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Eat your heart out, Wentworth .....


onetrack
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So .... Wentworth has a piddly little memorial to the Ferguson tractors that saved the town in the 1956 floods .... 

 

https://visitwentworth.com.au/attractions/ferguson-tractor-monument/

 

But W.A. - where everything is bigger and better - being the birthplace of the renowned Chamberlain tractor - is going one better!

 

Plans are in place to commission a giant Chamberlain tractor - made from solid steel - which is to be positioned in the town of Carnamah, in the heart of W.A.'s Northern wheatbelt region, to recognise and remember the major contribution of the Chamberlain tractor, to both W.A.'s and Australias agricultural development, from the 1950's to the 1980's.

 

The giant tractor structure (can it be called art?) is reportedly going to cost $1.1M, with the cost funded by donations from farmers all over W.A., plus State and Local Govt grants. Work is expected to start on the structure by March or April 2022.

 

Interestingly, even though the giant Chamberlain structure represents the kerosene-powered 40KA Chamberlain, not all that many farmers were happy with the 40KA, as the Chamberlain-designed horizontally-opposed twin cylinder engine was a bit of a dud, with a degree of unreliability, which problems included broken crankshafts.

Despite initial projections of sales of 1000 Chamberlain kerosene-engined tractors per annum, by the time the Chamberlain-designed kerosene engine was retired in 1955, sales of them had only reached a total of 1913 units, and farmers were preferring the other multi-cylinder engine engine options, such as the GM Diesel, that Chamberlain had started installing by 1953. The GM Diesel was smooth and reliable, and parts for them were cheap.

 

In 1954, Chamberlain converted their twin horizontally-opposed engine to diesel, but even this wasn't enough to save the outdated engine design, and the twin cylinder diesel engine was dropped from the product line by 1957, after just 341 were built.

 

Later engine options included Meadows and Perkins engines. John Deere took a 49% share percentage in Chamberlain Tractors in 1970 - which led to JD engines being installed in the Chamberlains - then Chamberlain Tractors became a fully-owned subsidiary of John Deere by about 1977. After a couple more years, Chamberlain-John Deere were producing a whole new range of Chamberlain tractors, which were now painted in John Deere green colour.

 

Hal Walton, a Carnamah machinery dealer, who is instrumental in pushing along the giant Chamberlain tractor structure, has a large tractor museum in Carnamah.

Chamberlain and Chamberlain-John Deere produced 97,872 tractors in total, of which around 40,000 pure Chamberlain tractors were produced, before John Deere took up their shareholding.

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2021-12-21/worlds-biggest-tractor-fundraising-wa-farmers/100714910

 

https://www.farmweekly.com.au/story/6989119/torques-tour-of-hals-museum/

 

 

 

 

Edited by onetrack
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How about that? We come out of a war and have the machines to manufacture stuff that we need. We had the support of a Labor government and produced a product that was essential for the food production of the country. Then when things get good, we oust the Labor government and put in the Conservatives who strangle our manufacturing industries and open the gates to foreign products so our citizens go jobless and workers in other countries exist on a pittance from uncaring owners.

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It was the constant dismantling of manufacturing tariffs that helped destroy the Chamberlain tractor manufacturing. Not surprisingly, Chamberlain made a lot of other agricultural and industrial equipment besides tractors - ploughs, seeders, front end loaders and even a large (2 cu yd bucket) 4WD front end loader (the Chamberlain 2000) that had Caterpillar so worried, Cat put out a substantial "comparison sheet" between the Chamberlain 2000 and the Caterpillar 930 FEL, trying to destroy Chamberlains attempts to muscle into the earthmoving field. As it was, Chamberlain still produced around 250-300 of the Chamberlain 2000 FEL's, before JD canned the product line.

 

It was these other ag products that actually helped Chamberlains bottom line, more than the tractors did. The tractors were not a major money-spinner for Chamberlain, they were too heavily built and didn't consume enough spare parts - which is where the manufacturers make their real money.

 

And of course, the Govt importing 2000 overseas-built tractors in the early 1950's was a real kick in the nuts for Chamberlain. It was like the Govt hated Chamberlain. But the truth is more like the Govt of the day was simply apathetic towards local manufacturing. 

 

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8 hours ago, onetrack said:

But the truth is more like the Govt of the day was simply apathetic towards local manufacturing. 

I'd rewrite that as "the Govt is simply apathetic towards local manufacturing", and apply it now.

 

The local manufacture of manufacturing machinery is inhibited by our tax system, which allows depreciation to be applied to equipment. Depreciation refers to an accounting method used to allocate the cost of a tangible or physical asset over its useful life or life expectancy. Depreciation represents how much of an asset's value has been used. Depreciating assets helps companies earn revenue from an asset while expensing a portion of its cost each year the asset is in use.

 

In the simplest case, an accountant can say that a machine has a useful life of, say five years.  A company buys a machine at a cost of $5,000. The company decides on a salvage value of $1,000 and a useful life of five years. Based on these assumptions, the depreciable amount is $4,000 ($5,000 cost - $1,000 salvage value). To the accountant , the machine is just scrap metal after five years. It may still produce product as well as it did when first purchased, but to the accountant it no longer produces a deduction for tax purposes. So out it goes. Since an accountant is interested in reducing tax, the recommendation given by the accountant is to buy a machine that has a short useful life. That means that the company buys the cheaply-made, foreign-made machine and ignores the higher quality, locally produced machine that is likely to be plugging away at its tasks for ever.

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9 hours ago, old man emu said:

I'd rewrite that as "the Govt is simply apathetic towards local manufacturing", and apply it now.

 

The local manufacture of manufacturing machinery is inhibited by our tax system, which allows depreciation to be applied to equipment. Depreciation refers to an accounting method used to allocate the cost of a tangible or physical asset over its useful life or life expectancy. Depreciation represents how much of an asset's value has been used. Depreciating assets helps companies earn revenue from an asset while expensing a portion of its cost each year the asset is in use.

 

In the simplest case, an accountant can say that a machine has a useful life of, say five years.  A company buys a machine at a cost of $5,000. The company decides on a salvage value of $1,000 and a useful life of five years. Based on these assumptions, the depreciable amount is $4,000 ($5,000 cost - $1,000 salvage value). To the accountant , the machine is just scrap metal after five years. It may still produce product as well as it did when first purchased, but to the accountant it no longer produces a deduction for tax purposes. So out it goes. Since an accountant is interested in reducing tax, the recommendation given by the accountant is to buy a machine that has a short useful life. That means that the company buys the cheaply-made, foreign-made machine and ignores the higher quality, locally produced machine that is likely to be plugging away at its tasks for ever.

No responsible manager does this. Saving tax by spending more is a nonsense. An asset is used until an alternative investment becomes more attractive. Of course tax is considered, but it cannot drive waste of assets in the way you propose.

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The term depreciation refers to an accounting method used to allocate the cost of a tangible or physical asset over its useful life or life expectancy. Depreciation represents how much of an asset's value has been used. Depreciating assets helps companies earn revenue from an asset while expensing a portion of its cost each year the asset is in use. Not accounting for depreciation can greatly affect a company's profits. Companies can also depreciate long-term assets for both tax and accounting purposes.

 

But that's Accounting, which is Greek to me.

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Of course it's stupid to buy a machine that does no work, but if it does not work, tax laws won't let you depreciate it. There has to be a link between the operation of the machine and the production of income. Depreciation accounting is an application of the saying, "a penny saved is a penny earned". The idea of depreciation is that at the end of its life expectancy, the original cost has been used as a loss of income each year until the only value in the machine is its scrap value (about $240 per tonne for steel). So if a machine consisted of three tonnes of steel at the end of its life expectancy you would have to pay tax on an income of $720 from its sale to a scrap merchant. If it still functions, you might sell it to a second hand dealer for more, but would still pay take on that sale price as it is income.

 

So, a $50,000 machine with a life expectancy of 10 years and scrap value of $720 would provide a tax write-off loss of $49,280. Why would you keep a machine after 10 years if it didn't assist in reducing your taxable income?

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Repair and maintenance is 100% deductible. IF it still does the job, why buy a new one? Spend money to get a job done not to have something shiny. Any Company PROFIT is taxed at the company rate.  which is comparatively low. What's so bad about paying some tax? Sometimes you have carry over losses to use up.. . Nev 

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I have personally seen so much waste, by mining companies in particular, that it has become obvious to me, the tax system does not assist in the preservation and best utilisation of valuable assets. I have seen entire, fully-equipped minesites abandoned and left to rot until vandals and thieves started plundering the valuable machinery and buildings until nothing of value was left. At no time did the companies make any effort to preserve, or protect, or utilise the assets.

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Easy come, easy go. When prices are right they just roll in money. I think money is all they care about until someone makes a song and dance over it and then there's no money for restoration. Look at the one they are closing down near Jabiru . All the old infrastructure is going to be dumped in the Tailings dam. Oil rigs in the Timor Sea. Left for the Taxpayer's to clean up. Sold to some company which has no assets. Tell ME they are NOT criminals. but in the NT you go to Gaol for not paying fines  when you own NOTHING..Nev

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Yes - that seems to be a problem with Aussie regs. In all European countries I have worked in and I think in the US, environmental law requires various process and energy industries to estimate the working life of their plant and hold reserves each year for the shutdown, clean up and if required (e.g. nuclear) ongoing maintenance of that plant. They can't touch that cash (apart from invest it prudentially, where the opco makes up any losses - at least in Europe and the UK). This requirement is a good part of the reason why nuclear energy is expensive.

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