Bringing motor racing to the farm

Bringing motor racing to the farm

Power tiller races excite imagination of young people who moved off to big city who might buy one for parents back home, also neighboring country future markets.


Photo above of  "a Viking and his Spartan companion as they unleash hell at a power tiller race sponsored by Siam Kubota in Phitsanulok province last weekend. The winners received cash prizes, and it was a great way to let off steam," said Sit Nakthong from Kamphaeng Phet province. (Photo: Patipat Janthong).

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Economics

Love, mud and speed

Siam Kubota uses power tiller races for marketing and to generate interest in its products
8/05/2012
Nanchanok Wongsamuth

The two racers hardly shared a glance at each other, their concentration focused on a spot in the horizon. One shakes his head from left to right, the other drums his fingers, both working out any last-minute kinks that could be the difference between victory and defeat.

Sweat builds on the foreheads of both competitors as the scorching sun beats down relentlessly on the course, while they give their mechanical steed one last pat and blessing before the start.

But this isn't any normal drag race, and these aren't race cars. Thousands have turned out in Phitsanulok province to witness what is being touted as Thailand's first power tiller competition.

Sit Nakthong, a native of Kamphaeng Phet province, has been racing for over a decade and usually uses his tiller at his family's paddy field.

"It's actually fun and lowers stress, and we like to race amongst each other after a hard day's work," he said.

You have to have tough muscles in order to drive well, though the hardest part is knowing what the ground is like under all the mud because every time a tiller races on the track, it changes the ground and the lanes as well.

A dozen teams compete in the races organised by Siam Kubota Corporation, Thailand's leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery. The 34-year-old company is a joint venture between the Siam Cement Group (SCG) and Japan's Kubota Corporation, with the latter holding a 60% stake and the balance to SCG.

With much of the younger generation moving out of the farm sector to work in the manufacturing and service sectors, Chamornwut Tamnarnchit, marketing manager of Siam Kubota, said they often pay for machinery for their parents in order to lessen the load. These power tillers allow one person to work 10-20 rai, a job that required seven to eight people before, he said.

"Sales of power tillers the past six to seven years have grown slowly due to the increasing use of tractors, but there is still potential growth in neighbouring countries. Thailand has a total plantation area of around 130 million rai, compared to 500 million in Asean, and all these areas need agricultural machinery," said Mr Chamornwut.

He stressed the need to increase production efficiency to support food demand, which is set to rise as the global population grows. Unusual weather patterns and a restricted plantation area will also play a significant role.

Half of the farmers in Thailand use tractors, while every farming household owns a power tiller, he said. But Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam are still making the transition from traditional methods such as using water buffaloes.
 
Mr Chamornwut predicted Siam Kubota's exports the next few years should increase to 20% of total revenue, up from 10-15% now, thanks to potential growth in neighbouring countries.

Tractor sales, which are around 50% of the company's revenue, are set to rise by 10% this year, while sales of tillers should be stable due to the floods last year, which damaged the company's tiller production plant in the Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate in Ayutthaya province.

Production resumed in January and is set to return back to normal in August or September.

Meanwhile, the company has been importing parts to replace parts it normally produces.

"Japan sees us [Thailand] as a production hub and Kubota Corp is expanding [investment] here as well," said Mr Chamornwut.

The company is upbeat that its revenue will grow by 20% to exceed 40 billion baht this year.

He said the competition, which meets the format and regulations of the Thailand Motor Sport Official Club, helps to generate recognition for local sports, and the company plans to expand the races into neighbouring countries in the future.

(Source: bangkok Post, Love, mud and speed, Siam Kubota uses power tiller races for marketing and to generate interest in its products, 8/05/2012, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, link)

Power Tiller Racing Vocabulary

till (verb) - when farmers break up the earth and prepare the ground for planting crops, also called "plough" (See Wikipedia)
power tiller
- farm equipment used to break up the earth and prepare it for planting seeds, also called "cultivator" (See Wikipedia)
power - energy produced from gasoline or or electricity used to operate machines, lights, machines, and heating

tiller production plant - factory - factory making power tillers
tractor - a vehicle used on farms used to pull machines (See Wikipedia)
mud - โคลน

Sales of power tillers the past six to seven years have grown slowly due to the increasing use of tractors

power tiller race
race (noun) - a competition (winner is first to travel over some distance or race track)
race (verb) - to move quickly and compete against other people or animals to be the first to finish traveling some distance
compete in the races
track - same as "race track"
race track -
a piece of ground or circular road used for racing
a tiller races on the
track

sponsored by - supported by (usually by giving money) 

viking - people who travelled in ships and attacked cities all over Europe in the middle ages, violently raping, killing and destroying things (See Wikipedia)
spartan -
a person who lived in the ancient Greek state of Sparta

companion -
a friend you go places and do things with
spartan companion

hell -  the place where people go after death to be punished forever for the bad things they have done during their lives, according to most religions นรก
unleash - to release suddenly a strong, uncontrollable and usually destructive force ปล่อย
unleash hell - meaning here: a sudden frightening explosion of energy

cash - money in the form of notes or coins เงินสด
cash prizes

let off steam -
reduce or get rid of stress, anger, emotion, energy, when a person has too much of it
unleash - to release suddenly a strong, uncontrollable and usually destructive force ปล่อย

A Viking and his Spartan companion unleash hell at a power tiller race sponsored by Siam Kubota in Phitsanulok province last weekend. The winners received cash prizes, and it was a great way to let off steam, said Sit Nakthong from Kamphaeng Phet province. PATIPAT JANTHONG

generate - to produce ก่อให้เกิด create สร้าง กระตุ้นให้เิกิด
generate interest -
make people interested in some subject or activity
generate interest in its products

Siam Kubota uses power tiller races for marketing and to generate interest in its products

glance - looking quickly at another person (for just a moment)
shared a glance
- meaning: when two people look at each other

hardly - almost not true; amost never happens; etc 
hardly shared a glance at each other

concentration
- 1. when a person is doing or thinking about only one thing, putting all their energy into that one thing; 2. a lot of something in one place แหล่งชุมนุม หรือ ศูนย์รวม
horizon - the line in the distance where the sky seems to meet the earth ขอบฟ้า
their concentration focused on a spot in the horizon

drums his fingers -
hit fingers on something many times (over and over, repeatedly)

kinks -
problems
last-minute kinks -
problems just when you are finishing some activity or project (that must be solved immediately)  
working out any last-minute kinks -
 solving last-minute problems

victory
- winning
defeat - a loss in a competition ความพ่ายแ้พ้

The two racers hardly shared a glance at each other, their concentration focused on a spot in the horizon. One shakes his head from left to right, the other drums his fingers, both working out any last-minute kinks that could be the difference between victory and defeat.

foreheads - the upper part of your face between the eyes and the hair

scorching
- extremely hot ร้อนมาก, ซึ่งทำให้แสบร้อน
scorching sun - the very hot sun

relentlessly
- (of something bad) never seeming to stop or improve อย่างไม่ผ่อนปรน
the scorching sun beats down relentlessly - the very hot sun hits you continuously without stopping (and this is not pleasant)

mechanical -
being a machine with parts
steed -
a horse
mechanical steed - meaning: a machine that is like a horse

pat -
touch lightly with hand
blessing - giving a person support and approval for something they are doing

Sweat builds on the foreheads of both competitors as the scorching sun beats down relentlessly on the course, while they give their mechanical steed one last pat and blessing before the start.

drag - to pull something or someone along with difficulty ลาก
drag race - a race between two very fast cars (motorcycles, trucks) on a short straight strip (See Wikipedia)
witness - to see something happen เฝ้าชม (พระราชพิธี)
touted as Y - try to make people buy or accept something by telling that it is Y

But this isn't any normal drag race, and these aren't race cars. Thousands have turned out in Phitsanulok province to witness what is being touted as Thailand's first power tiller competition.

native - someone who was born in a particular place ชาวพื้นเมือง
a native of Kamphaeng Phet province
decade - a period of ten years ทศวรรษ, ระยะเวลา 10 ปี
paddy - rice after it has been harvested from the field  ข้าวเปลือก
paddy field - a rice field

Sit Nakthong, a native of Kamphaeng Phet province, has been racing for over a decade and usually uses his tiller at his family's paddy field.

stress - a feeling of being worried caused by problems at work ro family problems
it lowers stress - reduces stress and worries
tough muscles - strong muscles

"It's actually fun and lowers stress, and we like to race amongst each other after a hard day's work," he said. You have to have tough muscles in order to drive well, though the hardest part is knowing what the ground is like under all the mud because every time a tiller races on the track, it changes the ground and the lanes as well.

joint
- do some activity or project together; done with someone else ร่วมกัน
venture - a new activity, usually in business, which involves risk or uncertainty ธุริกิจเสี่ยงแต่สามารถทำกำไรได้
joint venture - a company owned and operated by two or more other companies
stake - a share or a financial involvement in something such as a business
holding a 60% stake - owning 60% of something

A dozen teams compete in the races organised by Siam Kubota Corporation, Thailand's leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery. The 34-year-old company is a joint venture between the Siam Cement Group (SCG) and Japan's Kubota Corporation, with the latter holding a 60% stake and the balance to SCG.

younger generation - young people (children, teenagers, people in their 20s)

sector
- a part of the economy ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,...) (See Wikipedia)
farm sector - all the farms and farmers in the country
manufacturing and service sectors

lessen
- to reduce; to make something become smaller, weaker, less important, etc. ทำให้น้อยลง
load - to put a lot of things into a vehicle or machine ใส่,บรรจุ
lessen the load - make the things carried in some vehicle weigh less 

With much of the younger generation moving out of the farm sector to work in the manufacturing and service sectors, Chamornwut Tamnarnchit, marketing manager of Siam Kubota, said they often pay for machinery for their parents in order to lessen the load. These power tillers allow one person to work 10-20 rai, a job that required seven to eight people before, he said.

potential growth - growth (or getting larger) of an economy that is possible
potential - the possibility of something happening  ที่เป็นไปได้ความเป็นไปได้
plantation - a large farm where crops such as tea, coffee, cotton, sugar or, in this case, trees, are grown ไร่ นาขนาดใหญ่

"Sales of power tillers the past six to seven years have grown slowly due to the increasing use of tractors, but there is still potential growth in neighbouring countries. Thailand has a total plantation area of around 130 million rai, compared to 500 million in Asean, and all these areas need agricultural machinery," said Mr Chamornwut.

stressed - tell people that something is important 
stressed the need to  

efficiency
- waste little time, energy and resources in doing a task (minimize time, energy and resources (labour, land, machines) in performing a task) (See glossary) การทำงานอย่างมีประสิทธิภาพ คุ้มค่าเวลาและใช้พลังงานหรือต้นทุนในการผลิตน้อย เพื่อให้ได้ผลผลิตมาก
production efficiency
stressed the need to increase production efficiency

support
- help, สนับสนุน
demand - the need and desire to buy goods and services by households and businesses
food demand

global - throughout the world ทั่วโลก
population - the group of people who live in one country, area or place กลุ่มที่อาศัยอยู่ในบริเวณหนึ่ง
global population

plantation -
a very large farm
restricted - limited or controlled ซึ่งถูกยับยั้ง, ซึ่งถูกควบคุม ,ถูกจำกัดวง
a restricted plantation area

role
- the position, function or purpose that someone or something has in a situation, organisation, society or relationship บทบาท
significant - important สำคัญ
play a significant role - be an important part of some activity or project

He stressed the need to increase production efficiency to support food demand, which is set to rise as the global population grows. Unusual weather patterns and a restricted plantation area will also play a significant role.

household
- a group of people, often a family, who live together ครัวเรือน
farming household

transition - the process of changing from one situation or state to another การเปลี่ยนถ่าย การโอน

traditional
- things (clothes, music, customs, etc.) that have been part of a country or society for a long time
traditional methods


water buffaloes


Half of the farmers in Thailand use tractors, while every farming household owns a power tiller, he said. But Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam are still making the transition from traditional methods such as using water buffaloes.
 
predict - say what may happen in the future 
revenue - income from taxes or business activities รายได้

Mr Chamornwut predicted Siam Kubota's exports the next few years should increase to 20% of total revenue, up from 10-15% now, thanks to potential growth in neighbouring countries.

stable - not changing frequently and not likely to suddenly become worse มั่นคง คงที่, มั่นคง ไม่เปลี่ยนแปลง
replace - to get rid of someone or something, and to put a new person or thing in its place เลิกให้และนำสิ่งใหม่มาใช้แทน หาคนมาแทน
importing parts to replace parts it normally produces

Tractor sales, which are around 50% of the company's revenue, are set to rise by 10% this year, while sales of tillers should be stable due to the floods last year, which damaged the company's tiller production plant in the Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate in Ayutthaya province. Production resumed in January and is set to return back to normal in August or September. Meanwhile, the company has been importing parts to replace parts it normally produces.

hub - the central or main part of something where there is most activity จุดศูนย์กลาง
production hub - a central important place for production and factories in a region

investment - taking your money and putting it into projects to make a profit or earn interest (buying stock shares, bonds, real estate)
upbeat - happy and positive because you are confident that you will get what you want มีความหวัง

exceed
- to go beyond an official limit; to be greater than a number or amount เกินปริมาณ เกินกว่าที่กำหนด
format - the arrangement, design or organisation of something รูปแบบ
regulations - official rules that control the way that things are done ระเบียบปฏิบัติ ระเบียบ ข้อบังคับ

recognition
- be known for something (here known for "being a logistics hub")
generate recognition for local sports

expand
- to become larger ขายตัวออกไป
neighboring countries
the company plans to expand the races into neighbouring countries in the future.

"Japan sees us [Thailand] as a production hub and Kubota Corp is expanding [investment] here as well," said Mr Chamornwut. The company is upbeat that its revenue will grow by 20% to exceed 40 billion baht this year.  He said the competition, which meets the format and regulations of the Thailand Motor Sport Official Club, helps to generate recognition for local sports, and the company plans to expand the races into neighbouring countries in the future.

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