COMPACT TRACK LOADER TAKES CHARGE

Working in proximity of the Beef capital of Australia in Central Queensland, a Cat® compact track loader equipped with a Cat mulcher has been tasked with the job of clearing high volumes of lantana that has gotten out of control in recent times.

Located on the Iwasaki Corporation land on the Capricorn Coast, the Cat 279C has been uncovering mass areas and achieving great results. The project involves the clearing of 3,000 hectares of bush and scrub land for cattle grazing. With a mix of Wagyu, Brangus and cross of Wagyu and Brangus, the loader has been putting in a huge effort to clear the grazing land for an increasing head of cattle.

Heading up the grazing division for the Iwasaki Sangyo Company (Aust), Aiko Koyama, Wagyu Project Manager, said they would currently have over 1,000 cows and the numbers are continuously growing as they are calving. Around 200 of the cattle would be pure Wagyu but there are plans in the future to change this so they are the majority.

Bruce Westcott, Property Manager, said, “The Cat 279C is good for narrow areas. It is able to work quickly and get into tight areas without knocking down trees which is good for the cows as the trees offer a shaded area.”

On the job for almost eight months, there have been many elements to contend with. The weather, the terrain, not to mention old fences that cannot be seen amongst the lantana but caution has been taken to preserve the environment.

While the mulcher may not be the most conventional method to clear the land lantana, it is the preferred method as it is non-invasive to the ground.

“We can’t disturb the land,” Bruce said.

“Restricted by local laws, mulching the lantana is the advised method to clear the land and has been working for us.

Once we have finished mulching, we run through with a stick rake to remove the stump and root system.”

As it stands, approximately one third of the land has been cleared. The Cat 279C and HM315 mulcher works seven to eight hours a day, five days a week, and has given the grazing team greater access to their cattle and better visibility.

“We have been making the most of the dry weather and are getting stuck into the land that is usually wet. Once the rains come, we will move and work in a different paddock.”

Selling the machine and work tool was Hastings Deering Sales Representative Wayne Partridge. “The 279C is a versatile machine achieving impressive results. Purchased for a specific purpose, it can also be used in other farming applications by replacing the mulcher with a bucket or pallet forks that it was also delivered with.”

Bruce added: “The use of the Cat 276C on our land has allowed us to see mass area and herd the cattle more efficiently.

Certain areas were unusable but now, all cleared, the cows will walk through it. The weather and the mulch matter have also allowed for new grass to grow through and given us the opportunity to grow our herd.” “These little machines are amazing.”