May 3, 2019 - Local dealer wins Council tractor contract
Cassowary Coast Regional Council has taken delivery of two Deutz-Fahr tractors from locally owned Spearman Diesel Fitting at Tully to replace ageing machines primarily used for keeping the region’s roadside grass under control.
The bright green, German-engineered 6130 power-shift tractors will soon be a regular feature mowing the roadsides around the Mission Beach and Feluga area, and from Tully to Euramo.
Cr Rick Taylor said buying locally and supporting local business was an important part of CCRC’s Community First program.
“The Council is committed to supporting local business because it supports local employment and ensures continuity of jobs,” Cr Taylor said.
Business owners and operators Steve and Haulana Spearman employ two fitters and an apprentice in the workshop, and a parts interpreter.
Mr Spearman said he had expanded his diesel mechanic business into a dealership three years ago and winning a Council contract at this stage was “mind blowing” and marvellous.
“Seeing those bright green tractors constantly out and about is the best advertising my business could possibly have,” Mr Spearman said.
CCRC Fleet Manager Adrian Stitt, who recently joined Council after many years’ service with Toyota in Far North Queensland and Papua New Guinea, said Spearman Diesel won the tender based on a number of elements, including most favourable ongoing running costs.
A major consideration was research before making the investment, including first-hand recommendations regarding performance. “Our team talked to local farmers, including those who already use this tractor in their paddocks, and got on-the-ground feedback about efficiency and reliability,” Mr Stitt said.
He said in our verdant region the tractors slashed just about year round and fuel economy was a big consideration in choosing which tractor to purchase.
“The computerised technology in these machines mean the operators can see as they are working just how much fuel economy they are getting and can adjust settings and techniques to suit the situation, rather than waiting to refuel to calculate how much fuel they had used,” he said.
“Feedback from the operators is that there are good safety features too, including an all-wheel braking system.”
Council tractor operators Peter Curry, Ray Hardy and Graham Kohn were impressed with the extra touches Mr Spearman had incorporated. These included converting the spare seat in the cab to a tray so a lunch box could be securely accommodated with the seatbelt, and fitting an aluminium tool box and water tank beside the driver’s door step. He had redirected the air conditioner water runoff to collect in the tank so it would continually fill, providing water for the operators to use for washing after handling chemicals and sprays.
Mr Spearman said the toolbox, water tank and other aluminium fabrication work had been carried out by neighbouring business, Blair’s Mufflers & Aluminium.
“He did a great job,” Mr Spearman said, “as did our team in getting the tractors ready for delivery.”
While the operators were impressed with the new green machines and their capabilities, they were a little sad about parting company with their blue New Holland tractors after nine years in the operators’ seats.
“I spend more time with my tractor than I do with my wife,” quipped operator Peter Curry.