Isuzu Giga a hit spreader

Broad-acre farming is a tough game as pests and disease can ruin crops and livelihoods. As a result, modern farmers must also be familiar with chemical handling, environmental science and biology to get the most productivity out of their properties. With so much on the line, it's no wonder that those on the land are turning to companies such as North West Ag Services for help.

A leading supplier of agricultural chemicals, services and advice, North West Ag Services is a family-owned business established in 1987 and boasting customers all across the Northern Wimmera and Mallee regions. North West Ag Services Managing Director, Steve Cameron, purchased an Isuzu Giga CXZ 455 from Taig Bros in Shepparton to assist in farm fertilising activities.

“We sell bulk fertilisers, which we pick up at the port at Geelong or Port Melbourne from fertiliser importers. We then bring them up country to Quambatook, where the Giga is based,” Cameron says. “The particular service that the Giga provides is a spreading service – we load the truck up with fertiliser and then it drives around the paddock spreading fertiliser out the back. We also spread gypsum fertiliser across the paddocks before the crop goes in the ground.”

The Giga's spreader body, made by Western Australia's Marshall Spreaders, comes fitted with twin hydraulic driven spinners and a feed belt run off a motor. A door on the back of the spreader regulates the rate that the fertiliser is fed through by the feed belt, which is then distributed by the spinners located at the rear of the truck. The mechanics of the spreader body allow the driver to vary the speed that the truck is driven, while not changing the rate that the fertiliser is fed through.
North West Ag Services' fleet comprises two Isuzu trucks, the second being a FVM 1400. This 14 tonne curtain sider serves as a freight truck and is used for internal deliveries between the business' nine outlets around Victoria.

According to Cameron, since purchasing the Isuzu Giga CXZ 455 in May the truck has proven its worth. “We have always held Isuzu trucks in high regard. I'm very impressed with Taig Bros who sold us the truck,” he says. “We have already put the truck to the test and it not only has done what we were told it would do, but it's exceeded expectations.

“The Giga offers us excess power. The truck does 45 kilometres across a paddock in some rough situations and up and down sandy rises which can be pretty tough, especially when you are turning on a sandy rise. Our driver, Jamie Free, is very impressed with the truck's power. It has an automated transmission, and we are pleased with how the computer system manages the power and revs.

“We are finding that it is much more economical in terms of fuel usage than what we expected out of something that size,” says Cameron. “When we were in the market to purchase a new truck, we preferred Isuzu to other manufacturers. We felt there was less risk of problems, less downtime and less hassles in terms of tank fills with diese.”

 

When the Isuzu Giga is due for a service, Cameron says he will take it back to Taig Bros where it was purchased. “It's a 2.5 hour drive back to the dealership but that doesn't worry us. We like to get our machine looked after very well and we have confidence in Taig Bros to do a good job.”

As the fertilising business is seasonal, from May through to late August, the Giga is utilised around four to five days per week. For the remainder of the year, the truck operates approximately one to three days per week depending on the rainfall. “The fertiliser side of our business is just one part of what we do. We also provide services in other farming requirements, growing services, sales and logistics around the products that we sell,” says Cameron.

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