It’s been a sea of green as some of the biggest tractors on the market have been put through their paces at a John Deere in-field training school at the Henty Machinery Field Day site.
Around 64 sales, technical and internal staff from John Deere dealerships around Australia and New Zealand converged on the HMFD site from March 20-31 for training on the John Deere 6000 to 9000 Series tractors.
Each group of 16 staff received instruction on the ballast, transmission, engines, hydraulics, suspension and front-end loader operation of the tractors, ranging from 120 to 345 hp.
Training instructor Anton Kowalenko, of Brisbane, 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,’’ Mr Kowalenko said.
“For example, there are tractors here with variable transmission options, including Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT)™, e23™ and CommandQuad ™ Eco, and staff are able to experience this in the field.
“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 will look at planters and air seeders.’’
Mr Kowalenko said the Henty site had classroom facilities and a field area suitable for large machines pulling implements.
“This location is central to NSW, Victoria and Queensland, and provides large open areas for working the machines,’’ he said.
“We cover a lot of theory but people get more out of these schools when they can operate the machinery.’’
Mr Kowalenko said John Deere, in partnership with dealers, continued to support machinery field days around Australia.
“It is important to be out and about, talking to customers and showing them the products,’’ he said.
“Field days are important from a grower’s point of view of being able to see a lot of equipment all in one place rather than visiting individual dealerships.
“There is normally a lot more equipment on the John Deere site at a field day than you would see at a dealership at any one time.
“The dealers go to quite an effort to have a full range of equipment so that is one of the advantages of coming to a field day.’’
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 air ports at Wagga and Albury, and have classroom facilities, powered sites and loading facilities,’’ she said.