Steve Moorcroft (Left) and Paul Martin (Right)

Front-mounted wheel-bin operation made easy

Kubota tractors have made their name globally for helping farmers to do things more efficiently and more easily and Western Cape apple farm manager, Neil Reid, of Elgin Orchards is one of these.

We utilise the front-mounted option extensively for moving our apple bins,” says Reid, “and Kubota has made a palpable difference to my operation in terms of efficiency and bottom line savings. These tractors were purchased primarily because of their wet clutch and forward/reserve shuttle technology as other brands of tractors suffer undue downtime during the harvesting season as they do not have this unique technology

M7040 Narrow with chain loader
M7040 Narrow with chain loader

Kubota technical specialist, Mike Heath explains why Kubota – and more specifically the M7040N and M8540N models – are so suited to front-mounted operation. “It’s basically down to the uniqueness of Kubota’s front axle and transmission,” he says.

The unique Kubota features in these two include:

Front Axle:

  • Level gear drive-train. No ‘U’ joints.
  • Sealed oil lubrication for all gears.
  • Very strong cast-iron casings.
  • Bushed pivots with easy adjustments.
  • Bi-speed system for turning – even in 4-wheel drive.
  • Multi-plate wet-disc drive coupling.
  • Front axle mounting frame attached to unique Kubota lower cylinder block casting.
  • Very robust and well-designed front weight bracket for attaching transporter hitch.
  • Three options available for front tyre specification.
  • The wet multi-plate shuttle clutch system facilitates precision and fast manoeuvring of the loader and ensures much longer clutch life when compared to dry clutch systems.

Transmission
The unique Kubota wet multi-plate clutch features:

  • Forward and reverse shuttle action engaged without using clutch pedal when maneuvering.
  • Drive system uses separate multi-disc wet clutch packs for forward or reverse resulting in superior action and longer clutch life compared to conventional dry clutches.
  • Centre gear lever selects all gears with synchromesh systems.
  • Eight speeds – identical in forward or reverse.
  • Four-wheel drive system connected and disconnected through a separate multi-disc wet clutch on the go.
Steve Moorcroft (right) and Paul Martin (Left)
Steve Moorcroft (right) and Paul Martin (Left)

Reid says that apart from the tractors themselves, the service he gets from Kubota is very professional. “This is most comforting when the reliability of tractor and service is key to our productivity,” he says.

For more information please contact Smith Power Equipment on 011 284 2000.

This article was published in the ProAgri – July 2015.

This article was also featured in the Engineering News August 2015.

This article was published in FarmTech – Sep / Oct 2015.

This article was published in AgriSA – Sep 2015.

This article was published in Graan SA – August 2015.

This article was publushed in the Farmer’s Weekly – 18 Sep 2015.

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John Deere marketing manager Carel Theron