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Padman Stops History

  • Back Shed
    1987 – Back Shed Experiments
    John grew up on a dairy farm so was well versed in the challenges of farming from an early age. Long hours, muddy fields and tricky, manually operated equipment were always a constant battle.   While working on the farm, John found himself in the shed more and more developing solutions to make farming more manageable.   His focus at this time was on watertight irrigation outlets with an interest in automation. During this period, John also invented his own 'automatic teat cup remover' for the dairy amongst other inventions to make farming a bit easier. A philosophy he has...
  • Back Shed Experiments Precision Irrigation
    1989 – “Precision Irrigation” open for business
    With his structures improving his own farm, it wasn't long until the bush telegraph had John pouring structures for other farmers throughout the district.   In 1989, John moved his family from the farm over the NSW border to a few acres on the outskirts of Strathmerton to develop his irrigation ideas further into commercial products.   The business was named 'Precision Irrigation' and John focused on Irrigation outlets and played around with automation which were sold to predominately dairy farmers throughout northern Vic and southern NSW.
  • John Padman in from of Padman Stop Bay Outlet
    1989 – First Padman watertight rubber flap door
    Whilst working on the family dairy farm, John continually battled flood irrigation gates that leaked with difficult manual operation and knew there must be a better way.   With the shed set up and time dedicated to product development, the ‘Padman Stop’ was born.   The original 'Padman Stop' was a precast concrete structure with a hinged door and rubber flap to seal it, and make the outlet completely watertight.   More products followed this initial success, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • Pneumatic
    1989 – First Automation System – Pneumatic irrigation
    With the first Padman watertight door, John set out to make a good thing great with automation.   Years before telemetry or the common usage of electronics in the field, John developed a pneumatic automation system that could open the Padman watertight door.   An airline was run the length of the field and when the water reached the opening, the increased air pressure in the line triggered the door release mechanism.
  • Elmore Field Days: Most innovative new product award winner
    1990 – Elmore Field Days: Most innovative new product award winner
    For over 50 years, the Elmore Field Days has served as the meeting place each year for farmers from northern Victoria and southern NSW. As a farmer, John had attended the Field Day and many others, but 1990 was the first time he went as an exhibitor.   He was eager to see what his fellow farmers thought of his 100% watertight door and was elated to be awarded the 'Most innovative new product award winner' run by the Stock & Land newspaper.   Padman Stops haven't missed an Elmore Field Days since and have included many others as we...
  • John installing irrigation outlet
    1991 – Expanding the product range
    The first collection of products were called the 'A Series', with a door depth of 300mm, which is shallow by today's standards.   The numerals on the products represent how many (approx.) feet wide the door is, as it still does today. The A1 (300mm), A2, A3 and the widest door at the time the A4 (1200mm).   There was no need for walkways as we know them today and chains were used to open and close the rubber flap door.          
  • John with early Pipe End
    1992 – New Product: Pipe Ends
    With several Padman Stops irrigation outlet options now available to his growing network, product requests began coming through to add some of that Padman design and functionality to Pipe Ends.   Taking into consideration different pipe sizes, erosion issues and the ability to automate, John came up with different Pipe End molds catering to these needs and remains one of our core products.
  • Mechanical Timer Automation
    1992 – Mechanical Timers
    While pneumatic automation was effective, it didn't suit every application and required additional materials and works so John set about developing a new automation unit operating on time.   The Padman Mechanical Timer was essentially a big, rugged egg timer that would countdown to your designated watering time and trigger the door release.
  • Padman Stops logo
    1992 – ‘Padman Stops’ name change
    After operating as Precision Irrigation for four years, the business name was changed to Padman Stops.   With other companies operating as Precision Irrigation anyway and our customers calling our products "Padman's" anyway, it made sense.   But why 'Stops'? Well, there are lots of local terms for irrigation structures around the country; weirs, gates, outlets, stops... and we're happy to represent with our local terminology.
  • John promoting an automated R7 Headwall for Rice Crops
    1993 – Rice Industry Solutions
    With a rice growing region nearby in southern NSW, it was only a matter of time until we looked for ways to develop structures suited to improving their irrigation methods.   The R4 & R7 Rice Headwalls functionality evolved from the ability to add boards in the grooves, to aluminium slide doors to 100% Watertight rubber flap doors with options for automation.   These were very popular and we supplied thousands per year until the millennium drought hit and slowed the industry down.
  • EDT Electronic Dual Time on bay outlet
    1995 – Electronic Dual Timers
    While the Mechanical Timer was an improvement on the Padman Pneumatic automation system, they were a bit limited with their use as they could both only be set for one event; to release the door to begin irrigation. John recognised the importance of setting ‘Dual Times’. The EDT was programmed to set both the time to open the outlet and the time to close it. The original EDT's used gas struts to improve the strength of the arms before integrating Linak actuators that were used for actually designed for lifting hospital beds! The functionality sounds simple, but the Electronic Dual...
  • John with Early OverShot Door Install
    1995 – Overshot Door
    It wasn't long until the demand for deeper doors  brought about the 'B', 'C' & 'D' series for the Bay Outlet application.   With water delivery systems requiring even deeper doors, the demand was there for us to create the Overshot, which was the deepest door available at the time and capable of being used as a Channel Stop.   Being 100% watertight and easily transported due to the removable upstream and downstream anti-erosion wings, the Overshot remains a core product to this day.
  • Padman Stops Site - Aerial photo 1997
    1997 – Getting busy
    It wasn't long until the business outgrew the back shed and new sheds and an admin office popped up in the front paddock.
  • Gouburn Murray Water - Water Supply project: Channel Overshot doors
    1998 – Supplying for Goulburn Murray Water projects
    John supplied a dozen Overshot style doors to the Goulburn Murray Water supply scheme, who found them to be an excellent solution for some of their Channel stop applications. These structures were fitted with a custom automation system supplied by Ken Messner of kMed automation, our specialist electronics contractor of 20 years. GMW have remained a great client over the decades requesting a range of products for their projects.
  • Hydraulic Ram
    1999 – Hydraulic ram automation
    We designed and installed approximately a dozen Hydraulic Water Ram systems across Victoria between 1999-2004.   Many of these are still working to this day.
  • John Installing Early MaxiFlow
    2002 – MaxiFlow Culvert
    As the Padman Stops brand and our flat stops and pipe ends became more popular, we were often asked if we made pipes. With some well established companies making quality pipes that suited our product, we were happy to supply their pipes with our products. After talking to customers, installers and drivers about some of their pain points with round pipe John went into his shed again and began the design process for the MaxiFlow. The MaxiFlow is a flat bottomed structure with a high strength arched opening that can be extended with multiple units to make custom width crossings....
  • Fast Water Trials
    2004 – Fast Watering
    Definition of fast watering in 2004: Surface Irrigation applied faster than 10 ML/day per HA   In 2004, Padman Stops began their "Fast Watering" project, with the aim of creating a high efficiency irrigation system. The theory behind the system was that irrigating faster than the water can soak below the root zone would result in higher effeciency.   John Padman, with this in mind, built a pump with a flow meter that could be used in a trial to measure the effect of "Fast Watering". Trials conducted have found that the faster the water, the less water is used....
  • John and Shawn Padman next to a Padman Stop Bay Outlet
    2007 – Shawn rejoins the company
    As Shawn was in primary school when the company started, he grew up taking an interest and working within the business through his teens and early twenties.   Like many, Shawn traveled the world and put many of these skills to use in a variety of industries and returned home in his late twenties to help as the millennium drought really tested the industry, not to mention the company.
  • CottonInfo irrigation automation tour
    2008 – Cotton Industry Solutions
    While the company continued to innovate and supply the Dairy, Rice  & Cropping industries for Victoria and southern NSW, the millennium drought proved a challenge for everyone. During this period, Padman Stops began research and development on irrigators needs further away across the nation and found potential within the cotton industry. Like many R & D projects before and since, we made a big effort to understand what the farmers needed and set about using our experience to develop products that would improve their farms profitability. Our products have been well received and we look forward to continuing to innovate...
  • Save Water Award 2008
    2008 – Award Winning Innovation
    National savewater! awards® Winner: Regional & Rural category Judge's Comments: Padman Stops have been able to increase the efficiency of flood irrigation without increased energy use.   They have shown potential to make significant future improvements in the industry by means of on farm efficiency as well as environmental improvements as a flow on effect.
  • Argentina Business Venture
    2009 – The Argentinean experiment
    In a proactive attempt to look for new markets as the Millennium drought really put the squeeze on Australian agriculture, Padman Stops went global!   John and Shawn teamed up with John Schofield to setup a plant in the small regional village of Bahía Blanca, Argentina. While their soils were very porous, they benefited from fast watering from the four different molds we sent over in a shipping container, that was then converted into a concrete curing oven.   Over three memorable trips with lots of fantastic hospitality (they know how to BBQ) and great memories (lost luggage was an interesting...
  • Moira Shire Business Awards 2010
    2010 – Moira Shire Business Excellence Awards: Winner for Environmental Excellence
    Moira Shire Mayor Cr Ed Cox congratulated the nominees for their outstanding achievements and commitment to excellence. "I would like to congratulate the award winners and acknowledge the high calibre of the nominees. The business awards are an opportunity to celebrate business excellence in the Moira Shire" Cr Cox said.   Nominees have demonstrated innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and commitment. These businesses and individuals have excelled in trying economic conditions and I once again congratulate them on their achievements," Cr Cox said.
  • Walkways on Bay Outlets
    2010 – Walkways on Bay Outlets
    With farmers realising the benefits of fast watering, the bay outlets started getting wider. To further improve OH&S for the farmer we reconfigured our structures with a walkway to allow for safe crossing.
  • Early SMS Chatterbox Prototype
    2011 – SMS Chatterbox
    Having ventured into electronics with the Electronic Dual Timer and having it establish itself as one of the most portable and affordable automation devices, John was looking for new ways to help farmers with their irrigation.   With the advancement of mobile communications and the importance of water conservation, knowing where your water was became very important.   The SMS chatterbox is effectively a witches hat placed at the bottom of the bay that sends you a text message when it's feet get wet.   A simple concept and a wonderful innovation that has saved lots of water and sleep!...
  • New Concrete Plant
    2013 – New Concrete Plant
    With a broadening product range and increased production, the demand on the facilities got to a point where another plant was required.   Another shed was setup nearby that became a production line for the flat stops, which improved the quality of the product even further.
  • New Fitting Shed
    2015 – New Fitting Shed
    With the success of the new concrete plant and the employment of a professional continuous improvement manager, we turned our attention to the processes related to fitting our products.   This resulted in the construction of a fitting shed production line which allowed products to move freely throughout the site more efficiently, improving quality and work place satisfaction as a result.
  • SamC Diagram
    2016 – SamC System
    With the Electric Dual Timer and the SMS Chatterbox spearheading our Automation department, why not try and make them talk to each other?   We invested a lot of time and effort into developing the Sensor Activated Monitor Controller (SamC), which enabled the Master unit to communicate with the bay sensor at the bottom of the bay and trigger the changeover to irrigate the next bay.   While this product didn't progress past the trial stage, a lot of the learnings resulted in the new wave of products we've developed since, namely the AutoWinch and the whole PRO system.
  • RD Shed
    2017 – Research & Development Shed
    With the company continuing to grow and more professionals coming onboard, this allowed John the luxury to do what he does best, look to the future!   Equipped with a new shed built to his requirements, a handful of good men and a whiteboard, John has focused on some revolutionary products.   Some have hit the market, such as the PosiDrive and F10 Bay Outlet, with some industry changing products still in development, due to be released in the near future.
  • Pocket winch drawing
    2017 – Pocket Timer
    As we were building larger structures and lifting heavier doors, we were reaching the limitations of our actuators used on the EDT's and the SamC system.   This lead us to develop the Pocket Timer. The aim was to produce a portable, compact unit that ditched the actuator for a winch.   The winch proved to be a great innovation and the Pocket Timer worked well. However, like the SamC, the Pocket Timer didn't progress past the prototype stage but did significantly influence the future makeup of the Padman Winch and the PRO automation range.
  • Padman Winch
    2017 – Padman Winch
    Another lesson learned while upgrading our automation was the need for a universal winch that could be used manually or connect to all of our automation units.   The Padman Winch has provided a flexible platform for all of our automation devices and the OH&S standards for manual operation have improved considerably.   The Padman Winch is installed on every unit making them automation ready when you are.
  • Cane Solutions
    2018 – Sugarcane Solutions
    In a bid to continue to innovate and tap into new markets, in 2018, Padmans began research and development on the needs of sugarcane farmers. We are still currently working closely with our cane growing customers to trial and advance our technologies and infrastructure to suit the harsh conditions of the tropical north. So far our products have been well received and we look forward to continuing to innovate to find more efficient ways to conserve water and operational costs for the industry.
  • Farm Automation Showroom
    2018 – Automation showroom opened
    A beautifully designed space with interactive product displays was created in 2018. The automation showroom allows customers the opportunity to come in and see how the products work get more information from either a sales person or our interactive touch screen.
  • PosiDrive
    2018 – New Product: PosiDrive
    For customers with multiple doors in a bay we understood the difficulty of having to open and close each door manually, so we came up with this unique rack and pinon design that allows operators to open and close multiple doors from the one automation unit, or from the one manual winch. With the added benefit of being able to open the door in both directions. We then needed to find ways to allow our automation to operate multiple heavy doors at once using our existing AutoWinch system. This led to the PosiDrive. Padman Stops’ first automation product that utilises...
  • Quick Culverts
    2019 – Padman Quick Culverts company formed
    Quick Culverts was formed to service the civil industry. With Iso 45001, Iso 14001 and Iso 9001 Certified Quality Assurance being granted in 2020.
  • Padman Water Solutions - Logo
    2020 – Padman Water Solutions company formed
    Padman Water Solutions is an especially exciting new arm to the Padman Group. Servicing Queensland, with products designed specifically for the tropical conditions of the state and to solve the niche problems they face. Transforming water efficiency for farmers and reducing labour, time and cost with innovative products and technology.