Getting around ‘Machinery Hire’ yards on PTs

Owners of two New Zealand machinery hire yards use Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) to get around their worksites.

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Nevada Equipment is a hire and sales company in Pukekohe (south of Auckland) that uses a Segway x2 to zip around the yard. Proprietor Nevene Chhiba says the Segway x2 speeds up how quickly he can conduct routine site checks, and is especially invaluable when performing maintenance on machines in the yard. The Segway x2 enables him to rapidly make trips back and forth between the device he is working on and his fully-equiped workshop. He remarks that when adding up all the walking, it was easy to lose half an hour’s productivity per day when he used to walk back and forth. For a small business that equates to a lot of foregone turnover….and lost profit. The Segway x2 reduces a day’s total trip time to just minutes, and carries not just Nevene but also tools and parts.

The Segway x2 offers sure-footed traction over the shingle surface of the yard. The low pressure, quad-bike type ATV tyres and intuitive self-balancing capabilities make for quick, safe, comfortable journeys across loose gravel in both wet and dry conditions.

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Green Hire in Tauranga uses a Segway XT to get around their large site next to State Highway 27. The main equipment sheds and storage areas for cranes, scissor lifts and other mobile machinery is located next to the road frontage, but one of the workshops is some distance away – up a driveway that runs uphill. It is a long way to walk on a busy day – especially when time is money. These days, proprietor Doug Murdock and his staff cross that distance in a flash on their Segway XT. If you ask, they might even hire it to you.

Other locations where Segway PTs are used to carry ‘maintenance crew’ and their parts and tools are the Locksmith at Canterbury University and the Properties Manager at Forest Hill Primary School.

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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.

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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.

 

Renewables now 79% of NZ electricity generation

New Zealand generates a very high percentage of its electricity from renewable sources. This means Kiwis who choose zero-emission vehicles can make a real contribution to reducing their carbon footprint.

For example, the Segway Personal Transporter (PT) is a great ‘last mile’ commuting solution and it also offers an exceptional way of increasing efficiency in the workplace. All while keeping emissions at zero.

For longer distances, vehicles like the just-arrived-here Tesla Model S, along with other electric and low-emission hybrid cars have become a very practical option for daily use. Vehicles like the Teslsa are also enormous fun to drive!

In the year to November 2014 generation from renewable sources hit 79%, and the government is targeting to see that rise to 90% by 2025. What is interesting about this new record is that geothermal power has eclipsed natural gas for the first time, to become the second most significant generator, after hydroelectric.

79% of New Zealand's electricity generation now comes from renewable sources (hydro, geothermal, wind, wood).
79% of New Zealand’s electricity generation now comes from renewable sources (hydro, geothermal, wind, wood). Graphic by PM Bendall, data from NZ Herald.

New Zealand is a pioneer and a leader in geothermal power technology. The world’s second large-scale plant was opened in Wairakei in 1958 (the first was in Italy in 1911). Much research and development was performed there over the decades that followed, and today New Zealand has four additional plants operating of similar size to Wairakei (100-160MW), plus half a dozen more in the 25-80 MW range. Together these contributed 16.3% of the electricity generated during the past 12 months.

According to NZ Herald this week, Energy Minister Simon Bridges says:

“I’m very excited about geothermal It’s the single area where New Zealand has most expertise in the world and I have the view that companies with some help from government should be doing more to leverage [that],” he said.

According to Wikipedia, New Zealand is one of only a small number of countries with numerous geothermal fields that could be developed. Most fields are located in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, but there are also fields in Northland, Hauraki Plains, Bay of Plenty, and in the South Island along fault lines. By the 1980s, some 129 fields had been mapped, and it is possible more will be located that do not have surface expression. Wikipedia also says:

Many applications of geothermal energy in New Zealand reinject the cooled steam/fluid back into the underground fields, to extend or infinitely use the fields as power sources.

While geothermal power is thus considered a renewable energy source, it is not a zero-emission source. This is because some greenhouse gases are released during the process of extracting the fluids and extracting the heat to generate electricity, so geothermal is considered a low-emission energy source. Primarily, these gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), with lesser amounts of (stinky) hydrogen sulphide and methane.

Comparing geothermal with other methods of generation using here, according to NZ Geothermal Association the average grams of CO2 released per kiloWatt hour of electricity generated by the seven major plants is 100 g/kWh. Compare this with combined cycle natural gas plants emitting 400 g/kWh, and with coal and oil plants emitting 900-1,000 g/kWh. In summary, geothermal emits one quarter of gas, and just one tenth of coal.

For Segway PT owners who want to charge their machines as greenly as possible, plugging it in for recharging overnight (after 11pm or so) is the time of the day when almost all electricity is being generated from renewable sources.

The electric garage: Tesla Model S, Segway PT, and a pair of Nissan Leafs.
The electric garage: Tesla Model S, Segway PT, and a pair of Nissan Leafs.

Get a Segway PT on Lease-to-own/Operating Lease with Flexirent

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Segway New Zealand has partnered with technology finance company FlexiGroup to offer our customers more options to acquire the latest Segway i2 SE and x2 SE Personal Transporters (PTs).

Their Flexirent service offers both Operating Lease (12 to 36 months) and Lease-to-Own (12 to 60 months) options for businesses to get the benefits, cost savings or extra revenue from deploying the Segway PT today, and making regular payments going forward.

Pay as little as ~$66+GST per week for a new Segway i2 SE*

Now you can put a Segway PT to work in your business for less than $10 per day. Use Flexirent’s online calculators to find out what your regular payments will be, then phone Flexirent and get approval in under 10 minutes.**

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Segway Accessories are accessories to add functionality for a variety of purposes. For example, Logistics users might chose a Front Bag or a Front Case, waterproof Cases or open Storage Bins on each side, Flashing Lights for improved visibility (to meet Health and Safety criteria in some workplaces) as a  compliment to the built-in front and rear running lights, holders for Smartphone/Tablet/Clipboard holders, or a USB power source. Other options include golf bag carriers and advertising signs/shields.

Segway i2 SE Logistics configurations
Segway i2 SE Logistics configurations

For security companies, public safety, first aiders and other first responders the Segway i2 SE Patroller and x2 SE Patroller models of Personal Transporter, plus the new three-wheeled SE-3 Patroller, have been specifically designed to meet the needs for these users.

Segway SE-3 Patroller
Segway SE-3 Patroller

 

*based on a $12,995 retail price on Lease-to-Own over 60 months at rates as of 15 October 2015.

** subject to FlexiGroup’s normal lending criteria.

JAG Security makes big impression at Waipuna Hotel with Segway Patroller

JAG Security Services are patrolling Waipuna Hotel & Conference Centre using a Segway Patroller.

The Auckland-based company began their first trial using a Segway Patroller a few weeks ago, and are now clocking up more than 30km per day over – above  distances covered by foot patrols. This is a massive increase in security presence – achieved without any increase in staff numbers.

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Waipuna Hotel is one of New Zealand’s largest conference venues, with hundreds of cars and up to a thousand guests entering and leaving the site daily. JAG Security manager Brett Gillett pitched the benefits of putting one of their guards onto a Segway Patroller to hotel management last month. Since early August JAG Security officers have been completing their rounds on two wheels, and achieving great results.

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The Segway Patroller enables an officer to move quickly and quietly around this sprawling facility that has a complex layout of buildings, car parks and lawns. One officer on a Segway Patroller achieves a greatly increased security presence  – many times greater than one officer on foot can provide. More importantly, they can glide around to all points on site and check just about everywhere, whenever they want, without being locked into a regular “on the hour” set of regular rounds, which provides far more effective security against intruders who might otherwise attempt to circumvent security with knowledge of a set timetable.

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Today JAG Security ordered the brand new, latest model Segway i2 SE Patroller for permanent deployment at Waipuna Hotel. And the company is already looking to other sites around Auckland where a Segway Patroller will help their business secure fresh contracts, and improve the quality of service being delivered to existing customers.

Waipuna Hotel is located on the edge of one of the many beautiful estuaries of Auckland’s Waitamata Harbour, next to the industrial and commercial centre of the Mt Wellington suburb of Auckland city.

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Mt Wellington becomes Auckland’s ‘Segway City’

The industrial and commercial heart of Mt Wellington – a suburb of Auckland – has become a hotspot for deploying Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) on commercial and industrial sites.

Within a 1km radius there are five businesses using Segway PTs across a range of roles:

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Fletcher Aluminium begins Segway PT trial for factory maintenance crew

Fletcher Aluminium‘s extrusion plant in Auckland has an on-site team of engineers ready to respond to equipment failures and breakdowns. When a big machine stops working unexpectedly it can cost tens of thousands of dollar per hour in lost production, so there is enormous value in being able to respond rapidly.

Today the team began a trial using a Segway Personal Transporter (PT) to enable an engineer with a heavy set of tools to reach all corners of the site much faster than walking (and very much faster than pushing a tool trolley). This large site located in the industrial area of Mt Wellington includes many factory buildings, and the Segway PT is small enough to fit down amongst the heavy machinery and aluminium stock to be found within.

Dave at Fletcher Aluminium, Auckland
Dave responding to a call-out at Fletcher Aluminium’s factory in Auckland, New Zealand

The Segway PT is available in two models: the i2 SE that has a narrow wheelbase, and the wider x2 SE available with either ATV or Turf tyres. Today, the team experimented with both i2 and x2 configurations to determine the best fit for their environment. So far, the Turf tyres look to be the best choice, offering plenty of grip and a comfortable ride. The majority of surfaces that the engineers travel across include tar seal (bitumen) and concrete (both painted and natural), as well as some areas of grass that can become muddy in winter. The nature of this worksite means there can be scraps of sharp metal on the ground, so the deeply treaded x2 tyre options provide excellent resistance to puncturing.

The Segway PT is also available as i2 SE Patroller and x2 SE Patroller models popular with police, security and in other public safety deployments. The Patroller models includes reflective shields and flashing LED lights to compliment the built-in running lights found on all SE models (white at the front, red at the rear).

For a safety-focused worksite like Fletcher Aluminium, the Patroller with yellow reflective shields and amber-white lighting provides the high visibility required by workplace safety obligations. This is a busy site with forklifts, trucks and other devices moving inside and between buildings. The Patroller also features a large, rider-facing bag for extra cargo capacity.

Tool bag on the Segway PT's Universal Cargo Plate accessory.
Tool bag on the Segway PT’s Universal Cargo Plate accessory.

Dave, one of the engineers, normally walks to jobs carrying a surprisingly heavy “grab bag” of tools. Completing a repair job can involve multiple trips back to the workshop to collect spares or to work on parts. Dave first test rode the Segway PT carrying his bag, and then fitted the Cargo Frame and Universal Cargo Plate combination onto which he could rest his tool bag while riding (or attach it with a bungie cord). Next, the engineering team will consider building a custom carry tray for Dave’s bag, and the tool boxes used by other engineers. Already off to a successful start, the trial continues this week.

An excellent example of a pair of custom tool-box carriers can be found on the Segway PT used by the Locksmith at Canterbury University.

Locksmith Ian Steel and his customised Segway i180 at University of Canterbury
Locksmith Ian Steel and his customised Segway i180 at University of Canterbury

Another example of a Segway PT being used in a maintenance support role is at Forrest Hill School.

Segway offers a range of standard cargo carrying options for Segway i2 SE and x2 SE models, including front cases, waterproof side cases, and open parts bins. In addition to safety lighting 5v power ports, accessories include mounts for a tablet or smartphone holder.

Segway i2 SE Logistics configurations
Segway i2 SE Logistics configurations

About Fletcher Aluminium:

Fletcher Aluminium designs, develops and manufactures premium aluminium extrusions for an extensive range of industries; whether it is windows and doors, commercial systems or specialist aluminium extrusion for private supply. The company’s investment in world-class technology and design has resulted in many patents and copyrights, and has allowed the company to leverage its success in its New Zealand home base into success in diverse international locations.

Fletcher Aluminium is one of the businesses that form the Fletcher Building Group, a New Zealand and Australian based building material manufacturer and distributor with operations in concrete, steel, fibreglass insulation, aluminium extrusion, roofing, access flooring systems, sinkware, laminates and panels and is involved in residential and commercial construction.

The Lion, the ditch and Segway

The Lion, the ditch and the Segway
The Lion, the ditch and the Segway

Rohit Gupta uses his Segway x2 to get around his 6 hectare (10 acre) lifestyle block in Dairy Flat, Auckland.

“Originally, I purchased the Segway x2 for my teenage kids to use, to ride around the property and just have fun. I decided a Segway Personal Transporter (PT) was much safer than a quad bike or a farm motorbike.”

“But I’ve been finding that I use it myself quite a lot. Much more than I expected, because it is so handy.”

Rohit says he likes how the Segway PT starts instantly with the push of a button – even on the coldest mornings. He’s also discovered that it speeds up doing some of those jobs that small block owners find so time consuming.

“For example, I put on the knapsack and go weed spraying. For spot spraying it is much faster than walking the paddocks. Also, when the knapsack becomes empty, it doesn’t take me anywhere near as long to glide back to the shed to refill. So the job gets done very much faster overall.”

As an electrical engineer, Rohit might well consider replacing that old knapsack with a manual pumping lever with twin spray tanks mounted on the cargo plates on either side of his Segway x2 complete with a battery operated pump. Now that would be a handy application of Kiwi ingenuity.

Rohit has been fascinated by the Segway PT since it was first announced in 2001. During the mid-2000’s he’d attended a technical talk about the Segway PT and a demonstration of the e167 model to the Auckland Institute of Electrical Engineers by Philip Bendall. That night he decided he’d own one for himself one day. Back then, Segway’s first cross-terrain model – the Segway XT – was yet to be released. Today, Rohit’s business Computer Fanatics Limited is a successful software company that specialises in applications for veterinarians (VETLINK), and farmers (Animal Health Plan, Equine Health Plan), as well as HAIRLINK (for Hair Salons, Beauty Clinics, Nail Bars, and Day Spas).

Rohit and his Segway x2, along with one of his two lions that guard his home
Rohit and his Segway x2, along with one of his two lions that guard his home

Segway PTs on Kiwi farms

POST UPDATED: 13 October 2014

The new Segway x2 SE getting down and dirty in the mud on a dairy farm in New Zealand
The new Segway x2 SE getting down and dirty in the mud on a dairy farm in New Zealand

The Segway x2 SE can be found putting in a good day’s work down on the farm. Kiwi farmers and lifestyle block owners are using Segway x2 SE’s (and earlier Segway x2 and Segway XT models) to get everywhere from the house to the cowshed, or up from the paddock and down to the gate. Other landowners are using Segway PTs to do everything from lead the horses in to speeding up those never-ending-jobs like spot-spraying weeds. For example, Anne Watts uses her new Segway x2 SE on her 200 hectare (500 acre) dairy farm in Karaka, South Auckland. The Segway x2 SE transports her down muddy races, through puddles and across deep, lush paddocks of pasture – even when the soil underneath is wet and boggy after a week of rain.

Anne Watts with her Segway x2 SE on her dairy farm and equine property in Karaka, Auckland
Anne Watts with her Segway x2 SE on her dairy farm and equine property in Karaka, Auckland

The deeply treaded tyres and agile, cross-terrain capabilities of the Segway x2 SE enable Anne to glide to the four corners of her farm quickly, quietly and safely, whether it is to check on livestock or carry out maintenance. She is going to add Universal Cargo plates that have tie-downs for bungi cords, and the capability to attach or remove quick-release, watertight cargo cases. A Front Case lets her carry an assortment of gear including tools, equipment, wet weather clothing, and a water bottle.

The Segway x2 SE and a quad bike - two very useful vehicles for Kiwi farmers.
The Segway x2 SE and a quad bike – two very useful vehicles for Kiwi farmers.

For Anne, the Segway x2 SE has become an important and often-used part of the transport mix of vehicles that help her work her farm on a daily basis. Of course, if she needs to carry some fence posts, a bale of hay and the cattle dog too, she’ll take the quad bike. But compared with climbing onto a quad bike that requires starting up, backing up and making multi-point turns just to turn around in narrow races and tracks, simply stepping onto the Segway x2 SE with it’s turn-on-the-spot, zero-radius turning is a faster and more convenient way to get around much of the time.

Segway x2 SE on a dressage arena that has wood chips on the surface
Segway x2 SE on a dressage arena that has wood chips on the surface

Anne’s other passion is horses, and she has begun to take the Segway x2 SE with her to horse shows around the country. She loads both horses and the Segway x2 SE into the back of her horse truck, and when she arrives the Segway x2 SE provides a quick, efficient way to get around large equine events. And because it is silent and zero-emission, the Segway x2 SE doesn’t scare the horses.

UPDATE 13 OCTOBER 2014: Anne says that since her Segway x2 SE was delivered at the start of June, there has hardly been a day that she hasn’t used it at least once. Some days it is only for a short jaunt from the house down to a paddock to check the horses or feed some lambs, but most days she is off and on it many times as she works all around the farm.

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