JCB manufactures its millionth machine
Leading UK construction and agricultural equipment manufacturer, JCB, has celebrated the manufacture of its one millionth machine – a 22-tonne JS220 tracked excavator in shimmering silver – in colourful style.
CLAAS Sets Combine milestone
The CLAAS production plant in Harsewinkel has celebrated the manufacture of its 450,000th combine harvester and its 10,000th TUCANO.
A new era of service
THE OPENING OF CLAAS Harvest Centre Wanaka heralds a new era in farm machinery technology, service and support for primary producers and agricultural contractors in Central Otago.
Functionality And Backup Key Reasons For CLAAS Switch
When large scale Northland farming operation Tapora Trust went looking for two new tractors last year, simplicity, functionality and backup service were at the top of the shopping list.
Owned by Glen Inger, Tapora Trust has two dairy units and nine drystock farms at Tapora on the
Between them the dairy units milk 1800 cows on 700ha effective. Replacement heifers are grazed on the drystock blocks which are also used for wintering cows and for rearing and finishing beef cattle.
Robert Brookes, operations manager for the dairy farms, says each dairy unit has two tractors. These are used for mowing, feeding out, spreading fertiliser and weed spraying. Contractors are employed for the bigger jobs like hay and silage harvesting.
Until last year the farms had two 80hp ROPS tractors and two 120hp cab tractors, but Robert says the two cab tractors were both five to six years old and, with around 4000hours on the clock each, were getting harder to maintain. Poor visibility was another issue.
“We do all our own feeding out and fertiliser spreading and this obviously involves a lot of front-end loader work. But staff found it hard to get a clear view of the loader from the cab and it was also difficult to see the front of rear-mounted implements.”
Reliability was another major factor for the reason to change tractor make and type.
Robert says the older cab tractors were well out of their warranty period and were becoming costly and difficult to service.
“This is a complex farming operation and we can’t afford downtime. If we have a problem with our machinery, we need to know we can get it fixed straight away.”
So the decision was made to upgrade the two cab tractors. Robert says the trust had a look at a number of different makes and models before deciding on Claas.
“We talked to local farmers who were running Claas tractors and they gave us really good feedback. We also talked to our contractor and he gave us a glowing report on Claas tractors and on the service provided by the local Claas dealer.”
In spring last year Tapora Trust bought two Claas Axos 330 CX-R models. At 92hp these tractors had significantly less power than their predecessors, but their modern and highly efficient engines help to make up for this.
Robert says the tractors have plenty of power to tow an eight-tonne feedout wagon or a trailed fertiliser spreader.
“If we need more grunt on a hill, we just change down a gear.”
Most importantly, the ROPS tractors are easy to get in an out of and offer an unobstructed view of both front and rear mounted equipment.
“Visibility is excellent. And these tractors are really easy to drive. The transmission is very simple and we find our staff learn how to operate these tractors very quickly.”
The CX models are the premium tractors in the Axos range. The CX transmission features the Revershift electro-hydraulic function and a Twinshift 20/20R two-stage powershift transmission. Combined with the tractor’s tight-turning capabilities and compact dimensions, this makes the Axos ideal for front-end loader work.
The Axos is powered by a 4.4litre four-cylinder turbo unit which provides a constant power range of up to 300rpm and a torque increase of 40%. This ensures the engine works powerfully in every speed range while providing excellent fuel economy.
Robert says Tapora Trust’s new tractors had each clocked up about 300hours of work by May and their performance had been excellent.
“They are very reliable tractors and they have done everything we have asked of them.”
Crucially, he says, the backup service provided by the Claas Harvest Centre Northland has “been second to none”.
Backup service was a major factor in the decision to go with Claas tractors.
“We got a good trade-in price for our old tractors and the Claas Harvest Centre gave us a very good warranty on the new tractors and provided us with a three-year service plan.”
Value for money was also a consideration.
“They aren’t the cheapest tractors on the market but they aren’t the most expensive either. In the end it was the service and backup that sold us on these tractors.”
When the trust decided to buy a new mower this season, Robert says the performance of the Claas tractors and the backup service made the choice of mower rather easy. The trust’s new 2.8m Claas mower has been used to top about 400ha so far.
“We didn’t make much silage at all this year because it has been so dry.”
Like the tractors, Robert says the mower has proved to be a very good machine.
When it comes time to replace the old 80hp tractors on the farms, he says the trust will stick with the company that provides good service and products.
“So I’d say our next tractors will be Claas as well.”
For further information contact:
021 287 5853
4 June 2009