In this month’s Letter From Lew, I explore the timeline of Vantage BMS and how we came to be Australia's largest Trimble Precision Agriculture Technology dealer.
From starting with two employees in 1979, we have come a long way in our 42 years in operation. My late business partner, Kevin “Mussy” Muspratt and I commenced business in 1979 as Brandon Muspratt Services (BMS) after identifying an unserved opportunity for land levelling technology in the Australian agricultural industry.
We now have over 50 employees across our nine branches in our Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia, northern New South Wales and Tasmania offices.
When we started the business, we developed a philosophy for ensuring that our customers had access to a complete end-to-end workflow. We continue to achieve this by bringing technology to farmers and contractors which improves their productivity and efficiency.
While this core business focus hasn't changed, the technologies and the applications we offer have. We now offer the entire Trimble Ag portfolio, Spectra Precision Lasers, a range of laser scrapers and a host of specialty services.
See where we started, how we’ve grown, and our commitment to supplying end-to-end precision ag and construction solutions across Australia.
Mussy and I shared a keen interest in technology & electronics. With my experience in surveying applications and knowledge of Electrical Engineering and Mussy’s experience as a boilermaker, we were working with David Cox of Davco Farming developing fields for flood irrigation. This led to the creation of Brandon Muspratt Services (BMS).
Back in 1980, laser levelling of fields was in its infancy, and so was the equipment used to level the land. BMS partnered with Spectra-Physics Laserplane (Spectra), a pioneer of lasers and machine controls technologies, to become a distributor - an integral part of the new BMS brand.
With increased customer adoption of laser technologies and changes to the distribution of Spectra products, BMS became a multi-faceted operation, distributing products across Australia.
We were approached by Col O’Bryan from Swan Hill, Victoria, in 1981 about the possibility of manufacturing his O’Bryan Laser Scrapers.
These laser scrapers could cart dirt from one end of the field to the other with the stability to grade to a smooth surface. Mussy, a boilermaker by trade, established our engineering and manufacturing business and we began manufacturing the O’Bryan scrapers under a licensing agreement. This began BMS’ commitment to providing complete landforming solutions for a variety of applications.
When we began manufacturing scrapers for specialist contractors in the land levelling business, they all had different requirements for their scrapers. We found the AllFarm Scrapers were a good fit for our contractor customers, and we became a dealer for them in 1982.
In 1982, Spectra introduced the EL1 Electronic Level, a small portable rotating laser for construction applications. This opened up new opportunities in the construction market for us. Throughout the 1980’s Spectra focused more attention on the construction space and also introduced many Construction Machine Control systems and Pipe Lasers as well.
By the 1990s, BMS had grown significantly. We had several requests from farmers in the Wet Tropics of Queensland for scrapers that were easily transportable behind a tractor, and capable of ejecting the wetter materials they were levelling.
To meet this demand, we designed and began manufacturing scrapers and blades under the BMS brand. Over the years, our engineering business began manufacturing a range of our products, not just scrapers.
To fit with our mantra of providing a complete customer solution, BMS began manufacturing and selling every component required for tractor-drawn laser scrapers. These included laser trailers, hitches, cushion hitches, and a wide range of brackets for easily attaching the various GPS systems onto tractors and other machinery.
In 1991, the AllFarm design was taken over by Horwood Bagshaw, with who we continue to deal today.
1998 saw the merger of Spectra-Physics Laserplane with Geotronics and Plus 3 Software to become Spectra Precision. Also, during this year, the world’s first construction 3D machine control system BladePro 3D was introduced. This revolutionised fine grading applications for civil construction. We sold and supported the first systems in Australia.
In 2000, Trimble Navigation acquired Spectra Precision and we became a Trimble Ag Dealer. Following this, we began selling and supporting the first GPS tractor steering and guidance solutions.
At the time, I don’t think we truly appreciated what a change GPS would have on our major customer markets of agriculture and construction.
Throughout the 2000’s Trimble Agriculture broadened their portfolio from Steering and Guidance of Tractors to include rate control systems, GPS based water management and software solutions.
Trimble introduces Trimble RTX (Real-Time eXtended) technology with CenterPoint RTX real-time correction service.
This huge advancement in GNSS corrections solutions provided quick convergence times faster than we’d ever seen with an inch-level accuracy. For the first time, farmers could cover more ground, more accurately with fewer interruptions, delivering a convergence time of less than one minute (in some areas).
My business partner, Mussy, passed away in 2014. This sent huge shockwaves across the whole team. While it was a devastating blow, Mussy would be proud of how far we’d come and of the journey we had taken together. The outpouring of support that Vantage BMS and the Muspratts received from our customers was touching.
The Muspratt family continue to play a huge role in Vantage BMS, and we look forward to a long future ahead.
We transitioned to be a Vantage dealer in 2016. Trimble has designated Vantage dealers as their premium Trimble Ag distribution channel. Vantage brings the complete Trimble Ag portfolio together under a single, brand agnostic umbrella. Growers can consult their Vantage partner for help with integrating hardware, software, agronomics services, and the data generated from it all.
We began offering Soil Information System (SIS) services in 2017. This allowed us to combine our knowledge and experience of field variability with ag technologies to determine issues in the soil. From here, we can make recommendations for our customers that suit the specific needs of their field.
We work with several sugarcane farmers and with no ready-made yield monitoring solution for sugarcane, we developed a custom Sugarcane Yield Monitoring System. This allows farmers to understand the variability of their yield in a way that they previously had not been able to.
Today, our business operates under two major brands; BMS LaserSat, servicing the construction industry, and Vantage BMS/WA, part of Trimble Agriculture’s premier, global distribution network.
Our goal is to provide farmers, and contractors with a single interface for the integration of hardware, software and services that are integral to precision farming and laser levelling.
By staying centred on solving the customers' technology issues, we’re prepared to continue to leverage the latest products and software to ensure our customer success. Being brand agnostic, we act as a single vendor for all precision ag technology requirements for any brand of machinery.
We pride ourselves on our custom solutions that solve problems for our customers to boost productivity and improve efficiency across a range of industries and applications. I’m grateful for how far we’ve come and I’m very proud of our great team who make Mussy and my vision of complete end-to-end workflows possible.
At Vantage BMS, we are truly dedicated to putting our customers first. Acting as a single source of expertise with our local sales, service and support, we help our customers run a more profitable operation.
I appreciate all of our customers’ support and look forward to seeing where the future takes us.
Contact your local Vantage representative on 1300 TRIMBLE to learn more.