Redwings Horse Sanctuary has a new workhorse amongst its herd at Redwings Mountains in Scotland, the 96hp Kubota M5092.
With 10 farms from Angus to Essex, caring for 1700 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, Redwings Horse Sanctuary has a substantial land management task, and a fleet of Kubota tractors and utility vehicles provides vital horsepower to care for these deserving animals.
Founded in Norfolk in 1984, Redwings rescues, cares for, rehabilitates and rehomes vulnerable equines and as well offers vital education to the public on horse ailments, behaviour and welfare.
Several of the sites also operate as visitor centres, to raise funds and awareness, and continue the education role.
The charity’s charges live a natural, comfortable herd lifestyle enjoying the open fields at each sanctuary.
“We have large areas of paddock land, so having the right machinery to maintain the land is key,” explains Justin Pendrill, centre manager at Redwings SWHP near Chepstow, Redwings newest centre, having transferred from Norfolk when it opened four years ago.
This includes seven Kubota M5s at five different farms, which perform a wide range of tasks.
“It varies depending on the terrain and nature of the site, so three of the original M5091s for Norfolk were two-wheel drive, and some have loaders,” he comments.
Kubota’s factory fitted front loaders increase versatility for jobs such as moving bales of hay and other materials, while the 95hp Kubota engine in the M5091 and M5092 provides the muscle for operating implements such as a paddock sweeper, which collects droppings and helps control parasites that can threaten horse health.
“It’s the ideal power for our requirements, which can include pulling a three tonne muck trailer and road travel to collect feed from suppliers, but the Kubotas are very compact tractors which means that they aren’t too heavy,” Justin points out.
Other important qualities include the turning radius of just 4.2m which is ideal for narrow tracks between the fields and the straightforward, logical operation.
“All our staff are multi-skilled rather than dedicated machinery operators, so they need to be easy to drive. The M5s are good quality tractors without being over-complicated, and everyone took to them straight away.”
Redwings also uses 18 of Kubota’s RTV-X utility vehicles, which Justin says ‘have proven themselves to be very well suited for our work’.
The latest addition to be delivered to Redwings Mountains, based near Forfar, is a M5092 with front loader, and due to the remote nature of the site, true off-road horsepower is a must, Justin explains.
“As well as tasks such as topping, harrowing and rolling fields, we’ll also use this Kubota for clearing snow, transporting staff members when roads are closed, helping to pull cars out of snow drifts, and moving fallen trees or debris in the river ford.”
Tractors are kept in the fleet for 10 years or more, with careful management and meticulous servicing.
“Kubota’s extended five year warranty ensures that there are no surprises and that they hold their value if we want to trade them in,” Justin points out. “We enjoy excellent support from Kubota’s dealers around the country and we were pleased to see HRN take on the franchise so they could supply Redwings Mountains in Scotland.”
“Kubota tractors work extremely well for us, and we’re looking forward receiving the next one, another M5092 for Chepstow,” he concludes.