AN AUSTRALIAN success story, the Goldacres brand has become synonymous with crop spraying.
Celebrating forty years in the business, this month Goldacres invited customers from across Australia to visit the factory at Ballarat, Victoria.
Goldacres, general manager, Roger Richards said the expo had been held biennially since 2012.
“We felt field days were not the best way to showcase what we do,” he said.
“We make our sprayer range here.
“It is really important our customers can visit to see how we build it, what goes into them and what we, as a company, are about.”
Mr Richards said it was important to be transparent with customers and open the factory.
“We build our sprayers up to a standard and we aren’t necessarily the cheapest,” he said.
“We want to justify why our customers should buy Goldacres.
“They can see the work that goes in, the design and the quality.”
Mr Richards said being an Australian company was an advantage.
“I think Australian farmers really like to buy Australian made product when they can.
“As long as it can compete on a world stage.”
Of interest to customers at the expo were the displays of historic Goldacres sprayers, including the sixth built trialled sprayer and a 1980’s linkage unit.
“We have a bit of a laugh at how basic they were,” he said.
“As my father said, at the time they were very difficult to build, you didn’t have computers, you had to draw on the floor with chalk.”
Mr Richards said they had tracked down an loaned the first ever self-propelled sprayer.
“Twenty years old and still going strong,” he said.
“The farmer still uses it, though he is keen to donate it and upgrade to a new one.”
Mr Richards said it was not just nostalgia which saw the old machines on display.
“People want to know if the concept of mechanical drive is proven,” he said.
“We have the proof here with a more than 20,000 hour machine still going strong.”
Mr Richards said the Goldacres business had it’s roots in the late 1970’s when his father expanded the family machinery business into tillage equipment and haymaking.
“Chemicals started to become prevalent in cropping,” he said.
“There weren’t many sprayers available or being built.
“So he had a go at cobbling together a machine.
Mr Richards said business boomed from their, with the company choosing to drop other parts of the range and concentrate on sprayers, a strategy likely to continue.
“We are the only company in Australia that makes both the self propelled and trailed sprayers,” he said.
“We’ve got everything from 50 litre twelve volt sprayers through to 8500L trailed sprayers and self propelled crop cruisers.”
Mr Richards said he was happy with the turnout to the two day expo.
“We’ve got people from all corners of Australia here.”
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