When Rod Lucas invested in a second-hand mixer, the most critical part he needed was knives. To make that happen, he called BSC in Wagga Wagga – and, as always, they delivered.
“We moved over to a mixer to optimise the weight gain of our cattle and reduce the amount of wasted fodder – we bought a used mixer with the aim to fix it up,” explains Rod, who runs the Gundagai branch of his family business, Lucas General Contractors. “The knives are the most important part of the mixer, as these cut the fodder, silage and hay to make it a finer more palatable product. We were chasing the right knives to fit the mixer and called BSC. The knives they sent over were a perfect fit.”
Mitch Chaffer, NSW Agriculture Business Development Manager, knew exactly what type of knives would do the job for Rod.
“I’ve known Rod for some time now, and he came to me looking for a new solution. He was having problems with his wagon knives breaking down,” he recalls. “The knives I recommended are an after-market product made especially for the Jay-Lor® mixing machines – they are heat-treated, Tungsten Hardfaced and easy to mount and dismount.”
Mitch provided Rod with high-performance knives made by Kooima® Ag, a US company that specialises in manufacturing replacement parts for agricultural machines including mixer wagon knives.
“Through our holding company Motion Asia Pacific, we are able to import these products from the US,” enthuses Mitch. “The Kooima Ag brand is well-known in the US and their knives are made with exclusive features such as the tungsten carbide insert cutting surface. They perform extremely well in the field because of their superior quality.”
The Kooima Ag mixer knives have fared well for Rod, who farms as well as provides a slew of agricultural-related services to other farmers in Gundagai and its surrounds.
“We provide farm contracting services and perform steel fabrication, maintenance, and build and repair of farm sheds. We also offer plowing, sowing, spraying and silage/ hay baling,” details Rod. “In terms of machinery we own a single disc seeder, speed tiller, hay mowers, hay balers, silage wrapper, loaders and two prime movers with trailers for general cartage and freight. We mostly cart fodder for all of our clients.”
Lucas General Contracting is a family-owned and operated business that was originally established in 1985 as Lucas Bros, and run by two brothers, Owen and Harry Lucas in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Harry branched off into farming, while Rod’s father Owen moved forward with a fencing and welding focus and changed the name to Lucas General Contractors in 1992. While Rod completed his apprenticeship at Lucas General Contractors, he preferred the rural area of Gundagai and thus set up a branch there.
“We come from a steel fabrication background and have always had farmland ourselves, so we have an understanding of what most of our customer’s need,” Rod says. “We actually don’t need to advertise because our work is localised, and we get a lot of repeat business.”
Rod will often follow up with his farming clients several times in a growing season to ensure they have received an excellent result with the work he has performed.
“I provide a lot of after-market service and check in with customers regularly to assist them during the farming season,” Rod elaborates. “I like to observe and track the progress of the paddocks and how the crops grow. Similarly, with our fodder, silage and hay, I will go back and visit customers months down the line, to check the quality of the product when it is being used.”
Just as Rod prides himself in providing excellent after-market service, he also praises his local BSC branch for delivering the same standard of service.
“Because of how busy I am, I generally order over the phone and as often is the case, I’ll need a part in a rush, to prevent a machine failure,” Rod explains. “They often have what I need on the shelf or will bring it in as quickly as possible. Gundagai is only an hour east of Wagga Wagga, so I usually have parts couriered to me within a few hours.”
However, Rod acknowledges the staff at the branch go the extra mile in providing such an efficient service.
“Many times, I have rung right on closing time and still got what I needed. It could be Friday afternoon and BSC will pull out
every stop to prevent me having downtime,” he stresses. “They keep my business going.”