A.F. Gason is proudly building on the product foundation created by Chris Grow Engineering.
Having acquired the intellectual rights to a range of popular CGE machine models in 2010, we have now created a comprehensive range of standard models to meet the needs of customers who value strong build quality and impressive operating statistics.
New models are being created to satisfy the evolving machinery demands imposed by legislation, farming practices and general changes that regularly arise.
We reflect on our new history with Gason-CGE mowers and slashers as follows:
Triple rotor, trailed Almond Orchard Mower is brought into the range of Gason-CGE mowers and slashers. This model has been the machine of choice for 30 years for the ever growing Australian Almond Orchard Industry.
VHD range of Council / Shire mowers and slasher’s sales increase in great numbers, reflecting the popularity of this range for demanding slashing conditions and versatile operating design.
Single rotor VHD slashers become the machine of choice for Government departments involved with maintenance within National Parks and roadside slashing requirements.
Current comprehensive range of flat deck and winged orchard mowers completed to Gason engineering and manufacture standards and released to the market.
Proper Topper design updated to meet the requirements of industry standard “Slashers - A guide on health and safety standards - February 2011”. 12 month trialing of the 35ft Cotton Mulcher proves successful in all areas of performance, build strength and field results.
A.F. Gason acquire the intellectual rights to Chris Grow Engineering mowers and slashers. Gason engineers commence updating designs and investing in manufacturing jigs and tools. Cropper Toppers are the first product to be fully built at Ararat for the Australian market.
A reminder of the Chris Grow Engineering history follows:
Chris Grow Engineering has stood the test of time since being founded by Chris Grow in 1977. Located in the heart of the cool climate region of the Adelaide Hills, South Australia, it has flourished to become a national and international exporter of product.
The company was established with the sole aim of providing a specialist service in the design of tractor drawn mowing equipment. It has become the premier mower designer and manufacturer within Australia and exports to the USA, France, Spain and New Zealand.
Chris Grow Engineering strength lies in the fact that early in it's history the company embarked upon, and has sustained, an extensive research and development program. This program caters for the most recent advancements and developments in industry practice. That means it continually produces state of the art equipment that can compete on any world stage.
Quality and quality assurance is important, as the following will attest to:
• Quality accreditation to ISO9001:2000. Certification Number 7875
• Certification Europe EC Machinery Directive 98/37/EC
• Australian Standards ASO 4024.1-2006, AS1121-1983 and AS/NZS 2153.1:1997 (ISO4254-1:1989) have been adhered to in the design of CGE mowers
• Occupational, Health, Safety and Welfare requirements have been adhered to in the design of CGE mowers
• Chris Grow Engineering Pty Ltd products are covered by a 12 month warranty
CGE - 30 years in the making... a look back
3 Row Vineyard Mower received Innovation Award 2008 from the Wine Industry Suppliers Association.
3 Row Vineyard Mower.
Concept idea and drafts started in early 2006 and fast tracked in February 2007 after top management meeting convened by Fosters Wine Group. Prototype developed for static release at Wine Tech, July 2007. Trials of the machine commenced late 2007.
Soil scientists and viticulturalists from California consulting to Spanish clients recommended the use of Chris Grow Engineering mowers. Vineyards in Toledo commence new practice with CGE equipment.
“Cropper Topper” Stubble Mulcher.
Broadacre cropping farmers pursue 'no till' and 'no burn' stubble management. Conventional hay mowers and field slashers leave windrows and not fine pulverised stubble. Leading industry figure, Mr Brian Hedt's (Victoria’s Wimmera region) expertise and trials bought about the development of high speed stubble mulcher for 'no till' management units from 24ft to 41ft wide.
Twin Row mowing system developed for Pellenc, France to suit tool carrier arms for multifunction tractor. A purpose specific designed 3 rotor hydraulic mower with full floatation and contour pivots to cater for the extremities of movement in over row tractors.
Development of large multi rotor industrial slashers to 24ft wide for forestry and airfield clearing.
Californian produced units flow north to vineyards in Oregon and Washington and east to Texas.
New Zealand distributor appointed.
New US corporation formed with American Partners to manufacture in California USA.
Certification Europe – The CE mark. Chris Grow Engineering was the first Australian agricultural machinery manufacturer to obtain Certification Europe, to comply with EEC and EEU standards. CGE pioneered a pathway between Europe and Australia to obtain endorsement consulting set up in Australia to eliminate on-site testing and certification in Europe.
Chris Grow Engineering gained Quality Accreditation ISO9001, NATA Certified, for design and management.
French importer distributor based in Nimes, south of France.
Export growth in California with first units designed for Gallo wines organic ranch. Chris Grow Engineering mowers were customised to suit US viticultural conditions and practices - a service not offered by the major US mass produced products or European imports. CGE mowers are used by the most recognised wine producers in the USA.
First expandable eclipsing under-vine mulch throw mower developed for Henschke Wines, Keyneton SA, to place both cut and imported straw under-vine on various row widths and mound sizes.
The Australian Government Trade Commission (AUSTRADE), together with BHP, surveyed the Australian Wine Industry to find details about their practices and main suppliers of product and services, as North American winemakers and vineyard managers were intrigued with Australian wine technology.
Chris Grow Engineering is a founding member of the Australian Wine Technology Export Group (AWTEG) under the auspices of Austrade. The seven member companies launched their services at Winetech, Sacramento, California in January 1996.
The first export model vineyard mower was shipped to Narbonne, in the south of France.
Under-vine mulch throw mower for Vineyards. Wine industry's leading consultants recommend less use of water and herbicide. High fibrous cover crops planted inter-row in warm climate vineyards are cut down prior to bud burst and the long stem foliage placed under-vine to retard weed growth and prevent evaporation from irrigation systems.
Slasher, hay and sickle type mowers were trialled but the best results were obtained from a front mounted high clearance twin rotor side discharge mower.
Patented “Proper Topper” Pasture topper designed and trialled with northern Victorian dairy farmers. Victorian and New South Wales dairy industry’s “Operation Mid Lactation” and “Target 20” programs were a clean, green push to boost milk production and protein via pasture improvement.
The requirement was a clean cut with no wheel marks and windrows and of rugged reliability for everyday use. Many “off the shelf” mowing products were trialled. After the prototype was tested and refined, the group stated, “Finally, we’ve got a Proper Topper”. To this day it remains Chris Grow Engineering’s main product line to the dairy, beef and horse industries.
First Twin Rotor Vineyard mower manufactured for Thomas Hardy and Sons Vineyard at Padthaway, SA. All vineyards in Australia at this time were either ploughed or rotary cultivated, these vineyards were the first to move towards a permanent sward of pasture inter-row and herbicide spraying under-vine.
“New Implement Award” received at the Australian National Field Days in Orange NSW for the “Drop Centre Sprayer Mower”.
One pass “Sprayer Mower” designed in conjunction with local orchardists, eliminating the standard practice of two passes down a row with an offset mower and two passes with an under-tree herbicide sprayer, a true proven saving of 75% of time, fuel and associated costs. Sprayer mowers are now the industry standard with some European manufacturers offering the same.
Twin rotor “drop-centre” mower designed for “V” drain shaped inter-row in orchards.
Found a niche market in building “scaled down” rotary slashers and grader blades for the mass importation of Japanese tractors in the under 30hp sector. All other suppliers tried to fit larger “cut down” implements.
From a farming background, Chris Grow founded the business at age 19, after completing his apprenticeship at an Adelaide tractor and farm machinery franchise.