In the rugby world it’s the “Bokke” that a typical South African farmer would shout for, but in terms of business the cry changes to “Kubota”!!
In this case it’s for the Kubota M-Series (M7040 and M8540) Narrow best-sellers both locally and worldwide. Orchard owner Pierre Ferreira says that one of the main benefits of the M8540 is its wide, spacious cabin. “Our former tractor of another well-known brand was significantly less comfortable as the design of the cabin made foot movement cramped and difficult. The cabin of the Kubota, however, has plenty of space, which contributes significantly to operator comfort and productivity,” Ferreira says.
He adds that another major advantage of the Kubota is that changing from forward to reverse can be made without ever having to depress the clutch pedal. “This saves operational time, reduces fuel consumption, minimises operator fatigue and enhances productivity overall.”
Another farmer Philip Fourie, GM of an apple and pear farm, and now owner of eight Kubota M8540s, says that after a two-week trial period with the Kubota M8540 one of the “astonishing” advantages that became apparent was that it consumed about 20% less fuel than the tractor they were operating at the time. “This was one of the main factors that made us change to Kubota,” he says.
Fourie adds that time is saved and fuel consumption even further improved by the short-turn radius of the M8540 which reduces the frequency of forward/reverse movements. “Based on this I can honestly say that Kubota’s are the best tractors we have ever used on the farm.”
On the subject of Kubota cabins veteran tractor expert, Kubota SA’s Mike Heath, says the cabs available on the various Kubota tractors, like the M8540N, which is used extensively for spraying, have many important features that meet international farming safety standards. “If you are considering upgrading your tractors, particularly spray tractors, you must be sure to check Kubota’s important features and build-quality.”
“The main areas of evaluation must concern safety, visibility, sound, climate control, the layout of the controls, operator space and, most importantly, air filtration. You will be impressed with all these features which meet all the customers farming safety requirements,” Heath says.
“While operator safety and comfort is important from a labour ethics point of view – and more famers in our country should be taking this into account – I must stress that a poorly equipped cab is also bad for business! Even though a world class cab may be more expensive in terms of the initial outlay, the extra productivity gained through a safe, comfortable and happy operator outweighs this expense a hundred-fold over the life-time of the tractor,” he says.
Heath adds that the M-series has Kubota’s multiple plate hydraulic wet disc clutch system, which offers exceptional durability and a much longer operating life compared to a single dry clutch disc. “The wet clutch has a steady stream of filtered hydraulic oil that keeps the clutch discs and plates cool, reducing friction for smoother operation. A mechanically actuated shuttle valve controls the directional flow of oil. This is what allows the operator to shift between forward and reverse gears without clutching.
Arriving in August 2015 are special loaders for the M-Series, which enable the M-Series tractors to load and move material through specially designed fork attachments,” concludes Heath.
You can contact Mike Heath via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was featured in the FarmTech – May June 2016.