End of era for Cottams
After 36 years of running his own engineering company, Cottam Engineering in Berrigan, Joe Cottam has closed the doors to the business on Monday.
Cottam Engineering manufactured and repaired components for agricultural, earth moving and mining industries.
The business specialised in gear cutting, and the design and manufacture of gearboxes and gearbox overhauls.
Mr Cottam won’t put the tools down in his retirement. He plans to build a 3000 horsepower engine for his beloved ‘Riverina Screamer’ tractor.
‘‘There’s always room for improvement,’’ he said.
‘‘I’d like to thank my wife, Carol, and all the staff for their hard work over the years, as well as the whole community for their support.’’
Cottom Engineering originally started where Woody Motors is now, and moved to a site on Corcoran St.
Cottam Engineering put many apprentices through their trade with 90 per cent of them still at it, including Andrew Williams and Daniel Valente.
Mr Cottam was the Berrigan Shire’s Citizen of the Year in 2010, which he said was a great honour.
He has a special interest in engines such as those in his 2200 horsepower ‘Riverina Screamer’.
An Apex life member, Mr Cottam and Riverina Screamer have been a big hit at Finley’s annual tractor pull for more than a decade.
Riverina Screamer, built from scratch, is powered by a V12 Rolls Royce engine.
Mr Cottam’s love of farm machinery and his involvement in the extreme sport of tractor pulling led him to being crowned the Australian Tractor Pull Associa- tion’s national champion for six years in a row.
Consequently, he has been announced as an ATPA life member.
‘‘The race is always on to find more horsepower and be more competitive,’’ Mr Cottam said.
An appreciation dinner for the Cottoms will be held at the Berrigan Memorial Hall on August 23.
LEFT: Andrew Williams and Joe and Carol Cottam, with the famed Riverina Screamer tractor, closed Cottom Engineering this week.