The well-known adage that ‘Nothing runs like a Deere’ is being validated every day by a Northern Victorian irrigation company.
Rochester-based Campaspe Irrigation is an agent for Zimmatic by Lindsay centre pivot and linear move irrigation systems, as well as manufacturing its own transportable high capacity pumping stations built into 20ft shipping containers.
As Campaspe Irrigation’s Project Manager Wayne Conway explained: “Our transportable pumping stations, capable of moving up to 18 Megalitres a day, are based on an idea by Geoff Mustey. A John Deere engine goes into the box, coupled to a centrifugal pump, filters, and with all the electrical gear. They’re self-contained — and people run generators off them or a large alternator off the side of the John Deere to provide 240 volt power or 415 volt 3 phase power on-site”.
“They’re popular in low flood-prone lying areas, such as Kerang and Lake Boga, to mitigate floods or excess runoff, and at other times to shift large volumes of water between channels or dams.”
“Just half a dozen bolts and you can pick it up and move it away before the flood comes or to where it is needed.
“We’ve done these for the past four years, there are dozens out there, and John Deere is always the only engine we use. We expect continued growth through 2018.
“Plus we bring in lateral irrigators from the US and we put a John Deere on them. We’d have probably a dozen of them out and about over the last 4 years. We’re currently building three of these with turbocharged 6.8 litre John Deere 6068T F150 (114 kW continuous) and 6068T F250 (124 kW continuous) on them.
“If someone comes in here wanting a diesel-driven pump with high output — it’s always a John Deere engine.”
Mr Conway said they used John Deere because they were reliable.
“They’re ‘specced’ very well and they’ll just sit there day after day running. We rarely have an issue with them. And farmers are familiar with them and know their qualities.”
“And we’ve had a good experience with the John Deere engine distributor Power Equipment — very good. We had tight deadlines on the three lateral moves currently being completed and it simply all happened.
“About 70 per cent of the engines we purchase would be ordered as a ‘Spec. B’ engine; we like to do our own cooling on them with our own heat exchangers where necessary.
“The drip irrigation installations run heat exchanger units — it’s preferred where the engines run for extended periods of time — they prefer to run a heat exchanger than a radiator. “However, on all the lateral moves, if they’re out in the open and not in a pump shed they’re radiator-equipped, but if they’re in a pump shed and driving drip irrigation we always supply them with a heat exchange unit and we build all that gear here ourselves.”
Campaspe Irrigation is part of the Darling Irrigation group that operates over three states. Darling Irrigation is itself associated with the AGnVET network with a history of agricultural service to Eastern Australia extending back over more than 100 years.