Henty proves perfect training ground for big green toys

March 31, 2015

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Preston Burns, Parkes, Alex Byrne, Temora, Anton Kowalenko, Brisbane, Nick Baum, Brisbane, Josh Douglas, Parkes and Henry Messner, Wagga, at the tractor optimisation school at Henty.

Some of the biggest wheeled and tracked tractors on the market have been tearing up the Henty Machinery Field Day site over the past month during a John Deere in-field training school.

Training instructor Anton Kowalenko, conceded prising some of the boys away from the “toys’’ had been a challenge.

Almost 100 sales and technical staff from John Deere dealerships around Australia and New Zealand converged on the HMFD site from March 2 to 20 for training on the 6000 to 9000 Series tractors.

Each group of 16 staff received instruction on the ballast, transmissions, engines and suspension of the tractors, ranging from 85 to 425 Kw.

John Deere’s second largest four-wheel drive, the 570hp 9570R, was released to the Australian market this year and proved to be the centre of attention at the school.

Mr Kowalenko said the tractor optimisation school was about obtaining the best performance out of a machine in the field.

“With a lot of the new technology available in machinery these days, it is important to know how to get machines to perform at their best,’’ he said.

“For example, there are tractors here with variable transmission options, including Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT™), e23™ and CommandQuad™ Eco.

“We do schools like this every year  – last year we covered combines and sprayers. We will do a hay school later in the year, and next year we will look at planters and air seeders.

“We hold them in locations which best climatically suit what we are trying to accomplish.’’

Mr Kowalenko said Henty’s proximity to a major airport and dry climate were advantages.

“With an infield school, if it rains, there’s not too many options,’’ he said.

Mr Kowalenko said the Henty site had classroom facilities and a field area suitable for large machines pulling implements.

“It’s a bit hard to find a site where you can have both,’’ he said.

“This site is ideal for anyone who needs a bit of space for people to demonstrate or train on machines.

“We have access to a shed equipped with power, a kitchen and toilets as the classroom, cement floor and gravel pad outside.’’

John Deere product marketing specialist Nick Baum said the 9570R featured HydraCushion™ suspension system to reduce road lope and power hop.

“The fuel tanks have been moved to the back, we have Tier 2 and Final Tier 4 emission compliant engines, and engine power has been increased by 44Kw for the wheel machines, and 7.5Kw for the tracked,’’ he said.

“We have a new Generation 4 CommandCentre™ display screen in addition to the already available GS3 2630.

“The Generation 4 CommandCentre™ screen allows farmers to set sequences such as the tractor’s speed, what the hitch is doing, the SCVs, or turning four wheel drive on or differential lock going into or out of a headland using the iTEC™ (intelligent Equipment Control) feature.’’

Mr Baum said John Deere technical staff were also instructed on setting up AutoTrac™ guidance lines using the new screen.

Mr Kowalenko said the four wheel drive tractors came into their own in the broadacre regions west of Henty but always proved to be crowd pullers at the field days.

“Generally field days are a showcase for the newer models that people may not have seen in the flesh before – they can come along, kick tyres and talk to someone on site face to face.’’

Henty Machinery Field Days chief executive officer Belinda Anderson said the site had plenty of scope for year round machinery demonstrations, field days and new product launches.

Mrs Anderson said the field day site could cater for large groups and up to the biggest agricultural machines.

“We are mid way between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, close to regional airports at Wagga and Albury, and have classroom facilities, powered sites and loading facilities.’’