Need to hand-pick an avocado off the top of a tree that stands as tall as the peak of your two-story house? For a world-class solution, you'd buy from Hydralada, the New Zealand-based manufacturer of self-propelled elevating work platforms for the orchard industries.
"We test our applications with other engines regularly, but for the past 28 years, there has been no question: KOHLER is our number one gas-engine supplier," says Andy Smith, President of Hydralada. "When it comes to torque -- which our apps need -- and reliability, no other engine comes close to KOHLER." In case "no other engine comes close" sounds a little exaggerated, Smith offers proof: Hydralada reports "many" elevating platforms have clocked 10,000 to 12,000 hours -- and three KOHLER engines have passed 20,000 hours of service on a KOHLER Magnum 10 or Command 15 rated at 1,500 hours! "There are several reasons for the high average operating hours," says Smith. "Most orchards run the machines about 80 percent of the time at about 1200-1500 rpm, and the environment is very clean. Plus, we stress that customers always use the recommended oil -- 30W for the KOHLER Magnum and the multi-weight oil for the Command. We're convinced that really makes a big difference. Even so, those are some almost unbelievable hours!"
Founded by Smith in 1975, Hydralada -- a phonetic play on "hydraulicladder" -- initially produced a no-frills cherry or apple picker. But company engineers have innovated Hydralada products to world-class levels and the company now offers an impressive array of technically sophisticated models, including a platform designed for the avocado industry capable of safely lifting a picker as high as 10 meters (33feet) while also negotiating an orchard on a slope of up to 20 degrees.
Smith points out that when a customer buys Hydralada, he is buying technology and reliability. "We've worked closely with Kohler on engine specs and refinements throughout the years. And our customers are looking for the KOHLER name on the engine," says Smith.