Goldacres G6 Series 2 Crop Cruiser is finessed with operator improvements

While Goldacres currently holds an enviable position in the crop spray market with its strongly supported G6 Series 2 model line, it’s worthwhile noting what it takes to maintain such a high ranking

While the Goldacres G6 Series 2 fuel tank has also been increased in size by 50% to 450-litres to deliver a greater spraying range. The G6 Series 2 inherits all the proven functions of the first G6 including the rigid chassis, suspension and mechanical driveline system. It offers an excellent sprayer and boom ride and a balance between strength and weight

Goldacres’ G6 Series 2 crop cruiser was built on the backbone of what the G6 Series 1 machines endured following their release in 2019.

But the story doesn’t start there, we have to step back further, to 1978 in fact when the Goldacres name and philosophy was introduced to local growers by founder and now patriarch John Richards.

No one, other than of course John Richards, knew at the time we were witnessing the birth of another great Australian made product range that would culminate into being an icon and as important for instance as the Sunshine header.

Probably more remarkable than most can envisage, back at the latter part of the 1970’s was in the minds of many industry pundits the start of what seemed to be a golden era of opportunity, but this euphoria was soon to sequent into a severe fall from grace for local manufacturing by the 1980’s.

For a start-up business like Goldacres, the fall of some big names must’ve had an effect, fleeting or otherwise.

The international giants the likes of John Deere had already made the first move to pull the rug from under one of our big brands, Chamberlain tractors, being made in Welshpool WA at the time.

In 1970, John Deere had purchased the controlling interest in Chamberlain and while the badge continued to gain solid local support, by 1978 the same year John Richards started up Goldacres, it was evident the Chamberlain badge would make way for the leaping Deere logo.

And while local support kept the Chamberlain name alive until 1986, John Deere tractors built in the US were simply more economical to supply to an adoring worldwide marketplace.

At the end of 1982, building on their success, Phillips-Merredin slipped the 240kW (322hp) Acremaster 422A into a line-up that already boasted five models ranging from 156 to 384kW (210 to 515hp)

It was up to another great pioneer manufacturer to fly the Australian made flag for tractors in the mid-1970’s, Laurie Phillips was about to make his notch in history with the release of the first locally-made 4WD tractor, the Phillips Acremaster.

It looked like Laurie Phillips had struck gold with his original build, the Acremaster, first released in 1975.

This very serviceable tractor with a sloped bonnet that was ahead of its time for improved visibility and hinged backwards for clear access to the engine, and with power up to 384kW (515hp) as the badge began to build up steam, local large-scale growers knew they had to own one.

The original Acremaster models ran successfully from 1975 until 1984 when Laurie lost control of the business when independents worldwide were falling to the big-name makers.

The mid to late 1980’s was a tipping point for local manufacture of all farm machinery segments. As many manufacturing operations began shedding their work force and shifted operations to become mere marketing organisations, based on imports from Europe and the US.

This move was influenced by a sharp contraction in the machinery market, for example the self-propelled combine harvester market was around 1,600 units sold in the early 1980’s, to just 600 later that decade. Sales of square hay balers had plummeted from around 1,000 a year to just 150.

The share of local farm machinery sales was now limited to spraying, tillage and seeding equipment and one of the great names, South Australian based Horwood Bagshaw was already in receivership and could easily have folded at that point.

Australian-made tractors that accounted for nearly half of the total sales in the early 1970s had dwindled to only a handful of custom-built machines when the last major manufacturer, Chamberlain John Deere shut its doors for ever.

Mother nature decided to step-in for the 1982-83 season and what followed was such severe drought conditions that tractor sales fell from an estimate of almost 16,000 units in 1981 to a low of 7,300 by 1987.

The all new TriTech RivX boom in widths from 36 to 42m offers even greater boom stability and rigidity, largely due to the design and construction of the steel inner wings and aluminium and steel composite outer wings. Boom inner, outer and breakaway structures are a symmetrical construction meaning left and right wings are the same either side. This aids manufacturing efficiencies and dealer parts stocks

Small specialist operations such as John Richards’ Goldacres were at great risk, many companies that helped to pioneer the local manufacturing success were either taken over, turned to other products or ceased trading.

However, a big advantage that John Richards had in his favour was a trailed sprayer range that since 1978 had been well supported by local growers, and we were now at the doorstep of a change to single pass sowing and heavy chemical application for crop growers.

But changes had to be made, Goldacres could not survive by continuing to sell direct within a restricted area, it was the move to take the brand to dealers across the country that helped it see through a time many local makers simply disappeared without a trace.

Contrary to the trend, by the late 1980’s Goldacres increased its St Arnaud Vic workforce to 18.

By the 1990’s there was no stopping Goldacres as the St Arnaud Vic factory was peeling out two Prairie sprayers a day, and additional three-point linkage models to boot.

Increases in model product carrying capacity up to 8,000-litres quickly followed and the Goldacres juggernaut was simply etched into our recent pioneering manufacturing history.

By the early 2000’s Goldacres’ designers and engineers including John’s two sons Roger and Stephen knew they had to penetrate the self-propelled market to keep up with increasing imports into our local market.

The move to open a large manufacturing plant in Ballarat Vic was a turning point that would assure growers that Goldacres would always match or better the imported models and the home-grown advantage would always be held by the local badge.

Goldacres’ own G-Hub has at its heart a full colour 125mm (5-inch) screen and 10-button panel to control all fill and clean functions with the push of a button. In addition, the G-Hub system also manages all the liquid control valves that in turn operate all chemical induction, agitation and cleaning functions. All the induction systems, including the hopper, have increased capacities and all fill and flush functions are now controlled with electric valves with the push of a button via the G-Hub display

Back to this present day, the Goldacres G6 Series 2 plays second fiddle to no other brand worldwide with boom widths from 36 to 48m, and a 6000-litre product tank.

Even though the G6 Series 2 is performing beyond expectations for many operators, it’s the Goldacres philosophy of continued improvement that is currently at play.

There were already significant improvements to hydraulics, boom structure and Goldacres’ very own designed electronics package, the G-Hub just to name a few. And now with 12 months in the paddock under its belt, the G6 Series 2 is performing at a very high level of production.

The first production sprayer from the G6 Series 2 has now done 1600 hours under the watchful eye of Shaun Breen of Western Ag spraying at Chepstowe Vic.

Shaun added that the Western Victorian farming conditions have not been easy on the machine this season, “But it’s performing has been great with the improvements over its predecessor described as “Chalk and Cheese.”

“I am a massive fan of the RivX Boom, the G-hub operating system and new quick fill system.”

Shaun has also provided constructive feedback along the way, allowing Goldacres to add several further improvements to the model.

Shaun Breen of Western Ag spraying at Chepstowe Vic put the Goldacres G6 Series 2 through its paces for over 1600 hours for excellent results

More recently, Goldacres’ engineers and product specialists got together and reviewed all the feedback from Shaun and several other experienced operators spread across the country. 

Documentation during this product summary consisted of feedback both positive and negative, was used to gauge how the machine has been operating in the paddock under all conditions. 

In total, 110 feedback items were listed, some manufacturing quality control items consistent with the introduction of a new model and now already rectified in production. And as required, further action will be taken to add any significant modifications to keep this model at the cutting edge.

Overall, the G6 Series 2 is proving to be an exciting machine for operators with performance at a high level and sales enquiries for more models running very strongly in our current climate. To catch up on more Goldacres’ G6 Series 2 operator reports, read what Charlie and Neil Vallance of Aberfoyle farms had to say about their G6S2 on this link.

Goldacres G6 Series 2 Specifications

EngineCummins QSB 6.7L, 6 cylinder, Tier 3 emission. 168kw (225hp), 949N.m (700lb-ft)Standard
Vertically stacked combi cooler package. Fuel, transmission, water jacket, charge air & air conditioningStandard
Variable speed hydraulic driven cooling fanStandard
TransmissionAllison 2500 series automatic. Push button selector, lock up torque converter, 6 forward & 1 reverseStandard
Drive system4.4:1 final drive leg with oil bath lubricationStandard
2 wheel drive with LSD 5.125:1 ratioStandard
Full-time 4 wheel drive system with centre diff lockStandard
Fuel tank440LStandard
Steering2 wheel front steering system with true Ackerman alignmentStandard
2 wheel front steering system with true Ackerman alignmentStandard
Hydraulics100L plastic reservoir with level & temperature sensorsStandard
Twin gear pumps 22 and 32 cc/revStandard
Single variable displacement pump 45 cc /revStandard
Rear mount oil cooler with thermostatStandard
3 x pressure filters, 1 x tank mounted return filterStandard
Electrical system12V – 200amp electrical capacity
Dual batteries with master isolatorStandard
Fully sealed connectors with colour coded wires used throughout the wiring harnessStandard
6 x LED cabin lightsStandard
3 x LED service lightsStandard
LED light bar for lower bonnet (18 x 10W CREE)Option
LED light bar for upper cabin (12 x 10W CREE)Option
Braking systemFull hydraulic brake circuitStandard
4 wheel discStandard
Spring operated diff mounted disc park brakeStandard
ChassisFully welded semi truss rigid mild steel
200 x 100 x 9mm main rails
Suspension5 link torque rods with rear sway bar. 4 x rolling lobe air springs with ride height levelling. Shock absorbers on all corners, front feature double knuckle for extreme axle articulation.Standard
Paint systemGrit blasted steel work followed by high build primer.Standard
All unwelded sections seam sealed.Standard
Wet top coat paint system with high temperature baked finishStandard
Wheel Equipment16mm pressed centre, 10 studs on 335mm PCD (min 16mm)Standard
480/80R46 (166A8/159D)Standard
520/85R46 (173A8/169D)Option
480/80R50 (177A8/166D)Option
Axle tracksAxle track widths are dependent on tyre width selected
2970mm fixed wheel trackStandard
3048mm (120″) fixed wheel track (uses offset wheels)Option
Mudguards4 x full length axle mounted polyethylene mudguardsStandard
Deflectors4 x leading edge stainless steel crop deflectorsStandard
4 x brake mud shieldsStandard
Crop dividers for front wheelsOption
Crop dividers for rear wheelsOption
CabinBusiness class styled cabin with suspensionStandard
Dual tilt and telescopic steering columnStandard
Air suspension seat with seat belt. Fully adjustableStandard
Training seat with seat beltStandard
Accessory mounting rail on RHSStandard
Carbon filtration with positive cab pressurisationStandard
Bluetooth equipped radio and UHF with high gain antennasStandard
Refrigerator module for storage compartment under training seatOption
Window tint for all 4 sidesOption
Main cabin accessFull length LHS access platform with auto folding ladder. Hydraulically adjustable width LHS boom rest for ease of access and convenient road transport. Rubber dampened hand rail.Standard
RHS service platform with manual fold up ladderOption
BoomTriTech RivX boom (36 & 42m). Mild steel inner wings with aluminium/steel outer wings & breakaway.Standard
48m TriTech V boom (3 spray widths. 20m, 36m & 48m). Mild steel inner wings with aluminium mid, outer wings and breakaway.Option
Available in the following widths. 36, 42 & 48m. All booms plumbed in 16 sections – no “Extra boom sections available”Standard
RapidFire single line in 500mm spacingStandard
RapidFlow boom recirculationStandard
3 tier system (3TS)Option
3 tier system PRO (3TS PRO)Option
Raven Hawkeye PWM with turn compensationOption
Trijet nozzle bodiesOption
Cross fire 3TS (3TS capability with nozzles staggered every 250mm)Option
Custom nozzle spacing and configurations on requestOption
Hydraulic wing tiltStandard
Hydraulic bi-foldStandard
Hydraulic yaw systemStandard
Automatic boom height control system (standard on 48m)Option
Remote fence line jets (both sides)Standard
Control systemG-Hub – Goldacres Integrated SystemStandard
ISOBus control system using Raven RCM (CR7 separate VT option)Standard
Solution tanksUV stable Polyethylene heavy walled tank. Supported in a steel cradleStandard
Main tank – 6000LStandard
Rinse tank – 550L side mountStandard
Electronic tank measurementStandard
Spray Pump260 l/min, oil backed 6 diaphragm positive displacement. RPM readoutStandard
High flow centrifugal pump (standard on 48m boom)Option
Suction filter plus self cleaning pressure filter, electric switching between all functionsStandard
Chemical handling and transferChemical suction probe via Graco chemical pumpStandard
60L induction hopperStandard
Micromatic rinse socket and couplerStandard
3” integrated water transfer pumpStandard
3” separate front fill direct to tankOption
3” side fill with twin points with auto shut-off (clean and dirty lines)Standard
Service / MaintenanceRemote grease nipple bankStandard
Auto grease systemOption
Turning circle18m curb to curb 3m axle with 480/80R46 wheels (2WD)
Tare weight11,800kg*
Gross weight18,790kg*

*Weights based on 6000L 36m boom 2WD are approx. and depend on options fitted