Gess­ner tap into over­seas de­mand for its rip­pers

Gess­ner In­dus­tries is tap­ping into over­seas de­mand for its high­qual­ity rip­pers, Har­ri­son Hunkin re­ports

Earthmovers & Excavators - - Contents -

Queens­land-based man­u­fac­turer Gess­ner In­dus­tries is ex­pand­ing its busi­ness over­seas. Based out of Toowoomba, just un­der two hours’ drive from Bris­bane, Gess­ner spe­cialises in ev­ery­thing from agri­cul­tural ma­chin­ery to con­struc­tion and min­ing ma­chin­ery.

The com­pany has been push­ing its brand here in Aus­tralia for decades, but re­cently has seen a large ex­pan­sion of its busi­ness around the world, in par­tic­u­lar with its flag­ship Lewis rip­per.

Over the past two years, Gess­ner has sent six to eight con­tainer loads of in­dus­trial at­tach­ments to south-east Asia – a move Gess­ner In­dus­tries director Michael O’Con­nor is ob­vi­ously very pleased with.

So, what is the Gess­ner Lewis rip­per?

“The Lewis rip­per has been around for more than 50 years,” O’Con­nor says. “We build them as ei­ther a two-bar­rel or a four-bar­rel rip­per.”

Two bar­rel refers to the two hy­draulic lift cylin­ders; the four bar­rel al­lows the rip­per to have a vari­able pitch, so in­stead of just go­ing up and down, the rip­per can turn.

What sets the Gess­ner Lewis rip­per apart from the rest is its weight and qual­ity of ma­te­rial, ac­cord­ing to O’Con­nor.

“A pop­u­lar competitor’s rip­per weighs around 1600kg. In com­par­i­son, our Lewis rip­per weighs in at 2600kg – that’s a tonne more steel,” he says.

“A stan­dard competitor rip­per can rip about 500mm deep; our Lewis rip­per can rip 720mm deep.” he adds. “So when you’re go­ing into ex­tremely hard coun­try, a stan­dard rip­per just sim­ply won’t work.”

This rough and rugged per­son­al­ity of the Lewis rip­per has led Gess­ner to de­liver more than 10 D6R-com­pat­able rip­pers to south-east Asia in the past three months.

“There was a job in In­done­sia and they were tear­ing through D6 rip­pers – sim­ply pulling the whole shank car­rier off the back of the beam, so the com­pany de­cided to buy our rip­pers,” O’Con­nor says, adding that the Lewis rip­pers have been put to work in nu­mer­ous roles.

“They are us­ing them for some con­struc­tion jobs, but mainly ground prepa­ra­tion for sug­ar­cane plan­ta­tions. They have a lot of rocky and un­even coun­try so it’s all about pre­par­ing the ground.

“It sur­prised me at first: why they didn’t buy a prod­uct for half the price some­where else? It’s ex­pen­sive to man­u­fac­ture here in Aus­tralia,” O’Con­nor says.

“But they want our prod­uct be­cause we’ve made it very com­pet­i­tively priced. Our prod­uct has come down 25-30 per cent in price thanks to us work­ing out how to build larger quan­ti­ties with­out for­sak­ing the qual­ity of our prod­ucts.”

Gess­ner man­u­fac­tures all its prod­ucts in Toowoomba from Aus­tralian-made steel.

“We are see­ing a real trend in Aus­tralian­made prod­uct,” O’Con­nor says. “We are see­ing our prod­ucts, whether they are our rip­pers or agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, find­ing homes in places like Cam­bo­dia, Thai­land, In­done­sia and Viet­nam.

“While we don’t have any deal­ers over­seas, we are find­ing that peo­ple are will­ing to fly here to look at our equip­ment to send back to their coun­try.

“We are ca­pa­ble of de­sign­ing and en­gi­neer­ing prod­ucts to cus­tomers’ re­quire­ments.”

O’Con­nor says Gess­ner is also mak­ing its mark in Africa: “We’ve sent a num­ber of our sug­ar­cane prod­ucts over to coun­ties like Zim­babwe and Mau­ri­tius.”

Gess­ner’s dozer rip­pers fea­ture high-ten­sile, wear-re­sis­tant shanks and re­place­able grounden­gag­ing boots, which the com­pany says re­duces the risk of worn-out equip­ment and re­pair costs.

When you’re go­ing into ex­tremely hard coun­try, a stan­dard rip­per just sim­ply won’t work.

1. Earth­mover fit­ted with all pos­si­ble Gess­ner ac­ces­sories: in­clud­ing rip­pers, canopy, tree spear, stick rake, drum seeder 2. The first of eight D8R rip­pers shipped to In­done­sia in 2018 3. A D7E rip­per on an elec­tric-drive dozer

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