Home' Smart Farmer : Dec 2012 - Jan 2013 Contents December 2012 / January 20
Smart sheds & storage
BY DAVID EAST
WHEN school teacher
Phil Thompson accept-
ed an Agricultural
Science teaching position at
Nuriootpa High School in 2008,
it meant a move from Western
Australia back to South Australia
for himself, wife Ruth and daugh-
The first task was to find some-
where to live, preferably a proper-
ty with a few hectares of land for
some lifestyle living with sustain-
ability for the family.
"In the west we owned a small
property where we ran a few
horses on agistment," Mr
"I think this where Ruth and
Georgia's love affair with horses
began and was the reason for us
buying our 28 hectare
Gumeracha property here.
"It was perfectly situated for
our lifestyle, and conveniently
close to Nuriootpa for my teach-
"We wanted to set up a home
and lifestyle centred around the
family's fondness of rural living
"The Gumeracha property was
ideal for our plans."
When the Thompson family
bought the property it was not set
up for running a number of hors-
"There wasn't a stable and there
were no suitable yards for a
"After asking around and get-
ting some very favourable local
recommendations, we finally set-
tled for the Mount Pleasant based
company of Magnus Australia Pty
Ltd as our preferred supplier.
"It was, I believe, one of the
best decisions we have made.
"We checked out some Magnus
designs and discussed some of
own ideas with the Magnus team
and we came up with a plan
which produced what I believe is
the perfect stable set up for the
property and its surrounds."
Mr Thompson said the family
settled on an American-style barn
design stable building with four-
a-side horse stalls, and a four
metre breezeway running
through the centre.
"Each of the stalls include self-
contained feed and watering facil-
ities and each stall has a split door
exit into open-air day holding
yards," he said.
"The split doors allow for plen-
ty of fresh air into the stalls when
we want to keep the horses
"We have not used any concrete
flooring inside the stable build-
"The floors are comprised of
sawdust over sand to keep sore
feet and leg problems with the
horses to a minimum."
Mr Thompson said the stable
was also fitted with an automatic
electrical light control system that
switches on at 11pm and off at
"This is a well-known trick
within the horse industry that
slows down hair growth and
helps keep their coats nice and
shiny," he said.
"When used in conjunction
with rugs it tricks the metabolism
of horses, they live in ideal sum-
Since the building of the
American-style barn, the
Thompsons have installed anoth-
er Magnus-designed shed on their
Mr Thompson describes this as
a five bay utility shed with sliding
doors, complete with a hot water
wash facility along with bays ded-
icated for feed and fodder stor-
A round training yard along
with a working arena have also
been developed in more recent
Since taking over the property
in 2008, the Thompsons have re-
fenced and re-designed most of
The family runs 11 horses (a
combination of horses in training
and brood mares) and also run 50
head of cattle on their farm.
They make some of their own
hay and have a chaff cutter and
hammermill to be as self suffi-
cient as possible.
Mr Thompson said the
Gumeracha property was situated
in a picturesque location and
every endeavour has been made
to see that all alterations and
buildings fit into the surround-
ings with aesthetic appeal.
"The cooperation we had from
the Magnus people in helping us
achieve this, plus their willing-
ness in fitting our design require-
ments in with their own was a
major plus," he said.
"In achieving this there was no
sacrifice in the quality of the
materials and workmanship in
the sheds Magnus supplied.
"We probably could have
bought cheaper buildings, but we
got what we wanted - sheds that
are solid as a rock built with RHS
steel, not pressed steel.
In keeping with their approach
and attitude to the property and
its surrounds, the Thompsons are
also members of the Torrens
Valley LandCare scheme.
Magnus Austalia has been man-
ufacturing quality farm equip-
ment for more 30 years and sheds
for more 15 years.
Based at Mount Pleasant in the
northern Adelaide Hills, the com-
pany is a well-established family-
owned and operated business
that employs more than 20 peo-
The company's mission is to
design, develop and manufacture
high quality sheds and stock han-
dling equipment which offer the
optimum value for money for its
customers and make rural living
and farm work safer, easier, and
The Magnus product range
includes sheds for machinery and
general storage, hay sheds and
shearing sheds, horse stables with
internals, stock yards, cattle
crushes, drafting races and feed-
The company also specialises in
custom design of its products.
• Need to know more?
Magnus Australia (08) 8568 2666 or
fax (08) 8568 2630
Create sheds for
The American barn style shed purpose-designed and built to house the
Thompson family's horses.
Phil Thompson took local advice before making decisions on the design
of a stable. "We came up with a plan that resulted in the perfect set-up
for the property and its surrounds," he said.
APART from the cost of the property
itself, including house or homestead
plus some extra fencing costs, the
need for one or more good storage
sheds will probably be the next big
expense new landowners have to
There is a saying 'every man needs
a shed' and this can be easily con-
verted to 'every property needs a
shop shed, machinery shed, a hay
shed, livestock shelter shed, shearing
shed or simply a shed for storing
Farm sheds can start at relatively
simple workshops or tool sheds, up
to vermin-proof feed storage barns
to a livestock housing structure
including horse stables and to an
enclosed or open-front equipment
The farm shed has come a long
way since the days of tree trunks and
branches, dirt floors and thatched
straw roofs, but its importance as a
farm asset has not diminished.
From those days of termite-prone
timber structures, the modern farm
sheds are built with heavy RHS sec-
tions, light weight or heavily gal-
vanised rolled forms or treated
coated tubular steel.
They are designed and built to last
Landholders today have a wide
choice of shed designers and builders
to choose from.
Sheds can be bought in pre-
arranged kit forms or designed to
individual requirements (sometimes
with computer assisted drafting and
specifications) where all section cuts,
angles and corners are computer
accurate ready for straightforward
For special purpose sheds, buyers
should seriously check for any local
government and State regulations
and/or requirements covering their
use and design.
If storing hazardous and toxic
chemicals or petroleum products,
there are a number of government
regulations under the occupational,
health and safety code that must be
These regulations particularly
apply where persons other than
owner/occupiers or members of the
immediate family are concerned.
This type of shed must not only
comply with OHS regulations, but
also meet the approved Australian
Standard on shed design for the stor-
age of dangerous materials. It has to
be built to provide secure and safe
storage of dangerous substances as
well as a safe working environment
for everyone handling the materials.
Another important point that
should be considered when buying or
building a shed is that its construc-
tion and design must keep out ver-
min such as birds, rats and mice.
The design of the modern steel-
built shed can also provide other
sources of security - security from
fire, strong winds and storms, and a
steel-built shed will withstand a
lightning strike better than any other
type of structure.
A well-designed steel shed offers
high strength with light weight,
straightness and dimensional accura-
cy, long life and fire resistance, it
does not shrink or twist, and cannot
be attacked by borers and termites.
Farm sheds a major property cost to last a lifetime
Chairs in 5 Great
Colours. 76cm, 61cm
& 45cm High
Stools in 5
Ph 8244 1033
U2/49 Naweena Rd,
Ph 8244 5300
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