Purchased principally to tackle mowing duties with a new Major TR1600 rotary trailed gang mower, the 95hp M9540 was delivered in time for the start of this season.
Transport Manager Alan Smith explains: "The groundsmen have an eight-day mowing round to cover the large areas of grass in parks, playing fields and open spaces, and have to travel 20-25 miles from the depot for some jobs. Along with the weight of the sturdy Major mower, this means that the extra power of the M9540 is a real plus. The Kubota is a very straightforward, well-built tractor that can be driven by any operator if the main driver is off sick or on holiday."
One feature of the M9540 which has met with particular approval from the operators is the 36x36 speed transmission with hydraulic shuttle, operated via a steering column mounted lever.
"As the mower can cut when running in reverse, the driver can use the shuttle to easily back into awkward corners - even though it is a bigger tractor than its predecessor the Kubota is very manoeuvrable. With the more advanced transmission, you can just shift down half a gear and power on up any steep hills," he says.
Outside the mowing season, the M9540 is required to be a real workhorse, and has been fitted with Kubota's dedicated LA1353 front end loader with single lever joystick control. Working in harmony with the tractor's shuttle, loading materials such as chippings and helping out with tree work will be a breeze. The tractor will also comfortably handle a four tonne trailer.
Alan has found many practical advantages to the Kubota design. Generous 110 litre fuel tank capacity allows for long working days.
"The drivers had to carry jerry cans with our previous tractor, but now they can go all day on a single fill-up," he says.
Kubota tractors are appreciated across many industries for their simplicity, and this is particularly relevant in local authority use, where they are often maintained in busy workshops rather than by the dealer.
"GGM did the 50 hour service and now we will take over," explains Alan. "I particularly like the mechanical centre-direct fuel injection engine, which is much easier to work on than common-rail types. And the access to all the main service points is very good."
He adds that the council already runs several Kubota compacts and other machines, which have proved totally reliable, giving him confidence that the workshop will see little of the new tractor other than for scheduled servicing.
The M9540 was specified on turf tyres for a gentle tread on the swathes of immaculate turf that surround the pretty town centre of Harrogate, and after an enquiry from Alan, was also fitted with LED beacons below the roof line.
"I was concerned that beacons can get knocked off under the low branches, so when the tractor arrived with such a tidy set up, I was very impressed," he comments.
From the demonstration to setting up the tractor with the mower the whole purchase process has been totally seamless, Alan points out, and adds that the M9540 also came at a highly competitive price, vital with council budgets squeezed.
"We're extremely pleased with the M9540 and the service we received from Kubota," he comments. "We would expect the tractor to be around for a long time - at least ten years - because once they have been replaced for mowing, we keep them for trailer work."
Client contact - Dave Roberts - email@example.com
Kubota (UK) Ltd., Dormer Road, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3UN
Tel: +44 (0)1844268168 - Fax: +44 (0)1844 216685 - Web: http://www.kubota.co.uk