Monster draper front makes big impression

Kate PollardCountryman

At 18 metres long, the Durus Quantum draper platform is the biggest in the world and, best of all, it's manufactured in Australia by a family owned company.

Midwest Fabrication, in Dolby, Darling Downs, started in the mid-1990s when harvesting contractors, the Schutt family, were asked to build header fronts. Since then, they have built more than 800 platforms ranging in size from 12 metres to the newest innovation, 18 metres.

Marketing manager Roy Matthews said they built for strength, weight and rigidity. The 18 metre platform, on display at Newdegate Field Days, includes a stainless steel knife edge as well as reversible belt tracks to ensure twice the longevity.

"The tines are memory plastic so they are very flexible and won't go brittle and break and the reel is centre driven, " Mr Matthews said. "Most of our platforms will see out three to four combines before they are refurbished."

The 18-metre front retails for $160,000 and a custom built transporter to move the platform from place to place is also available.

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