Quality lubricants reap benefits for farmers

Find out how Viva Energy’s lubricants, helpdesk and local distributor networks support year-round planting, growing and harvesting.

19 Oct 2020
  • Viva Energy Australia

Find out how focusing on three key elements of lubricant use helped Viva Energy and one of their distributor network’s farmers to maximise profitability, reduce risk, and improve performance. We talk to the Viva Energy technical team, distributor John Duff & Co, and a farmer using our products in their equipment for year-round harvesting.

There’s little room for guesswork in modern farming. It takes serious planning, precise implementation and hard work to drive profitability in the face of low margins, unpredictable weather and market volatility.

With farmers increasingly reliant on sophisticated machinery, lubricants may be the agriculture industry’s secret weapon to machinery performance, reliability and longevity. As a result, the Viva Energy team focuses the supply of agricultural lubricants on three key areas that matter most to customers:

  • Lubricants that are high-quality
  • easy access to expert technical advice
  • reliable supply from a local distributor network.
High quality lubricants when it's make or break

Choosing superior lubricants based on your farming needs can improve productivity and cut downtime: meaning you can extend maintenance intervals, reduce wear and tear, and have confidence in equipment reliability.

As Shell’s local distributor in Australia, Viva Energy’s range of lubricants include:

  • transmission, gear and axle oils
  • petrol and diesel engine oils
  • hydraulic oils
  • coolants
  • greases.

“The Shell lubricants products we supply are made to meet the needs of each part of complex equipment,” says Darren Barwick, Viva Energy’s National Technical Manager.

“They’re developed to stringent specifications and have manufacturer approval so our customers know the product will perform in their machinery or equipment.”

For farmer Darren Todaro, of Todaro Farms, Viva Energy’s range of Shell lubricants enables them to meet customer expectations year-round. Todaro Farms, which grows fresh produce, switched to Viva Energy supplied products after a recommendation from their local lubricants distributor, John Duff & Co.

“We harvest 52 weeks of the year,” says Todaro (Darren).

“All our equipment needs to work at its full potential so we can deliver product orders in full and on time.”

Ash Seing is the Logistics (Operations) Manager at John Duff & Co. As a mechanic by trade he understands the importance of getting lubricants right to avoid missing harvesting and market opportunities.

“Whether you’re running year-round or a shorter harvesting season, your equipment needs to stay operational through seeding, planting and harvesting,” says Ash.

“It’s vital the right product is used in each component to ensure these machines keep performing for when they are needed and for years to come.”

Expert technical support on demand

Viva Energy’s Australian-based helpdesk provides comprehensive technical support to customers across products and maintenance schedules.

“We’re finding more farmers and operators really value technical support these days,“ says Darren from Viva Energy.

“The helpdesk staff have more than 250 years of combined experience in lubricants and hydrocarbon applications. Their information and advice means our customers can focus on what they do best.”

The helpdesk also supports the Viva Energy distribution network. Ash from John Duff & Co says they often work with the helpdesk team to find the right product for a customer’s equipment when the harvest can’t wait.

“Working with them to find the right product saves time, which is critical for our customers,” he says.

A distributor network for local advice and quality products

John Duff & Co are part of Viva Energy’s distributor network, matching expert advice on lubricants to local conditions.

Recommending the right lubricants and maintenance schedules comes from understanding customer needs, market conditions and the local climate. Ash says localised advice is particularly important in areas with mixed farming.

“Our farmers are growing small herb products and a variety of vegetables. There’s also major crops for feeding the dairy industry,” says Ash.

“Knowing the region means I can recommend products that suit the farming operation, and give advice on helping them manage through changing weather, planting and harvesting conditions."

For Darren from Todaro Farms, lubricants are best left to the professionals. They’ve worked with John Duff & Co for more than 40 years.

“Their experience and advice is invaluable. We bought a new excavator last year and our first port of call was to John Duff & Co for lubricant advice,” he says.

To keep agriculture moving, Ash from Duff & Co says in most cases he delivers direct to his customers on the day they order. The products are held locally so there’s no waiting on overseas shipments.

When the weather won’t wait

Without the right lubricant products and maintenance plan, your machinery might fail at a critical time and put your harvest and supply commitments at risk.

“Our team loves getting involved in their planning process for a clear understanding of what lubricants to use, when to service and maintain machinery, and when to replace consumables,” says Darren from Viva Energy.

Even with a proactive maintenance schedule, we know farming may not always go to plan. Darren says equipment reliability is crucial to pivoting fast to take advantage of weather conditions or market demand.

“Sometimes there are only small windows of opportunity to maximise profitability,” he says.

“It’s vital to keep machinery moving.”

Grow with partners you trust

Viva Energy values the safe and reliable supply of quality products and building relationships right through the supply chain. Through our expert distribution network, we’re providing a local and responsive supply chain - businesses who champion farmers and agricultural operators.

Talk to Viva Energy about lubricants to optimise performance and profitability.