Looking for an efficient yard scraping solution for the family dairy farm, Shropshire farmer Dave Eardley settled on a Kubota R090 pivot steer loader.
“Like many dairy farms, we’d been using an old tractor with a linkage-mounted scraper,” explains Dave who runs the 450-cow Upper House Farm, Market Drayton, with his parents. “It was time to upgrade, to make cleaning yards quicker, easier and more efficient.”
With a JCB TM320S pivot-steer telehandler already taking care of frontline materials handling duties, the Eardley’s reckoned on adding a second materials handling solution to the mix.
“We quickly ruled out another full-sized handler on cost alone, though a compact loader would give us affordable flexibility to step into some of the bigger machine’s roles, should there be a breakdown,” he says.
Such logic is difficult to over-look, and would provide more practicality than another yard scraping tractor.
“We looked at a few different machines on the market, but settled on the Kubota for a number of key reasons.”
“You can see that this is a well-engineered loader,” he says. “It’s built just like a full-size loading shovel should be, and it offers great stability and a generous lift capacity. And to top it all off, it came with a five-year/5,000-hour warranty.”
Supplied by local dealer Hughes Bros, the 64hp R090 boasts a 3.4 tonne full-turn tipping load and a 3.2m lift height. A heated and air-conditioned cab affords good all-round visibility, supplemented by an LED light package, adding to operator comfort and convenience.
“We bed our cows on sand, so we scrape the passages twice a day to keep tidy,” he says. “With a Browns Mega Mega Scrape on the loader’s linkage, we’ve just about halved the time it takes to clean the yards.”
Dave says that the hydrostatic transmission is very smooth and controllable, and importantly, there’s no clutch to worry about.
“The whole outfit is extremely manoeuvrable, has more power and performance, and great visibility to see what’s going on,” he says.
With a legacy of pin and cone attachments on the farm, the Eardleys sourced a headstock conversion bracket that attaches to the R0’s Euro-type headstock. This enables the R0 to use the farm’s existing bale spikes, pallet forks, bucket brush, sand dispenser, feed pusher, muck grab and a host of different buckets.
“Compatibility with every attachment used by our TM320 is essential,” he says. “Considering the Kubota’s size and modest power, this is a very capable loader. While its performance on a clamp would be limited by comparison, I’d be happy to use it just to keep us out of trouble. For the money, I’ve got something much more capable than a newer scraper tractor.”