Ken Wilson, like many agricultural contractors, grew up on the family farm. But his love of machinery drew him into contracting. He started giant discing hill country with a bulldozer around Colyton, in the Manawatu. The following year he bought his first wheel tractor to work the easier country.
After forty years in the industry, and almost as many tractors, his experience and affinity for machinery means he knows what he likes in a tractor. In the late 70's he bought the first Kubota 7500 four wheel drive that came into New Zealand. In following years he then bought another Kubota 7500 and a 7950.
His latest purchase, a Kubota M135GX, has logged 700 hours in five months. He needed a more efficient machine to supplement the 200hp tractor he was using of most the time. He's now using the Kubota more than the bigger tractor, something he didn't anticipate.
Ken likes the M135GX. "It’s a pleasure to drive, and is very comfortable. It has everything you need, so what more could you want?” says Ken. "The cab is roomy and has excellent visibility. It's quiet and the control layout is first class. Everything is where you want it, it’s well thought out”, he says.
He finds it has more than enough power for ploughing with a five furrow reversible semi-mounted plough, power harrowing with a 3m power harrow, and discing. This, on hill country comprises the bulk of his work. He has done all his ploughing with the Kubota since its purchase.
"I do love that engine. For a four cylinder it puts out plenty of punch. Many four cylinder turbo diesels die pretty quickly when the load comes on. This just hangs on, hangs on, ....... it just chugs away and springs in to life again”.
He finds the individual front and rear diff locks a real asset working hill country. With duals fitted, "it's like a mountain goat, going wherever it's pointed. And it must be a very clean engine, as you can never see any exhaust”, he adds.
He is also a fan of the Kubota's unique front suspension. "It takes the harshness out of bumps, which is important when you spend long hours in the cab”. While he sees the Bi-Speed turn to be a real advantage for row crop work, he finds the manoeuvrability is more than adequate for the cultivation work he is doing. Another feature which meets his approval is the Rev-limiter control dial, great especially on the road.
"Day to do maintenance is straightforward and accessibility is great”.
"Norwood Farm Machinery Centre in Palmerston North have been very good”, says Ken. "That's why I've stuck with them. I looked around when I came back into contracting after a break but couldn't go past Norwood Farm Machinery. They're very good on service, can't fault them there. And they source parts promptly if they're not available. Overall I'm very happy with the M135GX. I'm actually looking forward to Kubota bringing in their bigger M7 tractors next year”!
Kubota is imported in New Zealand by C B Norwood Distributors Ltd.