The National Memorial Arboretum has taken delivery of a new Kubota B2530 compact tractor to help its volunteers maintain the 150 acre site based in Alrews, Staffordshire.
Opened in May 2001 by the Duchess of Kent, the Arboretum is a place to honour those that have fallen serving their country including members of the armed forces, civil service, police, and fire and rescue services. In 2007 the Armed Forces Memorial, which records the names of all servicemen killed on duty since the end of the Second World War, was dedicated in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen.
Just over a decade since it opened to the public, the site now features an abundance of wild plants, woodland areas, grassland, a reed bed and wetland, along with being home to a number of species of animals. It also has more than 50,000 trees that were planted as a symbol that the Arboretum is a place to celebrate life as much as it is a place of remembrance.
In order to deal with the needs of such a vast area, a lightweight, compact tractor was required that was easy to use, could comfortably tow heavy trailers full of equipment and was agile enough to get around the site quickly.
James Shallcross, Assistant Curator at the Arboretum, commented: "We have a large number of volunteers at the Arboretum that help maintain the site to the highest standards. One of the key areas of this is the upkeep of the grounds.
"We therefore needed a high-performance, reliable and extremely versatile tractor that was easy to operate for our volunteers, whilst also being comfortable for them to use for extended periods of time.
"Having used Kubota machines previously, I knew that the simple control systems they would be perfect for our volunteers. After only one training session and a little supervision, each volunteer was able to competently, comfortably and safely use the tractors."
Despite James' previous experience of Kubota, the supply of the tractor to the Arboretum still had to go through a rigorous tender process, where credentials such as cost, ease of use, after care service, reliability and performance all needed to be considered. After all the tenders were submitted, the site decided that the Kubota B2530 tractor was the right machine for the job.
James continues: "The B2530 was perfect for what we needed, ticking all the right boxes. The fact that we could get it through a local dealer was a big plus as well. The dealer was also able to specially rig the trailer so it could carry a special pressure washer system. This allows our volunteers to get on with their daily routine of tending to the vast array of plants. In addition, it also means they can now wash the many monuments and keep the Arboretum looking its best."
Hughie Willett, owner of local dealers Hughie Willett Machinery LTD that supplied the B2530, commented: "We have been supplying new and used Kubota's for a number of years due to their reliability and ability to perform consistently.
"The B2530 compact tractor is a great piece of equipment that is built to last, which is an important factor for a charity organisation like the Arboretum where they need to ensure the funds they have are well spent. We were very pleased to be able to supply the Arboretum as the work they do is superb for the local community and the nation as a whole."
For more information on Kubota and its extensive range of solutions for the construction, groundcare and agriculture sectors visit www.kubota.co.uk or call 01844 268000.