02 Jan 2018
Continues to make its mark 1

SAM Machinery have lately celebrated a substantial birthday, notching up seventy years of service to agriculture.

You may recognise the brand for its eye-catching green and gold. A Kiwi manufacturing business, Coombridge and Alexander design and produce SAM Spreaders, SAM Feed-Wagons, SAM Hydraulic Trailers and accessories such as the SAM Quick Hitch. 

Initial days began with Wilfred Coombridge and his business partner Johnny Alexander constructing fences for the local farming industry. A welder and a building came next. Early days were not easy, with the factory being completely wiped out by a tornado then a huge fire a couple of years later.

In the sixties, the duo were asked to manufacture a spreader for spreading fertiliser; this was the seed of the range they are famous for today.

Initially early SAM machines were painted red. The very first  was a hay-bale stacker.  Arnold and Mervin Stokes were the designers from which the first bale stacker license was purchased. The SAM name came from their initials.

In the Seventies Wilf's son John then bought the company from his father and the Alexanders. By the end of the eighties, SAM feed-wagons were added into the mix and the yellow and green colour scheme took hold. SAM was here to stay. 

The company today credits its success to an early ethos focussing on simple to use and maintain, reliable, tough gear with excellent service.

Being accurate when spreading out is of utmost importance.  The business has spent a lot of time testing the spread across a whole range of fertilisers. Machines provide an 8-9% co-efficient of variation. Described as being easy to set (using back door adjustment), they comfortably spread up to twenty metres in width (of Super) and rates of 40-2500kg/ha.

Fert Spreaders are still very central to the production line. They go from smaller four tonne machines that are single axle with 400mm floor mats that spread only fertiliser, all the way through to their largest nine tonne combo models with a wider 800mm belt. This wider option can spread your usual powder and granulated fertilisers in addition to the more organic stuff like compost and chicken manure. 

All Spreader chassis have recently gone through a new evolution of painting procedure for extra corrosion protection. Firstly a steel grit abrasive blast, then a thermal-arc pure zinc spray, a primer followed by a final two-pot epoxy top-coat.

Both set ups have commonalities, they have majority stainless at the rear of the machine which extends longevity of gear where you need it most. Stainless discs are run via enclosed stainless spinner tubes and two well-proven hydraulic motors. Stainless deflector plates are also included. Both have very high tensile chain that runs along the floor mat.

Yellow bins are eight millimetres thick. They have excellent UV protection for longevity and are easy clean. Each machine can be made with optional extras to suit. Smart load weigh scales, covers, and different lights and tyre options for softer ground are all available. 

Recently plastic mudguards have been added as standard due to their popularity. This sort of customer-led design is common for the company. "Observations from farmers makes up sixty percent of our R & D, the rest comes from reverse engineering and continuous improvements with manufacturing techniques and components", says Toby Stone, SAM Operations Manager.

Bring on the next seventy years!