Radium engineers talk farming machines

Radium Engineering provides a range of equipment aimed at giving the agricultural and farming sectors the best farming equipment on the market. Radium’s machines are expertly designed and manufactured according to strict specifications.

Besides selling farming equipment and machines, the team at Radium keep their pulse on farming related news and trends, and are always the first to know about innovations and advances in technology. One can rely on Radium Engineering’s team to provide insight and advice on farming and agriculture-related matters, no matter the type of farm.

Kosie Opperman is a mechanical engineer at Radium who oversees the design and development of products. His day-to-day duties include ordering laser cutting for the machines, designing and developing new farming equipment and upgrading existing equipment.

Shaun Westraadt designs a new range of chisel plough implements where special height and width restrictions need to be taken into account, so that machines can be transported by road.

They gave us their thoughts on choosing the right products for farming in South Africa.

Radium Engineering employees

Left: Kosie Opperman. Right: Shaun Westraadt

The NAMPO Expo 2016

NAMPO is the largest farming expo in South Africa. The event draws thousands of people to the interesting exhibitions. They also come to listen and learn about trends and innovations within the agricultural industry from thought-leaders, such as Radium, who specialise in farming equipment. The NAMPO expo is especially important to Radium, who have contributed their expertise and helped farmers worldwide in their farming and agricultural endeavours for the past forty years. This year (2016) was no different.

For Kosie, NAMPO provides opportunities to improve on products. Clients and exhibitors are valuable sources of information because they have their own ideas on what they can achieve with certain products, and they provide feedback and discuss problems that they encounter with their farming. In this way Radium collects ideas that could lead to product innovations.

NAMPO 2016 was the first year Shaun attended this exciting expo and he says he found it very informative. He was exposed to a multitude of agricultural companies but the highlight was seeing Radium’s impressive machines being shown off at their stand.

Pressures South African farmers currently face

Farming is not an easy profession. Every day brings new challenges and pressures. Kosie describes the political uncertainty that South African farmers face today, which creates fear of the future. In addition, the record-breaking drought this year has placed even more financial pressure on farmers.

Shaun agrees: “Drought and water shortages in the country affect the crop yield for farmers negatively, whilst politics implies the threat of SA farmers losing their land through land expropriation.”

The men discuss machines

20Ton ProSpread

Kosie and Shaun tell us about Radium’s new 20 Ton Hydraulic Spreader. They consider it the “Mercedes Benz” of machines, and say it is the ultimate equipment for every farmer to have in his arsenal.

Kosie says that no matter which type of farm, be it wine, dairy, wheat or maize, farmers should always have a tractor, wagon and slasher. Farmers can use slashers to clear roads or to maintain existing roads. They can use wagons for carting away rubbish and tractors to pull slashers and wagons. These three pieces of equipment create the basis for efficient farming.

Shaun also says that a tractor is the first classic farming machine every farmer should own because he will use it to pull or push other farming equipment. Shaun agrees with Kosie that the slasher should be the second piece of equipment a farmer must buy because he will need it to cut down and remove shrubs and bushes when preparing land for planting crops. A slasher is also helpful in clearing land to make space for animals to graze.

When asked what they both consider to be the ultimate farming machine, namely the “Mercedes Benz” of all machines, Kosie answered that it is Radium’s new Hydraulic Drive Spreader. It provides the market with an elite, one-of-a-kind spreader and is also ahead of all its competitors in Africa.

For Shaun it wasn’t an easy decision. He said that it’s a tie between the 20 Ton ProSpread and the PowerRip or ZoneTill range.

Shaun also told us about Radium’s new 20 Ton Hydraulic Spreader, introduced last year (2015).

The 20 Ton Hydraulic Spreader comes with a variety of unique features that allow larger carrying capacity for fertiliser, lime or organic material. It has a tandem wheel system, which allows the weight of the spreader to be distributed more evenly across its wheels. An ISOBUS single or duel channel kit controls the chain conveyer and spinner rate, which allows the user to customise the rate and pattern of spread. In addition, the 20 Ton Hydraulic Spreader has a flood light and camera package that allows transport on national roads, as well as operation in the dark.

What can we expect from Radium in the coming years?


In-line Compact Disc machine

During the NAMPO expo, Radium’s brand new In-line Compact disc was on display. Kosie says that this machine was designed and produced according to clients’ feedback on their current needs. “We are really excited to see the result of this design, and the first few machines have been sold and are being used. This is the first range of a planned family of ranges of the In-Line Disc machine.”

Final words from the men at Radium – advice for farmers regarding the purchase of equipment

“A machine’s quality is a very important aspect to consider for every farmer who intends purchasing farming equipment. A good quality product will outlast its cost. This does not apply only to agricultural equipment but to most products. Always do an in-depth inquiry into the capabilities and reputations of machines, as well as companies. It is very important to keep in mind what you hope to achieve with the product you want to purchase.” – Kosie

“Purchase rigid farming equipment that will last you decades, not just a year or two.  Also, choose an implement supplier that provides superior customer service, who will build a long-lasting relationship with you as their customer, and who follows up regularly on your purchased equipment’s performance, as it has been used on your land. Make sure that the company from which you purchase your equipment is willing to fix or rectify any faults that may arise on your purchased equipment while being used on your land.” – Shaun

If you’d like to contact Kosie or Shaun to ask them advice about Radium Engineering’s equipment, call them at +27(0)12 719 9062/9063/9060