NSW mixed farmer, James Hockey from Spring Ridge, values the manoeuvrability and versatility offered by Merlo's telescopic handlers designed for Australia’s farmers.
James and his brother Michael are third generation farmers operating 3,800 hectares. They crop Durum wheat, sunflowers and sorghum and run Angus and Hereford breeders to turnoff 400–450 kg steers for the feedlot market.
James says they purchased their first Merlo product back in 2000. Dissatisfied with the poor manoeuvrability from their existing earthmover, whose heavy body damaged the cement floors of their grain shed, they sought an alternative from their local dealer.
Merlo’s Multifarmer model had the necessary PTO and three-point linkage for an auger or field bins, and was ideal for shifting grain, hay and chemicals. They purchased the Multifarmer with different attachments (standard forks, grain bucket, gravel bucket, hay spears, round bale grabbers), and they have never looked back.
“It’s a much more versatile machine, and it has made our farm operations much quicker. If you need to change to another implement to go from the forks to the buckets it’s done in a few seconds. You just remove one attachment and get the next,” James says. “Our old earthmover took up to 10 minutes to change implements because it was heavy, difficult to move and the pins were hard to push in.
“The Merlo telehandler is so versatile. It has four-wheel steer, so we can turn around in quite tight sheds when we are shifting grain or hay to load trucks. It’s just so much quicker now.” One of Merlo’s best product features has been ease of use.
Over the past 14 years, the Hockeys have owned two Multifarmers and now a larger model, the Turbofarmer.
“We are considering dryland cotton production, so we upgraded to a bigger machine this year,” James says.
“Our Turbofarmer has a 7 tonne capacity and a 9m reach compared to the 3 tonne capacity and 6m reach on our previous Multifarmer, which means we could safely lift cotton bales.”
“Someone’s in the Merlo every day –shifting chemical, hay or grain. Everyone’s fighting over who’s using it next.”