Broughan Engineering Ltd is not the first Irish agricultural firm to send products to the other side of the world and it reflects well on Irish manufacturers that orders for Irish products are coming from so far away.
Paul Broughan, company manager, explains: “We are busy. This order was placed over nine months ago and we’re only filling it now. What we would hope to do is build orders like this at the back end of the year when things are quieter.”
This would allow business levels to remain constant all-year round, maintaining both cashflow and staffing levels, which are crucial factors in growing the business.
Shipping to the other side of the world is potentially very expensive.
The current order from Geoff Wallace is for eight trailers. Geoff bought two trailers earlier in the year, which were shipped to him in January.
The other eight were specifically designed and built so that four would fit into a standard shipping container. This keeps the cost per trailer down, but it does restrict the overall size of the trailer.
The standard width of a Broughan trailer is 2.54 metres, according to Paul. “We had to build these 2.3m wide, so that they would fit into the container. Even the hinges for the rims are bolted on to keep the width within limits.”
Overall, the base trailer specifications for all eight trailers are the same across the entire order.
All are 14t drop-side tipper trailers. They feature 2ft high removable rims. The front rims had to be made removable for shipping in a container.
The hinge point of the rear rim is set towards the front of the trailer, so that the tailgate naturally closes to the shut position. A hydraulic ram plumbed into the tipping circuit releases and locks the tailgate from a mid-position under the rear of the trailer floor.
The floor is unusual in that it is made from 5mm Hardox steel, roughly the equivalent of 15mm conventional steel plate.
“A lot of the customers these will be going to have farm roadways to maintain,” explains Paul.
The Hardox floor is specified with spreader chains to hold the tailgate open at a set gap and to spread gravel filling along farm roads.
Running gear is unsprung bogie axles with 550/45 x 22.5 tyres. The drawbar is sprung. Interesting is that based on build specification, there doesn’t appear to be too many tractors equipped with pickup hitches.
“All are specified with a swivel hitch and either a screw jack or hydraulic jack plus one has the added option of a stand (for a customer with pickup hitch). They might even specify a 7ft drawbar where the wheels are set out wide on the tractor or it’s fitted with dual wheels.”
Rope rails also run the full length of each side and some of the trailers are specified with 1.5m bale extensions. So these are all-round, multi-use trailers. Colour is important too. There are options of blue, green and red to match the various manufacturers’s colours, depending on what the customer wants.
Geoff Wallace, Balewrap NZ Ltd, is based in South Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand. Bruce Lett asked Geoff some questions in relation to his dealing with a manufacturer here in Ireland.
Bruce Lett: Why purchase trailers from the other side of the world? It must be very expensive to ship them to New Zealand. Are there no alternative suppliers in or close to NZ?
Geoff Wallace: Yes, there are plenty of local manufacturers, but none of them are like the Irish. They are strong, determined, dependable and reliable people, who build strong trailers.
There are a few trailer manufacturers here in Ireland. What made you choose Broughan?
For the reasons outlined above.
Are the trailers you have purchased for yourself or resale?
We sell around 50 trailers per year.
Why do your customers like the Broughan product?
I have been selling trailers for around 10 years and I know a tough trailer when I see one.
What is your principal business in NZ – contractors/machinery dealer/silage wrap dealer?
I am a farmer’s son and the owner of a 1,400-cow dairy farm (which is currently rented to a local dairy farmer) and a small runoff. We grow 70ha of lifting variety fodder beet on it. I have been an agricultural contractor for 39 years (baling both round and square, transport and some cultivation work). Our main business with the import company is the sale of bale wrap and bale net wrap, although we sold seven Agrifac self-propelled beet harvesters this year, and we import other agricultural equipment to customers’ specifications.
Do you import any other products from Ireland or Europe, and why?
We import a few tyres and wheels, as well as bale processing equipment from Keltec Engineering at Kilmallock, and the occasional baler/wrapper when the manufacturer from Co Mayo is not looking.
Thanks Geoff, and the best of luck with the Broughan products.
Bruce, we need no luck with these products; they are built like the proverbial brick outhouse. The only problem is, they are so busy, we have waited nine months for these trailers.