Sunfam uses JCB DieselMax for irrigation

Ian Loeskow
Ian Loeskow

Bundaberg irrigation specialist Sunfam was one of the very first dealers in Australia to use a JCB DieselMax in an irrigation application. Source: AFDJ eNews

In the 1950s the Loeskow family company was focused on drilling for water in the Bundaberg region. Since the incorporation of Sunfam in 1986, the business has evolved with an emphasis on the design of efficient irrigation systems.

“Early on we recognised that the Bundaberg region had a high demand for the design and installation of watering systems,” Ian Loeskow said.

Farming in this region is varied and extends well beyond cane farming, with macadamia and avocado trees plus vegetables prominent. Irrespective of the farming operation, there is a year round demand for water on the land.

“We take great pride in designing and installing pumping systems which are purpose matched to the individual applications. We select the best pump for the job then couple it with the most efficient engine,” Mr Loeskow said.

Sunfam first introduced the JCB DieselMax into its irrigation systems after the previous engine manufacturer of over 40 kW engines changed its minimum operational speed specifications.

“We have always enjoyed a strong relationship with Power Equipment, so we were aware of the new JCB DieselMax engines which had just become available in 2009,” Mr Loeskow said.

The first JCB installation was a replacement for an old Bedford diesel engine, which was driving the pump on a center pivot irrigator.

“The customer wanted a heavily built, reliable engine to replace his Bedford,” Mr Loeskow said. “The JCB DieselMax was readily accepted by the customer. Following the installation, the customer was amazed at the fuel savings.”

From that point, Sunfam has installed more than 10 JCB DieselMax engines in Bundaberg and the surrounding regions.

“When assessing the JCB DieselMax we had to be confident that the brand was competitive in the marketplace,” Mr Loeskow said.

“Our customers needed to be comfortable with the initial purchase price, the operational costs – by way of fuel and spare parts – needed to stack up and there had to be timely access to spares. In all respects the JCB DieselMax has proven to be outstanding.”

There are situations where the one pump installation is used by the same farmer for flood irrigation one day, trickle irrigation the next and a high pressure traveler the following.

“The JCB DieselMax can be set up to operate at speeds from 1200 rpm through to 2000 rpm to deliver the specific pressure and volume required,” Mr Loeskow said.

“The strength of the JCB DieselMax is that it can operate efficiently at a variety of engine settings. These are very reliable engines which we can specify and install with confidence in remote locations.”

Sunfam operates from two locations in Bundaberg with a JCB DieselMax on display the showroom floor.

“The real strength of the Yanmar and JCB brands is the reliability of the product,” Mr Loeskow said.

“The price of parts is okay and the reaction times to our parts orders from Brisbane and Melbourne, is also very good.”

“The high number of repeat Sunfam customers who specify either Yanmar or JCB is a strong endorsement of the two diesel engine brands which we use in our irrigation systems.”