In February 2023 Sam and his family experienced the devastation of Cyclone Gabrielle to two of their Gisborne farms. Damage to farms and flats in their region included the complete loss of highly productive land due to erosion and the removal of topsoil, as well as debris and slash. This meant large scale clean up across two 1000 hectare properties, much of which was hill country.
“We had flooded river flats with drains to clear, washed out fencing, massive silt to shift, river crossings filled with debris and slopes that had fallen away in slips,” says Sam.
Initially Sam hired a contractor – He had a 12.5 tonne Kobelco with 500mm tracks which he’d fitted with Trackgrip’s MightyGrip – six each side.
“It was brilliant and made a massive difference. From literally not being able to
move, we worked solid and were able to clear just about all the tracks across one farm in 7 weeks. That sold me on Trackgrip,” says Sam.
They were investing in their own 13 tonne Hitachi and the first thing Sam bought alongside this was his own set of MightyGrips.
“Our excavator has a 13.5 tonne operating weight with 500mm tracks so we fitted 14 units, 7 each side. Using a battery-powered torque wrench it took 10minutes to install the lot – this meant easy removal when we changed terrain or hit a road.
Sam’s investment in MightyGrips saved them weeks in productivity and extended their operating time, enabling them to work clearing their second farm into the winter.
“Without the Mightygrips our work would’ve been halted a lot earlier. While it’s been a great season for grass growth the wet has exposed dirt which means more mud. The biggest benefit of the MightyGrips has been on the downhill. We tended to camber the tracks on the inside. With the Trackgrips we’ve been able to operate up and down in deep mud – cleaning out a dam they gave bite in thick mud,” he says.