Stepping back onto the cold hard concrete of the pit floor after a broken back just about destroyed Oubaas Pretorius. Fortunately, he found ComfortZone Pit Mat and is now back doing what he loves.
“In 2007 I was stacking bales while working on an uneven dirt floor,” he says. “One slid free, it fell on my head, and that was that.”
With a broken back and six weeks spent in the hospital, the couple feared for Oubaas’ future in farming. Determined to continue, he undertook an intensive rehabilitation course and set his sights on returning to the pit.
Stepping back onto the cold hard concrete of the pit floor just about destroyed his plans, however. “The pain was unbearable,” says Oubaas. “Without the rubber matting we had put down I would have had to stop milking. So yes, it’s a lifesaver.”
“We were share-milking when we first got this matting back in 2010,” says Oubaas. “After we bought our own farm in Westport we immediately installed the pit mat there too.” The enterprising couple are now in their fourth season on the coast, their 126 hectares of West Coast paradise and 300-strong dairy herd keeping them busy.
Throughout this time the durability of the matting has impressed. “We worried about the various chemicals that can come in contact with it (the matting), that there’d be some kind of reaction that would cause it to perish or wear,” says Oubaas. “But it’s been going strong for three years and it’s like the day we put it in.”
“We lift it and clean it out every three months or so but, with an hour and half of cleaning required, it’s a simple job to do.”
After investing in ComfortZone matting for the herringbone entrance Oubaas and Rene now look forward to the day they can add to the surfacing, with potential for matting on a stand-off pad and other areas of the Westport farm.
He’s happy to spread the word too. “Just the other day a neighbor was in the pit for a while. He came out saying how good it (the matting) was ‘on your feet, your knees, your hips’”.
Oubaas couldn’t agree more – without the matting “it could have been all over”.
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