Friday, 27 April 2018 07:55

Scottish beef meets Kiwi bash

Written by  Mark Daniel
Brian Matchett, Piako Group, with the Bryce Suma machine. Brian Matchett, Piako Group, with the Bryce Suma machine.

The arrival of Bryce Suma post hitters in New Zealand is interesting when you understand the background of the company based on the Scottish border with the UK.

Founder Jock Bryce has 35 years experience of fencing and should know how to build machines that can handle the task. He started with hand tools, progressed to petrol driven augers and eventually a David Brown 990 Implematic at £270, then a Canadian hitter that cost £1160, followed by sleepless nights wondering how he would repay the debt.

Then he bought a New Zealand-made Kinghitter that was eventually mounted on a trailer with a driven axle from a redundant lime spreader to produce a unit pulled by a Fiat 90-90 four-wheel drive tractor.

Jock began manufacturing in 2008 in Kelso, and now offers a wide range of post drivers whose reputation caught the ear of Darrell Russell, whose company Machinery Imports, a division of the Piako Group, now has two seasons of the Bryce Suma machines under their belt.

Says Russell, “I was visiting the Grassland Event in the UK and loitering on the Bryce Suma site, where an endless stream of users came to tell Jock Bryce how good the machines are. This led to us striking a deal and becoming distributors for the range in NZ.”

Models include Profi Supreme, Profi Max Magnum XL, Vulcan and the HD 180 SP -- machines for all sorts of situations, with prices tags $30,000 up to $105,000 for a rubber tracked, self-propelled machine.

Features, depending on model, include rolled masts for greater torsional strength, operating heights from 3.5 - 4.2m, automated masts and mast lubrication. And for operators who use this type of machine daily the company developed a heavy-duty rock spike system that is carried on the mast even when not in use, and is quickly and easily swung into and out of work.

Individually adjusted outriggers ensure that the machine can be levelled safely on uneven ground for stability, and it can be used to increase the driving height by up to 33cm if required. 

Side-shift, back-shift and quad-shift allow the machine to get into tight spots, and all mechanisms are protected by easily adjustable static and rotary wear pads.

Highlighting the practical nature of the manufacturer, the Adapt-a-Cap is a simple bolt-on adapter piece that allows easier driving of square-section posts; the original post-cap is retained for round sections.

Manufacturing quality is high and a host of features make the job easier, including the use of 400 or 500kg hammers that can increase output by up to 30% by delivering an impact force of at least 80 tonnes. 

Running costs are kept in mind with the use of a heavy-duty hemp rope to move the hammer, said to offer good shock absorption, easy repair or replacement, and no injuries from fraying wire-hauled systems. 

And for dyed-in-the-wool Kiwis, the choice of an optional All Blacks paint job.

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