A Game Changer | Tom Lyons

Images & Video by Corban Blampied - Written by Lyn McNamee

Tom Lyons discuss' the Racewell Sheep Handler

Tom Lyons farms down Hamilton way in Western Victoria. He runs 4000 composite breeding ewes year-round on his 800 hectares, and their winter lambing swells the numbers by around 6500 lambs a year. With only a short growing season, he insists on getting the best possible results from his grass, time and machinery.

“You can’t weigh-draft by eye, so we need a machine like this to help us out.”

Tom already valued his Te Pari HD3, but he’d outgrown it and wanted to incorporate the new T30 scale system into his operation. Given how well Te Pari had performed over the years, it was a no-brainer to upgrade to the Racewell HD4.  

tom lyons crutching sheep in the racewell hd4 handler

“The number one thing we were looking for in an auto drafter was accuracy as well as speed of use, durability, back-up and support.”   

The HD4 works like a dream in Tom’s sheep yards. The sleek design ensures that the sheep run through freely. What’s more, it easily adjusts to handle everything from little lambs to cracking great ewes.  

And the durability is all that Tom wanted and expected out of his auto drafter.

“We give it a flogging. It’s used every day through the spring and summer period and into the autumn as well.”

tom lyons sheep in racewell handler

Data capability was a top priority, and the T30 delivers that and more. 

Tom says the functionality is fantastic and he’s reassured to see the lamb weights and all the information he needs on the screen. At the touch of a button, the scale confirms that the auto drafter’s connected, the firmware is correct, and the EID reader is working correctly.

“It’s a great bit of technology and easy to use. When you shut the machine down you can send files to the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about losing USB keys.”

Another reassurance is that the T30 has excellent remote support. It has its own router and SIM card. If anything is needed, the tech gurus can easily log remotely onto the screen and see what’s happening. 

Tom says he’s rapt with Te Pari and the new T30. He’s impressed with the accuracy, the data recording and the ability to bring the lambs through time and again to check their growth rates.

“The original HD3 was a game-changer and this one has definitely improved on what we had there.”