Helping SMEs

Terra-Vac are a SME based in Suffolk who manufacture a range of suction and sweeper machines for cleaning paddocks, golf courses and other grounds. The Terra-Vac brand is very strong and their machines are widely acknowledged as the gold standard in paddock cleaning. The machines range in size from a 100kg unit which can be strapped to the back of a trailer to a 2000kg fully integrated commercial unit.

Coalesce approached Terra-Vac with a concept for an entry level machine which would cater to the single horse/small paddock customer base which is not currently well served. At first Terra-Vac was cautious as it had considered (and prototyped) such a machine in the past and come to the conclusion that it would not be powerful enough and it had decided that an underperforming product might damage its brand. Rather than scaling down their existing technology, Coalesce showed that the problem could be approached with a clean sheet of paper and with the right architecture a machine could be designed which was lightweight, easily manoeuvrable, easy to store and could provide the suction needed to pick up even wet horse muck.

The first step in the process was to gain an objective understanding of the performance of their existing smallest machine. Coalesce developed a test method and provided it to Terra-Vac. Once the pressure/flow characteristics at a range of performance level are understood a Product Requirement Specification will be generated which will drive the concept development phase.

Terra-Vac is currently testing its machines and Coalesce is working on the PRS and developing a generic system architecture model.

Based in Haverhill, Suffolk, Terra-Vac was originally an engineering company. Being surrounded by the many studs in and around Newmarket, it was a natural fit to start engineering suction cleaning machines to clean out stables and paddocks.

This is an essential job that has to be done regularly to protect the health of horses. This practice would previously have been done manually.

The machines were an immediate success and, since1982, over 5000 machines have been produced and sold in the UK and around the world.

Terra-Vac now have a range of machines to suit all sizes of equestrian establishments and in recent years have modified them to meet the needs of other markets like ground maintenance and local authorities.

2007 was an important year, marking 25 years of the production of Terra-Vacs.