There are few working environments quite as rugged as rural Australian farmland. While the nation is well known for its cattle rearing and dairy production, the soil and climate diversity also lends itself to the growing of valuable crops such as grapes, almonds, and olives. Agricultural activities account for over half of the country’s land use, with the production and export of fruit and vegetables on a steady rise.

Because of the extremely time-sensitive nature of the annual harvesting cycle, many of these agricultural operations simply cannot afford equipment break-down in the field. Every second that an olive or almond lies neglected on the ground, it decreases in value and quickly becomes unsellable. OEMs of harvesting equipment need to have confidence in the reliability of their designs, which means sourcing the best in power transmission genuine parts.

Founded in 1890 as the Indianapolis Chain and Stamping Company, Diamond® Chain has been involved in many revolutionary feats of industrial design, including the Wright Brothers’ first motor-operated aircraft flight, and Henry Ford’s conception of automotive drive units.

In 2019, Diamond® Chain was acquired by Timken – a global leader in engineered bearings and power transmission. As a Strategic Supply Partner (SSP) with Motion Australia, Timken is an established provider of critical machinery parts, such as the Diamond® Series Agriculture Roller Chain.

“Timken are well-known for their outstanding catalogue of bearing products,” says Troy Markland, National Product Manager for Power Transmission at Motion Australia. “The Diamond® acquisition expands their power transmission offering, allowing them to carry a more full-spectrum solution package to agricultural equipment manufacturers.”

Roller chain is utilised to transmit torque between two sprockets of equal or dissimilar sizes. For agricultural applications, where environmental factors such as water and dust need to be factored in, Diamond® offers stainless steel, nickel or zinc plated and anti-corrosion designs.

“This chain is incredibly popular, because the Diamond ® brand has a strong reputation within the national market,” explains Troy. “We work hard to keep up with the demand, and have had to increase our ordering quantities for the agriculture sector every year.”

“I have been with Motion Australia for 40 years, and over that time I’ve built a very strong rapport with the team at Timken,” he furthers. “We work collaboratively on customer projects every week, and I’m on the phone to them almost every day to discuss supply logistics. What we bring to the table from a sales and customer knowledge perspective, they deliver on quality and reliable product without fail.”

Timken’s catalogue is founded on superior wear performance, but it’s the uniquely bevelled link plates and proprietary lubrication that make the Diamond® Agriculture Roller Chain stand out. The Diamond Difference begins with raw materials that meet exacting standards for metal grade, mechanical properties, carbon and alloy content to ensure minimisation of impurities that impact tensile and fatigue strength.  

“This chain is a highly valued component for harvesting equipment such as bailers and headers,” says Troy. “The improved wear life of 30 to 40 per cent means that when they put these chains into application, they are going to last the full season.”

Featuring precision-ground pins, seamless rollers, and extruded solid bushings, this chain also undergoes a shot peening treatment to add a layer of compressive stress. Shot peening aids in mitigating fatigue failure when the part is exposed to repeated high loads.

With the understanding that adequate lubrication can significantly extend a chain’s life, Diamond® have introduced a ‘hot dip’ process for enhanced corrosion protection. This initial lubricant technique incorporates protective additives to allow complete internal penetration and uniform exterior coverage.

Additionally, all chains are preloaded to 50 per cent of their ultimate tensile strength, to firmly seat the pins and bushings. This process reduces initial run-in, and extends the service life of the chain. According to Sean Young, Regional General Manager at Timken, these unique design elements are the result of field-based research and design adjustments over many years.

“Even before coming under Timken, the Diamond brand has been around for a long time, doing a lot of work on specialised applications for OEMs,” he says. “That history within Australia’s market is invaluable, and it gives our engineering teams a strong foundation from which to approach complex scenarios.”

For well over 50 years, Timken has worked closely with Motion Australia to provide end-to-end solutions for a range of industrial sectors. According to Sean, a shared commitment to result-driven servicing helps both parties to understand customer processes and deliver excellent results.

“Our experienced field crew work closely with Motion Australia’s product experts to implement fit for purpose power transmission componentry. We spend a lot of time liaising as a team to support customers, which we know significantly benefits the end user long-term.” 

“Rather than just selling a box off a shelf, Motion Australia works with us to inform these customers on our product value, which gives them the confidence to rely on us in the future.”