Product Focus: Sugarcane mulching with JCB telehandlers

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  • Plant & Equipment

Rocky Point Mulching operations manager Josh Keith and a JCB telehandler Rocky Point Mulching currently use seven JCB telehandlers within their diversified sugar cane processing plant Rocky Point Mulching operations manager Josh Keith and a JCB telehandler

The Keith family, operators of Australia’s only family-owned and operated sugarcane farm and mulch processing plant, have been using JCB machines for almost a decade.

Winners of the 2016 Farmer of the Year title, the Keith family began turning the waste from each sugarcane harvest into mulch, which turned into the Rocky Point Mulching operation.

With an annual turnover of $30 million and 13 family members working full time, the Keith family have recently launched a new division called Rocky Point Recycling, which aims to turn urban timber waste into garden mulch to reduce landfill.

Rocky Point Mulching operations manager Josh Keith says the business has seven JCB telehandlers, which are almost always in use.

"We’ve been purchasing JCB machinery for the past 10 years and we haven’t looked back as they are so versatile," he says.

"We use them for picking up the large square bales of the mulch, site maintenance and cleaning, and also general duties around the operations.

Keith says the JCB machines are productive, efficient and benefit from up-to-date technology such as speed cooling fans, transmission electronics and boom dampening.

"The engine speed cooling fan is great in the hot and humid Queensland temperatures, as it reacts to changing temperatures, which maximises our fuel efficiency," he says.

"The all-round visibility with tinted glass is another plus as well."

Rocky Point Mulching has formed a good relationship with JCB, which Keith says is useful when it comes time to maintain, upgrade, or replace machinery.

"Most of the time it feels like the JCB team is working only for us, which is great. They are always helpful when it comes to service questions, maintenance or when we are looking to upgrade.

"We try to add a new machine at least every 12 months to keep the fleet up to date with their technology changes."

The Keith family’s operation is located halfway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast in South-East Queensland.

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