Who Is Hustler?
Hustler is a global leader in the manufacture and supply of world-class, industry-leading farm equipment based in Hastings, NZ. A 100% NZ-owned company and fourth-generation family business, they have been producing equipment for the agricultural industry since 1961. Over the last 60 years, they have extended their reach to provide equipment to discerning professionals in over a dozen countries. It is their mission to make every customer a ‘raving fan’, and to that end they are constantly striving to find new ways to challenge conventional thinking and help their customers achieve more.
Hustler’s commitment to quality craftsmanship and engineering has seen them create some of the best farming equipment available anywhere on the market. Their selection of sprayers, feeders, handlers, and wagons has won them fans around the world, but their approach to continuous innovation means they are always prepared to go back to the drawing board.
Steel has traditionally been the preferred material for the manufacture of farming equipment due to its strength, long lifespan, and ability to withstand the elements, but it is not without its drawbacks. The manufacture of steel is costly, both in terms of labour and resources, and the considerable weight of the finished product also means that transporting equipment made from steel can be difficult and expensive. Aside from creating logistical and financial challenges, the resources required to produce and transport steel products result in a significant carbon footprint, increasingly an area of concern for those in the manufacturing industry.
In the development of their EzFeed Silage Wagon and Combi Wagons, Hustler wanted to take on the challenge of making heavy-duty farming machinery that was highly resistant to impacts and corrosion while also being lightweight and environmentally sustainable. Their solution was to use HDPE sheet in place of stainless steel as the floor system in these wagons.
The Solution: HDPE
HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) is a non-toxic, weldable plastic that can be heat-formed and machined using metal and woodworking tools. HDPE has a number of benefits that made it the obvious choice for Hustler’s requirements.
Corrosion & Impact Resistance
The HDPE produced by Kormax offers high levels of chemical corrosion resistance and good impact resistance. As HDPE is non-toxic and non-staining, it is well suited to applications that include food-handling and processing. HDPE is often referred to as “puck board” as it holds up extremely well in very low temperatures and is the material of choice for ice hockey rinks, never shattering or chipping under the high impact of hockey pucks. These qualities make HDPE ideal for use with heavy-duty machinery used in the agricultural industry, which is required to withstand daily use under the most demanding work conditions.
HDPE is a remarkably lightweight material compared to the industrial steel traditionally used in farming equipment. This makes it easier and more affordable to transport and means it requires less packaging material to move safely over long distances without the risk of damage, all of which contribute to reducing the equipment’s shipping costs and carbon footprint.
Lower Coefficient of Friction
HDPE has a significantly lower coefficient of friction than the previously used painted steel. The improved “surface slipperiness” of the HDPE sheets in the floor system of the wagons is particularly noticeable in the lower static friction, resulting in the feed to start sliding easier. The lower kinetic friction also means that there is less stress and wear on the moving parts.
As well as being highly resistant to chemical corrosion and impacts, HDPE sheet resists the damage associated with insects, mildew, mould, rot, and low temperatures. This makes it perfect for farming applications, where operators often have to work in extreme cold and even snow.
HDPE is also much cheaper and uses fewer resources to produce than steel. This, along with its long lifespan and ease of transport, contributes to its standing as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional materials. In addition to this, HDPE sheeting is recyclable, which is why it is so often incorporated into recycled composite materials like plastic lumber. The popularity of HDPE sheet has skyrocketed in recent years as businesses around the world have begun placing ever greater importance on sustainability.
The Engineering Victory
Using high-quality HDPE supplied by Kormax, Hustler was able to produce a range of Combi Wagons and EzFeed Silage Wagons that met all the performance and durability standards required of heavy-duty farm machinery while significantly reducing the overall weight and carbon footprint of each unit. Kormax is proud to be a trusted supplier of engineering plastics to Hustler, ensuring seamless supply to meet their growing demand.
Contact Kormax Today
At Kormax, we have built a reputation as leaders in the manufacture and supply of materials for a wide variety of industries. Our experts are always ready to discuss and advise on your next project. Contact us today and let us help you find solutions for your next engineering victory.