Clients urged to get online with system
New online technologies in Outram Contracting’s spray trucks have improved efficiencies in the field, and reporting to farmer clients, who are being encouraged to get on board too.
Barbara and Ken Cuthill set up Outram Contracting 17 years ago, providing agricultural spraying services to Otago farming clients and lifestylers across the Taieri, Hindon, Clarks Junction, Lee Stream, Pukerangi, Middlemarch and Milton.
They operate two Toyota Landcruiser four wheel drive trucks fitted with 15 metre boom sprayers for broad spraying of paddocks and crops, and a Ford Ranger set up with automatic hose reel and handgun sprayer which is used for spraying gorse, broom and drains.
The family business comprising themselves and a part-timer has a client base of mostly sheep, beef and dairy farmers including Lonestar Farms at Middlemarch and Pukerangi, Mt Gowrie Station at Clark’s Junction, Taurima Dairy Farms, other farms and various lifestyle blocks.
Their work varies from spraying out paddocks in preparation for sowing brassica, beet and cereal crops, regrassing or winter spraying of lucerne fields to clear weeds for the next season, post-emergent weed sprays, insecticides and fungicides on crops, targeted weed clearing such as gorse and broom, and work for the local councils spraying for weeds in drains or moss spraying on roads. Although they are available for any other spraying jobs as required.
“Most times of year there’s always something happening,” says Ken. Their busiest time is September through to March, but every season is different, says Ken, and like most farming businesses their operation is based around the weather.
“Every year has been different since I’ve been in the game, but this has been an especially challenging year due to the wind and rain, the ground has been really wet.”
Whilst they have had the locally developed TracMap GPS head units and Guidance and Job Management System onboard for several years, they this year upgraded to the online system, allowing them to work more efficiently by streamlining operations with better targeting of spray and the ability to immediately log jobs including spray areas and rates delivered.
Once the operator has completed a spray job the press of a button sends data to a centralised server, logs the job records with the company office, and a report is generated for the farmer or client direct to their desktop or mobile device.
Barbara says the system has real advantages for their company especially in times when a spray truck is deployed from a job due to bad weather such as rain or wind.
When returning to the job the driver can know the exact place to resume the work and the amount of spray required to complete the application.
Their farmer clients are being encouraged to get online with the system too, so they can have better input in terms of spray rates, selected chemicals and paddock details, and the information is transferred direct to the truck working in the field.
This article was brought to you in association with the following businesses…