Bob’s expertise in diesel repairs and farm machinery air conditioning has made him a popular figure in his district, and he could be said to be a true pioneer in cabin air conditioning in the big harvesters and tractors of this rich grain growing area.
He was very involved with the agricultural machinery in the early stages of enclosed cabins and air conditioning. He recalls having to sort out the manufacturing short comings in the new enclosed cabins. He told VASA that although some of the new technology might go over the heads of some of the oldies, there’s one thing they still possess, and that’s common sense.
Bob did his apprenticeship as a diesel engineer with the old firm of Ferrier & Dickinson in Sydney, the home of Gardner diesel engines. He was later to work as a motor mechanic at the Australian Small Arms Factory at Lithgow, and then moved to underground mines around the district as a diesel engineer.
In 1965, he and his brother John started Reynolds Brothers Motors, a Ford tractor dealership and repairer at Forbes, which continued until 1982.
He recalls that the US tractors from John Deere were the earliest to put cabins on tractors with air conditioning. Up till then the farmers drove their tractors all day in the open, covered in dust and dirt.
Local manufacturers Ford and International went from tractors with no cabins at all in the early 70s to cabins with evaporative coolers by the late 70s.
This technology didn’t suit all climatic conditions and when they moved into proper air conditioning, it was a lot of trial and error.
Bob is an honorary life member of the Insitute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers, and has served as an examiner for the Institute for the past 40 years and is still called on today to test trade qualifications. He joined the Institute as a student member in 1953.
In recognition of your lifetime of accomplishments and advanced diesel and air conditioning skills particularly in the agricultural sector.