Petts Wood and Hawkwood National Trust have enjoyed a long relationship with Lamberhurst Engineering, stretching back to when they ordered their very first Ferrari compact tractor over ten years ago.
Sam Pettman is the Countryside Ranger responsible for five sites covering over 1,000 acres across North Kent. While only being 13 miles South East of Central London, the Petts Wood and Hawkwood site covering 340 acres provides an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Full of natural history, the area is a haven for all kinds of bird, butterfly, amphibian and plant life.
When the time came to replace his tractor, Sam had no hesitation in choosing yet another Ferrari Vega. "I didn't consider buying anything else as we've been so pleased with the older models," says Sam. "It offers many more features than other tractors in its size and is such an all-rounder, being able to undertake a host of year-round tasks."
Sam wanted a small yet powerful tractor to be transported between sites on a trailer to run the attachments needed to maintain the woodlands. The low centre of gravity makes the Vega the ideal tractor for his many specialist operations, including mowing and timber extraction in tight or difficult areas where a normal tractor cannot access due to height or width restrictions. The tractor is particularly suitable for forestry work because of its reversible-drive facility, which enables the driver to keep a close watch on winch work.
Although it is the reverse drive feature that sets the Vega range apart from the other conventional tractors on the market, it is the marriage of compactness and power that impresses most. The Vega range of tractors has been designed specifically for use where other tractors are too large or too heavy, such as forestry management. The optimal steering radius, the four wheel drive and the ideal weight distribution let you work safely and efficiently in difficult terrain. The comfortable driving position and the practical, easy to read instruments let you work without fatigue.
"Because the work I do is predominantly forestry work, I customised the configuration, with a Bonatti front-loader fitted at Ferrari's Italian factory and Maxwald cable winch for PTO attachment, which was also supplied by Lamberhurst Engineering. I also had Lamberhurst fit the belly, side and front forestry guards to help protect the tractor.
"The winch has been extremely impressive and paid for itself many times over in little under six months. I got the loader and winch to be more flexible and to be able to save time and money bringing in a contractor for our timber extraction which was done by hand in the past. We have been able to remove sizeable sycamore and oak tree debris for our ancient woodland restoration and thinning project. With the new tools, it's now safer and much faster to pull logs which we sell locally as fire wood".
Ferrari has gained a reputation for producing tractors that are highly reliable and robust, which is why when the time came for Sam to upgrade, the older model was sent to work at Cobham Wood and Mausoleum, near Gravesend Kent, where it continues to be a real workhorse.