Home' On The Land : October 27th 2011 Contents www.standard.net.au
THURSDAY, October 27, 2011 ON THE LAND -- 5
IT looks just like any other farm
buggy, but this vehicle has one
major difference --- where there
would normally be a petrol or
diesel engine, there is an electric
The Polaris Ranger EV 4x4 was
on trial last week at the Wangoom
dairy farm of Alistair Adams.
"We need a new farm vehicle
so we took the opportunity to give
this a trial," Mr Adams said.
While he is a long way
from deciding to buy one, he
said it has some interesting
The Ranger is powered by a 30
horsepower, 48-volt AC-inducted
electric motor and is capable of a
It is claimed to have a maxi-
mum range of 80 kilometres from
its eight lead-acid batteries, but
this varies considerably with how
it is used.
"I think you would have to be
very disciplined about plugging
it in at every opportunity," Mr
Its power characteristics are
ideal for slow speed farm work. As
with any electric motor, maximum
torque is produced from zero
revs, giving the Ranger excellent
low-speed pulling power.
It can carry up to 220 kilograms
in its tipping tray and can be
fitted with a towbar.
Traction is never likely to be
a problem with a choice of two-
wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive, or
four-wheel-drive with diff lock.
One problem encountered
at the Adams' farm is that the
Ranger is too high to fit through
the cattle underpass.
"We would have to take a few
inches out of the roll cage," Mr
The electric option is up
against stiff competition from pet-
rol and diesel powered buggies,
and price is likely to be a major
barrier to its acceptance. While
the US-manufactured Ranger
sells for US$11,000 in its home
country, Australian dealers are
asking an eye-watering $20,995
By way of comparison, a
Kawasaki Mule fitted with a 950cc
three-cylinder diesel engine sells
QUAD bikes have been getting a
lot of attention lately, following
a series of serious accidents and
There are calls for compulsory
roll cages or roll bars to reduce the
incidence of crush injuries --- the
most common cause of serious injury
with the machines.
The accidents have also high-
lighted confusion about farmers'
obligations regarding the use of
There is no law requiring helmets
to be worn on private property, but
farm owners do have to provide
helmets and train workers in the
use of the machines.
WorkSafe investigates accidents
on-farm, but only has the power to
do so if an accident happens while
the rider is working. If the bike is
being used for recreation, it has no
Many farmers are unclear about
their obligations regarding the use
of the machines and this quirk of
the law doesn't help.
To help clarify the matter, United
Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV)
will hold an information dinner
where Tim McKenzie, the Victorian
Farmers Federation (VFF) FarmSafe
Alliance manager, will clear up the
He will also cover the require-
ments for driving a tractor with a
front end loader on a public road.
The dinner will be held on
Tuesday, November 8, at Proudfoots,
Warrnambool, at 7pm for a 7.30pm
VFF chief executive Graeme
Ford, UDV president Kerry Callow
and UDV manager Vin Delahunty
Admission cost is $10 for members
and $25 for non-members.
RSVP is essential --- contact Basil
Ryan 5565 4246 or Peter Walsgott
0427 043 981.
Laws create confusion
By STEVE HYNES Quad bike information session
Alistair Adams at the wheel of the Polaris electric buggy. RIGHT: The Polaris electric farm buggy.
111017SH20 Pictures: STEVE HYNES
buggy put to test
By STEVE HYNES
THE sheepmeat industry yesterday
outlined its strategy to assure the
welfare of Australian sheep in major
Middle Eastern markets, including
during the upcoming religious festival
Eid al Adha.
It includes a ban on sales that would
see sheep slaughtered away from certi-
fied facilities. Festivals such as Eid
al Adha often see sheep killed in the
streets and at private homes.
Sheepmeat Council of Australia
(SCA) president Kate Joseph said the
plan comes ahead of a new regulatory
framework in 2012 for Australian
The industry has been working in
Australia's major sheep export markets
--- Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait --- to
address potential welfare issues.
A key to assuring the welfare of
sheep is a policy of no sales to unknown
slaughter points. Instead, sheep will be
processed in facilities that comply with
global animal welfare standards.
Australian Livestock Exporters'
Council (ALEC) chairman Peter
Kane said the agreement was ground-
"It must be remembered that we
are dealing with complex cultural and
religious tradition and that Australia
has no jurisdiction in our overseas
markets. Industry is, however, com-
mitted to continuing to deliver change
through these activities, and through
implementation of the new regulatory
framework." Mr Kane said.
The new framework will not
make stunning prior to slaughter
Caramut Road, Warrnambool -- Phone 5561 4777
Darren Wright -- 0417 318 779 Ian Bond -- 0437 818 884
Princes Highway, Colac West -- Phone 5531 5022
Justin Parrott -- 0419 009 328 Mark Murnane -- 0429 015 664
Never before seen prices
Payment due by 15/1/12. 10% deposit * Conditions apply
Come and see
Ph. 5562 3868
Ph. 5562 7072 Power products & repairs
only at Coghlans Road
BELLS GARDEN CENTRE
• High Pressure
• Pole Pruners
• Rotary Hoes
WE SELL AND REPAIR
Links Archive October 20th 2011 November 3rd 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page