmakers with a live test case in the works that its supporters say is the first true example of anAI systemnamed as the sole inventor. In commentary published in the journal Nature, two leading academics from UNSW Sydney examined the implications of patents being awarded to an AI entity. Intellectual Property (IP) lawspecialistAssociateProfessor Alexandra George and AI expert, Laureate Fellow and Scientia Professor Toby Walsh argue that patent law as it stands is inadequate to deal with such cases and requires legislators to amend laws around IP and patents . The current case revolves around a machine called DABUS (Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience) created by Dr Stephen Thaler, who is president and chief executive of US-based AI firm Imagination Engines. Dr Thaler has named DABUS as the inventor of two products – a food container with a fractal surface that helps with insulation and stacking, and a flashing light for attracting attention in emergencies. For a short time in Australia, DABUS looked like it might be recognised as the inventor because, in late July 2021, a trial judge accepted Dr Thaler’s appeal against IP Australia’s rejection of the patent application fivemonthsearlier.ButaftertheCommissioner of Patents appealed the decision to the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia, the five-judge panel upheld the appeal, agreeing with the Commissioner that an AI system couldn’t be named the inventor. Associate Professor George said the attempt to have DABUS awarded a patent for the two inventions instantly creates challenges for existing laws which has only ever considered humans or entities comprised of humans as inventors and patent-holders. “Even if we do accept that an AI system is the true inventor, the first big problem is ownership. How do you work out who the owner is? An owner needs to be a legal person, and an AI is not recognised as a legal person,” she said. “Another problem with ownership when it comes to AI-conceived inventions, is even if you could transfer ownership from the AI inventor to a person: is it the original software writer of the AI? Is it a personwho has bought the AI and trained it for their own purposes? Or is it the people whose copyrightedmaterial has been fed into theAI to give it all that information?” asks Associate Professor. George. Prof. Walsh said what makes AI systems so different to humans is their capacity to learn and store so much more information than an expert ever could. One of the requirements of inventions and patents is that the product or idea is novel, not obvious and is useful. “There are certain assumptions built into the law that an invention should not be obvious to a knowledgeable person in the field,” Prof.Walsh said. “Well, what might be obvious to an AI won’t be obvious to a humanbecauseAImight have ingested all the human knowledge on this topic, way more than a human could, so the nature of what is obvious changes.” He said this isn’t the first time that AI has been instrumental in coming up with new inventions. In the area of drug development, a new antibiotic was created in 2019 – Halicin – that used deep learning to find a chemical compound that was effective against drugresistant strains of bacteria. “Halicin was originally meant to treat diabetes, but its effectiveness as an antibiotic was only discovered by AI that was directed to examine a vast catalogue of drugs that could be repurposed as antibiotics. So there’s a mixture of human and machine coming into this discovery.” Prof.Walsh said in the case ofDABUS, it’s not entirely clear whether the system is truly responsible for the inventions. “There’s lots of involvement of Dr Thaler in these inventions, first in setting up the problem, then guiding the search for the solution to the problem, and then interpreting the result,” he said. “But it's certainly the case that without the system, you wouldn't have come up with the inventions.” Both authors argue that governing bodies around the world will need to modernise the legal structures that determine whether or not AI systems can be awarded IP protection. They recommend the introduction of a new ‘sui generis’ form of IP law – which they’ve dubbed ‘AI-IP’ – that would be specifically tailored to the circumstances of AI-generated inventiveness. This, they argue, would bemore effective than trying to retrofit and shoehorn AI-inventiveness into existing patent laws. NEWS Lucy Piper, Director, WorkForClimate 10 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | JULY - AUGUST 2022

Kubota’s GL And SQ Series diesel generators are powered by genuine Kubota engines, renowned worldwide for their superior reliability and long service life. Our generators are easy to transport and maintain, safer and quieter to use, with reduced emissions and more fuel economy. GL & SQ Series BACK-UP POWER Call now for your nearest dealer. 1300 582 582 | kubota.com.au Seriously Reliabile This year has seen one of Australia’s worst flood disasters on record in the eastern states, with 23 people killed, thousands left homeless, and a damage bill expected to top $1.5 billion. Climate change aside, increasing urban development is escalating the potential flood risks and adding to the likelihood of a projected $10 billion hole in the economy by 2050 unless urgent action is taken. University of South Australia engineers have proposed one flood control measure in a new study that recommends designing permeable pavements to specifically suit local rainfall and soil conditions and reduce flood impacts. Permeable pavements are used on many driveways, carparks and roads (excluding main arterial roads and motorways) and typically consist of permeable pavers laid on an upper bedding layer of between 2-6 millimetres of gravel under which lies a base course layer above natural soil. They are designed to allow rainfall to infiltrate through their surface, storing water in the base course for later reuse, and reducing urban flooding by up to 50 per cent. However, their success is variable, depending on rainfall intensity, soil type and pavement thickness. UniSA engineers collected data from 107 towns and cities across Australia, designing an optimal permeable pavement system based on a five per cent probability of excess rainfall and a storm duration of 30 minutes. They built an algorithm to determine the dominant soil types (clay, silt, sand or gravel) for each locality, which infiltrate water at different rates. Sand and gravel are highly permeable, for instance, whereas clay soil has a low permeability. Mizanur Rahman, UniSA Professor in Geotechnical Engineering , said the design proposal is based on pavements storing 70 per cent of the water in the base course layer, with only 30 per cent released as stormwater runoff. “Our study shows that this is possible if the base course layer in permeable pavements is suitable for local conditions, taking into account the soil type and rainfall intensity,” Prof Rahman said. “The pavement needs to be thicker if the rainfall intensity is higher or the soil is less permeable. For highly permeable soils, the amount of rainfall is less significant. “Likewise, a region like Adelaide is characterised by clayey soils, but low rainfall, so the permeable pavement often only needs a minimum base course thickness.” At least one-third of Australian towns and cities fall in low to moderate rainfall areas, requiring no more than a 100mm base course layer on most of their road surfaces. However, the north-east of the country has both clayey soils and intense rainfall, requiring much thicker permeable pavements to reduce the stormwater runoff. Many councils across Australia are already installing permeable footpaths, significantly reducing stormwater runoff to the roads, as well as storing water to support roadside watering of trees. Prof Rahman said that by integrating permeable surfaces on both roads and footpaths, it would markedly reduce stormwater loads and mitigate flooding. “We are hoping to extend our design to commercial and industrial pavements, and to continue our work harvesting water using permeable pavements for watering roadside gardens. “Our preliminary research shows that the carbon footprint generated in a car park could potentially be neutralised in 15 years by growing trees with harvested water. Our next step is to improve water quality using permeable pavements.” The study was published in the journal Sustainability. RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT Pave the way A new study recommends designing permeable pavements to specifically suit local rainfall and soil conditions and reduce flood impacts. JULY - AUGUST 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 11

As weeds become increasingly resistant to chemical herbicides, pressure is mounting to find alternative methods for weed control throughout Australia. JOHN POWER investigates the use of electric current to tackle weeds. Electro Weeding Sparks Interest OPERATOR: Department of Primary Industries & Regional Development, WA LOCATION: Southwest Western Australia CONTACT: www.wa.gov.au Herbicides are losing their effectiveness across the world in the never-ending battle against weeds, prompting renewed interest in alternative methods to eradicate or suppress pest plants. Just as importantly, there is a widespread philosophical desire to minimise the use of potentially toxic chemicals in sensitive environments, and to ‘find another way’ to control weeds. The use of electric current to kill plants, or ‘electro weeding’, has been acknowledged for over a century, but modern technologies that are both affordable and (hopefully) effective are only now emerging as viable alternatives to chemical herbicides. These technologies, themajority of which aremarketed as tractor-mounted systems for commercial use, are finding boutique markets around the world. In Australia, university research into electro weeding (and variants on the theme) has been underway for years –and now the first research-based trial by a government department is about to commence inWestern Australia. The WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is awaiting delivery of Zasso tractor-mounted electro weeding machinery from Switzerland in order to conduct a two-year field trial in the state’s Grainbelt region. Units are designed to sweep over weed-infested ground and, upon contact with plants, zap them with an electric current; the charge is meant to kill or severely harm the plant. In February this year, the DPIRD announced that it will join withCase NewHolland Industrial (CNHi) to test the technology’s suitability to control weeds in Australian dryland and irrigated agriculture, in southwest WA. CNHi became a minority shareholder of Zasso back in October 2020, at which time the company also renewed a supply agreement for the XPower Products through the AGXTENDbusiness of CNHi. The trials will examine which weeds are easiest to control with electricity and the technology’s potential uses in Australian agriculture to generate cost savings and influence crop yields. Speaking to a Grains Research Updates 2022 virtual forum in February, DPIRD research scientist OPERATOR PROFILE Units like the XPower XPS zap weeds with an electric current, delivered via charged metal combs sweeping over the ground.

Miranda Slaven explained that electric weed control could be part of an integrated solution to reduce dependence on chemical inputs and create more sustainable farming systems. “Finding alternative weed control strategies to chemical measures is important in Australia, due to increasing rates of herbicide resistance and increasingly discerning market demands,” she said. “This new equipment is at the frontier of agricultural technology, and it is valuable to test it under Australian growing conditions to examine its potential application as a non-chemical methodology in our agronomic systems.” The equipment will initially be tested on its ability to control weeds onViticulture and horticulture properties, and later along roadsides and fencelines, as well as its use for fallow weed control at the department’s research facilities in the Grainbelt. The research will target herbicide-resistant weeds such as annual ryegrass and wild radish, and problematic agricultural weeds, including feathertop Rhodes grass and fleabane, as well as perennial weeds, including kikuyu and wireweed. Theprojecthas support fromtheGrainsResearchandDevelopment Corporation; Wine Australia, WA; consultants AHA Viticulture; and the Cotton Research andDevelopment Corporation. EQUIPMENT USED Peter Thompson, AGXTEND Product Manager, says the electro weeding equipment being trialled in Australia includes XPower units for Urban application (the XPU) and the XPower for Viticulture (the XPS). The XPU, Peter explains, is targeted at urban environments such as council roadsides, bike tracks, etc, while the XPS is built to manage under-vine weeds in Viticulture. The XPS features a laterally pivoting applicator head that swings back upon contact with the base of the trunk or stem. There is also a configuration (the XPO) for under-tree weed management in orchards, though XPO units will not feature in theAustralian trial. “We haven’t brought in theXPOat this point in the trial, but initially Viticulture, Orchards and the Urban/Councils would be the focus markets to begin,” Peter says. “There are two models available when it comes to the actual power supplies. The 24kW, typically used for the Viticulture and Orchards, and 36kWtypically used on theUrban applicator. Both aremounted on the rear 3-point linkage and driven via PTO of the tractor. We recommend a minimumof 110hp to operate the 36kWunit.” HOW IT WORKS The concept of the XPower is to create an electrical circuit through the plant, from the biomass above the ground through the roots and back. It is recommended for best results to operate with low top-soil moisture and a medium-to-high subsoil moisture level. As water is conductive, a high level of moisture on the surface will result in the voltage passing back the other electrodes above the root system, limiting the effect to the root systemof the plant. The physical characteristics of different kinds of weeds, unsurprisingly, will influence the behaviour of the electro weeding treatment. “Much like chemical application, there are limitations and/or different approaches taken depending on the weed type,” Peter says. “A broad leaf weed will have a larger surface area, thus conducting more voltage through the plant versus a grass-like weed. The root system will also be a factor; a dense root system means voltage is going to be distributed over a greater area compared to a tap root-type weed, where voltage is concentrated down to the central point.” Like any method of weed control, conditions such as plant maturity and density will also affect themanagement approach. For a ‘woody’ weed, the best approach would be to remove as much of the biomass of the weed as possible above-ground initially, and then treat the young regrowth with the XPower unit. “By doing this, the mature part of the weed, which has high lignin content, is removed – the higher the lignin content, the less conductive theweedbecomes,” Peter says. “It also removes a lot of the biomass above the ground, allowing the voltage to conduct through the new growth of the weed down into the root system, creating more effective results.” EFFECTS ON SOIL An important aspect of the trial will be the effect of electro weeding on soil. Trial project lead, research scientist Catherine Borger, says a literature reviewand reports fromEurope suggest soil health and soil biota are not compromised by the technology. “Our research will include an analysis of the technology’s effect on soil health, including soil microbial density and diversity, as well as soil root pathogens, such as rhizoctonia,” Catherine says. Meantime, Peter adds that “Studies to date showno harmto the soil environment or other roots.” FIRE RISKS Another vital feature of the research will be testing to ascertain the potential for the equipment to cause fires. “Due to the high voltage used there is the likelihood of arcing to occur,” Peter admits. “Because of this, it is recommended not to operate in environments with possible hazards such as built-up residue/fuel in dry conditions. If planning to adopt XPower weed control, other management practices need to be taken into consideration to manage these risks. However, the risk in the Urban environment and Viticulture settings targeting winter weeds is low.” MAINTENANCE & COSTS Very little maintenance is required to maintain the equipment. Electrodes are typically replaced annually on the XPS, and up to three times a year on the XPU, given that it tends to work on more abrasive surfaces. “It’s a very simple process to change the actual electrodes,” Peter explains. “For safety, it is recommended the units be inspected annually by a qualified technician.” Prices differ depending on the applicator and size of the Power Supply unit. Currently, a typical XPS setup is approximately 110,000€ (AUD$165,000) and the XPU135,000€ (AUD$200,000). The XPower XPS electro weeding unit is designed for applications in Viticulture. JULY - AUGUST 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 13

FEATURE Kubota - a century of powering on As Kubota celebrates 100 years of engine production, a look back at the journey this far and the key moments in the brand’s history. From humble beginnings, Kubota is today a trusted leader in agriculture and construction machinery. Kubota’s National Account Manager for Power Equipment, James Tibos, said the milestone is a testament to Kubota’s commitment to making engines that deliver for customers. “We are thrilled to be celebrating 100 years of engine production and the journey to becoming Kubota we know and love today,” Mr Tibos said. “It’s extraordinary to see what challenges Kubota has overcome and it’s important we channel our history of innovation into our contemporary product mix.” THE 1920s Kubota began producing kerosene engines in 1922 when the great drought struck the western side of Japan and the sudden spread of water pumps increased the demand for engines. Capitalising on its advanced technology and manufacturing equipment, Kubota developed engines in a corner of its main factory’s warehouse. Producing a small sized engine with minimal noise, Kubota released a threehorsepower kerosene engine in 1923. It wasn’t too long before sales took off and it became a power source for irrigation pumps and rice hullers in the region. Building on this success, Kubota expanded its product line-up and developed an engine for fishing boats in 1927 followed by a diesel engine, establishing itself as a central player in the industry, despite a late entry into the market. OVERCOMING THE GREAT DEPRESSION Following the depression brought on by World War I, the economy showed signs of recovery in the late 1930s and demand for engines increased. Kubota established a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant dedicated to engine production to respond to the shift. Once the plant was up and running in 1938, it had multiplied the production capacity and produced 55 per cent of the engines in the domestic market. RECOVERING FROM WAR As post-war chaos subsided in the 1950s, the production of food increased and the government no longer needed to strictly control the market. Corporations had the freedom over production, sales and price, and people were able to purchase any products they wanted. Kubota listened to farmers and created an easy to operate, portable, light-weight engine, further cementing their popularity. THE BABY BOOMER ERA In 1972, due to a worldwide food crisis and an outflow of rural population, the demand for agricultural machinery rapidly increased as agriculture shifted from a walking task to driving work. Responding to the boom, Kubota expanded its facilities and adopted newdesignmethods to develop advanced engines and strengthen its productivity. Kubota recognised that the driving forcebehindhigh-performing equipment was the various engines that performed as the ‘hearts’. It developed multiple engines and models based on the characteristics of each equipment, a process still implemented today. In 1983, Kubota further established itself as amarket leader by developing the reversible tractor allowing users to attach implements to the rear and operate the same as the front. The tractors direct-injection, water-cooled diesel engine achieved high fuel efficiency and drew the public’s attention. Kubota’s ‘Super Mini’ series, which were the smallest, cleanest and quietest engines among its line-up, became the industry standard for small diesel engines. By 1985 Kubota had successfully launched the Sakai Rinkai Plant, producing up to 500,000 engines a year and achieving its goal of becoming an international manufacturer of compact, all-purpose engines. While rapidglobal economic growth took off, so did the expectation for environmental responsibility. Asmanufacturers responded to strict regulations, Kubota proactively worked towards developing low emission engines. KUBOTA TODAY “Kubota has continued to strive toward reducing its environmental impact while delivering efficient solutions for the agriculture and construction industry. We look forward to the next 100 years of Kubota, delivering growth and leading machinery to keep you powering on,” Mr Tibos said. For more information visit kubota.com.au

The right battery for the right device New tool to help businesses save thousands on hidden costs of battery replacements. A Dealer Management System helps make EOFY simple and less taxing Procell, the professional batteries arm of leading global manufacturer Duracell, has developed a cost calculator, using Australian specific data, to help businesses identify hidden costs associated with battery replacement and its environmental impact. It is estimated sectors, such as hospitality, could save up to 44 per cent in battery related costs by simplyusing the right battery, with the improved efficacies reducing battery replacements, labour costs and appliance downtime. Duracell Asia B2B Senior Director Jane Lo said, “If it’s buying batteries for remote controls, smoke alarms, or sanitiser dispensers, we want to help businesses explore ways to increase efficiencies by replacing batteries less and save more.” High frequency, high drain devices (typically those operating a motor or mechanism such as electric door locks or blood pressure monitors) have different battery needs compared to intermittent low drain devices (such as remote controls or blood glucose meters). “Taking into account device functionality when selecting batteries can achieve longerlasting consistent performance, which in turn means fewer replacements and less expenditure,”Ms Lo said. “Saving time and labour replacing batteries is particularly important in the current labour market, with chronic staffing pressure being felt in both healthcare and hospitality, two sectors that also have a high reliance of battery automation.” Procell is a professional range of device specific alkaline batteries designed to minimise battery replacements and reduce the environmental impact of battery waste. It is the only range of high performing batteries with products tailored for both low drain and high drain devices.All Procell batteries are tested to guarantee highest quality and consistently reliable performance. Hospital settings demonstrated that Procell Intense batteries (used in patient monitors) lasted three and a half times longer than competitor batteries and were rated as 100% satisfaction for performance, sustainability, safety and reliability. The cost calculator helps organisations determine the right Procell battery for each appliance across their business and identifies the potential cost savings, as well as environmental benefits of a reduction in battery turnover. “We listened to the market and heard that businesses were looking for alternatives to the never-ending cycle of purchase-use-disposerepeat when it comes to batteries,”Ms Lo said. “We’re now looking forward to helping businesses use the batteries to their advantage and make significant savings, while also delivering improved operational and environmental outcomes.” For more information, go to www. procell.com/en-au/where-to-buy/ The month of June for any OPE dealership is generally dominated by the daunting tasks that go hand in hand with EOFY. Counting stock, looking into discrepancies and reorganising locations often see staff working long hours fuelled by caffeine and a dream to finish as quickly as possible. This edition and the next instalment of the Computer Guru column will better explain how using a Dealer Management System makes this time of year simplified and less taxing for dealers. It will allow them to focus more EOFY time on activities which will result in more profitable outcomes for the dealership. Increasing your bottom line on the showroom floor or within the workshop, instead of frantically counting and adjusting stock levels, should be the preferred action of most, if not all dealers. Biscount is a great example of a Dealer Management System that makes this time of year a smooth one. This is primarily because a Biscount Dealer can begin preparing for EOFY at any time. For example, once a stock receival has been completed, a stock receival report can be printed, which has an updated stock level for all items received on that receival, along with details of any items specially ordered for customer orders or workshop jobs. The report includes the new stock levels for all items received, and thus provides a 'rolling stock-take' to highlight any variances that exist within stock levels and therefore assist in maintaining accuracy on a daily basis. Coupled with this, when selling items within the sales screen or when adding items to a workshop job, the current stock level will also be displayed on the screen. If there is a discrepancy between what is on the report or screen versus what is actually on the shelves, stock adjustments can made at the time they are first discovered, keeping inventory levels more accurate, which translates to a quicker stock count come EOFY. From a management perspective, any adjustments made to stock levels within Biscount are logged to the name of the operator who made the adjustment, and can have the added security of password protection, if required. Be sure to read the next instalment of this column to better understand the smarter way to perform your stocktake - the Biscount way. COMPUTER GURU Making stocktaking easier - Part 1 TECH TALK JULY - AUGUST 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 15

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