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DBS and ProTrakker prove right combination

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General
Cranbrook farmer Theo Cunningham (left) and Burando Hill salesman Michael Kowald discuss the hydraulic set-up on the ProTrakker guidance system, which is connected to the Cunningham's DBS precision seeder. It's a system growing in popularity to establish crops in the previous year's rows without disturbing stubble.

Cranbrook farmer Theo Cunningham (left) and Burando Hill salesman Michael Kowald discuss the hydraulic set-up on the ProTrakker guidance system, which is connected to the Cunningham's DBS precision seeder. It's a system growing in popularity to establish crops in the previous year's rows without disturbing stubble.

Cranrook farmer Theo Cunningham (left) and Burando Hill salesman Michael Kowald in front of a healthy GD53 canola crop which was established in April . “We can achieve these sort of crops more consistently now we have a ProTrakker linked to a DBS and liquid injection,” Theo said.

Cranrook farmer Theo Cunningham (left) and Burando Hill salesman Michael Kowald in front of a healthy GD53 canola crop which was established in April . “We can achieve these sort of crops more consistently now we have a ProTrakker linked to a DBS and liquid injection,” Theo said.

By KEN WILSON
CRANBROOK farmer Theo Cunningham calls the ProTrakker guidance hitch, a game-changer.
It’s a big call but results on the family farm are impressive and Theo, along with his parents Twynam and Elizabeth are convinced it’s a new tool which can provide more consistent crop yields.
Their appraisal of the hydraulically-controlled ProTrakker was measured against a background of issues on the family farm which has moved to 70 per cent cropping (3000ha) mixed with carrying 10,000 sheep, including 6000 Billandri-blood breeding Merino ewes.

With a district average annual rainfall of 500mm, Cranbrook is a safe district, but there still remains non-wetting issues.
The Cunninghams immediately saw the advantage of the ProTrakker - in combination with their Ausplow DBS precision seeder - providing the ability to sow into the previous year’s crop rows without disturbing stubbles (so-called edge-row sowing) and thus overcoming non-wetting problems with the bonus of accessing moisture and residual nutrients.
“Non-wetting was a big reason why we bought the ProTrakker,” Twynam said. “And it also has given us the ability to sow to a date, whether it has rained or not.
“And that’s very important in this environment where getting crops growing and active before winter is difficult if you have too much moisture and low soil temperatures.
“But if you can get the plants away early, they will power away through winter.”
And that will go a long way to raising the bar on their crop yields.

The ProTrakker was bought in 2015 from WA distributor Burando Hill and after three seasons of use, Theo says the theory of the benefits of edge-row sowing is now solid fact.
“It has given us the ability to establish crops every year during the optimum growing window while minimising the risk of establishment,” he said. “That gives plants the chance to achieve their yield potential.

“Our average crops yields are slowly creeping up but the best thing is that we are now more confident in our expectations of reliably achieving 1.8 tonnes (a hectare) with canola, three tonnes with wheat and 3.5t/ha with barley.
“These have become realistic figures for our annual budgets.”
This year provided compelling reasons for the Cunninghams to use the ProTrakker.
Theo said their canola “went in on rain” on April 15 and germinated a week later.
“We didn’t get any more rain until late May but we put our DBS in at seven inches (175 millimetres) and we got a wick-effect by tapping into subsoil moisture.
“We got really even germination which was better than with the spring tine bar we used previously.
“I think the canola that went in on April 15 will be our best crop.”

Theo credits the combination of the Pro Trakker, DBS and use of liquid nutrient injection for the above average crops he will take off in coming weeks.
“I think the ProTrakker paid for itself last year and next year we’re thinking we’ll have the whole game together, using the ProTrakker, DBS, dual shoot and liquid injection” he said. “For us, that’s the meaning of precision farming.”

According to Theo operating the ProTrakker is an easy exercise.
“It’s a simple kit and it took us about 10 minutes to undo the normal hitch and replace it with the ProTrakker hitch,” he said.
Operating on RTK guidance, the hydraulically-operated ProTrakker ensures almost zero bar drift, meaning a sowing tine can be placed millimetres (sub-inch) away from the previous year’s cropping row.

Theo said it was noticeable the “easier going” operating next to old cropping rows rather than the harder inter-row of sandy gravel-over-clay.
“When the ProTrakker is not engaged, you can notice bar drift, particularly on hilly slopes, but when it’s turned on, you can look out the back and see the hitch constantly making slight adjustments to keep the bar straight.”

According to Theo, the ProTrakker will bring with it added flexibility, especially easily adapting to thicker straw in good years.
“We know we will always be able to sow alongside the stubble and dictate exactly where we want our seed to be placed,” he said.
“The trash control is another big feature because we want as much standing as possible to mitigate wind damage and enhance moisture capture.
“There will be a little creep each year but we will still be near the previous year’s furrow.
“In some runs when stubble is a bit thick and not running straight, we can adjust the ProTrakker to sow between rows to keep trash flow going.
‘It’s not a big deal but it means we’re not creating any bulldozing of stubble and I’d rather avoid that and wait until later to work out what we do with the line in that paddock for next year.
“Generally we just go back to the default setting of the previous year.”
(Courtesy Farm Weekly).

Ausplow factory note: A ProTrakker hitch with electrics supplied by Burando Hill is an option on Ausplow’s 2019 Series II Multistream.
In tow-between configuration, the hitch attaches to the DBS for RTK guidance side-furrow sowing.

Standout improvements on the Series II include a stainless-steel auger with poly flighting, which was a purpose design to greatly reduce or eliminate grain damage along with quiet running.
Enhancements also have been made to the safety ladder, step-over and walkway with the option for a range of light kits.
The pump station has been enclosed and is ergonomically positioned for ease of access and servicing.

It can be retro-fitted to existing Multistream models to convert to liquid or a granular-liquid mix.
And all hydraulic lines are laid out on ‘cable trays’ running the length of the Multistream.
All poly tanks easily convert from granular to liquid and there’s a lot of flexibility in product splits.
The Multistream is available with capacities from 6000 litres to 28,000L.

DBS shines showing benefits in dry sowing

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General
Boekeman Machinery Dalwallinu branch manager James Mitchell (left) and Buntine farmer Mike Dodd, discuss the Pro-D blades and leading coulters on Mike’s DBS precision seeder.

Boekeman Machinery Dalwallinu branch manager James Mitchell (left) and Buntine farmer Mike Dodd, discuss the Pro-D blades and leading coulters on Mike’s DBS precision seeder.

By KEN WILSON
HINDSIGHT always provides lessons.
And one that Buntine farmer Mike Dodd recalled recently was his decision to buy a seeding rig in 2008.
The context was that he was coming off a drought and money was tight. And throw in the Global Financial Crisis.
“I was in the market for a seeding rig and I was deciding between a 60 foot (18.2 metres) DBS and a spring tine 60 foot overseas model,” he said. “I went for the overseas model, with the bar, bin and liquid cart leaving $35,000 in my pocket.
“But I should have paid the $35,000 and got a DBS.”
The reason for that comment was that he bought a DBS in 2017 and it has taken only two seasons to see the benefits in terms of even crop germination and higher yields.
In 2016, he bought a liquid-compatible Ausplow Multistream air seeder to replace a tow-behind liquid cart and a tow-Between airseeder cart so it felt like a natural progression to add the DBS to the Multistream the following year.
“We generally dry sow at the start to get our program in during the optimum sowing window,” Mike said. “And in the first year the crop was very even and I’d never seen it like that.
“It was very obvious the difference between having hydraulic tines on the DBS as against the spring tines which tended to chatter in dry working.
“When it rained you’d see more staggered germinations which showed the variations in seed depth because of the spring tine and sowing boots.
“With the DBS, the parallelogram module gives you more scope in tight country where the press wheel and parallelogram can operate at a different angle but it doesn’t affect the set seeding depth.
“And having the ability to dig deeper without affecting seed depth is huge.”
Interestingly, Mike said there were no problems seeding with the DBS on deep ripped sandplain, even though it was fitted with leading coulters to cut trash and create a better stubble flow.
Tines spacings were 300 millimetres (12 inches) and the upgrade to the wider flotation tyres on the bar really helped.
“This did change, however, post-rainfall but an hour fine-tuning the bar level soon sent us on our way,” Mike said.
Coil packers were employed behind the Ausplow deep ripper so there was a measure of firmness in the topsoil.
“We’ve got the Pro-D blades so we can adjust them to work between seven and nine inches (175 millimetres and 225mm) and that’s easily achieved without compromising seed depth,” Mike said.
“We started dry sowing on April 19 this year working at eight inches (200mm) but I think in a few years we’ll be down to nine inches (225mm) because I think the deeper you can go the better.”
Having said that Mike admitted the deeper working caused canola seed to go in deeper.
“We should have used the canola boot,” he said. “We wanted 5-10mm but we ended up seeding at 15-20mm.
“It was slow away but when it rained it all came up and the germination was pretty even, though the deeper-sown stuff was probably a week behind the neighbour’s canola.”
With an opening rain on May 25, Mike said the dry sowing paid off with the crop now set up.
“We just need a good finishing rain,” he said.
Mike also is happy using the 19,500 litre capacity Multistream, with five tanks.
This year he used 50 litres a hectare of Flexi-N and considered the Friction Flow tubing kit supplied by Furrow Management Systems as “brilliant”.
“We didn’t get any blockages, which takes one less hassle out of the equation,” he said. (With kind permission FARM WEEKLY).

New upgrades to Series II Multistream

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General
Farmers Centre Esperance salesman Jakke Little (left) is taken on a walk-round of the Series II Multistream at the Newedegate Machinery Field Days earlier this month by Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer. Significant changes have been made for 2019 models.

Farmers Centre Esperance salesman Jakke Little (left) is taken on a walk-round of the Series II Multistream at the Newedegate Machinery Field Days earlier this month by Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer. Significant changes have been made for 2019 models.

Our new stability wheel is another improvement we have made to the DBS. It prevents the bar from digging in at the front and lifting up at the rear.

Our new stability wheel is another improvement we have made to the DBS. It prevents the bar from digging in at the front and lifting up at the rear.

Ausplow debuted its new Series II Multistream at the Dowerin and Newdegate field days and finished the events with a healthy inquiry list.
“A lot of people who came and saw us will probably order one if the season finishes well,” company general manager Chris Farmer said.
Standout improvements include a stainless-steel auger with poly-cupped flighting, which was a purpose design to greatly reduce or eliminate grain damage along with quiet running and increased throughput.
There’s reduced residual in the hopper for clean-out, along with a hydraulically-assisted and braked auger (with remote control) to make the auger easier tot operate.
Enhancements also have been made to the safety ladder, step-over and walkway with the option for a range of light kits.
The pump station has been enclosed and is ergonomically positioned for ease of access and servicing.
It can be retro-fitted to existing Multistream models to convert to liquid or a granular-liquid mix.
Another interesting option is a ProTrakker hitch with electrics supplied by Burando Hill.
In tow-between configuration, the hitch attached to the DBS for RTK guidance side-furrow sowing.
And all hydraulic lines are laid out on ‘cable trays’ running the length of the Multistream.
“All our poly tanks easily convert from granular to liquid and there’s a lot of flexibility in product splits,” Chris said.
“We’ll also have the capacity for liquid sectional control.”
The Multistream is available with capacities from 6000 litres to 28,000L.
Interestingly, when it was first released in 2001, it was the world’s first air seeder with liquid capacity. Today it’s a standard feature on most air seeders sold throughout Australia.
Chris also said there was positive feedback from customers about the commercial introduction of the stability wheels on DBS bars that were successfully trialed this season in dry and hard conditions to help reduce the effect of ‘wind-up’ in those conditions. Effectively, it prevents the bar from digging in at the front and lifting up at the rear.

SA farmers visit our factories

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General
Airtec Australia and Ausplow representative Ryan Taig (left) and Aaron Smart flank Ausplow sales and marketing manager Chris Blight as they discuss market opportunities in the Eastern States during a factory tour of the company’s Naval Base and Cockburn Central factories this week.

Airtec Australia and Ausplow representative Ryan Taig (left) and Aaron Smart flank Ausplow sales and marketing manager Chris Blight as they discuss market opportunities in the Eastern States during a factory tour of the company’s Naval Base and Cockburn Central factories this week.

South Australian farmers Sam Kellock (left), Brandon Symes and Matt Parker, talk with Ausplow managing director John Ryan AM (second left).

South Australian farmers Sam Kellock (left), Brandon Symes and Matt Parker, talk with Ausplow managing director John Ryan AM (second left).

Airtec Australia and Ausplow sales representative Ashley Smart (left), Ausplow managing director John Ryan AM, South Australian farmer Sam Park and Nutrian director Dave Seagreen.

Airtec Australia and Ausplow sales representative Ashley Smart (left), Ausplow managing director John Ryan AM, South Australian farmer Sam Park and Nutrian director Dave Seagreen.

The farmer group check out the evolution of the DBS tine assemble over the past 20 years.

The farmer group check out the evolution of the DBS tine assemble over the past 20 years.

The farmer group check out the evolution of the DBS tine assemble over the past 20 years.

The farmer group check out the evolution of the DBS tine assemble over the past 20 years.

Our South Australian and New South Wales sales representatives Ashley Smart and his son Aaron, last week led a 16-strong group of South Australian farmers across the Nullabor to visit the company’s factories in Naval Base and Cockburn Central this week.
Most of the farmers were DBS owners with a few interested in assessing the products before committing to a purchase.
According to Ashley, the trip was a great success.

“This is our tenth time we have organised such a trip,” he said.
“It’s always good for farmers to see where there machines are built and to speak with the engineers, welders and general staff,” he said. “It builds up a solid relationship with Ausplow which has a great reputation for service back-up as well as building quality products that last.
“The guys were very impressed with the Naval Base sheds, particularly the new blast and paint booths.”

Ashley and Aaron, who also are directors of Airtec Australia, makers of low-drift spray nozzles, also included their latest employee in the tour – Ryan Taig, who is the Airtec and Ausplow sales representative for New South Wales.
“It has been a great opportunity for me to meet the Ausplow staff and put faces to names,” he said. “I’m very keen to expand Ausplow’s market share in New South Wales and it’s good to talk about how the company can respond to the needs of farmers over our way.
“The big thing I noticed over here is that you guys are very much leading the way in crop establishment techniques and the DBS has certainly got a lot to offer our guys.”

Ausplow managing director John Ryan AM was on hand to talk with farmers and join in an informative session on nutrient management, led by Ausplow researcher and Nutrian director Dave Seagreen.

Boekeman Machinery visit Ausplow's factory

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General
Boekeman Machinery Wongan Hills sales and marketing representative Ben Boekeman (centre) is flanked by Kondut farmers Peter and Tyler Latham as they discuss the Ausplow factory tour.

Boekeman Machinery Wongan Hills sales and marketing representative Ben Boekeman (centre) is flanked by Kondut farmers Peter and Tyler Latham as they discuss the Ausplow factory tour.

Boekeman Machinery Dalwallinu sales representative Matt Joyner (left) with Dalwallinu farmers Murray White and Dion Mangini.

Boekeman Machinery Dalwallinu sales representative Matt Joyner (left) with Dalwallinu farmers Murray White and Dion Mangini.

Boekeman Machinery marketing manager Tim Boekeman (right) with the company’s product support representative Brett Asphar (left), and Wannamal farmers Nick and Max Smith, who recently ordered a 36 foot (10.9m) DBS.

Boekeman Machinery marketing manager Tim Boekeman (right) with the company’s product support representative Brett Asphar (left), and Wannamal farmers Nick and Max Smith, who recently ordered a 36 foot (10.9m) DBS.

The Boekeman Machinery tour group outside the factory yesterday after completing a walk-through of all the manufacturing processes. The group later were given a briefing on Ausplow products and the company’s vision along with the opportunity to ask questions.

The Boekeman Machinery tour group outside the factory yesterday after completing a walk-through of all the manufacturing processes. The group later were given a briefing on Ausplow products and the company’s vision along with the opportunity to ask questions.

Ausplow’s production manager Gary Andrews (centre) explains the sand-blasting process to the Boekeman Machinery tour group. This state-of-the-art booth ensures a smooth finish to components before painting.

Ausplow’s production manager Gary Andrews (centre) explains the sand-blasting process to the Boekeman Machinery tour group. This state-of-the-art booth ensures a smooth finish to components before painting.

Boekeman Machinery representatives visited the company’s Naval Base factory yesterday along with 25 of its customers, mostly DBS owners and interested farmers.
The dealership, which is one of Ausplow’s biggest, has made it an annual fixture to provide farmers with an opportunity to meet the people who make the machines they buy.
They also are taken on a tour of the factory and shown the complete manufacturing process, from raw steel to the finished product, which takes in fabricating, welding, sand-blasting and painting.
According to Boekeman’ s Tim Boekeman, representatives and customers from the dealership’s Northam, Wongan Hills and Dalwallinu branches attended the day.
“We are big supporters of WA manufacturers and at Ausplow, they take the time to listen to customers’ needs and feedback,” he said.
“On this trip, DBS owners met one of the welders who had been with the company for 10 years.
“It was very apparent just how much emphasis the Ausplow staff place on quality build and quality control and our customers were very impressed.
“Having the manufacturer in the same State is a big plus because these sort of trips build relationships and reinforce to our customers timely after sales service.”
According to Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer, several of those attending were new DBS owners or had recently placed an order for 2019.
“We have a very healthy build program for next year,” he said. “We’re out to Christmas already and we’re telling everybody that to guarantee product delivery by seeding next year, orders need to come in now.
“I know we say that every year but it’s important we maintain a manufacturing process that is not rushed and one that is geared to customer needs.
“It does take time because of all the processes that have to come together, including the major one of the supply chain.
“We need to order ahead to ensure we have the right components at the right time and that’s the way the industry now operates.
“I would encourage anybody thinking of purchasing a DBS, Multistream or Easitill deep ripper, for 2019, to talk with their dealer about their requirements.
“A forward order guarantees a delivery date and we have incentives for early ordering.”

Cunderdin students visit Ausplow's factory

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General
WA College of Agriculture students are shown over Ausplow's state-of-the-art factory at Naval Base.

WA College of Agriculture students are shown over Ausplow's state-of-the-art factory at Naval Base.

Students gather round to hear how stages of manufacture are accomplished.

Students gather round to hear how stages of manufacture are accomplished.

A total of 19 WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin students witnessed the latest in precision seeding technology on a tour of the Ausplow factory in Naval Base this week.

The factory tour included a visit to the welding, fabrication, blast and painting assembly areas. The design principles and benefits of the DBS, or Deep Blade System, was explained to the students by Ausplow General Manager Chris Farmer.

Chris explained how the DBS knife blade, closing tool and press wheel assembly were designed to achieve sub-soil cultivation, precision seed placement and enhanced water harvesting.

Students were particularly fascinated with the use of 3D printers in the design process of the component parts and the state-of-the-art blast and paint areas.

“Students were extremely engaged and it gave them a better understanding of the DBS bar and tank that we use for the College seeding programme,” College technical officer Shane Childs said.

“One of the students was particularly interested to understand the process, as his family farming enterprise had recently ordered a DBS Multistream airseeder”.

Students were also able to speak to engineering staff on pathways for career development post-secondary education.

A visit to the CBH Grain Handling facility and Museum in Kwinana followed the Ausplow factory tour.

According to Chris, Ausplow is an enthusiastic participant in promoting education of the industry to encourage young people in career pathways.

“It’s an exciting and important industry and the students were very impressed to see the technologies we use as a manufacturer,” he said. “I think it also is important that they see a WA manufacturer playing a major role in the Australian industry.”

Evolution of the DBS

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General
Service manager Ray Beecham (left) and sales and marketing manager Chris Blight have played pivotal roles in the development of the DBS module over the years.

Service manager Ray Beecham (left) and sales and marketing manager Chris Blight have played pivotal roles in the development of the DBS module over the years.

By JOHN RYAN AM
This year marks more than 25 years since I developed the DBS, or Deep Blade System.
Today, it’s an accepted and widely adopted precision seeding tool, with basically no change to the original idea of cultivation below the seed, a closing tool to establish a firm seedbed and following press wheel for that vital seed-soil contact (the three-slot system).
But it’s history of evolution has never been told until now.
As you can see from the photographs, there has been many changes from the prototype, which is testament to mainly farmer ideas and Ausplow’s research and development team.
The original DBS, which was designed around 1992, comprised a simple spring-operated C-shank, attached to which was a parallelogram ‘rib’ designed with a knife blade, fertiliser tube and closing plate, and a seed hose holder and press wheel, to ‘tamp’ or firm the soil, as well as controlling seeding depth.
It was a system that meant each seeding unit operated independently of the bar’s ground-following capabilities, ensuring an almost constant position for accurate seed placement.
I trialled this unit on several combine seeders and it soon became apparent changes were needed, including dispensing with the heavy-duty springs and adding hydraulics.
The springs produced too much ‘chatter’ which meant poor seed placement, particularly on breakout – a common complaint by all farmers in those days, who operated seeding bars with spring tines.
We also found the press wheel lacked suitable pressure for a range of soil types and in wet conditions “attracted” a lot of mud build-up, rendering it fairly useless to control seeding depth.
So from the prototype, we progressed to the commercial Version 1 of the DBS, with serial number 001 being sold to Esperance farmer, the late Ross Whittle.
Version 1 was fitted to a 9.1m (30ft) DBS bar with modules far beefier in design, with the addition of a solid seeding tube to better protect the seeding hose and prevent ‘blocking’, which also was a common complaint with all bars in those days.
Our selection of knife blade lengths went from 17.5cm (7in) to 22.5cm (9in).
The press wheel was changed to a larger rounded tyre (70mm diameter) and fitted with a mud scraper. The closing tool also was widened to 60mm to push more soil into the trench to alleviate seed falling in too deep.
But the biggest change was the addition of hydraulics, which provided the necessary down pressure to keep the knife blade in the soil – a feature early DBS owners said allowed them to confidently tackle compacted paddocks and duplex soil conditions, particularly gravelly outcrops.
It led South Australia farmer Brendon Smart to declare that DBS stood for, ‘Digs Big Stones’.
We fitted a 10-litre accumulator to the bar with one check line.
A total of 89 Version 1 bars were sold between 1995 and 1997, in a period marked by enormous competition from mainly Canadian manufacturers.
In 1998, we released Version 2, which saw an important change in designing a longer fertiliser boot to improve profiling and consistency of fertiliser placement – on Version 1 the fertiliser boot was too high and in some soil conditions, sand would flow back into the trench before the fertiliser.
We also improved the mud scraper and built-in check valves on every cylinder.
Also we added another 20L accumulator to accommodate the increased width of the bar (now double fold), and to better handle rocky conditions.
That became a very successful bar with an exponential increase in sales throughout Australia over an eight year period.
In 2002 we completed the prototype of the Multistream, which provided us with a unique seeding rig capable of liquid injection (See separate story).
The evolution of the DBS continued with Version 3 being introduced in 2007.
This saw a new jump cylinder with aluminium pistons, purposely designed to reduce the overall weight of the bar, along with the introduction of stainless steel seed and fertiliser tubes.
And we replaced the mild steel brackets with ‘Hardox’ steel, which is part of the Bissaloy family.
We also extended the parallel side arms attaching the press wheel by 50mm (2in) to provide a bigger gap between the press wheel and the knife blade to improve material flow. And we ‘flanged’ the side arms, again creating more space but also strengthening the side arms. The mud scraper arm also was lengthened to intercept mud earlier.
And we provided a choice of press wheel widths of 50mm, 70mm (2.8in) and 90mm (3.6in) while retaining the 300mm (12in) diameter. Additionally we released a Vee-shaped press wheel which was 370mm (14.8in) in diameter, with a 70mm width.
By 2014, more ideas by our research and development team saw our current Version 4 begin to crystalise.
This included a concept from our sales and marketing manager Chris Blight, we now call the Pro-D tool system.
The Pro-D effectively replaced nine blades with one because of the depth adjustments possible between 15cm (6in) and 22.5cm (9in). This vastly increased flexibility to handle a range of soil types.
And our South Australian representative Ashley Smart also weighed in on the Version 4 with a suggestion for vertical support arms holding the press wheel, to eliminate ‘catching’ and soil build-up caused by the horizontal support arms.
Ashley was a major influence in our design changes and the result provided more space between the press wheel and support attachments to virtually eliminate mud build-up in sticky clay soils, predominately in New South Wales but occurring in patches in South Australia and Victoria.
A simple change from horizontal support arms to the vertical position and placing the mud scraper lower on the wheel for a quicker “attack” at the mud”, essentially solved a problem that Ashley raised with Ausplow.
So by 2016 we had the Version 4, the most significant change to the DBS module since its inception.
Apart from the Pro D and press wheel changes, we made it liquid-ready with the addition of a Friction Flow hose kit providing the ability for three different placements of liquid product, while opening up the rate of delivery to between 30 litres a hectare to 100L/ha to cater for variable rate applications.
We believe the Version 4 now offers a lot more functionality in a range of soil conditions and, of course, represents a huge improvement from when I first started with the prototype.
Our latest addition to the Version 4 is a rounded 135mm (5.3in) diameter press wheel which provides better flotation is deep ripped country and softer soil conditions.
Interestingly, we are finding a lot of interest among existing DBS owners in retro-fitting our Version 4 modules to their old bars.
Current R&D involves on-going trialling with our pair row boot to ensure it meets the standard required by owners and on the drawing board is a sectional control delivery system for granular and liquid products.
Yes, there will be a Version 5 of the DBS, and it will be the result of our continued listening and talking with DBS owners.
I would be happy to hear from anybody who would like to communicate with me via email at john@ausplow.com.au
Good luck for the 2018 season and let’s hope it’s a bin buster.

New DBS owners take factory tour

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General
Ausplow product manager Gary Andrews talks with a group of DBS owners about the production flow at the start of the tour.

Ausplow product manager Gary Andrews talks with a group of DBS owners about the production flow at the start of the tour.

Simone (left)and Levis MacKenzie talk with Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer about production schedules. Levis is manager of Daybreak Cropping at West River, and was looking forward to seeing the progress of a new DBS and Multistream ordered by Daybreak Cropping. “It’s being assembled at Cockburn and should be ready for the seeding season,” he said.

Simone (left)and Levis MacKenzie talk with Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer about production schedules. Levis is manager of Daybreak Cropping at West River, and was looking forward to seeing the progress of a new DBS and Multistream ordered by Daybreak Cropping. “It’s being assembled at Cockburn and should be ready for the seeding season,” he said.

Farmers Centre salesmen Ash Hayden (left) and Jakke Little with parts interpreter Jason Ramm. The trio are well versed in Ausplow products with specialised training from Ausplow staff.

Farmers Centre salesmen Ash Hayden (left) and Jakke Little with parts interpreter Jason Ramm. The trio are well versed in Ausplow products with specialised training from Ausplow staff.

Quality control was a big talking point during the tour with Ausplow production manager Gary Andrews (back to camera) explaining how minor flaws in this DBS cross section mean it is brought back into the blasting booth for re-treatment and re-painting.

Quality control was a big talking point during the tour with Ausplow production manager Gary Andrews (back to camera) explaining how minor flaws in this DBS cross section mean it is brought back into the blasting booth for re-treatment and re-painting.

Two ‘world class’ paint booths are the last stop in the processing schedule for DBS and Multistream components, which are then flat-packed for transportation to the Cockburn assembly factory.

Two ‘world class’ paint booths are the last stop in the processing schedule for DBS and Multistream components, which are then flat-packed for transportation to the Cockburn assembly factory.

Checking out a finished DBS section were Brett South (left), Beaumont, Farmers Centre salesman Sean Barrett, Des Chambers, Farmers Centre parts manager, Mark Tink, Ravensthorpe and Lyndon Mickel, Beaumont.

Checking out a finished DBS section were Brett South (left), Beaumont, Farmers Centre salesman Sean Barrett, Des Chambers, Farmers Centre parts manager, Mark Tink, Ravensthorpe and Lyndon Mickel, Beaumont.

About 30 new DBS owners from the Esperance district visited our Naval Base factory and Cockburn headquarters yesterday.
The visit was organised by our newest dealer, Farmers Centre, Esperance, with the tour party led by salesman Jason Wells.
According to Jason, Farmers Centre has received a positive reaction from local farmers as the new DBS dealer, after previous DBS dealers Ratten & Slater sold its business.
“It’s a great product which we’re also selling at our Ravensthorpe, Katanning, Lake Grace, Albany and Narrogin branches,“ Jason said.
“We thought it would be beneficial for owners to see how their machines are made and to catch up with the Ausplow staff to learn more about the company.”
Ausplow manager Chris Farmer said Farmers Centre had been quick off the mark to stock parts for the DBS and Multistream and had already made significant sales.
“The company has shown a very professional attitude and we are delighted Farmers Centre is part of the Ausplow dealership network,” he said.
“The company’s staff have all received product training and a big bonus is the addition of Jason Ramm as parts interpreter.
“Jason came across from Ratten & Slater and is very experienced with our products, so he provides part of which has been a seamless transition of our business to Farmers Centre.”
The group enjoyed an enlightening tour with Ausplow production manager Gary Andrews before heading to Cockburn to see how the DBS and Multistream were assembled.
They also talked with Ausplow engineers on a variety of topics, including research and development and gained an overview of changes to the DBS and Multistream from Ausplow’s national sales and marketing manager Chris Blight.

Ausplow goes solar

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General
Ausplow operations manager at Naval Base, Gary Andrews, checks out the recently-installed solar panels on the roof of the main factory.

Ausplow operations manager at Naval Base, Gary Andrews, checks out the recently-installed solar panels on the roof of the main factory.

Our Naval Base factory in Leath Road, has a new look with the addition of 200 solar panels, installed on the main factory roof.
It is a 75Kw system to provide complementary power to the main power grid and will help to offset power costs associated with production.
At peak time, there can be as many as 18 welders working full-time every day to meet our factory build schedule of DBS precision seeding bars and Multistream ‘multi-delivery’ air seeders.
The installation of the solar panels is in line with the company’s ethos of contributing to environmental management and taking advantage of renewable energy technology.
So far production for the 2018 season is on schedule and we will soon be welcoming many more new DBS and Multistream owners into the Ausplow ‘family’.
According to Ausplow managing director John Ryan, the company has started 2018 on a positive note with the upgrade at the Naval Base factory and he expects to have a lot of positive news to tell owners as the year progresses.
“We’re already gearing up for what might possibly be a record year of research and development through trial work to be established throughout our Australian market,” he said.
“As we have already said last year, a lot of trials will be held in partnership with Primaries CRT and the University of WA, via its Future Farm at Pingelly.
“Our partnerships with industry provides a unique opportunity for all parties to develop more cost- effective production strategies for farmers, which has always been a priority for our research and development team.
“I extend New Year greetings to all our owners and wish them the best of luck for the coming season.”

Hopes are high for another good year at Ausplow

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General
Ausplow Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Blight (left), General Manager Chris Farmer and Service Manager Ray Beacham.

Ausplow Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Blight (left), General Manager Chris Farmer and Service Manager Ray Beacham.

Josiane ‘Josie’ Sabouriaut (left), Mandy Tham and Kay Beacham.

Josiane ‘Josie’ Sabouriaut (left), Mandy Tham and Kay Beacham.

Ausplow Service Technician Dave Finlay (left), his partner Kady and Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan.

Ausplow Service Technician Dave Finlay (left), his partner Kady and Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan.

Borka (left) and Slobodan Rajkovic, who is an Engineer with Ausplow, company Assemble John Di Re, who celebrated 10 years service with the company in 2017, Procurement Manager Glenn Hubbard and Maggie Di Re.

Borka (left) and Slobodan Rajkovic, who is an Engineer with Ausplow, company Assemble John Di Re, who celebrated 10 years service with the company in 2017, Procurement Manager Glenn Hubbard and Maggie Di Re.

Tabita Adascalite (left), Ausplow Truck Driver Abel Adascalite, Rebekah Bautista, Ausplow Accountant and husband Reywin.

Tabita Adascalite (left), Ausplow Truck Driver Abel Adascalite, Rebekah Bautista, Ausplow Accountant and husband Reywin.

Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan and his partner Bernadette Turner.

Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan and his partner Bernadette Turner.

Ausplow celebrated its Christmas wind-up with staff at the Royal Fremantle Sailing Cub last Saturday night.

Company general manager Chris Farmer said that despite the difficult year, Ausplow had enjoyed good sales of DBS precision seeding bars, the Easitill deep ripper, the Multistream air seeder and retro-fits of the Pro-D tool system.
“Interestingly, it was a year when many DBS owners told us they wouldn’t have finished with a decent result had it not been for the DBS,” he said. “The ability of the machine to access moisture in dry conditions really shone through this year.”

Ausplow managing director John Ryan also complemented staff on their loyalty to the company and their continued positive attitude to farmers.

“Many of you are at the coalface meeting our customers and addressing concerns,” he said. “It’s so important we maintain that kind of sales back-up and service.

“I think 2018 will be a very exciting year for us as we move forward with new partners to expand our research and development programs.”

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