End of era for Cot­tams

Southern Riverina news - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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