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Tilley Park Farm is no stranger to seeking out niche opportunities to add value to its farm produce. Ten years ago, the Shropshire farm converted to organic milk production as it sought new markets to gain a better return on its milk. And since then, it has never looked back.
The 200-cow, 460-acre farm prides itself on taking a premium approach to business, and the higher milk price it now enjoys through Arla Foods has helped the family farm to continue to grow. That same ethos has been applied to its latest tractor purchase, as a Kubota M7151 Premium has joined the fleet.
“The more you scratch beneath the surface with Kubota, the more reassurance you find,” explains Barry Jones, who runs Tilley Park Farm near Wem, with his son Sam. “I looked at what the Japanese firm is involved with around the world and I could see Kubota’s reputation is one that thrives on reliability.”
“This gave me complete confidence that Kubota makes a long-term commitment to its customers,” he says. “And I soon figured out we had nothing to lose and everything to gain from buying an M7151 tractor to head-up our three-tractor fleet.”
Mr. Jones adds that a few of his dairy farming friends in the area have been operating Kubota compact tractors for years and have all been impressed by what the machine has to offer. “Robust performance and reliability is a must from our tractors,” he says. “When you have to feed cows every day, you cannot afford breakdowns.”
The decision to try an M7151 Premium on demonstration was something of a turning point for the Shropshire farming family. “While we looked at the different tractor choices available locally, we thought that we would try an M7151 from our local Kubota dealer Battlefield Machinery,” he says. “Why not? You cannot dismiss a tractor without spending time in its cab.”
Barry explains that both he and Sam liked the short wheelbase for its manoeuvrability around the yard and buildings, while the front linkage made it easy to add or remove ballast to suit field work or heavy draft applications.
“We did swap the standard front weights for a curved, 900kg weight block – it was easier for us to see the weight on the front of the tractor, and that’s always useful when you’re pulling out of a field onto a road.”
Tilley Park Farm’s M7151 arrived in May 2017 and has since clocked up more than 550 hours. Performance has been impeccable and the fuel use from its EU Stage IV emissions compliant V6108 engine is better than their previous tractor experience.
“We’re using around four to five tanks of diesel to just one top-up of AdBlue,” says Sam Jones. “We’ve both been pleasantly surprised by how good the tractor is and the four-cylinder engine is gutsy and pulls really well. Where we used to plough at 1700rpm, the M7151 can achieve the same forward speed and output at just 1400rpm.”
Sam adds that the cab is light and offers great all-round visibility. And the 24-speed powershift transmission with its auto-shifting function, makes trailer work an easy task.
“There are times that I’d like a quicker gear shift when using the auto function, but it doesn’t take long to get up to 50Km/h he says. “And the combination of front axle and cab suspension is far superior to anything we’ve had before. The front axle suspension is also adjustable from the cab and that’s a big plus.”
He adds that the seven inch tractor terminal is easy to use and the joystick, with its transmission and hydraulic functions, is really convenient. Sam’s tall frame meant that the seat base was moved back 100mm, which makes the pickup latch position less convenient for him.
“The obvious and predictable tractor choice would have been to stick with what we knew,” explains Barry Jones. “But we would have been buying a secondhand tractor for the same money – and with no warranty.”
“As it has turned out, we’ve saved over £10,000 on an equivalent machine and gained a five-year, 3,000-hour warranty in the process,” he says.
“Although Kubota has no track record in this sector, you can’t help but notice there is a strong sense of pride and endeavor that comes from the Japanese firm, suggesting that we’ll be well looked after,” he says. “And that philosophy cascades down through to our local dealer, Battlefield Machinery, so we’re confident that we’ll be looked after from start to finish.”Back to articles list