Tractor upgrade makes the machine suitable for a range of farming tasks

Originally from Switzerland, Wendel Sidler grew up on a 20ha dairy farm which supported a herd of 20 cows.

Arrived in New Zealand in 2014 to share, in 2020, he and his wife Manuela had launched their own company, Green Farm Ltd.

In 2020, when the farm’s 12-year-old 90hp tractor passed its peak at 13,000 hours, they decided it was time to upgrade.

“We wanted a bigger tractor because the equipment we use has gotten bigger and heavier. We do the regrassing ourselves, so we needed a tractor capable of handling the cultivation equipment and our 12-tonne trailer,” explains Wendel.

He went shopping and, to his surprise, opted for a 150 hp Kubota M7152 – a decision motivated by the quality of the machine, its price and the warranty package.

“We received quotes for other brands, but ended up buying the tractor from the Kubota dealer in Gore, who unlike some dealers who only let you test a tractor for a few hours, left the Kubota with us for a week, so we spent 30 to 40 hours with it,” says Wendel.

Part of this hard work includes a program of pasture renewal, with 20 ha re-grassed each year, using transitional crops including spring sown turnips, fall sown wheat or spring sown oats and peas . Crops and new pastures are established using a range of implements including a plow, speed discs, power harrow and Cambridge roller.

“Sometimes we use a contractor to do the plowing, or sometimes I do it myself,” Wendel explains.

Sowing is carried out by a Krummenacher pneumatic seeder (manufactured near Wendel in Switzerland) which is attached to the roller or the rotary harrow.

“The Kubota runs all these heavy cultivation tools, and it pulls our big bale and hay feed cart and trailer, which we use to haul the gravel,” Wendel explains.

Wendel notes that the M7152 has a solid front axle and a German-made ZF gearbox, while singing the praises of the hydraulics, brakes and tires.

“The tractor is built in France and fitted with a Japanese-made engine, has a large cabin and a massive console. It has a tight turning radius, so it’s easy to get in and out of doors; even with the feed cart attached, it can go from driveway to paddock as easily as the little tractor we used to run.There’s great all-around vision and we appreciate the little touches like the buzzer handbrake warning.

Up front, a Quicke front loader connects seamlessly to the Kubota’s console-mounted joystick and, with over 400 hours completed, confirms the decision to switch to the brand. So much so that they have also purchased an 8-tonne KX080-3 excavator, which will be used to clean drains and power a grinder to remove gorse from several gullies.

About Keneth T. Graves

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