New Holland’s harvest support stock keeps farmers up and running

03 February 2024
1. New Holland’s_Harvest support .jpg

Fifth generation Tumby Bay farmer Lenny LeBrun of Wullara got the call no farmer wants to receive during harvest: ‘We’ve had a look and it’s not as straightforward a job as we thought’.

Earlier that day Lenny had dropped off the header for his CR9.90 Combine to New Holland dealer Curtis Sales and Service for quick maintenance, only to get the call from dealer principal Michael Curtis that he needed a new top feeder drive shaft.   

The LeBruns have been farming the Tumby Bay region on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula since the late 1800s growing wheat, barley, canola and lentils. At the time Lenny got the call he was busy harvesting lentils and the last thing he needed was extended downtime for one of his two CR Combines.

Fortunately, Michael already had the solution: instead of having to order the part from New Holland’s St Marys warehouse in Western Sydney, the part he needed was just four hours away in Booleroo.

Lenny called his brother Jordan, who happened to be on his way home from his job at Roxby Downs Olympic Dam Mine Site, to collect the part on his way back, further speeding up the process.

“Lentils are going for around $900 a tonne right now, so any delay can mean bad weather and running the risk of getting the crop downgraded,” Lenny said.

“Any staining or shrivelling can mean the crop just has feed value, downtime can cost you a lot of money, that’s why everyone goes flat out at harvest time.”

Jordan collected the part out of the harvest support stock from New Holland dealer Flinders Machinery at Booleroo and delivered it to Curtis Sales and Service, who had Lenny’s CR9.90 back up and running within 24 hours of spotting the initial problem.

New Holland Regional Parts and Service Manager, Dylan Caldwell said due to the Eyre Peninsula’s remote geographic location, ‘critical for function’ parts for CR combines were strategically stocked at locations for distribution to dealers as needed.

“Ahead of each harvest we ensure harvest support stock is stockpiled at Flinders Machinery at Booleroo, to service the mid-north and Eyre Peninsula, and at Ronco Motors at Pinnaroo to service the Mallee, Riverland, Southeast and Western Victoria,” Dylan said.

“Downtime from machinery breakdowns or lack of replacement parts is something farmers can ill afford at harvest time; it’s potentially dollars down the drain.

“If a farmer can’t get a crop off before weather, whether it’s rain or heat, every day the crop is sitting in the ground and not in storage it is potentially diminishing in quality.  

“It can be the difference between what grade the crop is sold at, which can cost farmers thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“That’s why New Holland has developed a harvest parts ‘hub’ approach around the country to mitigate excessive downtime. If there is a breakdown, there will be a local parts hub to support the customer fast and efficiently to keep their combines running.

“New Holland has over 95 dealerships strategically located across Australia to ensure farmers’ machines are always running in optimum condition,” he said.

“We all know how precious time in the field is during short harvesting seasons, which is why our dealers also offer field service to respond quickly to assist farmers at their location.”

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