Hay Australia, a large-scale fodder exporter, has added the new Dieci Agri Plus 42.7 to its fleet of telehandlers.
Operations manager Geoff Walker says the business has been using Italian-built Dieci telehandlers for about four years.
"We sell about 140,000 tonnes of fodder, mostly oaten hay, each year through sites in WA and Victoria," he said.
"We are constantly moving hay around the sites, from delivery to dispatch to the plant, and it's all done by telehandlers. These machines run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and they clock up 2500 hours per year," he says.
"Dieci is the best brand of a number we have tried."
In fact, before bringing in the new Agri Plus 42.7, Mr Walker bought a 40.7 Dieci telehandler, even though he knew it was probably not the ideal size for his high capacity, non-stop operation.
"We were still running another brand at that time but we put the Dieci in to give it a challenge," he said.
"That Dieci machine is actually still running now and has done upwards of 6000 hours."
He said the upgrade to the premium Agri Plus was already paying dividends in productivity, in operator comfort and reliability.
"The 40.7 with power shift is an excellent machine that will meet most farmers' needs but the hydrostatic single speed Vario Evo 2 in the 42.7 Agri Plus is just ideal in an around the clock production facility.
"It's like an auto transmission. Put your foot down and it drives. It also has a comfortable cab, which really matters when you are asking an operator to sit in there for a long period of time. They need space and good air-con because there's a lot of glass, and Dieci has the best air-con I have come across."
The business has invested in two new 42.7 Agri Plus machines in the specialist Haymaster model.
They are both based in Victoria where the original smaller Dieci is still hard at work.
The Dieci Agri Plus 42.7 has a maximum load of 4200 kg, maximum lift height 6.9m, maximum forward reach of 3.75m, peak power of 153 horsepower and maximum road speed of 40 kph.
"The Haymaster has a side shift on the boom and it's surprising how often we use it. It lets you shift the carriage side to side to tightly pack the load," Mr Walker said.
"If you lift up and realise a bale on the front needs to move left or right you can do so in small increments without having to move the whole machine. It takes some getting used to but once operators learn to use it, they love it," he said.
Hay Australia sells into Asian and Middle Eastern markets servicing customers who demand high quality fodder for their equine, dairy and beef operations.