Bulk bag stand improving farmer safety, productivity
Farmers are finding new and innovative ways to manage their enterprises as seasonal conditions, such as high rainfall, create challenges for everyday operations. Patrick Fitzgerald’s farm in Merton, Victoria, receives on average 800 to 900 mm of rain — depending on the year, it can also receive up to 1300 mm of rain. This can lead to wet and boggy conditions that create difficulties accessing the orchard rows for fertilisation and nutrient programs.
“It was brought home to us this time last year when our tractor absolutely disappeared into the bog. It took us three days to get it out. The fertiliser contractor, in his 20-tonne truck, also got bogged. With the two incidents in a very short time, I thought never again am I having this happen. It’s one thing getting bogged but it’s also the damage caused by the ruts, holes and tracks getting the bogged vehicles, plus the rescue vehicles, out,” Fitzgerald said.
Earlier this year, Fitzgerald invested in the 975 mm United Ag Bulk Bag Stand, as a solution to this issue. With the bulk bag stand, Fitzgerald can use smaller, lighter vehicles to access the tree rows, where space is limited. This can now be done at the best time for fertiliser and nutrient requirements, instead of being dependent on the need to wait for contractors and equipment that can become bogged because it is too big for the job.
“With the bulk bag stand, we’re able to get behind smaller vehicles with smaller spreaders and put it exactly where we want it,” Fitzgerald said.
United AG is focused on product safety, with the company’s bulk bag stand designed to provide a safe and secure solution to storing and transporting various sized bulk bags. The 975 mm stand comes with adjustable height settings and can be used with or without legs for higher lifting of bags. With full galvanised finish and chute cut out, the bulk bag stand allows bags to be easily emptied with plenty of room for auger, hopper, buckets and wheelbarrows underneath. Other safety features include anti-slip chain and guide rails. All stands are certified to 1.5 tonnes.
Fitzgerald said the bulk bag stand was “much safer” from the point of view of having a delivery system that is the right height and safer in not having to get under a suspended load that could suddenly shift. Alongside the eight-hectare walnut orchard, Fitzgerald also runs 165 Angus breeders, with up to 450–500 total head at particular times of the year. He said the bulk bag stand will also be useful for this side of his farm enterprise.
“For applying pasture fertilisation in areas that are a little bit harder to access, we could potentially use the stand there as well. We’re hoping to use it across both enterprises,” Fitzgerald said.
United Ag has a range of bulk bag stands to meet varying needs across a variety of enterprises. The 1355 mm bulk bag stand features the ability to back a three-point linkage spreader, auger or other farm implement under a secured bulk bag. The bulk bag stand enables farmers to operate with one tractor, making things easier in the paddock for a one-man operation.
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