A big Kubota tractor with a light tread has hit the ground running for sportsfield renovations in the north west.
The Kubota M7152 is a new addition to the line up for national grounds maintenance contractor idverde's St Helens depot this summer and has already made a big impression.
"It's a bit bigger and more powerful than the tractor it replaced, but shod on Nokian turf tyres it doesn't leave a mark," says operator Ryan Stirling. "It's proving very productive and will be capable of handling a wide range of sportsfield renovation implements including a sand spreader, vertidrain and overseeder."
Powered by a 150hp Kubota four-cylinder engine, the M7152 benefits from Kubota's KVT stepless transmission, and Ryan notes:
"It makes the tractor very easy to operate with renovation implements as I can use the A-B buttons to set maximum and minimum revs and then select the auto setting and cruise control. There's a great touchscreen monitor which I've been able to get the hang of really quickly, and it also offers auto pto engagement which will be really useful with the vertidrain, as it automatically disengages and re-engages the pto when lifting and lowering the linkage at the end of a run."
The impressive rear linkage lift capacity of 9,400kg makes working with larger implements such as the vertidrain a breeze and idverde has plans to get even more out of the tractor.
"We'll use it for a lot of haulage too, and the cab's very spacious, which along with the air suspension and KVT transmission makes it really good to drive on the road," says Ryan.
"For the autumn and winter it will have a reach arm flail fitted, and the front linkage and pto means that we can pair it with a front flail which will make verge mowing much quicker. We're also looking to have a front loader fitted."
Ryan notes that the M7152's Kubota engine is pleasingly frugal, the 330 litre fuel tank giving an extra day between fill ups compared to his previous tractor, and says that the tractor has clearly been designed with the operator in mind.
"Access for routine maintenance is really good - I particularly like the flip up radiator which makes it easy to blow debris out and there are plenty of worklights. It's very straightforward to drive and I'm looking forward to seeing what we can achieve with it."