Autumn. Easy done. ƒ Power through garden tasks with quality tools & expert advice. Print Post Approved PP 100002231 www.power-equipment.com.au INSIDE Taking It To Extremes: All Terrain Maintenance In Full Force: CFMOTO Australia The Power of Steam Volume 43 No. 2 March - April 2022
P: 1800 604 281 email@example.com www.jakmax.com.au Exclusive to JAK Max Rely on Commercial quality pumps, generators & now pressure washers. www.ratopowerproducts.com.au Over 400 servicing RATO dealers nationwide. Exceptional after sales & backup service.
SPECIAL FEATURES REGULAR FEATURES COVER Ride-On Mowers................................................ 10 Reduced Levy Emmisions. ............................... 15 Business Travel. ................................................... 18 Opinion................................................................ 26 Editor’s Column................................................... 4 News........................................................................ 5 Research & Development................................... 9 Operator Profile.................................................. 12 Dealer Profile. ..................................................... 20 Marketing............................................................. 24 Tech Talk.............................................................. 30 New Products...................................................... 32 Diary Dates.......................................................... 34 STIHL’s Autumn Campaign features key partnerships such as Garden Gurus, Better Homes & Gardens' Charlie Albone and the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, strengthening STIHL‘s continual educatation for keen home gardeners and professionals on how they can power through their Autumn tasks with quality tools and advice. Autumn. Easy done. ƒ Power through garden tasks with quality tools & expert advice. Print Post Approved PP 100002231 www.power-equipment.com.au INSIDE Taking It To Extremes: All Terrain Main tenance In Full Force: CFMOTO Australia The Power of Steam Volume 43 No. 2 March - April 2022 JAK Max - your complete forestry parts supplier TOLL FREE firstname.lastname@example.org 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 MARCH - APRIL 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 3
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: email@example.com Sub Editor: Jackie Joy Journalists: Jackie Joy John Power Gary Fooks ADVERTISING Alastair Bryers Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: 0498 555 085 Elaine Sharman Email: email@example.com Mobile: 0411 550 808 ACCOUNTS Melissa Graydon Email: firstname.lastname@example.org SUBSCRIPTIONS Melissa Graydon $60.50 – 6 issues email@example.com 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 2022 is fast evolving into an interesting and eventful year. Globally and geopolitically, the sabre rattling between Russia and NATO as well as closer to home between China and Australia is concerning. I am holding my breath waiting for something to happen and I pray that sense will prevail and all will settle, as there are no winners in war. Supply chain issues are now affecting food supply, impacted by the combination of the pandemic and climate change being experienced globally. Personally, my family have been hit by Covid. So far, all have recovered because of double vaccination, except for my seven-year-old grandson. The general experience was severe cold symptoms and fatigue. I am the only one boosted in our little circle, and the reason I share this is because I unknowingly had my grandson over while he was at his most contagious and somehow did not contract Covid. I like to think, science prevailed. Please continue with all of the safety precautions that were set in place in your personal and business lives. None of us can afford to lose 7+ days in isolation and quarantine! It’s election year again! During a time of crisis as has been our collective experience these last two years, a government/leaders either shine or show how inept they are. We should hold whichever government is in power to the highest standard. I could say so much more but in this instance the politically astute, Gary Fooks, is the person to read on pages 27-26. Enough of politics, let’s get back to the business of OPE. Operator Profile on pages 12-13 covers how All Terrain Maintenance manages difficult slopes with their unmanned machines. I hear Ride-On Mowers are as scarce as hens teeth at the moment! Jak Max have entered the Ride-On Market and are launching their new battery powered ROM’s on page 18. In Tech Talk we have shared CF Moto’s addition of their long wheel based six- seat UTV to their range on pages 30 and 31. STIHL have shared how to get the best out of your chainsaws on pages 16-17, followed by their Product Review on the MS 400 C-M chainsaw on page 23. Jo Katsos once again shares her business insights with us on pages 24-25. In our Training column, Hamish Lorenz shares his expertise on steam high pressure water cleaners that Aussie Pumps specialise in on pages 28-29. For dealer profile Jackie Joy covers Kubota Dealer LK Diesel on pages 20-21. Read about the reduced levy for importers of OPE on page 15. Thank you Steve from Biscount for Computer Guru on page 21. We leave you to discover the rest of the content we have chosen for its relevance and interest to you, our reader. On that note it’s a wrap. All the best for now. Elaine Sharman Editor
Lawn Mower & Chainsaw Sales, Service & Repairs Located in western Sydney, Long Lease - Est. over 23 Years - Very well priced, all reasonable offers considered! For confidential business information email firstname.lastname@example.org Opportunity Not to be Missed! Over $2,000,000 turnover 2020 /2021 Proprietors Net over $500,000 - 2020/2021 For Sale – only $399,000 plus Stock $150,000 Bucktown_03-22.indd 1 15/2/22 12:17 pm BEE PEST SURVEILLANCE FUNDING CRITICAL TO FOOD SECURITY Surveillance at high-risk ports to detect pests and diseases that threaten Australia’s honey bee industry will be extended under a new three-year National Bee Pest Surveillance Program announced recently. The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC), in partnership with Hort Innovation and Grain Producers Australia, will fund the three-year program in collaboration with state and territory governments, while Plant Health Australia will continue to coordinate the initiative. The National Bee Pest Surveillance Program operates at sea and airports throughout Australia, aiming to act as an early warning system to detect new incursions of exotic bee pests and pest bees at likely entry points. AHBIC Chair, Trevor Weatherhead, said dedicating resources and funding to early detection and preparedness was key to protecting Australia’s honey bee industry, which contributes $14.2 billion to the national economy each year. “As an industry, we have worked hard to keep our honey bees healthy and free from the pests and diseases that have impacted bee colonies in other parts of the world,” Mr Weatherhead said. “On behalf of our members, we are delighted to continue supporting this very important program for another three years, for the benefit of all Australians.” OUR FRONT COVER SHOWS… STIHL Australia are regularly educating keen home gardeners and professionals on a range of outdoor topics. It is through expert advice from key partnerships – such as Garden Gurus, Better Homes & Gardens' Charlie Albone and Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria – that customers become more aware of the STIHL brand. By gaining quality gardening knowledge from STIHL and STIHL’s partners, they are excited to visit their local dealer and continue their path to purchasing STIHL product. . MORE INFORMATION STIHL Australia stihl.com.au Autumn. Easy done. ƒ Power through garden tasks with quality tools & expert advice. Print Post Approved PP 100002231 www.power-equipment.com.au INSIDE Taking It To Extremes: All Terrain Maintenance In Full Force: CFMOTO Australia The Power of Steam Volume 43 No. 2 March - April 2022 OUR FRONT COVER SHOWS… NEWS The National Bee Pest Surveillance Program is key to protecting Australia’s honey bee industry. MARCH - APRIL 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 5
Australia’s honey bee industry produces the world’s best honey, however, Mr Weatherhead said it also plays a critical part in pollinating horticultural and agricultural crops, as well as some crops used for livestock grazing. “Without honey bees our dinner plates would look vastly different, with more than a third of our food relying on honey bees for pollination,” he said. “In Australia, 35 industries depend on honey bee pollination with almonds, apples, avocadoes, blueberries, cucumbers, pumpkins, and rockmelons 100 per cent reliant on honey bee pollination services. “Ensuring we can detect any biosecurity issues at the border is essential to protecting our beekeeping industry and the many industries that provide nutritious food for Australians.” COLES NURTURE FUND TO PROVIDE GRANTS TO DRIVE INNOVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY Australian food and beverage producers were invited to apply for financial support from the Coles Nurture Fund to help them drive innovation and sustainability. Coles had opened a new round of the Coles Nurture Fund to provide grants of up to $500,000 for small businesses to develop new market-leading products, processes and technologies. Coles General Manager Corporate Affairs Sally Fielke encouraged small and medium sized businesses to apply for financial support from the Coles Nurture Fund ahead of the deadline on February 25, 2022. “At Coles, we aim to drive generational sustainability in Australia and one of the ways we believe we can do this is by funding innovative projects which make a significant difference - whether it’s increasing recycling and renewable energy, reducing water use or supporting the local production of Australian food and beverages,” Ms Fielke said. Businesses with innovative ideas, fewer than 50 full time employees and turnover of less than $25 million in annual revenue were eligible to apply. Since it was established in 2015, the Coles Nurture Fund has committed more than $28 million in financial support to over 80 Australian producers to help them introduce ground-breaking technology, establish new products and drive innovation and sustainability. Previous projects funded by the Coles Nurture Fund range from Australia’s first quinoa processing facility, to fence posts made from recycled plastic, and a stateof-the-art factory to grow grass indoors. In 2021, the Coles Nurture Fund provided a $455,000 grant to NSW agricultural business, Sawmill Circuit, to purchase a large vacuum truck which will collect manure from 18 dairy farms in Nowra so that it can be transported to a biogas plant which is being built in the local area. Once collected, the manure will be converted to renewable energy and put back into the grid. BEEM IT TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES GIVE CASHBACK REWARDS TO CUSTOMERS Australia’s home-grown digital wallet and payments app Beem It – issued by Digital Wallet Pty Ltd which is part of the eftpos group – is launching a powerful new rewards feature to empower small businesses to create bespoke rewards and offers. The new customisable debit rewards feature, called Beem Rewards, will give 1.5m Beem customers the potential to earn cashback on their spend (terms and conditions apply), and receive offers and rewards from small businesses that join the program. It also features a “map view” that enables customers to discover which small businesses are making offers and where. Digital Wallet, through Beem It, has plans to build an Australian digital marketplace that aims to deliver on the unique needs of Australian consumers and merchants, and flourish through facilitating exceptional customer experiences. Beem It Chief Executive Mark Britt said the rewards landscape was going through significant change and was set for a big shake-up with the new Beem Rewards program. Mr Britt said the new feature will allow small retailers to create tailor-made offers for their customers through Beem. “Beem Rewards is a major new capability that propels the much-loved local digital wallet well beyond its renowned core social payments functionality – like splitting bills, keeping shouts civil and paying back mates,” he said. “It helps consumers that opt in to support Aussie businesses and potentially get something back in return. “After two really tough years, Aussies understand it’s time to back local businesses. Beem Rewards gives businesses a potent new platform to connect with customers and foster better understood relationships.” The Beem Rewards feature is built around better experiences for both customers and merchants alike, via offers tailored from both ends to achieve a great fit. Rewards funds return to a “jar” within a participating customer’s wallet which can be cashed out to a nominated debit card (terms and conditions apply). Small businesses wanting to sign up for a trial can do so by visiting : www.beemit.com.au/beemrewards JOHN DEERE ANNOUNCES FIRST AUTONOMOUS TRACTOR FOR LARGESCALE PRODUCTION The unveiling of John Deere’s first entirely autonomous tractor for largescale use at the prestigious CES® 2022 Awards in Las Vegas has placed autonomous technology at the farmgate, with the machine on course to be available to farmers in the US as early as this year. The tractor combines John Deere’s popular 8R Tractor, TruSet™-enabled chisel plough, and GPS guidance system to deliver the next iteration of farming innovation in a product that will be ideally suited to meet the demands of broadacre cropping in Australia with unprecedented efficiency. John Deere Managing Director Australia/New Zealand, Luke Chandler, said the tractor was the culmination of industry-leading technology and a dedicated vision to provide farmers with NEWS 6 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MARCH - APRIL 2022
tools to produce safe and nutritious food and fibre to a growing global population. “With the world population forecast to increase to nearly 10 billion people by 2050 global food demand is predicted to grow by 50 per cent, meaning farmers will need to be as efficient and sustainable as possible in every phase of production,” Mr Chandler said. “To assist in bridging that gap, John Deere is continually advancing technology to help farmers meet this challenge and to do so while working with reduced access to land and skilled labour, changing climate and weather conditions, variations in soil quality and the presence of weeds and pests. “This autonomous tractor is an extremely exciting innovation that will help to ensure Australian farmers have the opportunity to adopt era-defining AgTech to address these challenges and to support high-performing and sustainable farm businesses.” The autonomous tractor operates within less than 2.5cm of accuracy and is continuously checking its position relative to a virtual geofence. Six pairs of stereo cameras enable 360-degree obstacle detection and calculate distance, with the images captured by the cameras passing through a neural network that classifies each pixel in approximately 100 milliseconds. This determines if the machine continues to move or stops, depending on if an obstacle is detected. John Deere Australia/New Zealand Production Systems Manager, Ben Kelly, emphasised the transformative nature of the technology to farming operations. “Globally, Australian farmers have always led in the adoption of AgTech, and as they continue to be faced with limited availability of skilled labour, access to autonomous machinery for large scale production has never been so important,” Mr Kelly said. “With this new tractor, it is as simple as transporting the machine to a field and configuring it for autonomous operation. Then, using John Deere Operations Center, farmers can swipe from left to right to start the machine and can leave the field to focus on other tasks, while monitoring its status from their mobile device.” John Deere Operations Center™ provides access to live video, images, data, and allows farmers to adjust speed, depth and more from the mobile app. In the event of job quality anomalies or machine health issues, farmers are notified remotely and can make adjustments to optimise the performance of the machine. “The tractor will be available to a limited number of US customers for purchase this year, before it is rolled out gradually to other countries, including Australia, over the next few years,” Mr Chandler said. NEW BIOSECURITY COLLABORATION TO PROTECT AUSTRALIAN CITRUS INDUSTRY Australia’s $900 million citrus industry could face serious production and market access risks if the industry is not adequately prepared to manage future biosecurity threats. A new five-year national biosecurity program,CitrusWatch, is a collaborative effort that is designed to protect the citrus industry from harmful exotic pests and diseases such as Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorinacitri) and huánglóngbìng (HLB). CitrusWatch is funded by Hort Innovation, using the citrus research and development levy, the Plant HealthAustralia (PHA) biosecurity levy and contributions from the Australian Government. The Northern Territory Government’s Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade (the department) and research group, Cesar Australia, will provide surveillance, communication and research support. Led by PHA, with activities coordinated by Citrus Australia, the program aims to expand surveillance, conduct NEWS MARCH - APRIL 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 7
industry training , lead risk assessment and modelling , and improve governance and collaboration. “CitrusWatch is designed to bolster surveillance mechanisms and increase expertise to quickly detect, identify, and address incursions of high priority pests,” said Dr Sharyn Taylor, National Manager Surveillance and Diagnostics at PHA. Early detection of an exotic pest means taking early containment or eradication action during an incursion. A strong collaboration of industry, government and the community set a new standard in successfully eradicating citrus canker from the Northern Territory and north-west Western Australia. Australia was declared citrus canker free within three years of first detecting the disease. “CitrusWatch will further build and protect this partnership approach,” said Dr Taylor. The Australian citrus industry is a large and vibrant horticultural industry, with over 28,000 hectares of citrus planted by around 1,400 growers. Oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes, grapefruit and tangelos are grown in most states and territories. “Australian citrus is a mature export industry with access to most major markets around the world,” said Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock. “An exotic pest or disease incursion could shut the industry down overnight. We have a strong focus on staying disease and pest free to maintain access to world markets and support our growers,” he said. CitrusWatch’s holistic surveillance approach will not only include commercial production areas, but also, highdensity, high-risk, urban and peri-urban regions throughout Australia, to support both an industry and community early detection network. FOOD GRADE MARKER SYSTEM FOR OYSTERS DEVELOPED Security Matters Limited, a company focused on digitising physical objects on the blockchain to enable a circular and closed loop economy, has announced that extensive laboratory tests on marking oyster shells with a food grade marker while the oyster is cleaned and processed, have now been successfully completed. The global oyster market had an estimated value of US$7.5 billion in 2018 and is the first of several large superfood markets that SMX is targeting with its marker technology to ensure brand provenance and efficacy, which is necessary for product authenticity and marketability. Commercial negotiations with interested oyster suppliers have already begun and full marking activities are planned for the end of Q1 2022 by these early adopters. As announced in the half year 2021 report, in 2022 the SMX food department will expand its operations further by including the ability to mark, track and trace cocoa, palm oil, soy and other kinds of seeds. SMX’s oyster development provides companies with the ability to ensure brand provenance, protection of quality, traceability, and authenticity of the premium oysters for clients and their consumers. Providing special security features, the use of SMX’s marker will enable the invisible labelling of oyster shells with information on its exact geographical origin. The SMX marker can be incorporated into the oyster cleaning and packaging process. The marking system is not affected by refrigerated environments typical to the industry and survived the shelf life of the oysters. SMX’s digital blockchain platform, can provide information on the oyster shell which can detect and read its origin precisely in real time at any point along the value chain, without destroying the product. As part of the industrialization of this technology, the tangible SMX marker will be linked to its digital twin on the blockchain, which is known to be particularly forgery-proof. Prior to SMX’s solution, globally oysters have been targeted and stolen from farms and resold due to the limited ability to mark and identify where an oyster originated, compared to other farmed goods. This has resulted in significant losses for oyster farms. Through SMX’s technology, clients can easily and quickly mark and identify every oyster in their farm. SMX will continue with its strategy to focus on low volume/high value products where product origination, authentication and efficacy are essential for end consumers. SMX’s Founder and CEO Haggai Alon said, “This is the first of several large superfood markets where our technology can be applied to provide all value chain players with the ability to meet the consumers and stakeholders’ expectations on the origination of their products and sustainability, whilst also increasing the marketability of products which has the potential to increase sales.” NEWS Oyster lease in South Australia. Image: Saoysters, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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 *Offer is available for business borrowers only. This 1.9% p.a. finance rate offer is only available with a minimum 20% deposit, from 12–36 monthly repayments and minimum financed amount of $4,000. Terms, conditions, fees, charges and credit criteria apply. Different term and different deposit may result in a different rate. Credit provided by Kubota Australia Pty Ltd ABN 72005300621. This finance offer is available until 30/06/22 and applies to new Diesel Generators. BACK-UP POWER Call now for your nearest dealer. 1300 582 582 | kubota.com.au Seriously Reliabile New robot traps pests for 80kms The latest iteration of a pest and disease trapping robot has landed in the Adelaide Hills, ready to capture, identify and warn industry of any threats to horticulture farms and vineyards. Deployed off the back of a trailer, the $100,000 Sentinel 7 features high volume air samplers to collect airborne fungal spores, plus multiple suction traps that draw in insectswithin its immediate vicinity and migratory bugs from distances of up to 80kms with the help of wind currents. Being delivered throughHort Innovation with 17 partner organisations as part of the $21M iMapPESTS initiative, the Sentinel 7 will proceed to Naracoorte, South Australia after an 8-week stint in the Adelaide Hills. Hort Innovation Head of Research and Development Byron de Kock said the development of the Sentinel 7 marks the culmination of more than two years of work by scientists in collaboration with growers. “Exotic or unwanted plant pests put the nation’s $32B broadacre, horticulture and forestry industries at great risk,” he said. “Through this project, we have been able to create a purpose-built unit that has been refined through previous iterations and is mobile, easy to use and most importantly, really effective at detecting and trapping pests. The innovative device also boasts an automatic online dashboard that presents data to growers to review in real time.” South Australian Research and Development Institute senior scientist, Dr RohanKimber, saidthatthelaunchofSentinel 7 marks the evolution of a proof-of-concept idea about modernizing our approach to monitoring plant pests and diseases across Australia’s diverse growing regions. “Sentinel 7 is a userfriendly, flexible and optimised mobile surveillance device that offers industry an opportunity to adapt to dynamic growing conditions and stay on the front foot of managing pests and diseases,” he said. Adelaide Hills vegetable grower Richard Cobbledick said the iMapPESTS sentinel work offers an exciting glimpse into what could be a future where managing pest threats is so much easier. “I’m really keen to see how the information generated by these high-tech devices can be extended to a system where I get a ping on my phone with a warning or alert to look out for a particular pest or disease,” Mr Cobbledick said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the technology develops and delivers to industry.” iMapPESTS is led by Hort Innovation, through funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment as part of its Rural R&D for Profit program, with contributions from fellow Rural Research and Development Corporations, State Governments, research and data agencies, and industry representative groups. More information on this project including previous Sentinel versions is available on the iMapPESTS website. RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT MARCH - APRIL 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 9
The future is here Whether you’re a keen domestic gardener, land owner or small commercial operator, Greenworks’ newest arrivals – the 42” Ride on and Zero TurnMowers will suit all your needs. Easy to use, these mowers can mow up to 2 acres on one charge. Powered by lithium batteries, which are fully compatible with the entire Greenworks 60V range, the mowers will get the job done without the hassle of petrol. 42" RIDE ON MOWER This is fully compatible withGreenworks’ entire 60V range. This unit is powered by six state-of-the-art 60V 8.0Ah batteries, and charges in 60 minutes with the aid of the three 10A dual port charges – all included. With a top speed of 12.8 km per hour and the ability to cut up to 2 acres, the Greenworks ZTR will get the job done without the hassle of petrol. So, drop the decibels and emissions to levels that keep everyone happy. Technical Details Voltage: 60V Cutting Deck: 42 inch Length: 74.4 inch Height: 52.5 inch Width (with side discharge): 50 inch Forward Speed: 12.8 km/h Reverse Speed: 4.8km/h National Service Network: Yes Replaceable Batteries: Yes Min. Cutting Height: 1.5 inch Max Cutting Height: 4.5 inch Runtime: Up to 2 Acres (with 6 x 8.0Ah batteries) Charging Time: 60 minutes (with 3 x 10A dual port chargers) Connectivity: 4G/App connected Compatible with full 60V Range: Yes 42" ZERO TURN MOWER The GREENWORKS 42" zero turn mower is fully compatible with Greenworks’ entire 60V range. This unit is powered by six state of the art 60V 8.0Ah batteries, and charges in 60 minutes with the aid of the three 10A dual port charges – all included. With a top speed of 12 km per hour and the ability to cut up to 2 acres, the Greenworks ZTR c. Technical Details Voltage: 60V Cutting Deck: 42 inch Length: 67 inch Height: 46 inch Width (with side discharge): 53 inch Forward Speed: 12.0 km/h Reverse Speed: 4.8km/h National Service Network: Yes Replaceable Batteries: Yes Min. Cutting Height: 1.5 inch Max Cutting Height: 4.5 inch Runtime: Up to 2 Acres (with 6 x 8.0Ah batteries) Charging Time: 60 minutes (with 3 x 10A dual port chargers) Connectivity: 4G/App connected Compatible with full 60V Range: Yes RIDE-ON MOWERS A look at the new arrivals from JAK Max - the Greenworks 60V 42 inch Ride On and Zero Turn Mower. 10 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MARCH - APRIL 2022
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All Terrain Maintenance in South-East Queensland handles ‘extreme’ mowing and clearing jobs that others are afraid to tackle. JOHN POWER looks at the day-to-day operations of this specialist business, including its numerous benefits for customers. TAKING IT TO EXTREMES OPERATOR: All Terrain Maintenance REPRESENTATIVE: Business Owner Wes Burton LOCATION: South-East Queensland CONTACT: www.allterrainmaintenance.com.au We’ll start with a mental picture: Imagine a steep roadside verge, its horrendous 60-degree incline sweeping upwards into mountain goat territory from a highway. Now cover the ground with two-metrehigh lantana (a tropical shrubby weed that grows in dense thickets) and imagine how such a slope might be cleared. An F16 fighter with a good supply of napalm springs to mind. On the other hand, an LV600 remote controlled flail mower, which can operate safely on densely vegetated inclines up to 60 degrees, might be more practical. Wes Burton, owner of All Terrain Maintenance, is one of a handful of private operators in South-East Queensland running an LV600 (as well as a smaller LV500) for clients as far away as northern NSW. These extreme machines, which Wes operates with either a flail mower head or finishing deck, are a sight to behold. The LV600, for instance, with its 60hp turbo diesel engine and tracked wheels, weighs 1.7 tonnes and looks like it could tunnel its way through a mountain. Typical applications – private and government-based – include vegetation removal from acreage and horse properties, roadside and OPERATOR PROFILE All Terrain Maintenance can cover a large business territory thanks to the portability of the equipment.
embankment mowing and clearing , land reclamation, pathway and track clearance, bushfire mitigation, as well as general weed eradication and property maintenance. Wes started the business, which has two full-time staff, four years ago with the purchase of his LV600 (replacement cost $135,000), and he has slowly built up a loyal and diverse customer base thanks to the mixed benefits of his extreme service. Safety, Wes says, specifically the ability to offer a safe alternative to the dangerous use of ride-on mowers in steep terrains – was a major driving force for starting the business. “Before starting All Terrain Maintenance, I had contracted doing commercial fencing and landscaping for some regional councils up this way for about 20 years, and I saw what I thought was an opening in regard to safety for this machine,” he explains, noting that many maintenance personnel continue to use unfit-for-purpose, conventional ride-on mowers on steep slopes, risking life and limb from rollover. “The other big attraction of using specialist machines like ours is the reduced cost.” As an example, Wes says some SouthEast Queensland councils employ teams of up to 10 workers, each equipped with a brushcutter and harness, to slide down embankments in unforgiving environments at considerable cost to ratepayers. “Not only can we do that kind of work for less than half the overall cost, but we can also remove the dangers of slips and falls that a large team of guys in harnesses might face every day.” HOW IT WORKS As stated, the LV600 is a remote-controlled unit. Under normal conditions, an operator walks behind the machine with a cableconnected remote control, actively monitoring the immediate landscape for hidden obstacles like stumps, fence wire, or rocks. Sound is also an important indicator of heavy or smooth going: “Your best friend is your ears,” Wes says. “If the machine bogs down, you’ll hear the engine, even the turbo, load up… and you can hear it even through the ear protection we wear. The minute you hear the first clatter, you have to decide if it’s just the terrain and it’ll handle it, or if you should back off completely.” While capable of covering ground at up to 9kph, a realistic speed when chomping through dense undergrowth is a walking speed of 4kph. Safety first: the LV600 remote-controlled mower does extreme work while crews keep a safe distance. “A lot of people like straight trails blazed for horses or surveyors, so often we can’t take too many deviations in direction,” Wes says. “So, we’ll have someone on the remote control operating the machine, someone else with a chainsaw clearing stuff out of the way, and someone just running diesel and grease and cold water, and then we swap out.” The business carries an assortment of handheld equipment and tools for supplementary tasks. Gear includes STIHL chainsaws, brush hooks, splitting axes, wire cutters (“because wire is everywhere thanks to our old farmer friends”), and recovery thongs. Variable terrains and different thicknesses of vegetation dictate how long each job takes to complete. Sometimes, if tough terrain masks obstacles that might pose a hazard to the flail blades, Wes will perform a ‘first pass’ to a depth of 30cm or so to address the primary bulk, followed by a lower second pass to target the remaining storks and light trunks. The LV600 will easily cut through softwood saplings up to 125mm diameter without too much trouble in well hydrated settings; however, denser wood from species like wild tobacco, particularly in dry soils, can be “hard as rock” at 50mm diameter. “Of course, you could buy a ‘forestry head’ for it for about $50,000, which has a fixed hammer rather than a pivoting flail – like a three-inch block with a hardened edge – and that would go through 150mm of ironbark! But it’s horses for courses.” MARCH - APRIL 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 13
The machine deposits chewed vegetation as it goes, creating a green bed of mulch that acts as a weed suppressant while reducing the risk of bushfire. Wes’ cutting and mulching regime has additional environmental benefits: whereas bulldozer clearing removes pest plants ‘roots and all’, potentially leaving soils vulnerable to erosion and subsequent weed revival, a machine like the LV600 allows soils to retain their full profile intact – an important factor on steep ground that might be subject to heavy weathering. Similarly, land clearing using harsh weed killing chemicals alone can take repeated applications to succeed, and the dead vegetation is still there as a fire trap. “But with our system, the impenetrable heavy vegetation is removed, and all the property owner needs to do after we’ve gone is use a light herbicide to make sure weeds don’t come back,” he says. The array of variables relating to each task makes cost/job duration estimates difficult, “but my sales pitch is: If you’re not happy with me after the first hour, send me home and it’s free of charge. I’ve operated four years now, but more often than not people are so happy with the results they ask me to stay the whole day!” CARING FOR MACHINERY Operating in steep and harsh terrain can be tough on equipment, but Wes says he has had surprisingly few problems – he still uses his original machines with fewmechanical modifications and performs his own maintenance. Aside from having to replace a water pump bearing and give it an adjustable belt, Wes says he has only had to carry out routine maintenance tasks. Sixty reversible flail blades ($10 each) are replaced every 50–60 hours following general use, though a set can last 80-100 hours in softer settings. “I do everything myself like the blades, regular oil changes, regular observation of hydraulic oil levels, and greasing everything you can possibly get grease into,” he says. “And the only modifications I’ve made have been protection bars; the four-piece radiator at the back, which is probably worth $7-10,000, was protected by a piece of plastic,” he explains, “so I’ve put a metal bar over it. Also, the onboard digital dashboard was exposed and quite vulnerable to spikes of timber, so I have put a polycarbonate box over that.” BUSINESS GROWTH After four years of operation, Wes says both government and private customers are becoming increasingly aware of the business and its unique capabilities. Government departments appreciate the enhanced safety of the remote-controlled machinery, while landowners are always excited to see what lies beneath their newly cleared land. “We even discovered a dam once that the property owner didn’t know they had!” Wes says. “You never know what you’ll find.” OPERATOR PROFILE The operator walks behind the mower with a remote control. Steep roadside verges like this would be impossible to cut with an ordinary ride-on mower. 14 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MARCH - APRIL 2022
LEVY & FEES Big levy reductions for importers of outdoor power equipment and marine engines The levy on importing non-road and marine engines has been significantly reduced. This follows a review of the Australian Government’s cost setting standards under the Product Emissions Standards Scheme. The levy on imported non-road and marine engines will reduce by more than a quarter, a huge win for those in the marine and outdoor power engine industry. Previously, the levy was charged at 0.45 per cent of the value of an imported product. This will now be reduced to 0.33 per cent, a positive outcome for levy payers and the environment. This change comes after a review of the government’s Product Emissions Standards in late 2021 which showed the Standards are successfully reducing air pollution. Prior to commencement of the Standards, marine and non-road engines were a significant and growing contributor to air pollution in urban areas across Australia, emitting high levels of particulate matter, hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen. More information about the import levy and reduction of fees is available on the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website. THE PRODUCT EMISSIONS STANDARDS SCHEME Australia’s Product Emissions Standards help improve air quality, protecting human health and the environment. By setting emissions standards and stopping high-emitting products from entering Australia, pollutants in the air are reduced. The Product Emissions Standards, introduced in 2017, have been successful in reducing air pollutants harmful to human health and the environment in Australia. The rules cover new spark-ignition engines with a maximum power of 19 kilowatts, or 25.5 horse-power, such as lawn mowers, mulchers, leaf blowers, generators and chainsaws, as well as new spark-ignition engines in marine vessels. By setting emissions standards and stopping high-emitting products from entering Australia, air pollution has been reduced throughout the country. The Standards are expected to deliver $1.7 billion in avoided health costs over 20 years. The Standards have also contributed to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Carbondioxide emissions from engines covered by the standards have reduced by at least 5 per cent, assisting Australia in meeting its climate change targets. REVIEW OF THE PRODUCT EMISSIONS STANDARDS SCHEME The Australian Government, through the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, undertook a review of the cost recovery settings for the Product Emissions Standards in late 2021. The review found that as initial scheme costs have now been recovered, and import volumes are predicted to remain strong in coming years, so the levy rate could be reduced. As a result, reductions in levy charges are being implemented later in 2022. The cost of administering the standards is recovered from industry via a levy on the import and manufacture of marine and non-road engines. Previously, the levy was charged at 0.45 per cent of the value of an imported product¬ – this has now been reduced to 0.33 per cent. For example, for a $300 lawn mower, this equates to a reduction in the levy from $1.35 to $0.99 per product. COST RECOVERY IMPLEMENTATION STATEMENT The Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) for Product Emissions Standards for sparkignition, non-road engines and equipment and propulsion marine engines is a document that provides information on how the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment implements cost recovery. It includes changes to the levy fees for the 2021-22 period. The 2021-22 Cost Recovery Implementation Statement is available on the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website. MARCH - APRIL 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 15
MAINTENANCE How to maintain and store your chainsaw As the number one selling brand of chainsaws globally, STIHL tools have been delivering legendary performance since 1926. Nevertheless, professional arborists and property owners know that a split second cutting in dirty wood is all it takes to dull your saw chain. For those who demand the utmost in reliability, regular maintenance becomes all the more important. Whether you’re a battery convert or petrol user, your chainsaw will last and perform better if you take the time to maintain, store and service it correctly. MAINTENANCE BEFORE USE STIHL dealers recommend performing regular maintenance and cleaning your tool after every use. It’s the best way to ensure that your chainsaw provides the very best cutting performance and will last for many years to come. Before using your tool, 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 correctly fitted? Test the throttle trigger, throttle trigger lockout, choke knob, stop switch, chain break and master control lever (subject to model). 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. If something isn’t right and a repair is needed, take the chainsaw to your local STIHL dealer to look at. If your chainsaw is in good working order, the next step is to check your saw chain is sharp. You can tell by the size of the sawdust – big chips mean your chain is sharp, small chips and dust) means the teeth are dull. If your chainsaw is in need of a sharpen, try the STIHL 2-in-1 file holder. With 30 degree sharpening angle guides, it’s the easy way to achieve precision every time. You can also pair with a stump vice to sharpen your chainsaw on the go. MAINTENANCE AFTER USE 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 Regular cleaning helps to combat premature wear to your chainsaw guide bar and saw chain. To get them properly clean, first remove the saw chain and the guide bar. Next, remove oil residue and dirt from the oil outlet port and channel, then clean the oil inlet hole and the bar groove. You can use a filing gauge for this, or a high-quality resin solvent like STIHL VarioClean. The water-based, alkaline detergent will dissolve and remove organic oil residues, cleaning your air filters and housings. You should also 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. STIHL dealers advise turning over and, if necessary, deburring the guide bar each time you change or sharpen the chain. To clean the housing, wipe it down with damp cloth. For battery chainsaws, you should also use a damp cloth to clean both the battery and the battery slot. A paintbrush is useful for cleaning electrical contacts. After breaking in a new saw chain, check the chain tension and make sure the chain is always lubricated. ONGOING CHAINSAW MAINTENANCE There are various additional maintenance measures that you need to carry out at different intervals. These measures will differ 16 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MARCH - APRIL 2022
between electric, battery and petrol models – a few key points are listed below. Electric chainsaws: These 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 resin solvent like STIHL Superclean. • Clean the sprocket area with a damp cloth or resin solvent. • Clean the bar groove. • Remove any burrs forming on the bar groove. • Clean the chainsaw ventilation slits with a paintbrush. Battery chainsaws: As well as the measures listed above, battery chainsaw require the following additional measures: • Remove foreign bodies from the battery slot and clean the battery slot with a damp cloth. • Clean the electrical contacts in the battery slot with a paintbrush or soft brush. Petrol chainsaws: If you have a petrol chainsaw, there are a few other maintenance considerations to keep inmind: • Check that the fuel and chain lubricant tanks are sealed and that no fuel or lubricant is leaking from them. • Regularly clean the air filter and the air filter housing. • Check the spark plug for wear and remove any soot on a regular basis. For maintenance instructions specific to your chainsaw model, always check the operating instructions supplied with your STIHL tool. STORING YOUR CHAINSAW To ensure your tool can perform at its best, follow these instructions before storing: • If your chainsaw uses petrol, empty the fuel tank in a well-ventilated place into an approved container and then clean it. Remember to drain the carburettor first, to prevent the carburettor diaphragms from sticking together. (After emptying the tank, start and run saw until the saw stalls) • Dismantle the chainsaws by removing the chain and guide bar. Clean then spray with protective oil such as STIHL MULTISPRAY. • Store your chainsaw (as well as any battery and charger) in a dry place that is well ventilated and protected from the weather. Avoid direct sunlight as UV rays can create UV embrittlement. Keeping it outdoors is not advisable. • Your chainsaw should always be packed away in a dust-free environment. STIHL offers purpose-built cases to protect your machine – these are available in small, medium and large sizes so there’s a case for every model. • Always store your chainsaw out of reach of other people, especially children. The best place to store it is in a lockable room or cupboard. • Never store a battery powered tool with the battery inside the machine. GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR STIHL CHAINSAW There are a number of benefits when it comes to using STIHL genuine accessories. Stay protected: Helmet sets, gloves, protective pants and chaps provide a high level of protection for chainsaw users. Chainsaw cases are the best way to protect the tool itself, especially when transporting. Be prepared: Experience Swiss precision with a pre-stretched STIHL saw chain. Featuring Oilomatic drive links which channel oil directly into the rivets, reducing friction and wear. High quality STIHL guide bars are also available, with a sealed bearing in the nose sprocket for a lifetime of lubrication. Optimise performance: STIHL MotoMix high performance pre-mixed 2-Stroke fuel can be stored up to 2 years and has excellent cold start properties. For lubrication, try HP Ultra 2-Stroke oil or BioPluschain oil, all available from your local STIHL dealer. SERVICING YOUR CHAINSAW It’s a good idea to service your chainsaw once yearly at your local STIHL dealer. They are well-equipped to educate you on regular maintenance and help keep your tools running optimally. Not only that, STIHL-trainedmechanics use genuine STIHL parts, ensuring your tools remain a pleasure to use for years to come. To book a service, find your local dealer at stihldealers.com.au
Safe travel in times of a pandemic SAFETY TomWalley, General Manager at Corporate Traveller, a division of Flight Centre Travel Group, lists 7 safety actions SMEs should implement before returning to travel Businesses are starting to plan their travel for 2022, however as the pandemic continues and new variants emerge, travel will remain a complex, yet doable business activity. Pre-planning and risk assessment to prioritise traveller safety and minimise disruptions must be a greater priority for businesses before resuming travel. Here are seven must-have safety protocols businesses should implement: 1 Establish pre-travel authorisations Organisations would be wise to establish pre-approvals and booking procedures to provide better visibility over travel. This can include developing a mandatory booking process that clearly outlines the booking channels that can be used for all forms of travel, transport, and accommodation, as well as the senior leaders tasked with approving travel. Use a centralised system, such as a platform developed specifically for the organisation or provided by a TMC to book travel. This can help businesses better manage travel and make changes quickly based on emerging issues. 2 Conduct a travel risk assessment prior to planning and booking travel A travel risk assessment allows businesses to identify, analyse, and evaluate security threats and health and safety hazards that could occur during travel. TMCs can conduct such assessments on a company’s behalf or businesses can perform them independently. Business would first assess potential risks and likelihood of them occurring. These could range from personnel risk, including injury or illness, legal risk, financial risk, and data risk, including breaches in data and confidentiality. To analyse such risks, organisations can seek expert advice or source information from local government agencies and embassies, along with location-specific crime statistics. 3 A ssess and approve accommodation and transportation based on health, safety, and security risks. Organisations need to consider potential health, safety and security risks when determining approved accommodation for travellers. The standard outlines how organisations can assess accommodation options, including assessing security policies and procedures, such as evacuation and other emergency procedures, evaluating the risk to data associated with internet service provided by a hotel, as well as the suitability of amenities, such as a room safe to keep personal and business property secure. The same applies to transportation. Organisations can consider a policy regarding airlines to use, assessing factors such as safety record and hygiene measures. For ground transportation, organisations can also stipulate pre-arranged transport options, such as authorised public taxis employees can use. 4 Source relevant, reliable, and up-todate information and advice for travelling employees. Organisations should proactively source relevant and reliable information and advice toprovide to its travellers prior to andduring travel. It should be location-specific and highlight the medical and security levels of risk. Organisations that travel regularly can also consider onboarding a travel management company, which are equipped with innovative technology and expert teams that can source and provide information to businesses and travellers in real-time. 5 Perform pre-and-post-travel checks on all travelling employees. Pre-travel checks can assess whether an employee is medically fit to travel, whether that be COVID-related or general health. Checks should consider pre-existing health conditions and ensure procedures such as testing, vaccinations and quarantine are adhered to prior to travel, particularly if an employee is travelling to a location with a high rate of COVID cases. Post-travel checks are also important, particularly if a traveller has been involved in a stressful situation or event. To minimise risks, organisations can also advise employees to travel with appropriate first-aid equipment and medicines or equip travellers with a medical kit. 6T rack travellers for peace of mind. The standard outlines three methods organisations can consider to track travellers: itinerary-based, expenses-based, or technology-based. However, tracking travellers should only be used to ensure their safety and give businesses peace of mind, particularly when travelling to a high-risk location. Itinerary-based tracking relates to the collation of booking information, from transportation to accommodation, to identify where travellers will be, and when, throughout their journey. Organisations could use a system that tracks an employee’s expenses, which can indicate where the traveller has been as well as ensure travel budgets are adhered to. Technology-based tracking involves using a device or specific app on the employee’s phone which can monitor and record movements, allowing organisations to view their precise location. 7 Evaluate the travel program through employee surveys. Businesses can conduct employee surveys to identify any gaps and areas of improvement needed in their travel program. The surveys assess all areas of the travel program, including the support and information provided before andduring travel, the bookingprocess, and the overall travel experience. The survey could ask for specific feedback, particularly regarding health and safety, to ensure travel remains seamless and safe for all employees. 18 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MARCH - APRIL 2022