Rene Van Gijs
Rene Van Gijs of Tokoroa bought an Einbock Pneumaticstar 600 in February 2011. To date it has seeded 2984 hectares. Asked about this investment, Rene said: “It is without doubt the most versatile seeding unit I have ever used. The seeding rate is infinitely adjustable and extremely accurate. It is versatile in that it will sow just about any seed, and from worked paddocks to direct-sow into existing paddocks, either top-up/under-sowing or sprayed out. In fact just over 1000 hectares has gone to direct seeding. Cost of R&M is unbelievably minimal and actual running cost in terms of diesel cost per hectare many times less than any other type of small seed drill on the market.”
Phil Parry of Mangakino purchased big-ticket items, a Krone Big X 700 and a Swadro 1400 rake in 2012/13. He has this to say about Piako Tractors Morrinsville and Tullochs: “It is a pleasure to work with good people. We all get along pretty well, and we get things sorted quickly if there are any issues.”
The 2014 Grasslands trip went off very well. We all arrived back intact and free from any tropical disease. It would be fair to say that the Africa leg was the highlight of the tour. A lot were sceptical and nervous, but thoroughly enjoyed the experience once they hit the African soil. Walking onto the field of Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg is not something many people can claim to have done. An African elephant-back safari and visiting the Victoria Falls — one of the original seven wonders of the world — were definite bucket list items. As always, the Grasslands event was amazing and Krone put on a spectacular display of machinery. The Krone factory visit was as polished as expected and we enjoyed great hospitality over a lunch that included Dr. Bernard Krone in person.
Talking of hospitality, in a totally unexpected gesture Christian Steichele and his family and friends hosted our group to a Bavarian breakfast at their house in Schwabmühlhausen near Munich. It just left us lost for words. That a man and his family would go to such an effort to showcase Bavarian hospitality was amazing. An email to Christian to make arrangements for the intended breakfast attracted the reply: “But we call it the BIG FESTIVAL because it is a really big pleasure to have you here.”
A sincere thank you again to Christian, family (including his grandmother) and friends. Christian came to work in our service department in 2013. He and his family run a contracting business and have recently purchased a Big X 700.
From Munich we travelled north to Nuremberg and had a very interesting tour of the MAN engine factory where they produce the 6-cylinder, V8 and V12 engines for bus, truck, agriculture, pleasure marine, working marine, construction, power generation and railapplications. With over 4000 employees and a production record of 120,000 engines in one year, the plant was very impressive.
Walking through the tunnel onto the hallowed turf of Ellis Park.
Ron and Jenny Mabey pose for a shot at Grasslands. The gentleman in the cap with his back to the camera is none other than Bernard Krone talking to customers.
Breakfast at Christian Steichele's
The Grasslands tourists on the grounds of the 5-star Victoria Falls Hotel. In the background is the Victoria Falls road/rail bridge which connects Zimbabwe to Zambia — a bridge that A.J. Hackett started bungee jumping from a few years back. The mist in the background is that from the Victoria Falls which are 1.7km wide, known to the locals as “Musi o tunya” (the smoke that thunders).
Flight of the angels
David Livingstone was quoted as saying when he came upon the falls that he named Victoria Falls: “A site so beautiful that the angels must surely gaze upon them in their flight.”
Rouven Ven Hoff and Christian Osthues have come to fine-tune the net replacement film system on Comprima balers. Christian was here for four weeks while Rouven stays until Christmas.
Christian (right) and Rouven (centre) in discussion with Alan Bishel, an operator with Hinton Contracting.
Thomas Temmen, a senior technician from the Krone service department paid a brief visit late October to see Big X harvesters.
Julius Hemker, from Legden which is 45 minutes from Spelle, has been revising our 2015 price book due out early in the New Year, as well as doing other work in marketing. Julius has his sights set on a degree in either European Business or Business Psychology. He had recently completed his A Level examinations and was looking for some practical English-speaking experience prior to entering university. His aunt Martina Schultz works for Krone, so he asked if she might have contacts in New Zealand. Inevitably, John Tulloch received a call and, well, here he is. With us for two months until mid-November, Julius will then travel New Zealand until the end of May when he will return home to study.
Julius shares his countrymen’s typical love of the outdoors
Marco Leying from Krone will install the first ICAN system into a BigPack baler in the South Island in December. The system sends information to your office computer such as location, moisture, weight and numbers.
Max Stapper recently emigrated from Germany to New Zealand and lives with his family in Queenstown. He has been accepted for training with Krone where he will next year start a three-year study programme in mechatronics — the combination of mechanics, electronics and hydraulics.