It’s an all aussie invention that became a global success within the sugarcane industry, and 2019 year marks 75 years of manufacture.
Albeit, at the start in 1944 it was simply an Austoft.
The Toft brothers invented and sold the first commercially viable cane harvester in that year. The company that was formed after its initial success went on to set up a manufacturing plant in Bundaberg Qld.
And by the 1970s, Toft Bros was one of the major manufacturers of cane harvesters in the world and Bundaberg was the global centre for Austoft cane harvesters.
But within a decade, changing market saw Toft Bros move through a number of foreign owners, before the company was re-claimed by Australian interests in 1986 and re-branded Austoft.
Case IH came onboard a decade later when tit bought the company, and market forces again came into play when the Bundaberg Austoft plant was closed in 2004 and the operation was moved to Brazil.
The Austoft name has managed to remain on the decal, with machines hard at work in Australia and around the globe from India and China, to the Sudan, Papua New Guinea and throughout South America.
Pete McCann, General Manager for Case IH Australia and New Zealand, said 75 years of production was a significant milestone in the harvester’s history and a proud moment for Case IH.
“The Austoft is such an iconic piece of machinery and we’re proud to have it in our stable of products. This anniversary is also a chance for us to pay tribute to the homegrown ingenuity that conceived the idea for that very first machine 75 years ago,” he said.
“We pioneered the introduction of hydraulic systems on harvesters and continue to invest in simplifying and upgrading the efficiency of these systems.
“Last year we launched the latest Austoft into the market, the Austoft® 8010 Series, with 28 additiional functions and improvements that came out of more than 18,000 hours of canefield testing.”
“This anniversary is a chance for us, to also thank our customers and dealers throughout the nation’s sugar-growing regions who inspire the ongoing quest for improvements and upgrades that will power the Austoft beyond 2020,” he said.