Earthmoving News, Graders, Machinery News

Hidromek grader heads to Hay

When the time came to upgrade his grader fleet, Kevin Walter turned to Hidromek and its HMK600MG to get the power and manoeuvrability he required

The charming town of Hay, located in the western Riverina region of New South Wales, serves as the administrative centre of the Hay Shire local government area. Situated in a fruitful agricultural district on the expansive Hay Plains, the town is conveniently located approximately halfway between Sydney and Adelaide.

This is the home base for Kevin Walter, who recently bought a Hidromek HMK600MG grader from Onetrak for his work with agricultural clients, primarily graziers.

His work includes constructing tracks and roads, clearing channels, building trenches for the installation of polypipes, dozing old fences and levelling the ground for new fences, ground tanks and dams. With 46 years of experience in the field, his business covers up to 100km in all directions of the Hay Shire area.

Walter takes on the majority of the work himself, calling on additional operators when needed. With a fleet of four graders, he can leave one machine on-site as necessary. For customers who require trenching, he typically digs the trenches, leaves a grader, moves on to another job while the pipe is being laid and then returns to fill the trenches.

In addition to his fleet of graders, Walter has several rollers, which he primarily uses for constructing bush tracks. If necessary, he can also hire other equipment such as a water truck or a scraper to complete the job.

Choosing Hidromek

Walter decided to purchase a new Hidromek grader as his three existing graders have over 17,000 hours on them, necessitating an upgrade for his fleet. With the Hidromek brand catching his eye, he contacted Onetrak to source the HMK600MG.

The HMK600MG stood out for having both wheeled and joystick control as well as a powerful air conditioning system. Image: Onetrak

Walter says the HMK600MG stood out for him as it comes with a steering wheel and a joystick, as well as a powerful air conditioner, which is crucial when working in Hay’s hot climate.

He also highlighted the importance of the HMK600MG’s reversible radiator fan, which is a standard feature. This is especially helpful because the dusty conditions of Hay require daily radiator maintenance, however, with a reversable radiator fan, the job of cleaning the radiators is so much easier. Walter notes that this is an expensive added option for many other brands.

After putting the Hidromek grader to the test, Walter, a seasoned user of graders, has compared it with other leading brands.

“It is the most stable grader I have ever driven, and I have driven them all over the years,” he says.

Although the joystick controls were different from the normal pedestal joysticks he was used to, he found it surprisingly easy to adapt to the new system. He has been able to construct trenches with stable batters for recycled channels up to 3m deep, and he feels secure knowing that the Hidromek grader can handle this challenging task with ease.

He is also impressed with the HMK600MG’s speed, boasting over 200 horsepower (150kW), allowing it to reach a maximum forward speed of 45km/h and reverse speed of 42km/h. The Hidromek grader’s quickness, combined with its great turning circle and the other features highlighted, has made Walter an avid supporter of the brand – even though he had never encountered Hidromek or its graders before.

Kevin Walter helped prepare the roadsides around Hay for the coming film Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. Image: Onetrak

Onetrak

For the past three years, Walter has been working closely with Onetrak’s Tumut branch in NSW, saying that Onetrak and Hidromek have been excellent partners.

Based on his work, Walter made a small change to the side mesh panel that helps to prevent grass from entering the radiator. He also added his own hinges, so the panels could be lifted, allowing access to the radiator to blow it out.

Hidromek was made aware of this and when Tim Jackson from the Onetrak Tumut branch came out to do the 1,000-hour service, Hidromek had redesigned the side panel to include the hinge and installed it on the machine at no extra cost.

Walter says that the Onetrak team, particularly Jackson, has been outstanding in terms of service and promptness in resolving any minor issues that have arisen, adding that proper backup and maintenance are critical to ensure smooth operation.

Onetrak is the official dealer for Hidromek equipment in Australia. Visit www.onetrak.com.au or call 1300727 520 to get in touch with Onetrak and the team.

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