DROUGHT and fires haven't stopped a Western Australian-based company from expanding its business in the Eastern States.
In fact Central Wheatbelt Imports (CWI) director Craig Gorfin says between 60 and 70 per cent of his business is generated from machinery and farmers on the east coast.
"It's mainly camera kits to monitor larger gear," he said.
"But there's also a big push for upgraded lighting packages.
"Clients are trying to do more with less labour but there are also the safety and health issues for an employee which is a big issue.
"You don't want employers climbing up the back of trucks to check loads or trying to do two jobs at once when the problem can be solved by a $600 camera kit.
"Farmers and big business are realising the amount of downtime that can be saved by employing technology.
"And that's not just keeping employees safe.
"A lot of guys use cameras to monitor equipment and can keep an eye on things looking at a live feed on a screen in the cab."
An example of how valuable such a system can be, was made clear to Mr Gorfin recently.
A customer requested a new camera system for a replacement header which was bought after one burnt to the ground during harvest.
"If it wasn't for the camera set up the outcome could have been a lot worse," the customer emailed.
"While we lost a header, a 60 foot front and chaff cart, we still have the operator, who has 10 years experience.
"Everything was working fine, with no alarms, no smell of smoke (because of the wind direction), but our driver noticed a slight orange glow in the rear-facing camera at 10pm.
"As the operator got out to investigate, the fuel tank exploded and everything was engulfed in flames.
"If the camera had not been installed it could have been a very different story."
This account exemplifies one of the main reasons Mr Gorfin started importing camera-monitoring systems.
As a farmer at Yorkrakine, he installed cameras in his header and on his chaser bin.
"The reason was simply because I was frustrated at having a full grain tank and not seeing it from the header seat resulting in spilled grain in the paddock while waiting for the chaser bin to catch up," he said.
"The last thing you want is a heap of wheat seed in a paddock going into a malt barley variety the next year."
The camera was mounted on the grain tank and hooked to a high resolution screen in the cab.
It solved the problem as Mr Gorfin was able to better manage his operating speed while watching the grain tank fill up and improve unloading on-the-go without spilling grain.
The other camera mounted on the chaser bin enabled the chaser driver to fill the bin to the correct level before peeling off, again without over-loading the bin and spilling grain.
Mr Gorfin retired from the farm due to health reasons but his understanding of the importance of farm safety and improving logistics, would lead to a new career importing cameras and light packages, along with United Kingdom-manufactured Billericay Air Bubble Jet air induction spraying nozzles.
He had used the nozzles on his own boomsprayer and found them ideal for reducing drift, especially during windy and warm days.
Demand for CWI's light packages is increasing, particularly with the shift away from HID to LED and the continued growth in the range of retro-fit LED lights.
"Price and quality are pushing the change," Mr Gorfin said.
"Some HID globes can cost $900 to replace whereas we're selling LEDs for $300, producing more light and it plugs straight in.
"Also there's no extra load on the alternator."
Mr Gorfin sees more demand coming from farmers wanting to upgrade used equipment.
"For example, one farmer was quoted $6000 to retro-fit a light package on a new tractor," Mr Gorfin said.
"We supplied the LED lights required plus a four camera wireless monitoring system for his air cart for under $3000."
CWI has quickly become the go-to company for quality camera-monitoring kits, light packages and spray nozzles.
With a total of 320 dealers throughout, the company supplies cameras and LED lights as original equipment manufacturer-supplied to Ausplow, Barber Engineering, Coolamon Steel, Dunstan Engineering, Sonic Boomsprays and Trufab as well as customising camera systems for corporate clients.
More information: Craig Gorfin 0417 967 696.