Power Equipment Australasia

Print Post Approved PP 100002231 INSIDE Vineyard Toasts Energy Self-Sufficiency Getting your chainsaw ready for a new season What is going on with energy prices? www.power-equipment.com.au Volume 44 No. 2 March - April 2023

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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 With winter just around the corner, it's important to start thinking about how you'll prepare your property and garden for the cold months ahead. Chainsaws are an essential tool for tidying up fallen branches and overgrown trees, improving the appearance of your outdoor space and increasing safety. Additionally, preparing your wood piles for winter is crucial for keeping your home warm and cozy, especially during power outages or other emergencies. While preparing for winter can be a daunting task, taking the time to tidy your property using chainsaws and getting your wood piles ready is an essential part of being a responsible homeowner. By putting in a little effort now you can ensure that you are ready for whatever winter throws your way. Safety being a top priority; see information on pages 18 -19 on how to maintain and store your chainsaw. New Zealand has been hit hard by recent climate events, including severe floods and mudslides. These events have caused significant damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure and have forced many people to evacuate their homes. Climate scientists warn that extreme weather events like these will become more frequent and intense as the planet warms, highlighting the urgent need for action on climate change. As we work to mitigate the effects of climate change, it’s important to support those affected by these events and to prepare ourselves for the possibility of more extreme weather in the future. To help future-proof our homes and business assets go to page 24 to read about Krisis Flood Bags. In Operator Profile (pages 10 -12) read about how Joseph and Sue Evans have cut high energy costs considerably by recently installing a Vehicle-to-Grid electric system which helps power everything from household utilities to outdoor power equipment. The one thing that makes this Editor proud is that Joseph specifically mentions that he purchased a Greenworks Pro 60V ride on with 4 extra batteries because he saw the advertisement in the magazine. In our regular Product Focus feature on page 25, Colbrook have upped the ante by introducing their Autonomous Mowing Robot designed to assist landscaping contractors to reduce their labour needs, especially now with skill shortages across all industries. Gary Fooks writes about ‘What is going on with energy’ on pages 14 -16 for a clearer understanding on why our energy bills are so high and how to help mitigate the cost. On page 20, there is a drought relief program available for our growers. Driving sustainability is Warick Lorenz’s article on ‘Right to Repair’ on page 30. On page 13, read about a CQUniversity research project that will target weeds in broadacre crops using artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drones. Stephen Fairbrother covers the importance of ‘WindowUpdates’ on page 21. Dealer Profile on pages 22-23 focuses on the Stihl Shop in Ferntree Gully, VIC which boasts strong customer connect and effective teamwork. Jo Katsos shares her knowledge on best business practice on pages 26-27. Read about Autumn Jobs by STIHL as a top of mind reminder for all, on pages 28 and 29. We finish off with regular features interspersed throughout the magazine and with that it’s a wrap. All the best for now. Elaine Sharman Editor

REGULAR FEATURES COVER Print Post Approved PP 100002231 INSIDE Vineyard Toasts Energy Self-Sufficiency Getting your chainsaw ready for a new season What is going on with energy prices? www.power-equipment.com.au Volume 44 No. 2 March - April 2023 Autumn is a key time for getting busy in the garden. The temperature is a little cooler, but the soil remains warm, so plants are still growing. Make the most of your time in the garden with Charlie Albone’s ‘Autumn Check List’ which covers all that needs doing in the garden as the temperatures start to dip. 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 ARCHER’FY your dealership today! l Display stands l Ready to hang accessories l Easy to read packaging Become a JAK Max dealer today to gain access to our growing range of products across the chainsaw, lawnmower, brushcutter and finished units sectors. Exclusive to JAK Max SPECIAL FEATURES Editor’s Column................................................... 4 News........................................................................ 6 Operator Profile.................................................. 10 Computer Guru.................................................. 21 Dealer Profile. ..................................................... 22 Product Focus. .................................................... 25 Marketing............................................................. 26 Research & Development................................. 31 New Products...................................................... 32 Diary Dates.......................................................... 34 Getting chainsaws ready for a new season.................................................. 14 What is going on with energy prices?............................................. 18 How to power through the autumn season in your garden. .................................................... 29 MARCH - APRIL 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 5

STIHL TIMBERSPORTS 2023: READY FOR ACTION The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® series is one of the world’s most intense and physically demanding lumberjack competitions. In the 2023 season, the competition is set to bemore thrilling than ever, with top athletes from around Australia competing in a series of disciplines designed to showcase their strength, skill, and endurance. The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® series consists of six individual disciplines, each of which tests a different aspect of the competitor's abilities. These disciplines include the Stock Saw, Underhand Chop, Standing Block Chop, Single Buck, Springboard, and the Hotsaw. The 2023 season promises to be one of the most exciting in the history of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® series with new competitors joining the ranks and established athletes looking to defend their titles.With its combination of strength, skill, and endurance, the competition is sure to be a spectacle like no other, drawing thousands of spectators and millions of viewers from around the world. The 2023 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® season is a must-see event for fans of lumberjack sports and anyone who appreciates the raw power and skill of these incredible athletes. Whether you are a seasoned fan or just discovering the sport, you will be entertained and amazed by the spectacle of this unique competition. Upcoming STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Australian Events: Australian Trophy 2023 – Saturday 4th March – Glenelg SA Australian Women’s Championship 2023 – Saturday 4th March – Glenelg SA Australian Rookie Championship 2023 – Saturday 17th September – Wollongong NSW Australian Pro Championship 2023 – Saturday17thSeptember–WollongongNSW You can also catch all the action live or watch the live stream on the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® social channels. DIESEL EMISSIONS STANDARDS PREDICTED FOR 2024 Emissionstandards fornon-roaddiesel engines took a significant step forward in February with theMinister for Environment andWater, the Hon Tanya PlibersekMP giving the green light to a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS). The air quality department has already announced the conclusionof theCost Benefit Analysis and the key findings that Australia should not stagger the introduction of diesel (compression ignition) but move directly to the current US standard (US Tier 4F). The standards will cover the importation non-road use equipment like tractors, diggers, graders, rollers, haul trucks, generators and pumps. Excluded are non-road transport like large ships (engines over 130kW) and rail. This magazine’s columnist, Gary Fooks was deeply involved inpetrol engine emissions for 12 years until their implementation from July 1, 2018. “The diesel standard has been extraordinarily slow in coming, but now the RIS is announced, I expect that diesel standards will be added to petrol standards under the existing Product Standards Emissions Act,” Mr Fooks said. “I anticipate the amendment from the Minister in the second half of 2023 with commencement at July 1, 2024. The rules will not affect anything that is owned and being used now. Nothing you own will be banned or restricted, nor any buyback. Importers and dealers will have a further 12 months to clear non-compliant stock imported before July 1, 2024.” For further information, log on to www.dcceew.gov.au/environment/protection/ air-quality/national-clean-air-agreement/ evaluation-non-road-diesel-engine-emissions ROVENSA GROUP LAUNCHES ROVENSA NEXT Faced with global challenges due to a growing population and climate change, among others, farmers need a solution to feed the planet through healthy and safe solutions. Rovensa Group, a global leader of agricultural inputs for sustainable agriculture has answered that need with Rovensa Next, a new global business unit dedicated to biosolutions for agriculture. Rovensa Next made its debut at Fruit Logistica Berlin, the leading trade fair for the fresh fruit industry. Rovensa Next aggregates ten Rovensa Group companies, creating a holistic platform of innovative biosolutions to shape a sustainable future for agriculture and drive its bio-transformation. With this announcement, Agrichembio, Agrotecnología, Idai Nature, Microquimica, MIP Agro, OGT, Oro Agri, Rodel, SDP, and Tradecorp will become part of the new business unit, combining local technical knowledge, innovation and teams that work alongside farmers and distributors in the field to solve their sustainability challenges, with the global expertise and leadership of Rovensa Group. José Alfredo García, Co-COO Rovensa Next, Javier Calleja, incoming CEO Rovensa Group, Eric van Innis, CEO Rovensa Group and Carlos Ledó, Co-COO Rovensa Next

Eric van Innis, Rovensa Group CEO, said: “With this flagship project Rovensa Next, and our holistic platform of biosolutions, we are taking a strategic step forward in our goal to be a reference provider of wellbalanced and sustainable solutions for agriculture. Farmers and distributors do not need a singular product or a multi-card generalist; they need specialised advisors to help them create a potent strategy that considers their local environment and challenges. Rovensa Next is our answer to our partners’ needs for sustainable crop management that leads to safe and healthy products with better quality and increased yield.” With the new business unit, Rovensa Group anticipates a turnover of more than EUR 1 billion by 2025. The announcement marks the beginning of the global transition to Rovensa Next followed by local implementation across all countries from July 2023. For more information, log on to www.rovensanext.com PROGRAM TO CONNECT KIDS WITH AGRI-TECH CAREERS Secondary students across Victoria’s foodbowl will get new insight into hightech career options in agriculture, thanks to an agri-tech program from the Goulburn Murray Local Learning and Employment Network and CQUniversity. The Raising Aspirations in Careers and Education - Goulburn (RACE – Goulburn) project will connect with more than 2000 students across 15 schools in the next 12 months. With $200,000 funding from the Victorian Government’s Secondary School Agriculture Fund, the project will increase student and teacher awareness of modern agricultural careers, via hands-on activities and workplace visits linked to skills needed in the fast-changing industry. The RACE project has already had success inGippsland,whereCQU’sAgri-Tech Education and Extension team led primary and secondary school incursions and farm visits, and research to capture participants’ understanding and shifting aspirations. Over the past three years, the Gippsland outreach has already connected with more than 3000 students, and built ongoing relationships between schools and agriculture employers. Now, Goulburn Murray students will get hands-on opportunities to participate in an Agri-tech roadshow where they will complete interactive activities using technology on food waste, assess fruit ripeness and use sensors to test soil. They will also have the opportunity to visit agricultural workplaces in the Goulburn Murray region to hear first-hand from agricultural professionals what a career in the industry is like and see how their food is produced in the region. CQU project lead Associate Professor Amy Cosby, who is a researcher and dairy farmer, said young people in the regions neededmore opportunities to see the diverse career paths available in primary production. “Owning a dairy business in Gippsland, I see firsthand that young people aren’t connecting with the numerous career opportunities in agriculture, both on and off farm,” Ms Cosby said. “Throughout the RACE Gippsland project, based on data collected prior to and after student participation we can see that their awareness of careers and pathways in agricultural industries increases. "We are now excited about working with students and the agricultural industry in the Goulburn Murray region to attract the next generation workforce who are skilled and passionate about the sector.” Goulburn Murray Local Learning and Employment Network Executive Officer Bec Costa-Lowe said the project would help young people find new career pathways, and address local skills shortages. “It’s such an exciting time in agriculture for tech and innovation, and the RACE project will help put local young people in the driver’s seat,” Ms Costa-Lowe said. Open to secondary schools across Greater Shepparton, Moira, Strathbogie, Campaspe, Mitchell and Murrindindi LGAs, to participate please contact A/Prof Cosby via agri-techeducation.com or email ageducation@cqu.edu.au. OUR FRONT COVER SHOWS… Autumn is a key time for getting busy in the garden. The temperature is a little cooler making it a joy to get outdoors, and the soil remains warm, so plants are still growing and there’s plenty to be doing to keep your garden looking great and thriving through autumn. These months are ideal for shaping and pruning your trees, hedges and bushes, and for fertilising lawns and garden beds, preparing your garden ahead of the typically dormant winter months. Keep your autumn in check with STIHL, and make the most of your time in the garden with Charlie Albone’s ‘Autumn Check List’ which covers all of the tasks that need doing in the garden while the sun is still shining. MORE INFORMATION STIHL Australia stihl.com.au Print Post Approved PP 100002231 INSIDE Vineyard Toasts Energy Self-Sufficiency Getting your chainsaw ready for a new season What is going on with energy prices? www.power-equipment.com.au Volume 44 No. 2 March - April 2023 OUR FRONT COVER SHOWS… NEWS MARCH - APRIL 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 7

ESV CAUTIONS RESIDENTS TO KEEP CLEAR OF POWERLINES WHILE GARDENING Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is urging people carrying out gardening activities to keep clear of powerlines following a series of incidents involving service lines being accidently cut by hedge trimmers and pruners. Service lines are single-span powerlines connecting power to houses on private land. Since December 2021, ESV has investigated 14 incidents where members of the public made contact with service lines while carrying out gardening activities. The incidents occurred in Geelong, Mulgrave, Brighton, Camperdown, Safety Beach, St Kilda, Chadstone, Stawell, Tatura and Moorabbin with a number of people sent to hospital with burns and electric shock. Fortunately, there were no fatalities. Residents are encouraged to maintain vegetation on their property at least one metre clear of the private service line that connects their property to the distribution lines in the street. The majority of incidents involved residents trimming vegetation on their own property but in some cases, professional gardeners and tree clearing contractors were at fault. These incidents are breaches of the Electricity Safety (General) Regulations and may result in ESV taking enforcement action against those responsible. “Homeowners and workers should take steps to identify where the service line is located on a property and take measures to avoid coming into contact with it or face the riskof seriouspersonal injury, or electrocution“. Other important safety tips include: - E nsure the location of all service lines are identified before pruning commences. - I f hiring arborists, ensure personnel are qualified and suitably experienced. - I f service lines are damaged, contact the relevant electrical distribution business immediately. - K eep equipment, such as ladders, at least three metres from the service line. - S tay more than 10 metres away from any fallen service line and always treat fallen powerlines as live even when they are broken. - I f Victorians are concerned about trees on their property near any service lines, they can contact their relevant electricity distribution company. For more information log on to www.esv.vic.gov.au/industry-guidance/ electrical/line-clearance. TABLE GRAPE INDUSTRY RIPE FOR GROWTH IN NORTHERN AUSTRALIA The University of Western Australia has launched a four-year research mission to make table grapes one of the most valuable fruit crops in Northern Australia. The research team aims to develop novel practices that will enhance the commercial cropping of table grapes in subtropical and tropical Australia (which is outside their traditional climate range) to boost yields and bring domestic fruit tomarket months earlier. The project is jointly funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA), table grape grower Fruitico, UWA and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD). It will be led by Associate Professor Michael Considine, who is an ARC Future Fellow at TheUWA Institute of Agriculture and School of Molecular Sciences and a research scientist at DPIRD. The current value of table grape production in Australia is about $750 million – generating $620 million in export value, which has tripled since 2012. Hort Innovation Australia rank table grapes as the third largest fresh fruit import commodity and largest fresh fruit export commodity in Australia. Associate Professor Considine said the table grape industry in Northern Australia was currently considered “high risk”. The researchers will develop novel combinations of management practices that are tailored to the climate, in effect ‘de-risking’ production and increasing investment in growing table grapes in the region. “If table grape production could be expanded in Northern Australia, the opportunity for import replacements alone is $85 million per annum,” Associate Professor Considine said. “Additionally, it will increase jobs and social benefits, including Aboriginal cooperatives.” Industry partners DPIRD and Fruitico will work together with UWA to encourage growth of expertise in the viticulture industry. Associate Professor Considine said the major focus was currently Broome, where Fruitico have established vineyards and land ready for expansion, and researchers will soon direct their attention to Carnarvon. “These two locations will act as case study hubs, from where we will develop and implement knowledge-based management programs for table grapes that enable increased yield inNorthernAustralia,” he said. CERATIZIT UNVEILS NEW WATERJET NOZZLE PORTFOLIO Waterjet cutting is recognised as a reliable alternative to conventional cutting processes. Extremely smooth cut edges without thermal stress, post-processing, and minimal kerfs are just a few of the advantages of the cutting process for a wide range of materials and applications. A key factor for efficient processes is the waterjet nozzles. With the newHyproJET portfolio, CERATIZIT aims to set new standards for quality and durability. Waterjet cutting works as simply as it is effective: the cutting head directs a fine jet of water at high pressure of up to 6,000 bar, a jet diameter of 0.38 to 1.02 millimeters. In this stress-free cutting process, the material particles close to the surface are cut off without any heat being introduced into the material. This process is an optimal solution for temperature-sensitive and thick materials with complex geometries. “We developedourHyproJETrangewith three standard water jet nozzles to meet these needs: narrow hole tolerances, perfect cutting and radial run-out accuracy ensure precise working results,” Mesut Goksu, Segment Account Manager at CERATIZIT said. NEWS UWA Associate Professor Michael Considine. 8 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MARCH - APRIL 2023

The HyproJETX6 is a powerhouse with improved flow of abrasive material and air in the nozzle and a special design for cutting even the most difficultmaterials. For standard applications, CERATIZIT’s range includes the HyproJET P6. All nozzles are suitable for modern cutting head systems and support automatic centring during assembly. For somematerials to bemachined, water alone is not sufficient as a cutting material. The system then mixes an abrasive, such as garnet or corundum, into the water jet. Particularly with materials such as steel, stone, glass, or composites, abrasives are very efficient helpers. Mathieu Schellenberger, project manager in product development at CERATIZIT said, "They put a lot of strain on the focusing tubes due to erosion. Therefore, when redesigning the HyproJET products, we further improved the wear protection." GRAIN TESTING OFFERS VALUABLE INSIGHTS FOR GROWERS Grain testing is providing growers with an excellent way to measure the nutrients going out the gate during harvest and estimate required replacement rates, giving them a head start on nutrient budgeting for 2023. Incitec Pivot Fertilisers (IPF) Senior Technical Agronomist Jim Laycock said grain testing can be a valuable part of a grower’s toolkit. “While it doesn’t replace the need for a soil test, it can determine what nutrients have been removed from the soil and what remains in the paddock once a crop has been harvested,” Mr Laycock said. “Grain testing also provides valuable insights about potential seed quality andvigour,whichwe expect tobe a challenge for farmers in2023. “Growers can also use the moisture percentage and 1,000 grain weight to help calculate an appropriate seeding rate.” Nutrient Advantage Laboratory Services offers grain testing for wheat, barley, and other cereals, plus canola and pulse crops. The grain testing report includes a plant tissue analysis and insights about moisture percentage, nutrient status and removal and grain weight. Mr Laycock said being able to put an exact figure on the amount of phosphorus in the grain harvested significantly improves recommendations for 2023 nutrient strategies. “Regular soil tests are still important to assess how soil nutrient levels are changing in response to application rates, and to see where individual paddocks are sitting in relation to critical values. However, for situations where paddocks are at optimal Colwell P levels and growers only want to replace the phosphorus removed at harvest, grain testing can be particularly valuable,” Mr Laycock said. “Make grain testing a priority for planning your 2023 winter crop. It will give you a head start on nutrient budgeting, guide potential seedling vigour, and help calculate seeding rates.” There are four easy steps to complete grain testing: - C ollect samples by paddock, crop or area as required. A sample from a couple of paddocks (one high and one low yielding) is ideal. The best insights come from sampling year after year of dedicated monitoring sites. - C ollect approximately 400 grams of threshed seed (no stalks) in a Nutrient Advantage plant tissue test bag. Keep some bags on hand so you can collect a sample in the paddock and label it with the paddock name. Your agronomist can enter it into the Nutrient Advantage system (NA Pro) when back in the office or log the sample in the LabSTREAM app in the paddock. - Y our agronomist will submit the sample to the laboratory and once the lab receives the sample the typical turnaround time for a grain test is less than a week. - O nce the testing is complete you will receive a report, which will include moisture percentage, nutrient results (in mg/kg or % units), important nutrient ratios, 1,000 grain weight (for wheat only), seed zinc and phosphorus contents (for wheat only), and nutrient removal scaled up to 1 t/ha yield. If plant sampling bags are required contact Nutrient Advantage Laboratory Services on 1800 803 453. NEWS MARCH - APRIL 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 9

OPERATOR PROFILE Ballycroft Vineyard and Cellars in South Australia’s famous Barossa Valley recently installed a V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) electric energy system, which helps power everything from household utilities to outdoor power equipment. John Power reports. Vineyard Toasts Energy Self-Sufficiency OPERATOR: Ballycroft Vineyard and Cellars REPRESENTATIVES: Owners Joseph and Sue Evans LOCATION: Barossa Valley, South Australia CONTACT: www.ballycroft.com Joseph and Sue Evans, from Ballycroft Vineyard and Cellars, are in the process of electrifying their entire property’s mechanical infrastructure. As vineyard owners, Joseph and Sue Evans from Ballycroft Vineyard and Cellars in South Australia know that sunshine is vital for producing healthy crops. But sunshine is actually playing a much greater role in securing the profitability and security of the couple’s business – solar energy is now the cornerstone of the property’s day-to-day operations, providing affordable, self-sufficient, power to run everything from household whitegoods to agricultural assets like an electric ride-on mower and electric whipper snipper. The property has a conventional household solar array for everyday solar energy production. But what about night-time energy requirements? Most domestic solar energy systems with battery storage have fairly small capacities, typically in the range of 10-13kW. Unsurprisingly, such battery systems can become depleted in just a few hours after sunset, particularly during peak heating and cooling periods between 6-9pm. Ballycroft’s solution? Use a Wallbox Quasar V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) system to harness the energy stored in the 40kW batteries of Joseph and Sue’s Nissan LEAF car, which can then be used to provide evening and overnight power to the property. The Nissan LEAF is the only factory-delivered and warranted, V2G-capable, all-electric vehicle on the Australian market today. Instead of paying more than $6,000pa to power their household and vineyard, Joseph and Sue now earn $2,500pa thanks to a rebate tariff which remunerates them for surplus energy at a rate of $0.08kW/h. The rebate, Joseph admits, is simply icing on the cake – the real payback is free energy, combined with full energy independence in the event of blackouts during critical winemaking procedures. (Blackouts, unfortunately, are common in the area, and can threaten an entire vintage in worstcase scenarios.) Ballycroft is one of the first properties approved by South Australian Power Network (SAPN) to use V2G technology. The Network has

been a national leader in the installation and integration of renewable energy and distributed energy resources within their catchment. And South Australian customers can now apply to SAPN to install a Wallbox Quasar V2G unit in the same way that they would apply for a new home solar or battery installation. Charging infrastructure supplier JET Charge is now taking orders from South Australian customers for Wallbox Quasar V2G chargers. Other states and territories are sure to follow – securing the required approvals is a work in progress. PRACTICALITIES Joseph says the V2G system’s installation took some effort due to the newness of the technology. Last October, the couple upgraded their 8kW AC inverter to an 11kW DC inverter with a 22kW BYD battery stack. “This means that when the power’s off my solar still works because it’s going through an off-grid DC inverter, and if it was night time my battery would kick in.” Under the new configuration with added V2G capability, there is more than ample off-grid power to run or charge all major domestic appliances and vineyard-related devices after dark simultaneously (except for some specialised chilling equipment). Given the 40kW capacity of the Nissan LEAF battery, Joseph says power drawn from the car batteries during the evening can be replenished easily the following morning within a couple of hours. Under normal circumstances, the car uses approximately 14kW per 100km of travel, equating to $1.12 in energy costs (rebate tariff equivalent), saving approximately $2,000pa in petrol costs. The same cost savings (based on kWh useage), of course, apply to other household and vineyard electric energy consumptions. A NEW OUTLOOK The adoption of solar power as the single power source for all of the property’s appliances and machinery has entailed a fresh, centralised approach to energy management. Instead of outdoor power equipment, for example, being a self-contained asset class of the property, with its own separate petrol/diesel supplies and storage needs, Joseph and Sue now regard all powered devices – from the living room air conditioning and stovetop to the electric chainsaw, car and whipper snipper – as conjoined elements of one shared power platform. The transition to electric outdoor power equipment has been a multi-year process that began 15 years ago with the purchase of Electrocoup Pruning Shears (the property has 10 acres under vine) for hand pruning. “Last year we bought an electric Makita chainsaw, and we also replaced an eight-year-old John Deere 120 ride-on with 800hrs on the clock with an electric Greenworks Pro 60V ride-on mower, with four extra batteries, which means we can mow and spray at the same time under vines and spray fungicide. “We bought the Greenworks mower from Mowers Plus Mount Barker after seeing an advertisement in your magazine!” Last year Ballycroft also upgraded its wine fermentation chilling equipment with the aid of a Government Energy Efficient Grant. “We replaced a 50-year-old Kelvinator 8hp milk vat chiller with a more efficient, safer Danfoss Optyma 10kW Condensing Unit. Practically all machinery on the 15ac property is now electric, including a Parklands ride-on mower and Nissan LEAF electric passenger vehicle. MARCH - APRIL 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 11

“And this year we intend to replace our winery gas 300Lhot water service with an energy-efficient heat pump,” Joseph explains. Other imminent acquisitions include a Greenworks whipper snipper, as well as a 2.5t electric forklift to replace a 2.5t Nissan petrol/gas unit. Ultimately, the couple plans to purchase an electric ute to replace their existing 2.2 Ford Ranger ute. PERFORMANCE Many observers of these kinds of transitions are sceptical about the performance of electric equipment compared with petrol or diesel predecessors. However, Joseph is quick to defend the ease of use and effectiveness of good-quality electric devices. “For example, I purchased our Greenworks electric ride-on mower last September to replace a petrol ride-on– it was a great time to buy it because we had our wettest October ever and I’ve mowed our 15ac property probably nine times,” he says. “I’ve done 146 hours in it in just over one season. “Cutting-wise, it’s just as good as petrol; back in September and October, if it was a little bit wet, the mowing deck could clog up just as easily as the petrol mower’s, so you have to go a bit slower. “But it’s a little bit faster than the petrol and much more efficient – you’ve got no belts, no grease nipples on the mandrel housing that runs the blades. You just turn it on and go. And I purchased four extra batteries. It’ll run for about 1 hr 50 mins just on general mowing of the vineyard, and batteries take one hour to recharge. So, you constantly have batteries ready to go.” COST SAVINGS According to Joseph, his old petrol ride-on mower used to consume approximately one litre of petrol per acre, taking a full day to mow approximately 10ac. In the course of a busy workday, he estimates he might have used 10L of petrol on the ride-on and 3L for a full day’s work with a petrol whipper snipper, totalling 13L of petrol at a cost of about $25. By comparison, he says recharging electric equivalents for the same work costs approximately $1.80, based on sacrificed rebate tariff returns. “And there are all the savings in time – we don’t have to go to the petrol station to get petrol.” Ballycroft is at the vanguard of a new wave of electrification of domestic and agricultural outdoor power equipment, with cost savings already manifest in dayto-day operations. V2G connectivity, furthermore, serves a social function in helping to smooth out peaks and troughs in community-wide energy usage, relieving pressure from the grid by transforming electric vehicles into mini powerplants. Sunny times are indeed ahead for small operators choosing to take the plunge and invest in solar technologies. OPERATOR PROFILE The Nissan LEAF electric vehicle forms an important part of the vineyard’s centralised electric power management system. Ballycroft is among the first properties in Australia to make use of V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) renewable energy via their Nissan LEAF electric car. Solar-generated power is free, controllable, and data-rich to ensure easy monitoring. 12 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MARCH - APRIL 2023

FEATURE Drones to take ‘war on weeds’ to the skies A CQUniversity research project has secured an Australian Government innovation grant to target weeds in broadacre crops, using artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drones equipped with mechatronics. This industry-partnered project, led by CQU’s drone, internet of things, mechatronics and agriculture specialists, is one of just 12 projects to share the $18 million funding in the new Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships (EATP) program. Over the next two years, the national CQU research team will use light-weight drones to snap millions of ultra-high-resolution images of weeds in large farmlands in Central Queensland. Imagery data will be processed to create GPS location of weeds. The actual position of the detected weeds will be communicated to another internet of drones system, based on internet of things (IoT) technology. This second set of drones, integratedwith a robust mechatronics system, will spot-spray herbicides on detected weeds with precision. Dr JahanHassan, a specialist in consumer drone services and systems, will lead the CQUniversity project, in collaboration with technology partners OMRON Industrial Automation and Leica Biosystems. The project has multiple research themes: AI and image processing led by Dr Nahina Islam; internet of things (IoT) and internet of drones (IoD) led by Dr Biplob Ray; design and fabrication of mechatronics system led by Dr Abdul Mazid; and weed identification and herbicide efficiency evaluation by Associate Prof. Nanjappa Ashwath. All project leads are members of School of Engineering and Technology and School of Health Medical and Applied Sciences at CQUniversity. Central Queensland farmer Peter Foxwell of Foxwell Farming is providing access to his broadacre crops for the experimental trials. Dr Hassan said the project was made possible by CQUniversity’s diverse research expertise along with relevant industries and international collaboration. “This project relies on advanced drone systems, internet of things technology and artificial intelligence, a complex mechatronic spraying system, and a deep understanding of and connection to our agricultural sector,” Dr Hassan explained. “It’s exciting to be bringing together experts in diverse fields of research to tackle an issue of both national and international significance. The IoD will be able to detect the weed, locate its position and dispense only the required volume of herbicide,”DrRay said. “Funding of such a project is timely, as the costs of herbicides have escalated in recent years and the emphasis on reduced use of herbicides is escalating, both on economic and environmental grounds,” Associate Professor Nanjappa Ashwath said. “Image processing techniques along with artificial intelligence is being used to detect the weeds, locate its position and spray herbicide in a targeted manner,” Dr Islam said. Dr Mazid believes that IoT-augmented systems are a great step towards smart manufacturing and production for longer sustainability. “With this high-tech mix of partners, tools and expertise, we hope to deliver more efficient and sustainable future for agriculture in Australia,” A/Prof Ashwath said. Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King announced the successful grants in November 2022, and said the funding will ensure the aviation sector is at the forefront of innovation. CQUniversity secured $447,607 for its two-year project and is one of just three Australian universities participating in the program. The project has additionally received a total of $213,910 in-kind contributions from CQUniversity, industry partners, and the collaborator institute. The CQU project team also includes Dr Nurun Nabi, Professor Steven Moore, and Dr Stephen Xu. Dr Zaglul Shahadat of Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology, Bangladesh is also contributing to this research. Dr Jahan Hassan, a specialist in consumer drone services and systems, will lead the CQUniversity project. MARCH - APRIL 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 13

MAINTENANCE Getting your chainsaw ready for a new season Cleaning and storing your power tools doesn’t have to be complicated. Just follow these simple steps for proper storage and maintenance of your chainsaw so that it’s in top shape and ready for action every time you need it. MAINTAINING AND SERVICING THE CHAINSAW There are maintenance measures you need to perform every time you use your chainsaw; primarily, cleaning to remove resin and other residues that can impair performance. Make STIHL’s Varioclean a part of your maintenance routine when cleaning your chainsaw. Other maintenance measures need to be performed at different intervals. For more details, check your operating manual. To service your chainsaw, clean it and check it all over for leaks, damage or other problems. If you find any, take it to your local STIHL dealer. Sharpen your saw chain, top-up chain lubricant and tension it correctly. On a petrol chainsaw, change the spark plug and clean or replace the air filter. To service your chainsaw you need: • A cloth or brush for basic cleaning • A screwdriver and possibly a socket wrench to disassemble your chainsaw. The right chain file and file gauge to sharpen your chain • Any parts you will be replacing, such as spark plugs, filters, guide bar etc. MAINTENANCE MEASURES EACH TIME YOU USE YOUR CHAINSAW Before using your chainsaw, check that it is safe. Start with a visual check: can you see any damage on the chainsaw or its controls? Are the guide bar, saw chain, chain catcher and other accessories correctly fitted? • Test the throttle trigger, throttle trigger lockout, choke knob, stop switch, master control lever (subject to model). • Test whether the chain brake is working. • Check the condition of the saw chain (does it need further maintenance in terms of sharpness and chain tension?) and the chainsaw guide bar. • Is the chain properly lubricated? • Check whether the fuel tank cap and the oil tank cap are sealed. • There must not be any fuel leaking from the chainsaw. • After use, clean the chainsaw and remove any shavings and dust. PERIODIC MAINTENANCE MEASURES FOR LONG-TERM CHAINSAW CARE • Clean the guide bar (the sprocket nose, the oil inlet-hole, the oil outlet channel and the bar groove), the chain sprocket cover, the cylinder fins and the inside of the shroud and the filter cover. • We recommend turning over and, if necessary, deburring the guide bar each time you change or sharpen the chain. • After breaking in a new saw chain, check the chain tension and make sure the chain is always lubricated. Good cleaning and maintenance will keep your chainsaw in great working order. It will also help you to work safely. Dirty air filters and spark plugs can impair performance and accelerate wear. If maintenance of these components is neglected for long, you may find it difficult to start your chainsaw and notice a significant drop in performance. Talk to your dealer if you spot any problems or are overdue a chainsaw service. TOP TIP: Cleaning after every use is the most important maintenance measure to keep your chainsaw in great condition. That’s because it picks up resin, sawdust and other substances which, in combination with the chain lubricant, can soon cause real problems. Resin accumulates and hardens, and can eventually make its way into the housing and guide bar, or onto the pulley. Remove all traces of resin from the bar and housing at the earliest possible opportunity. Your chainsaw is subjected to a great deal of stress during use, so you need to perform the right maintenance to preserve its exceptional performance. ELECTRIC CHAINSAW MAINTENANCE Electric chainsaws, such as the MSE 141 C or MSE 170 C-B, have a simpler construction than petrol tools, so they require fewer cleaning and maintenance steps. • Remove shavings and dust from the whole chainsaw (use a soft brush, paintbrush or STIHL Superclean Resin Solvent). • Clean the sprocket area with a damp cloth or STIHL Superclean Resin Solvent. • Clean the bar groove. Ongoing chainsawmaintenance is key to preserve its exceptional performance. Here’s everything you need to know about proper storage andmaintenance of your chainsaw courtesy the experts at STIHL Australia. 14 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MARCH - APRIL 2023

• Remove any burrs forming on the bar groove. • Clean the chainsaw ventilation slits with a paintbrush. • Use a STIHL guide bar leveller to remove burrs from the guide bar. STORING YOUR CHAINSAW When you have finished using your petrolpowered chainsaw, there are some steps you can take to make sure it will still be in the best possible condition. Regular petrol contains many additives that can evaporate, react, and attract water. Storing regular petrol inside a machine can cause blockages and gumming to the intricate fuel delivery parts. So, the most important thing to remember is whether you’re storing your STIHL chainsaw. Nobody likes wasting fuel so be mindful of when you are planning to store the tools. Don’t fill the tank right up if you only have a couple of small jobs, as you might not need to use it again for a couple of months. Try to make the most of the fuel you have left so the machine can be put away with an empty fuel tank. Drain the fuel system: To avoid oil leaking from your STIHL chainsaw while it’s in storage, it’s a good idea to drain the fuel from the tank into a suitable fuel container. Make sure you do this in a well-ventilated area. Then, clean the tank and run the carburettor at idle until the chainsaw stops by itself, so the carburettor diaphragms don’t stick together while in storage. Disassemble and clean the chainsaw: Remove the saw chain and guide bar. Clean them and spray them with protective oil. Thoroughly clean the whole chainsaw, especially the cylinder ribs and air filter. Top up the chain lubricant: If you use a vegetable-based chain oil, you should fill the chain lubricant tank to the top to prevent the oil from gumming while in storage; semisynthetic oils such as STIHL SynthPlus chain oil do not gum, and can remain in the tank without having to be topped up. Store the chainsaw somewhere dry: Your chainsaw should be stored in a dry place that is well-ventilated and protected against the harsh Australian elements. As long as the fuel tank is empty, you can store your chainsaw vertically, or even hanging up, otherwise there is a risk of your chainsaw leaking while in storage. Keep the stored chainsaw out of direct sunlight and dust: The Australian sun can be stronger than other continents around the world because during summer the Earth’s orbit brings Australia closer to the sun, resulting in an additional 7 per cent solar UV intensity. Coupled with our clearer atmospheric conditions, this means that the Australian landscape is exposed to up to 15 per cent more UV than across the world. Store your tools in such a way that it is not directly exposed to sunlight, otherwise there may be UV degradation of the body. Make sure that you pack your chainsaw away so that it cannot accumulate dust: STIHL offers special carry bags and cases to protect your tool while it is in storage, such as the Chainsaw Carry Case. Store the chainsaw safely: Always store your chainsaw safely out of reach of people who shouldn’t be using it, including children. It should ideally be in a lockable room or cupboard, or high out of reach. Disposing of fuels and lubricants: Appropriate facilities must be used when disposing of chainsaw fuels and lubricants. You will often find these at recycling centres. Check your local council to see where these are near you. TOP TIP: Run the carburettor at idle so the diaphragms in the carburettor do not stick together while in storage. If there is ever something you are unsure of, all STIHL Dealers are trained and qualified to provide the best possible advice and guidance on how to use all tools in the STIHL range. So, if you’re ever in doubt or have any questions, be sure to contact them first. MARCH - APRIL 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 15

DROUGHT RELIEF Regional Investment Corporation prepares future-ready farms with low-cost Drought Loans Farmers are improving drought recovery, readiness and climate adaptation by accessing a Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) low-cost, long-term loan to better prepare for anticipated severe weather disruptions. Following devastating floods last year in some parts of NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, drying conditions may seem a far cry. But the latest climate research suggests El Niño conditions could be ahead, with prolonged periods of dry fast approaching. In addition to the El Niño Southern Oscillation, climate change continues to influence Australian and global climates. RIC Chief Executive Officer, John Howard said the RIC is pleased to be able to support farm businesses to prepare for drying conditions. “The deeply challenging reality of drying conditions isn’t something we want to think about, but farmers know early preparation is key to their business viability,” Mr Howard said. In the coming decades, Australia is expected to experience ongoing changes to its weather and climate, including more heat extremes and fewer cold extremes, decreases in rainfall and a longer fire season. “A RIC Drought Loan can help farm businesses not only to prepare for the next dry season, but for ongoing hotter and drier conditions as they adapt to climate change,” Mr Howard said. “One customer has used their Drought Loan to build two new dams, increase the size of an existing dam and increase water capacity by about 70 per cent. Another family farming business has used their Drought Loan to adapt to shifting market trends and invest in horticultural crops to future-proof.” According to information available on the RIC website, the purpose of the loan is to prepare for drought; manage or recover from the effects of drought. The loan can be used to: Prepare for drought: Prepare for future droughts through measures including water efficiency techniques, accumulating feed reserves. Fund drought management activities: Pay outstanding bills, pay for fodder or carting of water for livestock or produce. Fund drought recovery activities: Contribute to the cost of drought recovery activities including planting and/or restocking (when seasonal conditions allow). Refinance debt: Refinance certain existing debt at our low interest rate to improve cash flow. KEY FEATURES OF THE DROUGHT LOAN INCLUDE: • a longer term of 10 years offering 5 years interest only, followed by 5 years’ principal and interest • a bility for early repayment with no penalty or the option to refinance the remainder back to a commercial bank at the end of the term • i nterest rates essentially fixed for 6months at a time (reviewed twice per year) • i nterest rates determined by the average of the 10-year government bond rate, not the Reserve Bank of Australia cash rate. “RIC loans are designed to back farmers and provide greater peace of mind so agribusinesses can plan and manage their cashflow in advance. We know that 91 per cent of RIC customers reported their loan made drought recovery easier and 89 per cent had greater confidence in the future of their farmbusiness.” Applicants need to meet all mandatory eligibility criteria to apply for a RIC loan, including demonstrating they are in financial need and have existing commercial debt. Unlike a grant, farm businesses also need to provide security and demonstrate their ability to repay the loan. For more information, log on to ric.gov.au/drought. Image: Tim Keegan, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons