Kiwi farmers have always been quick to pick up a useful new tool. If there’s a machine out there that will speed up getting a job done then they’re going to be interested in taking a good look at it.
Increasingly, Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) are finding a home on every size and kind of rural property in New Zealand. Check out this snapshot of a corner in one 21st Century Kiwi farm implement shed:
To really get an idea of just how broadly Segway PTs are being used on the land, here are a few local examples:
DAIRY and SHEEP: a 200 hectare (500 acre) dairy and equine farm in Karaka uses a Segway x2 SE; an even-larger dairy farm in Te Awamutu uses two Segway x2’s; and a High Country Sheep Station in the Southern Alps of the South Island uses a whole fleet.
KIWIFRUIT: Award-winning “Grower of the Year” 6 hectare (15 acre) orchard in Te Puna (Tauranga) and a 50 hectare (120 acre) orchard in Te Puke use Segway PTs to move staff and equipment about – quietly and efficiently.
WINERY: a Waikato vineyard uses Segway x2’s for jobs such as collecting leaf samples for pest management.
FORESTRY: a forestry contractor uses two Segway PTs on large worksites.
SMALL HOLDINGS/LIFESTYLE BLOCKS: the owner of a 10 acre property in Coatesville (Auckland) uses a Segway x2 for property maintenance, including knapsack spot spraying. His kids use it for fun on the weekends.
We’ve featured several overseas farming case studies recently, including a plant nursery and garden centre that has boosted productivity “tremendously” with a fleet of Segway i2’s, and a Canadian berry farm that has deployed the Segway x2.
Our July 2013 article “Over hills, over plains, through the mud and in the rain…” goes into specific detail about why the two-wheeled, self-balancing, zero-emission Segway PT is pretty darn good at putting in a hard day’s yakka down on the farm.
Note: the quote below the first photograph in the article includes many examples of “Kiwi farmer” vernacular and idiomatic phrases that are commonly used in both rural and urban conversational English. Many of these may be mystifying to people living outside New Zealand or Australia. If you can’t work out what the farmer is saying, just ask us for an explanation in the Comments section.