With 30 years’ experience producing high-quality forage, Suffolk contractor Brian White knows what he wants from his tractors and machinery.
“Weather extremes in recent years have made it much tougher to make high quality hay and haylage,” explains Brian who runs BW Forage from Pond Farm House, Capel St Mary, near Ipswich. “Timeliness is everything, which means having productive and reliable kit at your disposal.”
Part of that philosophy has seen recent investment in a new Kubota M7-133, with front linkage and pto, and an LK2100H loader, supplied by local dealer HOS Plant.
“My previous tractor and loader, an 8,000-hour JD 6520, was bought with 2,500 hours on the clock,” he says. “It was a good tractor, but when the time came to change, a like-for-like replacement had only a one-year warranty, and a considerable price increase. I was resigned to buying another secondhand tractor, until HOS Plant introduced me to the Kubota M7.”
“The M7-133 came with a five-year warranty, and a very sensible purchase price, and both are very important to me,” he says. “The cost-saving could let me invest in other equipment – and that’s important for my business.”
Brian admits that the Kubota was not his first choice for a 130hp tractor, but now with 500 hours on the clock, he says it has fitted in well.
“It’s actually a wonderful tractor, and it’s enabled me to move up from 40kph to a 50kph transmission,” he says. “Cab comfort is superb, visibility to the pickup hitch is great, and the loader is absolutely brilliant. I’ve always had MX loaders – they are familiar, strong and easy to control. So that was something I was keen to stay with.”
With the focus on producing several thousand round and square bales for livestock and equestrian customers, Brian says the LK loader comfortably handles pairs of 90×120 square bales without the need for any rear wheel weights.
“The tractor is very stable, it’s got good balance,” he adds. “And I’m pleased that I don’t need to add rear wheel weights.”
Having front linkage and PTO in the specification was essential for high output mowing.
“I use a front and rear plain disc combination, so I can drop a lot of grass quickly, and make the most of the weather conditions,” he says.
He adds that backup and support from HOS Plant is good, and views his relationship with the dealer as an essential part of support when it comes to servicing and reliability.
“I’ve had great reliability in the past with Daihatsu and Isuzu 4x4s over the years, so the Japanese engineering had an influence,” he says. “Everybody knows Kubota diggers are very good, so their tractors should be too.”