In 2010 farmer Peter Lansdaal built a revolutionary new rotary platform on his Manawaru farm. The new dairy was commissioned in July 2010 and five seasons on the platform has delivered to promise, with the deck surface, wear strip and rollers “like new”.
The Lansdaal family has been farming on Waghorn Road since Peter’s parents settled there in 1970. Peter purchased his parent’s farm in 1990 and has subsequently purchased neighbouring blocks as they became available.
Today the Lansdaal trust owns a total of 355 hectares, plus a 40 hectare runoff, which operate as two System 2 dairy farms – 164 hectares milking 560 Jersey cows and 191 hectares milking 600 cows.
The 164 hectare farm is a result of combining two smaller farms which had a 20 aside herringbone and 22 aside herringbone.
“We wanted to form one property capable of milking 560 cows and decided to build a new 54 bail rotary.
“We looked at a range of platforms but top of our list was to go with a manufacturer who had good dealer support in our area.
“Our decision to build a rotary coincided with Waikato Milking Systems producing their first composite decks.
“I was familiar with the concept of Kevlar-reinforced fibreglass generating extreme strength with lightness in the boat industry and I knew the guy who designed and led Waikato’s construction team (Josh Janmaat) so I was pretty confident I’d made the right choice.
“Only one composite deck had been built at that stage and they were still in the prototype phase but Waikato Milking Systems agreed to replace the fibreglass deck with concrete if I wasn’t happy.”
The new Centrus 54 bail composite platform was complemented by Waikato Milking Systems electronic cup removers, bail restraints, automatic teat spray system and programmable automated wash syste
The new dairy was built in 2010 ready for the start of the 2011 season.
Lansdaal milked in the new dairy for the first four years handing the reins over to contract milker, Antony Loomans as the business grew but he admits the impression he got at that first milking is reinforced each time he visits the dairy during milking.
“The first thing that hits you is how quiet it is. I’d always liked the rubber mats that the cows stand on from a comfort point of view but, along with the quiet operation of the platform, they contribute to an extremely quiet milking environment which is nice for everyone – cows and people.
“And then there’s the weight, or lack of it. We only need a small 1 Kw motor to turn it.
“We’ve probably done more than 2,500 milkings over five seasons in this dairy so that’s a fair bit of use and by now you’d normally be seeing some pitting in a concrete deck from chemicals and effluent.
“The Centrus deck looks the same as it did on day one. A simple hosing keeps it clean at each milking and a few times each year we use a hose-off solution to remove any algae.
“The wear strip on the rollers also look near brand new and the only maintenance that’s required is a monthly grease and oil top-up.
“We’ve had no issues with the platform, milking system or components and annual service only takes around 30 minutes.”
Peter Lansdaal says the novelty and innovation aspects of the composite platform have resulted in a large number of farmer visits over the years.
“Farmers like to see innovations in operation. It’s never been a problem showing this dairy off as it always looks just like it did when it was unpacked – clean!”