Newsletter - September 2016

Director's Brief

by Byron Wolff

It would be fair to say that the last few months have presented us with an "early Spring" like we have never seen before in the Australian Beef industry.
unseasonably high rain falls over large areas of the continent have assisted in ensuring beef prices continue to smash records.  
Since last newsletter, the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator has risen to 725 c/kg dressed weight, live export prices has remained strong and a new record has been set for the highest ever average sale price for a bull sale in Australia - $16,349.

I was recently discussing this current phenomenon with a client who summed it up pretty well with, "this is uncharted territory, it's an exciting time and I am glad to be a part of it!".  I couldn’t agree more.  
Needless to say that demand for our superior livestock handling equipment has never been stronger, with many producers now taking the opportunity to upgrade their long overdue facilities with our industry leading equipment to improve safety and efficiency.
Let’s hope the next 3 months continue to be as exciting as the past three and we all maintain our sanity (and enjoy) the charge into the silly season.


Thompson Longhorn Factory Tours

288 Inverramsay Road, 74 kilometres from Toowoomba

288 Inverramsay Road, 74 kilometres from Toowoomba

Have you ever visited the TL factory? We welcome you to visit us to see our automated trade display and our robotic welding facility. Our factory is only a 50 minute drive from Toowoomba. Simply turn east just south of Allora at the Goomburra turnoff and 12.5 km later you will be at Thompson Longhorn.

Automated trade display at our factory

Automated trade display at our factory

Our opening hours are 8.00am until 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

An appointment is necessary for factory tours. To book an appointment please call us on (07) 4666 6174.

Thompson Longhorn, 288 Inverramsay Road, Goomburra Qld 4362


Iranda Feedlot, SA

by Simon Anderson

Currently Thompson Longhorn is in the process of installing a major yard upgrade at Iranda Beef's Tintinara Feedlot in South Australia, roughly two and a half hours from Adelaide. The project has been divided into three stages so that it has minimal impact on the daily operation of the feedlot and so all normal activities can continue relatively unhindered. These stages are for some arrival yards, a new induction centre and a new load-out facility. Each of these stages have been designed to fit within the constraints of the site and join into the existing infrastructure.

Original feedlot and induction centre

Original feedlot and induction centre

The first stage, the arrival yards, has already been installed. The purpose of this stage was to increase the storage capacity for arriving cattle before they are inducted into the feedlot. It joins on to the existing induction facility and is designed to increase productivity and limit wasted time caused by chasing cattle from more distant locations.

Preparing old yards for integration with the new

Preparing old yards for integration with the new

The second stage, the new induction centre is currently being installed. This area links some recently constructed feedlot pens to the rest of the feedlot as well as providing the feedlot with a newer and better equiped induction centre. The main upgrades included in this area are the crowding yard, vee single lane, restrainer and sorting system. All of this equipment has been automated for easy and stress free cattle handling and also allows operation with fewer staff. Every gate through the core centre is pneumatically operated from a remote control and the operators will be able to get a smooth flow of cattle through the system with minimal effort, all the while being out of the pen and greatly reducing the risk of injury.

Standing fences for stage 1

Standing fences for stage 1

The third and last stage to be installed will be the new load-out facility. This area has been designed to suit the site and consequently has a dock style dual loading ramp which not only reduces the overall length required to load cattle but also utilises the site's natural fall to encourage cattle onto a truck with minimal effort from the operator. The ramp is accompanied by six pens which hold one deck of cattle, ensuring that time is not wasted by bringing cattle all the way from the feed pens to the truck. This greatly reduces loading time, increasing potential throughput of the loading area

Concreting posts in place

Concreting posts in place

This project is scheduled for completion this month and we are looking forward to another satisfied customer. The project will have been taken from conceptual designs through to a supplied and constructed product on their site to suit their needs. What more could you want?


Featured Product - One size does NOT fit all

by Kelly Keong

The title statement certainly applies to the width of single file laneways (races) and especially processing laneways. Most smaller private grazing operations have mixed needs and budget constraints which dictate a lane with straight (vertical) sides and a fixed width. This is probably the most sensible choice given the actual numbers of cattle to be processed. A few calves and weaners may turn about in the race, but given the numbers processed per year, this does not burn up appreciable extra time.

Smaller animals turning around in a straight sided single lane

Smaller animals turning around in a straight sided single lane

A large scale operation that processes thousands of smaller animals will benefit a great deal by addressing the time wasted of constantly having to turn animals back to the proper direction before the processing cradle or crush. It is easy to see that this drains the energy out of operational staff and increases their exposure to risk. It is more difficult to see the other cost incurred by this; the increased stress on an animal being processed, unless it can be seen as bruising or measured in a controlled environment like a feed pen. 

Adjustable width single lane

Adjustable width single lane

Thompson Longhorn manufactures curved laneways that help to combat these issues. They come in three very different configurations and there are also straight sections to match. These configurations are:

·         Straight sided fixed width lanes

·         Vee profile lane (most popular with saleyards)

·         Adjustable width lane that can be moved to accommodate weaners or bulls with the push of a button.

Adjustable width single lane installed in a set of yards

Adjustable width single lane installed in a set of yards

It is important to assess the actual return on investment that comes with having the right laneway to suit your needs. This can be measured in labour saving, staff safety and animal welfare. You will notice a remarkable difference when animals are walking through a lane that actually suits the size of the cattle being handled.


Built to Last

by Simon Anderson

After a whole lot of planning and preparation, the day is finally here, the day that the construction of your new yards starts.

You have decided where you would like to situate them on your property, so it is time for things to start taking shape. If any civil work needs to be done, now is the time to do it. Building a decent pad is essential to the effectiveness of the yards. You don't want low spots which turn into boggy mud pits where you need to walk to work the cattle. Then the concrete needs to be installed. Thompson Longhorn typically install all of the core working equipment on concrete. This means that the highest traffic area will not wear down from continued use and also requires less maintenance. You will also have a flat (hopefully clean) area to be working from as you do what you need to do to your herd.

Concrete slab, ready for yards to be installed on it.

Concrete slab, ready for yards to be installed on it.

So the site is prepped. The slab has been laid. What next? The steelwork of course!

It is an exciting moment when you first see the truck laden with steel roll through your front gate, knowing that your yards are about to be erected. You have seen your design on paper but seeing the truckloads of pre-fabricated gates and panels just makes it all seem more real.

A truck load of panels and gates arriving on site.

A truck load of panels and gates arriving on site.

The first steel to be erected is the roof over the working area (if required). Assembling this first gives the site installation crew a nice, shady, weatherproof area to assemble the complex pre-fabricated working equipment such as the crowding yard and single curved lane. While the roof is going up, another team will work on welding the large gate frames which would be too big to be transported if they had been welded at our factory.  Next, the working centre comprised of standard products is installed. Our experienced crew can install all of the standard products under the roof in a few short days. If you have purchased a loading ramp, it will also be erected at this time.

Core working area installed under an existing roof.

Core working area installed under an existing roof.

Once the core centre has been installed, the erection of the yards that join to it begins. The locations of all of the posts are marked on the ground and the post holes are drilled and the soil removed. The gate frames are then stood in the holes and concreted in place. Next, the posts are all stood in the holes and the rails are inserted and welded off, helping to support and set the height of each post before it is concreted in place. The concrete is then poured into all of the remaining post holes and the fences are completed. Lastly, all of the pre-fabricated gates are installed in their frames and the latching is attached.

A completed set of yards.

A completed set of yards.

Once everything is installed, all that is left is QA checks and the commissioning of the site.

Now, after all the planning and organising, your yards stand proudly in front of you. A dream now realised. The only thing left to do is entirely up to you. Using them and getting them dirty.


Quick Links


288 Inverramsay Road, Goomburra Qld 4362, Ph: (07) 4666 6174, Fax: (07) 4666 6242www.thompsonlonghorn.com.au

Posted on September 21, 2016 and filed under Newsletter.