Albury has proven the ideal location for Canadian tillage machinery manufacturer Bourgault to open an eastern seaboard assembly warehouse and distribution centre.
Bourgault NSW territory representative Jonathon McKenzie said the Albury site was chosen for its proximity to the Ettamogah Rail Hub, Hume Freeway and airfreight services.
Mr McKenzie said Albury offered a skilled labour force for the new factory, one of the first buildings to be erected in Ettamogah’s new Nexus Industrial Estate.
In 2012, the decision was made to move to Albury from Parkes, in central NSW, due to a lack of rail freight services.
“The main reason was the logistics for container freight in and road freight out so we could service the eastern states of Australia from a central location,’’ Mr McKenzie said.
“It’s critical for our Bourgault owners to have quick access to spare parts and we can deliver to most customers in 24 hours or less from Albury with all of the truck, courier and air freight services this location offers.
“The 6.4ha site has room for future expansion.
“We worked out of a temporary shed for two years and the new factory was completed in January.’’
The factory was built by Mitchell Construction, Albury, and features offices, boardroom, spare parts, amenities and a workshop large enough for two five-tonne overhead gantry cranes to assemble air seeders and cultivators.
It is the company’s major presence on the eastern seaboard and is complemented by a distribution warehouse in Perth, WA.
“We have a team of five assemblers, spare parts manager and two sales representatives,’’ Mr McKenzie said.
“The workforce will be ramped up to 15 during the busy times.
“Here, we can build every machine Bourgault currently makes – from the 9m to the 30m seed drill.
“The two five-tonne cranes can be stacked side by side and lift 10 tonnes anywhere in the shed.
“All the drills and cultivators are flat packed in containers at the factory and are assembled at our new facility.
“The air seeders up to 24,000 litre in capacity are containerised and anything larger is roll-on, roll-off ships from Vancouver to Melbourne, and trucked to Albury.’’
Mr McKenzie said Bourgault was committed to Australia for the long haul.
The company has been a major exhibitor at the Henty Machinery Field Days for many years.
“The product range is quite broad so only a small percentage of our product is displayed at field day events,’’ Mr McKenzie said.
“This year we will display the parallelogram planter, the 3320 PHD Paralink, which has been well received by southern growers.
The 3320 has optional hi-flotation running gear for wet conditions, a Quick Depth Adjust system making seed depth adjustment easy, and features land following Paralink control.
Also on display will be the 7000 Series air seeder featuring a hydraulic meter drive, saddle tank and pallet storage platform, large tyres for increased flotation, and two fan options to meet capacity requirements.
These large seeders can be optioned with tracks in lieu of tyres for those farms with compaction issues.
Bourgault regards Henty as the major field day on the circuit followed by AgQuip.
“This is home now and Henty is our main field day – it is the best on the organisation side,’’ Mr McKenzie said.
“Ninety per cent of farmers have already worked out what they are going to buy and it is usually a chance to see the machine.
“But, for the people who haven’t made up their mind, we are there to show them what we can offer and discuss their specific needs.
“A lot of the people we see at field days are repeat buyers.
“Innovation goes with the Bourgault name and it is still a family owned company with most of the engineers in Canada being farmers themselves.
“Most of the people working here are off the land and the way it is going, it will only get bigger.’’