Doin’ a hard day’s yakka

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:

"Yeah yeah, nah, that's an old Segway x2 cross-terrain machine you can see in front. Sure, it's been around the bush a bit, mate, but then haven't we all 'round here. Yeah man, I slapped some Turf tyres. Did it to keep the Missus happy - you know, for when the kids tear it up on the back lawn. When I first got it, it had ATV tyres, bit like the old quady behind it. If the bloody milk solids price lifts a bit this season I might get one of those brand new Segway x2 SE's that just came out. That lucky bastard up the road's just got one, says they're s'posed to be even more rugged in the mud."

“Yeah, nah, that’s an old Segway x2 cross-terrain machine you can see up front. Sure mate, it’s been around the bush a bit – but then haven’t we all ’round here? I use it pretty much every day, for somethin’ or other. I nip up to the milking shed on it all the time. It’s quicker to jump on the PT and just go, than to climb onto the quad bike, back ‘er out and turn ‘er around. Plus the PT always starts up instantly – you don’t have to crank it in the cold. Yep, you can see I slapped on some Turf tyres. Did that to keep the Missus happy, coz you know what it’s like when the kids want to tear around the lawn. When I first got it, it had ATV tyres – a bit like the old quady has – but it’s still got shitloads of grip. And it’s safer for the little tackers and for the farm workers than the quad bikes. Bloody obvious, really. Plus I can throw it on the back of the Hilux and take it with me up the road to the top block. Now if the milk solids price comes up a bit this season I might even get one of those brand new Segway x2 SE’s. Gotta keep up with whatshisname, that lucky bastard next door who’s already gone out and got himself one. He was sayin’ the other day that the SE’s are s’posed to be even more rugged in the mud, which ya might-a noticed we get a bit of ’round here in the ‘Naki.”  (see note below)

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.

Waikato vineyard; Bay of Plenty Kiwifruit orchard; Canadian berry farm; Spanish plant nursery and garden centre.

Waikato vineyard; Bay of Plenty Kiwifruit orchard; Canadian berry farm; Spanish plant nursery and garden centre.

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.

Auckland lifestyle block (small holding); Karaka dairy and equine farm.

Auckland lifestyle block (small holding); Karaka dairy and equine farm.

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.

annex2semuddy1 9.32.31 am

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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.

 

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