UAI invests in proven equipment operating equipment from recognised global manufacturers – John Deere, Case, CNH, AGCO, among others.
At the heart of the current equipment fleet are 40 efficient 300 hp John Deere 8000 and Case Magnum tractors which provide the power for primary and secondary tillage operations. Standardising on a 300 hp tractor means the equipment that these tractors operate with is interchangeable between UAI farms. This also allows for benchmarking and inter-farm comparisons of performance parameters such as productivity output, fuel and spare part consumption. These tractors also pull 12 metre-wide planters for sunflower and maize crops. UAI utilises these tractors as fully as possible, and each tractor is manned by two drivers, allowing the tractors to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week over the busy spring and autumn work periods. Utilisation exceeds 80 days per year.
Tillage equipment – including ploughs, disc harrows, deep-rippers, chisels, combination disc/chisels and field cultivators – is sourced from manufacturers such as Lemken, Horsch, Wil-Rich and Gregoire-Besson. Machines are selected on the basis of technical suitability and operating costs, and are power-matched to the UAI’s tractor fleet.
GPS guidance systems are used in critical operations to improve accuracy, safety and efficiency of tillage, planting, fertilizing and spraying operations.
Machine performance, reliability and fuel consumption is monitored on a daily basis. UAI’s machine fleet is maintained by in house mechanics based on the farm sites, with support from specialised technical staff from the equipment manufacturer or their distributors. Spare parts and consumables are purchased on requirement with minimum inventories held by the group.
Harvesting operationshave been initially outsourced but starting 2011 UAI heavily invested into combine harvesters from well-known manufacturers such as Case and John Deere which provides for timely and efficient harvesting.
Transport – UAI operates a fleet of tried and tested KAMAZ and MAZ trucks that perform the day to day transport of materials and equipment. The peak requirement for transport at harvest time is carried out by contractors.