Two days after the transmission in his older model tractor stopped working, Toby Acocks was back up and running again despite it being a public holiday.
The fast turnaround was thanks to his local Case IH dealership and its ability to source a remanufactured (reman) transmission overnight.
The fifth-generation farmer runs the family business, Forres Pty Ltd, with his brother Ben.
Their 8,000ha operation is spread over three clusters, spanning 120km around Rochester.
The mixed operation trades some livestock, and has dryland and irrigation cropping, mainly canola, wheat and barley, and oats and fodder crops for hay and grazing.
‘‘The older model Case IH tractor had worked long and hard and had a significant number of hours on it,’’ Mr Acocks said.
‘‘In the space of about 12 hours, the existing transmission went from being quite functional to not working at all.
‘‘It was the day before Anzac Day a couple of years ago, and we were in full swing with our cropping program; that tractor was pulling one of our two air seeders,’’ he said.
‘‘Some of our gear is older, so you have to expect a breakdown at some stage — but that timing was not good.’’
Mr Acocks said it was ‘‘pretty clear’’ they needed a new transmission. One option was to send it to a rebuilder, however a lack of parts because of a tsunami in Japan meant they could only offer a fix date between six weeks and six months at a cost of up to $35000, depending on the problem, once they opened the transmission.
‘‘I didn’t have six weeks, let alone six months,’’ Mr Acocks said.
A phone call to his local dealer found a remanufactured transmission at the Case IH parts warehouse in St Marys, which Mr Acocks could have the following day.
‘‘I didn’t expect that, given the following day was Anzac Day, a public holiday, but it still turned up in the morning, and within two days we were going again for much less than $35000.’’
The Acockses have a variety of machinery brands, including several Case IH models, two Steiger 9180s, a Steiger 375, Magnum 260, Magnum 255 and an old Case IH 8910 that’s done 15000hours.
‘‘We like Case IH, we’ve had a good run out of them. We’ve got a terrific dealer in Echuca CIH and a good relationship with them, and that makes a big difference,’’ Mr Acocks said.
‘‘Their support, particularly from parts manager Luke Feiss, is very good. They do their best to keep things moving and go to extraordinary lengths to get the right part quickly, minimising down time,’’ Mr Acocks said.
Case IH national aftersales manager Patrick McVeigh says with harvest now complete, farmers will be servicing machinery.
‘‘It’s good to keep remanufactured, or reman, parts in mind too. Being on average 30 per cent cheaper than buying new, they are a low-cost, fast-turnaround alternative to avoid costly down time and get farmers back out in the paddock. And just like a new part, reman components come with a full 12-month parts and labour warranty.’’
Mr McVeigh said a further benefit was increased resale value for the equipment because reman parts were as good as new.
‘‘Case IH has very strict quality control through every step of the reman process, and every machine part not remanufactured is brand new. Even the wash water is sediment tested to prevent particle contamination.’’