The team at Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI) is one of the biggest private irrigation companies in Australia serving 3093 landholdings – that’s an area of 378,911m². So when it came to partnering with a machine manufacturer and supplier to service their irrigation water and drainage services, CJD Equipment and Volvo were the obvious choice.
MI’s core business is delivery of water through an extensive integrated supply and drainage network. The MIA is one of the most diverse and productive regions in Australia, forming part of the Murray-Darling Basin with an area of 190,000 hectares being irrigated.
Chatting with MI Civil Maintenance Manager, Simon Jackson
Simon Jackson is the manager for civil maintenance at MI and shared the vital role Volvo machines play in delivering irrigation water to this important farmland. “Here at MI we have purchased seven Volvo machines over the years, which we use daily to desilt our drainage and supply networks. They are also used for construction activities across our network. Currently on hand we have three long reach machines, three 20-tonne machines and one 14-tonne machine.
We purchased our first machine back in 2010, which was a long reach machine and one we had previously used and found its features perfectly suited to our needs. The new long reach Volvo machines had the added benefits of great fuel consumption, reach and reliability that is part and parcel with the type of work we do across our network.
Simon continued, “Since that first purchase the introduction of key benefits to the Volvo fleet has been significant, including added reliability, increased power and reduced fuel costs. The addition of technologies has also been a huge factor for us with 3D-equipped technology being present in our current machines because this will continue to allow us to broaden our technology range in coming years.”
Watching the MI Volvo machines work side by side along the irrigation channel that supports the farmland was a picturesque sight. We had a stunning 40-degree day with blue skies so seeing the Volvos lined up and in full work mode was impressive to say the least, as typically the machines would be spread out working in separate areas.
Using the Volvo’s to Achieve Optimum Water Flow
Silt and weed are one of the biggest challenges to the Irrigation Network, so the Volvo’s are used to clear out the irrigation channels to allow the water flow as designed. Filming this process, you get a pretty clear picture as to why the Long Reach Volvos are so important to a company like Murrumbidgee Irrigation. MI has grown and developed a key relationship with CJD Equipment since 2010 and in particular with the CJD Equipment area representative Ross Forsyth in recent years.
Simon commented, “Ross as our key sales rep has gone into great detail with the purchase of our recent machines. The way both Ross and CJD Equipment pride themselves on delivery of their machines and all the background detail is second to none. Ross originally started as a service technician to our machines and since that time has move into his sales role, which has been a great move by CJD Equipment. As we all know machines can on occasion breakdown, but CJD was quick to respond and set up multiple technicians along with the added backing of their technical support to assist us with any issues over the years. This has been key for us and obviously our service that comes with CJD is second to none.
Fleet of Seven Volvo Machines
With the MI fleet now standing at seven Volvo machines, the four latest purchases, which were in operations for us on location in Griffith today, are the EC250E and EC220E Long Reach, and two EC220Els After chatting with the Volvo machine operators, it was obvious they love operating these machines, especially on days like the one we had while filming. The most comfortable place to be by far was inside the cab with the AC cranked up to easily beat the 40 degrees outside. Other features that the operators mentioned they really enjoyed were the fingertip controls, adjustable operating position and the ease of operation. The latest spec technology was also appreciated by the operators with 2D Dig Assist being a great inclusion.
Talking Shop with CJD’s Ross Forsyth
It was a pleasure to catch up with Ross while in Griffith. Ross’s previous life as a service technician places him in an excellent position in his current sales role. His knowledge and technical/mechanical understanding of the Volvo range provides Ross with an understated confidence and well-grounded presence as a sale rep. This combined with his personable and upbeat personality, it’s no surprise Ross is building such strong relationships with his customers.
While chatting with Ross about his time working alongside Simon and MI, he shared, “I’ve been working with MI for six years including my time as a mechanic. Their first machine was a 21 tonner back in 2010 and over my last four years in sales MI has been moving into the EC machine range. Simon and his team have plans down the track to move into 3D capabilities and also wanted the freedom to be able to choose which direction to go in at a later date – all features that the EC machines were more than capable of providing and going with the 2D Dig Assist made that decision a lot easier for them.”