A 90 horsepower Kubota M100 GX possessed the right combination of price and functionality for a south Auckland sharemilker. In March Roger and Sarah Smith bought a Kubota M100 GX to replace their current aging tractor.
The couple relocated back to New Zealand from China and took up a 50/50 sharemilking contract on a 150 cow, 60 hectare property 10 km west of Pukekohe, a position they took on three years ago after buying stock and machinery from the previous sharemilker as a going concern.
Whilst their previous tractor was in a relatively tidy condition it had around 4000 hours on the clock and was starting to show its age; costing over $10,000 a year in maintenance. "We asked ourselves whether it was worth getting a second-hand tractor which could potentially cost $10,000 a year in repairs. We made the decision that a new tractor with its warranties and back up service would be the more reliable way to go."
Settling on exactly what to invest in took time though says Smith as they needed a tractor light enough to not damage a predominantly clay-based flat farm in the winter, powerful enough to handle a 10m3 silage wagon and smart enough to be used easily for a range of cultivation and harvesting tasks.
"We looked at tractors in the 90-100hp bracket from several brands but the technology was quite limited. The Kubota stood out to us, it was a lot higher specced than any other vehicle we'd looked at. We googled the Kubota factory promotional information and looked at online factory tours, Youtube demonstrations of the M100 GX and technical forum sites.
The Kubota was the only one the couple had looked at which offered a full 8‑speed powershift, automatic gearbox and work cruise control settings he says. "It was a surprise what had been put in the tractor for the price it was."
Any tractor he got would need to have a good loader according to Smith who says the tractor's MX T410 loader with electronic control and high lift was a big reason for the purchase. With precise controls and a discrete hitch for loading maize silage from their pit into wagons for feed out. "You can move your body a little and clearly see what you're doing. It offered the best visibility of any of the tractors I tried."
Smart power control makes seeding and cultivation work easy, something which has come in handy in the last four weeks says Smith. He and the farm owner, Grant Parkinson have started an ambitious reseeding program, under sowing a third of the farm in annual and perennial ryegrasses to improve pastures and reduce the need for supplementary feed.
Smith says the comfortable cab and easy-to-use controls made the process easy and comfortable which was especially important considering the time the operator doing the seeding would need to spend in the tractor. "Grant, who's over 75, wants to be active on the farm and tractor work is one of the things we like to get him involved in. The Kubota is easy enough to drive, has really good access into cab, good visibility, and is so comfortable he can easily do a day’s work in it."
Kubota is imported in New Zealand by C B Norwood Distributors Ltd.