In the process of upgrading and expanding their vehicle fleet, Bela Bela Municipality replaced its current fleet of well-known tractors with 5 x Kubota M7040DTH units. Kubota is distributed in South Africa by Smith Power Equipment (SPE)
Bela Bela fleet manager Thomas Sithole says that the Municipality has owned competitive brands in the past and found that they had to start working on them all too soon. “When you’re putting time into repairing your tractor, you’re not putting time into getting your jobs done, plain and simple. We had always heard good things about Kubota’s reliability but when we experienced, first hand, their versatility, fuel efficiency and the excellent after sales service of The Lawnmower Shop, SPE’s dealer in Pretoria East, the deal was sealed.”
The Kubotas were delivered in two phases. The first comprised three units in January 2015 with the other two delivered in June 2015 and they are being used by both the Parks and Waste departments. “Parks’ units are being used mainly for road-side maintenance and grounds-keeping where pulling slashers is probably the main activity, while the Waste department units are used for refuge removal,” says Sithole.
In terms of waste removal, Bela Bela makes use of low slung trailer skips that are stationed at various sites across town and the task of the tractors is to haul the full skips to the dump site. “These skips are not only used for hauling normal waste but also building rubble,” says Sithole.
Due to the design of these skip trailers, a lot of weight is put on the tow hitch of the tractor. “The previous tractors needed monthly visits to the engineering department to re-weld broken tow hitches. The operators of the new Kubota tractors all have only one response: ‘These Kubota’s are strong, very strong’,” Sithole says.
He adds that the Kubota tractors are truly well designed. “The hydro shuttle is absolutely magic, the rest of the controls are positioned within easy reach, and because their operation puts almost no strain on you, you can work all day long and not be tired. And for a fleet manager that’s very important because a tired operator becomes a careless operator,” Sithole concluded.
The Lawnmower Shop
Address: Adventure Centre Shop 7 C/O Hans Strydom Drive & Bendeman Boulevard, Six Fountains, Silverlakes
Telephone: 012 809 0222
Fax: 086 502 7282
Contact: Rudi van der Merwe