Come rain or shine, the harvest goes on

For Rob Pickles, who owns an agricultural contracting business in north central Victoria, every job is different from the other. Depending on the season and the type of crop being harvested, he needs to make sure his harvesting and baling machinery can work efficiently through the season without any unexpected downtime.

“The conditions that we work in are never the same. In parts of northern Victoria, there has not been much rain lately, so the earth is dryer, while the southern regions have seen more rain, so the soil is damper. Also, the crops vary from season to season and place to place,” he says.

Rob’s business, Hayanmi Fodder, has invested heavily in buying top of the rank agricultural machinery, currently owning two Krone HDP2 balers, tractors, rotary rakes, tillers, bale stackers, mowers and more. In late September and early October, which is the peak season in Victoria for cutting hay, Hayanmi Fodder produces anywhere between 15,000 to 20,000 bales of hay per machine.

Rob has been dealing with the BSC Shepparton branch for many years, where the branch manager, Adam Failla, introduces him to the most suitable spare parts for his agricultural machinery.

Adam says as a trusted supplier of agricultural parts and accessories to farmers and contractors, it is BSC’s job to ensure that its customers have access to the best products in the market.

“Customers like Rob have invested heavily in procuring agricultural machinery and they trust BSC with supplying reliable products for their machines. Whenever we meet our customers, whether it’s at their workshops, our store or at an agricultural field day event, we ask them what spare parts they are currently using and recommend better products to them if it can offer more longevity and reduce the risk of downtime.”

INA rolling bearings, including the INA PWKR cam followers, are among the products Rob has been using extensively to achieve longer bearing life for his equipment. The cam followers are part of Schaeffler Industrial Group’s high-performance X-life series of products, which offer superior dynamic and static load ratings compared to conventional products.

“It’s important that the spare parts we use in our machines have sufficient longevity to withstand the tough working conditions we put our machines through,” says Rob. “The INA rolling bearings definitely offer the reliability that we look for and they offer much longer life than any other bearing we have used in the past,” he says.

Andreas Pieper, Engineering Manager at Schaeffler Australia, says INA cam followers offer two distinct features that set them apart from their counterparts.

“The first unique feature is the larger crowning radius on the outer diameter of the bearings. This results in lower contact pressure with the track on which the roller runs. Consequently, both the roller and the track last longer and need to be replaced less often.

“The second feature, which is also unique to Schaeffler, is the larger grease reservoir in the INA PWKR cam followers and a few other models. The larger grease chamber means the bearing can last longer without re-lubrication, which again results in less frequent bearing replacements.”

Motion Asia Pacific, which BSC is a part of, have been the exclusive distributors of INA products in Australia since 1962. The X-life seal indicates upgrades by the German manufacturer in the design and engineering of its products, offering the bearing series at a comparable price range as conventional bearings, but with higher dynamic and static load ratings.

The X-life PWKR cam followers offer up to 30% higher static and dynamic load carrying capacity compared to conventional cam followers due to optimised raceway geometry. The bearings also have higher permissible ring loads by changing the material of the outer rings.

Rob says he trusts the BSC team with their knowledge of the products they have on offer.

“I have worked with Adam and other BSC representatives over the years. They are all very down-to-earth, they have a very good knowledge of their products and if we need any help, they are always ready to assist in no time,” he concludes.

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