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LIKE many farmers, Andrew Curnow’s dad, Don, decided to add another income stream to his Loddon Valley agribusiness so his son could get his start on the farm.
And so, 28 years ago, Loddon Valley Seed Grading was born.
Andy’s dad purchased the small seed grading business complete with a mobile cleaning plant that cleaned and prepared seed for sowing. It measured each seed for length, width and weight, removing weed or shrivelled seeds and treated the remainder with pesticides and fungicides to increase yield.
It was a great choice. Only a few businesses in each state do this kind of work, and Loddon Valley Seed Grading has grown from strength to strength over the last three decades. It has built an enviable reputation for reliably helping grain growers maximise their seed crops.
As an example of their work, one recent happy customer’s oats had been downgraded to just over $100 per tonne because they were mixed through with barley.
After 215 tonnes had been run through Andy’s grader over four days, the oats were upgraded to tier one – and so was the farmer’s profit. His crop was now worth over $280 per tonne.
From small beginnings, great things grow
Don Curnow mentored and partnered his 16-year-old son through Loddon Valley Seed Grading’s early years. Together they decided they could improve on their original grading machine’s design.
“Dad and I worked side by side, learning how to weld, wire and design the machine from the ground up,” Andy explains.
“I also taught myself hydraulics and engineering so we could create a grader from scratch that would help grow the business.”
After a couple of years, Andy passed this first creation onto his brother (where it’s still going strong), and set about building a new, more fuel efficient model to his own specifications.
And when it came to powering his invention, Andy naturally chose a Kubota generator. That’s because he knew the incredibly powerful and reliable, yet remarkably quiet Kubota is made to go and go.
A workhorse that is great for business
It was a decision that’s paid dividends. That second machine has been running now without fault for 13 seasons (October to June) straight, up to seven days a week and sometimes for 20 hours non-stop.
That’s a humungous 11,000 hours of hard yakka, all fuelled by a state-of-the-art Kubota SQ 3300 generator.
Add to that regular searing 40 degree plus days and some serious dust clouds and it’s clear Andy’s Kubota is a bona fide workhorse. He relies on it to support his business, and it never lets him down.
“This is still the original generator – untouched,” Andrew explains.
“I look after it and there’s nothing gone wrong with it. It just purrs away.
“You don’t hear of many engines that have done that many hours and never been pulled apart,” Andy enthuses.
“Apart from changing the oil and servicing it, Kubota’s just go forever.
“This one doesn’t use any oil between services and it’s still as good as the day it was built,” he adds.
Powered by Kubota fuel efficient, water-cooled diesel engines, the SQ Series heavy-duty four pole diesel generators incorporates a TVCS combustion system that improves air/fuel mixture, resulting in cleaner emissions and super quiet performance.
The three litre diesel, 33kVA, 415 volt generator powers the entire grader, including every device attached to it – from the compressor that cleans it to the lights that let Andy work through the night.
And it’s done it non-stop for 11,000 hours.
It’s no wonder Andy’s been heard to say, “I love my Kubota!”
It’s got to be a Kubota
After 13 years of hard work, Andy’s spent the last 12 months building a bigger, better grading machine. Problem is, he needs a bigger generator to power it.
“I’m looking to cut down my hours by about a third during the season by having two graders running simultaneously,” he explains.
“I wanted a 50kVA Kubota this time, but they don’t make one that big,” says Andy. “I could get a bigger one from another supplier, but I’m a diehard Kubota fan.”
“I researched every motor on the market.
“You start comparing different machines, and they’ve all got their pros and cons, don’t get me wrong,” he said.
“But the Kubota simply adds up to the best choice for my business.
“When you break it down, Kubota combines low noise (70dba) with fuel economy and reliability; it’s compact and easy to maintain.
“They might be little details, but all these little things together add up to a big deal. Why mess with something that works?”
“If I’d bought a different machine, I might have had to rebuild it at 10,000 hours, but the Kubota’s proven it’s going to go a long time,” Andy concludes.
Providing support to Andy is Mike Kuhlwind, LK Diesel’s Kubota expert.
“Andy wanted a bigger generator – and he won’t take anything less than a Kubota,” explains Mike.
“Unfortunately, the SQ 3300 is the biggest we’ve got.”
“But we won’t let a little detail like that stop us,” he added.
Mike has engineered a unit to meet Andy’s requirements exactly. He’s combined the Kubota V3800T engine Andy’s ordered with a generator to deliver the 40-45 kVA he needs to get the job done right.
“It’s all about finding relevant solutions that support our customers to do their very best work.
“Andy knew what he wanted and the LK Diesel team and I used our combined in-depth knowledge of Kubota to make it happen,” Mike said.
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