Richard Wichmann, well-known KZN Macadamia nut farmer, says he’s crazy about his new Kubota U50-5 mini-excavator. “The things that make this machine so good in an urban setting – no tail swing, compact, fuel efficient, long arm reach etc- are just the things that make it such an amazing tool on our farm,” says Wichmann.
He says the Kubota U50 has been working between the trees in the orchards cleaning water ditches without touching the trees. “In addition the U50 mixes compost, loads whatever needs loading onto trailers, digs trenches for irrigation pipes and splits large rocks with a hydraulic breaker in the field to a more manageable size so that we can remove the rocks from the field,” he says.
Wichmann adds that he uses the U50 to dig 200l-sized holes and then fill them with topsoil and compost so that newly planted trees have loose and nutritious soil for root growth and, with a similar effect, the excavator deep-rips (60 cm) the fields for planting sugar cane using an adapted subsoil ripper. “We have even chipped a concrete floor in a 6m x 7m shed.”
This winter, after our Macadamia nut harvest, the Kubota will move between 20-year old trees to create terracing on the steeper areas of the farm. The idea here is that this leveling in the orchard will allow us to move more efficiently between trees in the pruning, spraying and harvesting stages with 4-wheelers and smaller tractors.
“Our Kubota U50 has 580 hours on the clock in a space of five months. Average diesel consumption is 4.3 litres/hr. We use the bucket, a trenching bucket, a large compost mixing bucket, and a hydraulic breaker (Tecman TM65-V5) for the various jobs on the farm. We are looking to get a flail-head mower attachment to mow grass on embankments,” he says
Wichmann’s Kubota fleet has expanded rapidly and now includes an M8540 tractor, a 900 4×4 RTV and, of course the U50-5 mini-excavator. “We are delighted with the performance of all our Kubota machines and, very importantly, with the service we have received from Agri Port, the Kubota dealer in our area,” Wichmann concluded.
Agri Port (Port Shepstone)
- Address: 1 Lind Road, Oribi Park, Marburg
- Telephone: 039 682 5566
- Fax: 039 682 5539
- E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact: John Porteous
Smith Power Equipment are the agents for Kubota in South Africa.
This article was featured in the Farmers Weekly – 5 June 2015.
This article was also featured in the HireSA – July 2015.