Westbury, Tasmania, March 2015 – When Dave and Andrea Riordan were about to buy their 170 acre farm in the Westbury area of northern Tasmania, they realised the soft ground conditions would be a challenge.
“We’re experienced in the rural scene, however this is the first time we have encountered such wet winter conditions. Not only is there high rainfall; the property also has several springs which make parts of the property quite boggy” Dave said.
“Wheeled tractors had already made a mess of some areas of the property, even preventing a quad bike from negotiating the deep ruts the tractor left behind.”
With the benefit of project management experience, Dave undertook a requirements analysis to find a solution.
“We needed equipment with the flexibility to load hay bales onto trucks; tow a trailer with tools and implements; run a slasher/mulcher; operate a PTO drive; pick up and move timber; load palletised firewood and supplies and carry out a myriad of other farming tasks – but without making an impact on the soft ground.”
“After seeing a Takeuchi TL8 tracked loader that had rippers fitted to the back, I realised that modification of some equipment attached to the ripper bar would make this machine ideal for what we needed.”
“A tow bar fitted to the ripper lets me tow the trailer loaded with implements to where needed and carried back to the shed at the end of the day. In addition, we wanted an air conditioned cab and a reversing camera: the latter already paying for itself by preventing damages from reversing into other equipment.