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Spray system specialist back in the flow with Miller

Originally published in Farm Weekly December 9, 2021

McIntosh & Son

Peter Vella, newly appointed National Miller Sales Manager with Australian distributor, McIntosh Distribution, is looking forward to reigniting his passion for spraying systems and further growing the Miller brand.

LONG-TERM industry specialists are more of a unique breed today and after a brief period away from the spraying equipment sector, Peter Vella is now keen to continue his passion for spray technologies as National Miller Sales Manager with Australian distributor, McIntosh Distribution.

Peter recalls his first role in the industry sweeping floors and working in spare parts as a junior storeman at Hardi Spraying Equipment WA, which later became Hardi Australia.

Over the following 28 years with the company, Peter worked in administration and technical support roles, as well as in management positions overlooking parts, operations, technical support and sales, including in the field.

He spent four years in Adelaide in a national management position that included training programs with machinery dealers and customers, before returning to Western Australia for family reasons.

Peter said the opportunity to be part of the McIntosh family businesses was one not to be missed and was set to reignite his long-held passion for spraying systems.

"I’ve had a long and strong relationship with the McIntosh & Son branches as dealers, so the opportunity to then join the McIntosh group was very attractive and appealing," he said.

There was also a strong pull to work with one of the most high calibre spraying teams in the Australian industry.

"Mike Symes is a long-time industry stalwart and there is also Scott Jameson and John Hill supporting New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland and Nigel Hodge in South Australia – and they also support the WeedSeeker brand," Peter said.

"So there was the attraction towards the bigger picture and the team that McIntosh Distribution has gathered. It is a strong team that has a wealth of knowledge in different areas – and with all of them, their passion shows."

Peter said technology developments in the agricultural industry were constant and he always wanted to be engaged at the forefront of innovations and helping to improve spraying systems.

"Learning about application technologies is ongoing. Anyone can build a sprayer, but it’s the knowledge of what happens from tip to target that is crucial."

He said some of the bigger breakthroughs during his journey so far had been the introduction of prescription maps, leading to variable rate applications, auto boom switching and section control, and, in more recent times, site specific developments including individual nozzle control and turn compensation.

"We have always been looking at how to get more precise, and then incorporating auto features for safety, like the auto rinsing and flushing."

Peter said the Miller brand and its sprayer range was the epitome of constant technological development to remain at the forefront of the industry, with its latest Bilberry "Green-on-Green" weed identifying technology added to other feature options such as Raven XRT auto height control and a myriad of nozzle application systems.

"There is also a strong belief to deliver these hi-tech machines in the most user-friendly format."

"I sat in a (Miller) Nitro cab recently and thought about it from an operator’s point of view and I was blown away by the user-friendliness of the layout."

He said this had been strongly supported by McIntosh Distribution’s extensive local manufacturing capability on both the west and east coasts of the country to ensure machines were precisely customised to individual grower requirements.

It had contributed to strong market growth for the latest Miller Nitro 7000 Series sprayer range, with its new drive system, cab layout and fuel efficiency levels among its most attractive features.

Peter said he was now keen to reacquaint himself with industry colleagues and meet new dealers once State borders reopened over coming months.

“I look forward to strengthening those relationships and further growing the market share for Miller," he said.