The resolution…

It was more than a year after I paid for the yards that the issues were sorted – in August 2021.

And it was a bumpy ride:

The stock gates that were sent out to replace the gates that wouldn’t open, were the wrong height. So they had to be replaced, again.

The budflow was replaced entirely… but then one of the budflow gates still didn’t fit and that had to be addressed, again.

After putting cattle through the yard, one of the sliding race gates broke – the weld at the top had only been tacked and never completed. 

On the plus side, after I ordered their head holder attachment to bolt onto the crush, Arrowquip ended up throwing it in at no cost. From memory this was supposed to be around $1600, so not an insignifcant gesture, though compared to the total cost of the yard, and the amount of stuffing around required, some of the gloss comes off. Also, in my opinion, the crush itself is not much use without a head holder – because the Arrowquip head bail operates on a parallel opening, it’s very easy for the animal to slide its head up and down between the bail doors – so that’s another cost to factor in for most folks.

Again, the southern territory area manager bent over backwards to get everything done, including calling in a welder onsite and getting a couple of extra sets of hands from Nutrien to help with the grunt work.

I also received a box of random ‘goodies’ (snacks and a bottle of red, I think it was) from Arrowquip, along with a ‘thank you’ note.

Final impressions…

I’m still not impressed with Arrowquip’s implementation of what they call a slam latch – having recently sold a couple of my more wild mums, yarding them was a hairy experience and it would’ve been nice to have had the confidence that a slam latch would actually close as you’d expect it to. But it’s still light years ahead of the old sliding wooden rails I have in other yards.

The crush is great. I’ve replaced eartags and trimmed toenails with it and it’s now a one person job if that’s how you want to run it. The height adjustment on the head holder is a bit of a wrestle, but once it’s set up it does the job. The vet also used it to take some blood samples and was impressed.

The company clearly has the capacity to produce some awesome products, but in my case there seems to have been a perfect storm of circumstances that made the wheels fall off almost entirely, and repeatedly.