Yanmar Powers Carrot Colossus
The family company grows carrots at two separate Victorian locations and supplies up to 600 tonnes of carrots to customers 52 weeks of the year.
The carrot farming process is spread over two properties, Wemen in north-western Victoria and Kaniva in Western Victoria. With the nerve centre of the business headquartered at Wemen, Lamattina’s not only had a 2430 Ha property but one of the most technically advanced carrot processing plants imaginable.
Of course, the carrot growing process begins out in the fields and at Wemen alone the operation has 37 centre pivot irrigators in place. While a series of electric pumps deliver water to these huge water systems, Yanmar 4TNE88 Series diesel engines are located on-site at each pivot point, driving the hydraulic system that turns the irrigator wheels.
According to John Lamattina, the Yanmar 4TNE88 engines have been the dependable backbone of the highly automated irrigating system.
“We have stuck with the Yanmar 4TNE88 engines as they never give us any trouble,” John Lamattina said. “We use Yanmar diesel engines right across all of the properties where we have a total of 62 Yanmar powered irrigators in operation.”
The Yanmar diesel engine with the most number of hours up is situated at Wemen. This engine has 15,000 hours logged in 10 years of operation and it is still as reliable and as strong as the day it was installed.
“This is a testimony not only to the Yanmar engine itself but also to the benefit of regular service and careful attention. We purposefully run quality machinery such as Yanmar and in looking after our equipment we are well rewarded with long, dependable operation.”
“With our Yanmar 4TNE88 engines it is simply a matter of ensuring that the oil and filters are kept up to the engines at regular intervals. It’s that simple.”
Aiding the efficient process of installing and servicing the T&L centre pivot irrigators is Stephen York of Water Dynamics Yarrawonga, a supplier that has a long established and a strong association with Yanmar diesel engines. Every irrigator is fully automated with UHF switch gear operated from a central location.
The Lamattina operation is year round. At Wemen each T&L centre pivot irrigator covers an area of between 70 and 80 acres. Typically a field of this size will produce 2000 tonnes of carrots.
Carrots are harvested at both Lamattina properties by mechanical harvesters which place freshly harvested carrots into portable bins, with each tri-axle bin carrying 12 tonnes of carrots. All processing is undertaken at the Wemen site where a modern highly mechanised washing and packing plant.
Carrots from the field enter the plant at one end and then emerge at the other end washed and packed in plastic bags ready for the supermarket shelf. In between, there is virtually no human intervention in the plant, which has a heavy emphasis on water recycling.
Such is the fierce independence of the Lamattina operation, that the vast majority of the equipment on site from the harvester to the processing plant has been designed and engineered by the Lamattina family themselves. The company runs its own fleet of 9 Kenworth prime movers and B Double trailers ensuring that 17 shipments are loaded and delivered from the plant every week.
Rocky Lamattina, together with his sons Angelo, Phil and John, now supply supermarkets around Australia with 600 tonnes of carrots every week of the year.