Giving frost the cold shoulder

The FrostBoss frost fan helps hundreds of fruit and wine growers protect their crops from costly frost damage. With Perkins engines providing the power, customers can feel confident that when temperatures tumble, their fans will fire up first time, every time.

Fruit and wine producers across New Zealand and Australia are fighting back against the threat of frost with a fantastic piece of kit called FrostBoss. This impressive range of frost fans helps growers keep crops warm and protected when freezing weather sets in.

Frost is an issue that growers can’t afford to ignore. If damage does occur, it not only threatens the quality of their crop, but their livelihoods too.

The reliability of its fans is, therefore, paramount for New Zealand Frost Fans (NZFF), the company that owns FrostBoss. The company knows that building a dependable fan also means finding a dependable engine supplier – one with a strong reputation for building robust engines that run reliably, whatever the conditions.

The company opted to use Perkins® 1106D-70TA engines in some of its units to provide the proven power and reassurance both they, and their customers, need.

Giving frost the cold shoulder

The 6 cylinder, 7.01 litre 1106D-70TA that runs the fans is a turbocharged aftercooled unit. It delivers 112 kW (150 hp) at 2200 rpm, with NZFF opting to run the engine at 1750 rpm for this particular application.

The heat is on

FrostBoss fans kick into action before a frost occurs, when the temperature reaches around 0.5-1.5°C. They work by drawing in some of the heat that’s released from the ground after dark. As the fans’ blades spin, this warm air is blown across the crop to keep it safe from damage.

The blades of each fan are optimised with the engine’s output to achieve maximum fuel efficiency and deliver optimum coverage for the lowest fuel consumption.

Ongoing commitment to research and development has helped NZFF create market-leading fans that are quiet, efficient and deliver high performance. Its blades are manufactured in-house and the complete units are assembled in NZFF workshops, including fabrication of the 10 metre tall towers they stand on. NZFF technicians also reconfigure the engines for the application and build its clutches and controllers.

Steve Haslett, who owns NZFF, has been pleased with the performance of Perkins engines. “The Perkins engines are robust and reliable,” said Steve. “While the machines do low hours, they must fire up first time, every time when needed. The very nature of the fans means that the use of the engines is intermittent, but hard running when needed. When that happens, they may need to run hard for up to 12 hours.”

Landmark in engine sales

NZFF sources its Perkins units from TransDiesel Ltd, the Perkins appointed New Zealand distributor. It recently celebrated the milestone of purchasing 1,000 Perkins engines through the company.

“TransDiesel are very easy and good to deal with and I’m very happy with the service I receive from them and the Perkins support team,” added Steve.

NZFF, and its popular FrostBoss fans, continue to grow throughout New Zealand, Australia and other parts of the world. Perkins is happy to provide the power and peace of mind NZFF customers need to continue to operate well – and sleep well – whenever a cold-snap hits. 

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