Latest gate 30 years in making
After more than 30 years in operation, Reporoa Engineering is going stronger than ever, producing its Reporoa Herdflow Gates for the dairy industry. Over that time, more than 600 gates have been produced for both New Zealand and overseas markets.
The gates,which are designed to control cows in dairy-farm collecting yards by creating a barrier between herds or bringing them forward to the milking shed, are installed and maintained by a dealership network through New Zealand.
Last year, Reporoa Engineering’s Central North Island dealership, Mainland Engineering & Dairy Systems, bought the company and moved the operation from Rotorua to its Taupo premises.
Mainland Engineering director Dan Gorton says the two companies are run separately under common ownership, providing customers of both businesses with servicing and a 24/7 call-out support.
He says Mainland Engineering’s experience fitting and maintaining the gates over the last seven years has enabled quite significant design improvements over the last year. “We’re constantly improving our product,” says Dan.
“We look at how previous models performed and what improvements can be made, taking customer feedback into account as well. While the original design principles are the same, we have improved how the gates drive, made maintenance easier, and increased their longevity.”
He says all gates are now mounted on an I-beam, eliminating the chance the gate can be derailed. The pitch-drive system on the new Reporoa Herdflow crowd gate has been improved so that the drive-wheel is now supported on both sides and there is a new top-beam design, which is clamped rather than welded.
A new three-beam design has replaced the original single-beam design, making the new improved crowd gate more robust.
“There’s a ‘plug and play’ electrical system, so there’s no more on-site wiring required. The technician installing the gates can commission the gate, fully test the gate and train the farmer all in one session.”
Dan says that when gates a being installed, a factory technician is sent from Reporoa Engineering, in conjunction with the local dealer, to ensure that the gate is working as it should be; it is tested and the farmer is trained.
“The customer receives a well rounded package, knowing that the product works and knowing how to use it on the day of installation. The new design gives the dealerships the ability to fit the gates between milkings, and not be restricted to the farmer’s dry period, spreading workload through the year.”
While only a few of the new gates have been installed so far, Dan says customer feedback has been very favourable – they look smart with very good functionality.
With many older gates that have been around for 25-plus years and still running on the same parts, components and electronics, Reporoa gates have stood the test of time.
Farmers looking to update their Reporoa gates will be heartened to know that many of the improvements made over the last 12 months can be successfully retrofitted without having to replace their gates.