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  1. Hi all, Firstly, I'm new! Although I, like most, have viewed the content on here for a while. I apologise in advance, this will be a lengthy post (no pun intended)! Briefly about me: I'm an English lad living in Australia (14 yrs) running a fencing contracting business. I live in the South West of Western Australia where we have 4 seasons, mainly a wet mild winter and long hot summer. Ground conditions vary so much that my machine needs a range of capabilities. It needs the ability to work in wet ground (my current set up is adequate at this) and the ability to drive posts in very hard ground (current machine very good). Work here ranges from stock fencing with strainer assemblies, netting and plain (or hot) wires to vermin fencing (for kangaroos) which is 1.8m high netting. I also install vineyards which usually runs into thousands of posts. Last winter I installed a vineyard with 160 strainers and 3000 intermediate posts. I'm currently looking to add to or replace the Munro post rammer and tractor unit I currently use. I have a front end loader on the tractor which you would all know offers great advantages such as carrying/unloading posts and line clearing. Link below shows the Munro set up, I run a bigger cabbed CASE IH tractor than the one in the link. Track machines caught my eye when looking for replacement options and I can't seem to source one down here. So, I went to Bryce' factory in the boarders last Uk summer to demo a track machine as I was impressed with the versatility of the machine, the cost saving of not paying a driver and its compact size. I have two major concerns. The use of the hammer weight on the Bryce as opposed to the Munro's power head which never leaves the post. The lack of auger and the ability of the rock spike to penetrate really hard aussie ground in summer. The power head offers me a safer working environment and puts as much power into the post at full extension of the mast as it does at the bottom (Important when installing 3.6m vermin fence strainers). The auger allows me to drill ( sometimes with the aid of water) hard ground in the summer. But this machine requires two people, one guy being paid to drive 6 meters and lift and lower the linkage. It also is a big machine so makes tight jobs difficult or impossible - missing out on work. So the questions to the wise men out there: Why aren't there any power head drivers in the UK? And more specifically power heads on track machines (Or track machines in Aus- i don't expect you to answer that one). Perhaps its because they aren't heavy enough to stabilise the power head when over the post. How good is the rock spike in hard ground? Is it only going to compact the ground more making it even harder to get the post in? ( I do like the option for the larger hole punchers when concreting posts in as it will aid footing strength and there will be no earth spoil at the hole) Do the single man operation of the track machine and its versatility out weigh the above mentioned concerns re safety and hard ground ability. How do people move the track machine from job to job? I either drive the tractor or send it on a low loader lorry. I could look at running the two machines, having options for different types of jobs, but that means having a machine sitting idle. Any how, i'll sign off for now. Looking forward to some input/experience/constructive criticism - what ever's required if you managed to get to the bottom of this with out getting bored! Cheer Mike
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