For over 50 years Gyral Implements has been a solid, family-run business on the forefront of the farming equipment industry. It has grown from one man working in rural Queensland, to a company with a presence all over the globe, all due to the Fuss family’s commitment to always deliver the best and most innovative agricultural tools. This commitment has allowed them to not only survive but thrive in what can at times be an extremely turbulent industry. Their original air seeder design, the first patented in the world, is an ideal example of the type of creative and useful technology that has earned Gyral the acclaim and reputation for excellence they currently own. They are recognised the world over as an innovative and cutting-edge, precision farming technology developer. In their core market, Gyral is set apart by their service commitment to farmers and the dealer networks they operate with.
Gyral Implements has been in the Fuss family for three generations and they show no sign of slowing down. Today it is under the management of Roger and Haydn Fuss, along with Greg Short. The company began with Roger’s grandfather Albert Fuss in 1956. “At the time farms were experiencing a lot of difficulty,” Roger says. “They were in very wet seasons and having problems being able to plant.” In response, Albert – who was a creative designer as well as a farmer – developed the air seeder. Farmers who were struggling with seeding in the unfavourable soil conditions embraced this new implement that could be handily mounted on to a chisel plough. When Albert passed away in 1963, his sons took on this rapidly growing business. “My father and his brothers were trying to run the new business as well as the farming operations, and they found that difficult and frustrating,” says Roger. “In the ‘60s, travel wasn’t what it is today, so they ultimately sold their properties and came into the business full time in 1968.” From their original factory in Dalby, Gyral then moved to their current location in Toowoomba, southern Queensland. Roger Fuss followed up on the family legacy in 1977. “I did about ten years in the drawing office in the capacity of drafting and product development, and then moved on to doing service work until 1995 when my uncle, who was the general manager, retired.”
From their first air seeder, Gyral expanded to develop a range of tillage and cultivating equipment, and continued rather steadily into the mid ‘80s. Eric Fuss designed a major improvement on his father’s air seeder, adding a pressurized principle to the device, and soon this principle was being adapted throughout the world. The ‘80s saw a big shift in the agricultural industry, and farmers were looking for the most innovative, and efficient techniques for cultivation. These techniques included everything from direct-drilling and control traffic, to stream-lined, precision farming. Gyral has risen to the occasion and has kept ahead of a constantly evolving field.
There are now many air seeder manufacturers, but few with the reputation Gyral has developed and maintained. The field has become much more competitive than it once was, which means the company must continue to adapt. “Today we’ve become far more specialized,” says Fuss. “What you’ll find is that we’ve got niche engineering businesses in different districts throughout the grain belt that makes products more specifically targeted at a particular area. We’re seeing that throughout the Australian grain belt where you’ve got manufacturers in all the regions.”
So where does Gyral fit into a continually evolving market? In the last few years they have realized they can no longer focus only on the tillaging and seeding side of the business and have started to use their established capabilities to diversify. “We’ve made several attempts at varying products, but they haven’t all been successful,” says Fuss. “I guess when you’re used to doing just one type of thing – we’re used to having a comfort zone – that certainly challenges you.” Australian farms are running at all-time high cost, due in part to the droughts, and more recently the floods, over the last few years. “There are fewer and fewer sales and there seems to be a growing body of manufacturers to provide for it.” So from focusing solely on manufacturing their own designs, Gyral has widened their horizons to contract manufacturing. In the last year they have taken on work for another agricultural company that no longer manufactures their own equipment. Currently they are putting together an arrangement with a new exploration drilling company in Brisbane, who do not have their own manufacturing facility.
None of these initiatives would be possible, however, without first establishing a strong alliance with both suppliers and dealers. Because Gyral made those alliances early, and have been diligent in maintaining them, their business has made it as far as it has. The loyalty and support Gyral share with their partners is critical to maintaining efficiency in the supply and chain and market place. When it comes to manufacturing, or even marketing, the best advantages a company can have are strong relationships – which Gyral has, and will continue to foster and utilise.
No matter the ventures they undertake, Fuss guarantees that Gyral will always be guided by the same standards. “We as an organization have always been very focused on trying to provide a very good service to our client base. We know that comes at a premium, but we felt that people will always pay for quality, whether it’s in service or product, or certainly both.” By all accounts, Gyral is a company that has kept its promise to committed service.