The Riverina-Murray region of New South Wales makes the largest regional contribution to the agricultural sector in the state and is the largest source of employment for the area.1
At the heart of the Riverina, lies the urban hub of Wagga Wagga, that finds itself in a central location along the agricultural belt of the Eastern seaboard.
Local tradespeople such as Ben Manwaring, Owner of BM Ag Repairs in Wagga Wagga, often find their success servicing farm equipment in the area year-round.
Ben services the regions around him by about two hours in all directions, performing all repairs himself.
“I repair harvesters with a specialisation in John Deere headers,” says Ben. “I go out around harvest time and fix them up and get all the headers ready for harvest time, travelling all over the agricultural belt surrounding Wagga.”
“I have been repairing headers for over 20 years, and have had my own business for 8 years,” says Ben. “The first year I started out repairing about 40 headers a year. Presently, I do around 80 headers a year on my own.”
Ben has built his business through word of mouth.
“I never really advertise. I started with a good base of customers and have built on that with word of mouth recommendations and repeat business,” he says.
With such impressive numbers on his books, the services BM Ag Repairs provides is particularly important during pre-harvest season when farmers are readying their equipment.
According to Mitch Chaffer, NSW Agriculture Business Development Manager at BSC Wagga Wagga, some of his customers will drive up to four hours to get stock for header repair season and harvest time.
“There are so many agricultural towns in the surrounding area. We carry a unique range of products and have huge amounts of stock in our ag shed out the back for the season. People know us and recognise us,” Mitch says proudly.
For several years now, BSC’s Wagga Wagga branch has been providing belt drive solutions for BM Ag Repairs. During this time, Mitch and Ben have gotten to know each other well and BSC has readily supplied Ben with the necessary parts and services to keep his business running smoothly.
The John Deere Harvesters Ben repairs require belts that provide high-tension and torque capabilities, as they are flexed in multiple directions once placed in the field.
“Ben uses us as a one-stop shop,” says Mitch. “He places huge stock orders of the Carlisle® belts by Timken because he goes through a lot of them. The driven parts on the John Deere harvesters are powered by up to a dozen belts per header and they need to be serviced and replaced frequently.”
He continues, “A repair person in this field may need to fix 80-100 belts per season. When you do the math on that, that can mean up to1000 belts per year.”
The Timken Belts engineers designed the SUPER AG-DRIVE® series especially for agricultural machinery. The belt series is used for grain and forage harvesters, tractors, headers, and balers made by brands such as John Deere, Case-IH, and New Holland.
Mitch recommends Carlisle® belts by Timken as a good quality, reliable belt solution for the harvest season.
“Carlisle’s SUPER AG-DRIVE belt series, includes v-belts, double-v, banded/joined and variable speed belts. This series of belts can take a lot of wear and tear because they are designed specifically for headers on harvesters,” says Mitch.
Explaining further, he highlights, “In wheat and grain harvest operations, the product can seep through the machinery and cause extensive damage to the components. The Carlisle SUPER AG-DRIVE series designs include belt structures such as ‘feed accelerator belts’ that prevent the grains, kernels, or other foreign material from entering the drive and damaging the equipment.”
“Harvesters require strong belt solutions for the harsh and demanding harvest conditions of the Australian countryside. In some parts of the country, we receive heavy rainfall and extreme heat during harvest season. These are just a few of the factors that farmers must consider,” Mitch explains.
“Harvesting requires the farmer to be as resilient as the belt themselves. They have to be able to bounce back under challenging conditions,” he concludes.
With the harvest season on the horizon, BM Ag Repairs is already fully booked out for the year.
1. New South Wales Department of Primary Industry, Important Agricultural Land Mapping, Riverina Murray Region Profile. https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/843363/Draft-ial-mapping-riverina-murray-agricultural-profile.pdf
SUPER AG-DRIVE belt series features:
• Engineered for specific applications and optimum performance
• Designed and built to rigid specifications
• Rigorously tested in the lab and field
• Manufactured in ISO 9001 certified facilities in the USA
• Designed for durability and long life
• Constructed to the highest quality standards
• Built using the latest technology and materials