Overcoming adversity with the Taurus HD3 Cattle Auto Drafter

Images & Video by Corban Blampied - Written by Lyn McNamee

Overcoming adversity with the Taurus HD3 Cattle Drafter

Looking over Omaha Heights today you’d never know that four years ago the farm was overgrown, rundown and in need of a complete overhaul. But that was the situation facing Martin Peddle when he came to manage the Northland coastal property.

Martin laid the situation out to the UK owner and told him “We’ll have to make some drastic changes.” 

“My boss backed me and gave me three years to turn it into a model farm.” 

Challenge enough, you might think. But, halfway through the restoration things turned pear-shaped when Martin had a quad bike accident.

It was an “absolute freak accident, where the quad bike flipped over me… bounced on me… and broke my spine.”

Meeting Martin today, it’s evident that he’s a determined bloke who wasn’t going to let being in a wheelchair stand in the way of his farming aspirations.

Martin with his farm hand that helps his run his Hereford farm on the Omaha Heights property

There were multiple dilemmas to overcome. Problems such as: how do you work in the cattle yards when you’re paralysed from the waist down? But when Martin visited the Te Pari stand at Mystery Creek and saw the fully automated Taurus HD3 Cattle Drafter he realised how that piece of the puzzle could be solved. 

So, Martin approached ACC for help in funding the significant adjustments needed to the yard system to get him working again and was delighted when they agreed.

Thanks to their cattle-friendly design, the Te Pari yards make it easy for Martin and one worker to run 350 cattle in and out with a minimum of fuss. 

Cattle flow was essential for martin peddle being limited to a wheelchair

The yards are set up on a concrete pad — easy for Martin to move around in his wheelchair. The cows feed into a large holding pen and continue up the race and into a force pen. As Martin explains, “You can get behind (the gate) and push the animals from behind without getting yourself involved or getting inside the pen. It’s totally safe at all stages.” 

Safety and flow were key considerations when Martin chose Te Pari yards.

He points out the farmhand walks along the race catwalk which means there’s no need for anyone to get inside with the cows. Latches open and close with ease and so do the gates. 

The pens and lanes are perfectly sized for cattle. And with galvanised Steel Yards, “the animals can see through the railings, not like a solid wall or a rail in a timber yard. It keeps them a lot quieter, they’re not fussed or worried.” Indeed, they seem to flow up the race and quietly into the drafter as if it’s the most natural thing to do.

2 working the te pari taurus hd3 cattle auto drafter with a wireless remote and t30 scale systemMartin says the automatic system on the drafter is perfect for his needs. “I’ve got a remote here. If we are on the auto system, all I have to control is the race gate. It lets one animal in, and from there it’s all on sensors.” Each animal is weighed, and the data sent to the tablet on Martin’s lap. The drafting gates are pre-set and open automatically according to weight.

auto drafting cattle out of the te pari taurus hd3 cattle auto drafterThe system works perfectly because of all Te Pari’s attention to detail.

From big things like the pneumatics ensuring that the gates open without delay, to smaller features like the rubber floor which stops the cattle slipping and clattering in the drafter.  

And when all is finished, Martin says “we just get the pump out and the high-pressure washer and wash the yards off.” That’s pretty much all the maintenance they need. The galvanised railings won’t rust, and Martin expects the yards to last at least another 25 years.

martin peddle with his dog infront of the te pari taurus hd3 cattle auto drafterMartin loves the one-stop-shop approach to working with Te Pari, too. “They design the product, manufacture the product… deliver and assemble it for you … and finally, they give awesome back-up support"

"I believe you can’t go wrong with Te Pari cattle yards.” 

Learn More about the Taurus Auto Drafting Cattle Crush Range