“It’s a pretty severe drought, we normally irrigate but the river hasn’t run for ten months at home… and that’s a first in my thirty odd years of being here, that it hasn’t run for that period of time. That gives you an indication of how dry it actually is.”
Tony said having his own trucks ‘helps a lot’. The husband and wife team have been carting cattle now commercially for eighteen years and have owned three trucks over that time, most recently purchasing the New Quon.
- Fits the job
It takes a certain truck to be able to meet the daily grind of our Aussie farmers: starting and stopping to open gates instead of city traffic lights; getting up close to the barn to load hay, rather than squeezing into a high-rise loading dock. The demands are the same but the setting is very, very different.
“If I can find hay, I can just drive off and get it and bring it home… the truck has made a big difference to that. I can get a bit more on… I’m very happy with how it performs with a load on,” said Tony.
“It’s small enough to get into places – some of the farms that we cart out of are hard to get into because of gates and creek crossings. But it also works well on bigger jobs too. It’s more of a highway truck then what I've had in the past; it gets me there quicker, more comfortably and with less gear changes.”
It’s not easy to pop in and visit a dealer when you’re living and working in a relatively isolated location. Tony said much of his research prior to upgrading his truck was done via the internet.
“UD’s have a good reputation for reliability. My father had UD trucks years ago as well and the UD Quon stacks up a lot better any of the competitors I researched,” said Tony.
“There’s nothing else out there really that had the reliability the automated manual box, comfort and all of the safety features. There was really no other choice that came close in terms of quality and even price.”
3. Automated gearbox
Up before dawn and home after dusk; it’s a long day without factoring in all of the gear changes along the way.
Tony said his last truck had a lot of problems with DPF burn off that made it horrible to drive, so the UD has been a welcome change.
“It just makes my day heaps easier as far as fatigue at the end of it.
“In the last truck, if I was backing up to a ramp or something… loading was made really difficult with coughing; it was very jerky with the exhaust break coming off and that sort of thing. It really was a pain in the neck!”
“And fuel economy-wise I’m not using any more fuel than I did with the old truck – when I have 100 more horsepower now!”
4. Dealership network
When so many factors are out of their control on the farm, Tony said knowing that there is a dealership close by is one less thing to worry about.
“We have one here in Tamworth and it’s not too far from home. Being close always gives us peace of mind, knowing that you have the reliability. John from JT Fossey in Tamworth was easy to get along with from the beginning.”
5. Going the Extra Mile
When working on your own, in your own backyard, reliability becomes even more important.
“With these trucks, they say they go ‘The Extra Mile’. At this stage they certainly seem to be, even if we’ve only had the Quon for a month or so now. It’s performing better than I expected. It’s just a lot better truck then I hoped for,” said Tony.
“I’ve been a farmer for 30 odd years, I like it… but I also like getting in my new truck and getting off that bloody farm!”