Day 3 was the real start of our tour. We were met by Andres Citroni fro m CIDETER, who had been instrumental in organising both our 2012 and 2013 trips. We then drove to Las Rosas where we picked up our interpreter Maria. Las Rosas is a manufacturing town with over 400 engineering workshops and machinery manufacturers. We then made our first visit to PLA a seeder and sprayer manufacturer. We were hosted there by Fermin and Josephina, both PLA engineers who walked us through their new factory (which was being commissioned when we visited in 2012). This is an old established company which initially developed its own front and rear mounted sprayers and now has a range of double disc planters. We were able to look at their range of equipment and then view some presentations over lunch before settling into some technical discussions about their machines.
We then moved to the other end of town to the Vulcano truck trailer manufacturing plant. This was something we had not expected as it was not on the original plan but was well worth the visit. Carlos Moriconi and his 3 brothers make an impressive range of truck bodies ranging from drop decks, wide load decks, grain trailers and even a B-double trailer which was a first for Argentina. Their road laws prohibit anything over 30 T on sealed roads but laws are changing in some provinces to enable these larger trailers to be used which could dramatically change their capacity to move grain. He has a major contract with Scania and had an impressive line up of trailers. We are hoping that Carlos will come to Agquip in 2013 to have a look around Australia at what we do.
We then visited Caiman sprayer company in Las Parejas. We visited them in 2012 and were very impressed by their designs and their willingness and ability to be flexible. We had stayed in contact with Alejandro and Sebastian and our visit this time was to specifically look at what progress they had made on some new ideas, such as the carbon fibre boom. We had a look around their factory which is growing substantially and had lengthy discussions on a number of fronts which we intend to continue throughout the week.
Lastly we visited the headquarters of CIDETER where we met up with Carlos Braga, who has been the main organiser of our trip. CIDETER is a regional body and looks after a majority of the machinery manufacturers in Argentina (over 700 in total). They are responsible for representing them in a number of areas, in trade relations, in policy and in relations with INTA (their national agricultural research and extension organisation) and other agencies. We will be continuing our discussions with CIDETER throughout the week with a major agreement to be signed with them at the field day on June 12.
By this time is was very late and we returned to Rosario.