Owners of two New Zealand machinery hire yards use Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) to get around their worksites.
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.
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.
Perhaps as some kind of an antidote to the cold, wet English winter, the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper recently published a great set of photos of a policeman on a Segway x2 SE Patroller cruising a hot, sunny Noosa beach. The associated story details how Queensland Police have found the Segway PT to be the best way to do their job at the seaside.
Police began trials a year ago on the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Southbank, and by the time these were concluded in June 2013 some 75 officers had been trained to use them. The trial concluded “…that Segway PTs were an ideal alternative way of transport in areas that are normally only accessible by foot.”
Segway PTs have been deployed in many locations since, from busy downtown areas to community patrols in urban areas, at parks and along riversides, and of course on those famous golden stretches of beachfront. According to the Daily Mail article, Senior Sergant Mcreight said Segway PTs were often used to patrol beaches and boardwalks in his area:
‘It’s a quick way to move around and research from other law enforcement agency’s show they are relatively quick and have a beneficial height factor of about 15-30 cm that allows better vision,’ Mr Mcreight said.
‘It’s a new technology for new police and the guy enjoys using it and finds it quite convenient.’
‘It’s good fun on the beach, especially when it’s busy and you can’t really drive or walk – the Segway is pretty good to get around and get between people,’ Mr Senekal said.
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:
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.
This is the time of year small businesses and corporates book us for their Christmas Parties and staff team building functions. Families and groups book us to be part of the festivities at their BBQs and birthday parties.
We bring along our Segway Personal Transporters (PTs), our decade of experience in running fun, safe and enormously entertaining sessions, and our boisterous enthusiasm to have a really great time.
Read more about our activities here then book us today.
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.
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.
“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.
Christchurch Segway Tours has hit #2 on TripAdvisor this week, up from #7 just five months ago in July 2014. Earlier this year they also received a Certificate of Excellence.
Our congratulations go out to Graeme Gordon for achieving this incredible ranking in New Zealand’s second largest city.
Christchurch Segway Tours were the first in the country to begin upgrading their fleet to the new SE models earlier this year. They’ve featured in numerous articles where the writers have praised their tour, including USA Today and NZ Herald.
Auckland’s Santa Parade will feature ten Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) this year – more than any other year.
Five are being used by Crackerjack Promotions, organisers of the annual parade. Crackerjack have been hiring Segway PTs from Segway New Zealand for their staff to use in event management roles for many years (search our archives for previous stories).
Five more will be buzzing around with the floats with their riders dressed in giant Buzzy Bee suits (thanks to Mansons). Buzzy Bee is an iconic Kiwi toy, enjoyed by generations of kids.
According to Wikipedia:
The Buzzy Bee is a popular toy in New Zealand. It resembles a bee with rotating wings that move and make a clicking noise while the toy is pulled along the ground. Possibly based on an earlier American concept, it was designed and first produced in New Zealand in the 1930s, by Maurice Schlesinger. It became popular during the post-war baby boom. Its bright colours and clicking sound call are familiar to many New Zealanders, making it one of the most well-recognised items of Kiwiana. Since this time however, the Buzzy Bee has branched out into various merchandise including books, jigsaws and clothing.
UPDATE: Here is a screen shot of coverage by TV3 News (30 Nov 2014) of the giant Buzzy Bee float and one of five Buzzy Bee-suited riders on a Segway PT (plus a glimpse of a second bee, if you look carefully).
Auckland software entrepreneur Steve West has imported the first Tesla Model S electric sports saloon into New Zealand. In fact, his is the first privately owned Model S in all of Australasia, and it arrived direct from a European showroom – purchased as soon as the right-hand-drive version was released to the UK market.
Amongst the ~50 attendees were internet entrepreneur and Segway Polo player Seeby Woodhouse, technology and economics writer Rod Oram (another enthusiast of the Segway PT), and Philip Bendall from Segway New Zealand (who visited the Tesla head office and factory in San Carlos, California in 2008, and attended the Sydney unveiling of two not-for-sale Model S’s in August earlier this year – the first Australian customers hope to receive their Model S’s next month).
A lucky few got to be some of the first people in New Zealand to ride in the luxury, all-electric Model S. Afterwards, a ‘fishbowl discussion’ followed, centred around what can be done to speed the adoption of electric cars in this country.
Other electric cars on display included Steve’s other Tesla – the original Roadster, two Nissan Leafs (or is that Leaves?), and a red MX-5 (known as the Miata in USA) that had been converted to EV. Segway Personal Transporters were also available for attendees to ride.
Steve exhibited his pride and joy at MIT in Auckland today, displaying the Tesla alongside the Killacycle and Killajoule before they all head off to Christchurch for Evolocity on Sunday 30th at Mike Pero Motorsport Park.
Steve co-founded Serato, the world’s leading DJ software.
Dylan Schneider is a young man with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy who uses a Segway Personal Transporter (PT) to get between classrooms at school, around the sports fields with his friends, and down to the beach with his family on weekends.
This month Dylan is the cover story in InTouch, the magazine of the New Zealand Muscular Dystrophy Association. The editor talks about how Dylan’s family raised money to buy a Segway PT, noting how “…funding was found and the vehicle has and will continue to make a huge difference to Dylan and the Schneider family’s lives.”
Inside, the full article goes on to discuss the support received from CCS Disability Action (one of whom’s staff also uses a Segway PT, who was well aware of just how useful a Segway PT is for people who are mobility impaired) and from Segway NZ. Additional comments include how his occupational therapist and his physiotherapist are “…very impressed with how well Dylan is doing…” now that he has the Segway PT. Dylan has a Segway XT model with off-road tyres, and in the article his mother Debbie remarks “…even the very wet and muddy conditions this winter haven’t stopped them from getting out.” The entire article is available to read for free using the link in the paragraph above.