Trio of RoGators for Day family in NSW
Latest RoGators sophisticated but simple to use says NSW farmer
Running a large farming operation requires efficiency, and RoGator self-propelled sprayers have proven to be just the ticket in that regard for the Day family.
Based in Oaklands in southern New South Wales, Shannon Day and his uncle Gavin farm around 14,000 hectares (35,000 acres), with the bulk of the operation, nearly 10,000 hectares, in broadacre crops.
“With a property of this size, time is everything for us. Having these machines makes the work easier and we get more time to concentrate on other areas of the business,” Shannon says.
“It also frees you up for family time. Definitely getting family time is a priority.”
Shannon's grandfather Pat started out as a local transport operator serving farmers in the area and he could see the opportunity that farming offered.
“Pop started buying farms in the early 1970s. He was always working for farmers carting fertiliser and grain, so he always had a connection with farming.
“He bought smaller properties in the same area and joined them together, gradually building it up to the business we have now.”
Shannon's father Peter continues to run the transport operation with a fleet of 40 trucks on the road, while Pat is still very much hands-on with both businesses.
Six full-time staff are employed on the farm, along with Gavin and Shannon, and they employ seasonal workers as needed.
The farm runs a cropping rotation primarily of wheat, barley and canola.
“We do two or three cereals to break it back into canola. Around here that's the standard rotation,” Shannon says.
“The yields have not been great the last couple of years with the dry conditions, but in the last 10 years we have averaged 3.8 tonnes of cereals and 5 tonnes in a good year. Canola yields are 2-3 tonnes.”
The Day family has been using RoGator self-propelled sprayers for the last 15 years. They bought their first RoGator 1274 from their local Croplands dealer back in 2005, and it is still going strong, having clocked up more than 11,000 hours in operation.
“They are a simple enough machine to operate. It is really the ease of use and the simplicity that has kept that one going for so long,” Shannon says.
“We have had no serious mechanical issues, only with the hydraulic piston-driven motors, which we have replaced.”
Shannon says the newer models now have a motor and hub design which make them more efficient.
The Day family added a RoGator 1100C with a 120-ft boom to their fleet last year, and they took possession of a brand new RoGator 1300C at the beginning of the year.
The RoGator 1300C also has a 120-ft boom. Shannon is particularly impressed with the simplicity of the new machines, their automation, and the height controls on the boom.
“The screen has a lot of information on it and they have done really well putting that whole package together and getting it working well.
“We looked at other machines, but we have just been blown away with 1300C. It is really compressed and simple.
“While we have only been operating it for a couple of weeks it is amazing to think about how far we have come with the technology.”
While his uncle Gavin is the main driver of the RoGator 1274, Shannon has been taking charge of the new machines. He says he would have no hesitation in employing and training new operators for them.
“They are simple enough. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to drive them. In the long run, we will probably have drivers for the two new machines.”