The De Rustica Olive Estate in the Swartberg region of the Western Cape bought its first Kubota tractor three years ago and now has five.
“They are great machines: fuel-efficient and reliable,” says farm manager, Joop Steenkamp.
The Kubota that made all the difference in the beginning was the NM8540N.
“At the time it appeared, that Kubota was the only narrow tractor with a suitable cab,” Steenkamp explains. “This was essential for our operation, as we use a tractor to spray the olive trees and the operators have to be protected.”
De Rustica has 100 000 olive trees on 125ha. “We look at costs very carefully but recognise that sometimes, especially with tractors, a cheaper initial investment can be expensive in the long run,” he says.
Josias le Roux who farms grain and sheep on Langhoogte, near Caledon, recently bought a Kubota RTV-X900 utility vehicle and a Kubota L45 TLB.
The RTV-X900 is particularly useful when the sheep are lambing, according to Josias. It is powered by the Kubota 16,2kW three-cylinder diesel engine, renowned for exceptional durability and reliability.
The RTV also features 4WD and the unique variable hydro-transmission (VHT-X). As a result, it can tackle the toughest terrain with ease, even under wet conditions. The load bin has a 500kg capacity, ideal for transporting fire fighting or weed control equipment.
Kobus Luttig produces raisins and wine grapes on his farm just outside Upington on the Orange River. He is full of praise for his Kubota U50 mini-excavator.
“It’s a fantastic tool,” he says. “We use it for everything on the farm from laying pipelines, cleaning water canals, cutting and clearing drainage channels to taking out trees, loading equipment, and much more.”
Luttig particularly likes the U50’s power-to-size ratio.
“Because it’s small and compact, we can get in between the rows and manoeuvre in places that a bigger excavator couldn’t get into,” he says.
“Yet it’s so powerful that it can handle almost any job that a larger, more cumbersome machine couldn’t manage.”
A highly versatile tractor-loader-backhoe
The L45 TLB is one of Kubota’s best-selling machines worldwide. Farmer Josias le Roux, uses it for a variety of general maintenance jobs.
The backhoe has a digging depth of 3m and the optional quick coupler allows the easy changing of bucket widths to suit the job.
The backhoe can be detached, allowing for a three-point linkage and PTO to be attached, making the L45 a highly versatile unit.
Joe Spencer is the mechanisation editor of Farmer’s Weekly.