CASE STUDY: Agriculture
An early adopter
Back in 2016, Waikato based farmer, Grant Coombes, decided to embrace an ‘electric’ approach to farming by replacing his fleet of traditional farm bikes with UBCO 2X2’s. For him, the bikes were part of a plan to improve sustainability, both on his farm and the wider dairy industry.
Always a progressive thinker, Grant’s viewpoint in 2016 was: “Every innovative solution we implement on our farms that can reduce our environmental footprint and improve sustainability gives us and our dairy industry a competitive edge and helps us work towards a greener future – and the UBCO bike is part of that.”
Having always been passionate about sustainability and health and safety, replacing his fleet of farm bikes with a more sustainable option was something Grant had considered for a while.
“We were running a fleet of quads and conventional 2-wheel farm bikes but had been looking at phasing out the quads for a while due to their cost and perceived H&S issue. Plus, there was the hassle of having fuel and oil stored on the farm and the issues associated with that. ”
“The UBCO’s 2-wheel drive and lightweight frame appealed to me as a replacement option for the 4X4 quads and traditional 2-wheelers, as we were restricted to where we could get in the wet conditions. Now we’re certainly getting over terrain that we previously couldn’t. The safety benefits of the 2X2’s, such as the low centre of gravity, also appealed to me. There is a perception that quads are a health and safety issue, however, if they’re used appropriately with the correct training they aren’t. The problem is that doesn’t always happen. Now our H&S discussions and training regarding operating the UBCO are 100 times easier.”
The first to subscribe
Fast forward to 2021, and still leading the charge, Grant became UBCO’s first subscription customer in the agriculture space. He opted to subscribe rather than buy additions to his fleet of bikes for use across his 350 hectares of land.
UBCO’s subscription model means businesses and consumers like Grant can pay a fixed monthly fee covering the bike, power supply, and servicing, while UBCO retains ownership and manages stewardship of the product.
Subscription means low upfront costs and it includes servicing and maintenance so there are no unplanned costs. It’s basically a hassle-free way of running a fleet of bikes. Plus, the bikes are a more sustainable transport option, both during use and at the end of term when UBCO takes them back.
“UBCO subscription means we can continue our journey to going green using these environmentally friendly, safe and easy to ride vehicles hassle free and the model gives us peace of mind the bikes and batteries will be disposed of safely at the end of their working life.
“With energy costs of under 20c a day it makes for efficient work; we’re only charging the bikes every three or four days. And now we can upgrade our fleet without paying the upfront costs – it’s a no-brainer,” says Coombes.
In an average day, Grant’s UBCO 2X2’s are used to shift mobs, monitor stock and pasture and get the cows and calves in.
“They are certainly cheap to run compared to other traditional farm bikes. You can’t ignore the savings.”
“The other appealing thing about the UBCOs is that they’re light and have a lot of torque down low, so we could get over land that we couldn’t with a standard two wheeler or lift it out if it got stuck. And the other thing is the lack of heat and noise. It’s great around the stock.”
“Saving costs, resources and potentially lives is not something you can turn a blind eye to. When you compare the benefits to the cost, you’re coming out on top with the UBCO 2X2.”
In this short film, Grant talks about how the UBCO 2X2s help on farm and why he’s opted to subscribe rather than buy. Huge thanks to Grant for helping us make this film and for sharing his thoughts about UBCO.