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Few present day vegetable growers allow themselves the luxury of nursing their own seedlings – they prefer ready-to-plant sturdy, healthy no-fuss seedlings which can be planted with little effort that can send their roots on the food search with even less fuss. Sowing the seed, allowing it to germinate and prepare the seedlings as healthy plants for the grower, ready to settle and establish themselves in the soil, is the focus of Multiplant, seedling grower in its Brits domain.
More than 200 million seedlings are nursed annually in the well-appointed greenhouses of Len and Francois du Toit. Their story is no fairy tale although they rely on the unstinting support and never-ending stamina of their sturdy team of “bright orange garden gnomes!”
The “garden gnomes” is what the farm labourers named the team of orange Kubota tractors with their never-ending daily zeal, swarming over the farm engaged in towing, spraying, preparing compost and planting seedlings. Seed planting is an automatic process, especially with the four L4100 and five L3200 tractors which have to move in file to transport the loads of seedlings to the tunnels . . . and again fetch the finalised orders for despatch to waiting vegetable growers. Len says there is always some load that has to be moved somewhere on the farm.
The brothers are now in the process of developing and manufacturing their own biological growth medium in cube form to make it even easier for vegetable growers to transplant the seedlings. The basic contents of the cubes have to be transported according to a stringent programme; when the factory starts up on a production run, it is a hungry mouth demanding nonstop feeding.
The three small, narrow M8540 cabin tractors are engaged in compost making, general farm work and specifically used for spraying tasks.
They also use an RTV1140 diesel rough terrain transporter with its own sturdy cargo bed and comfortable personnel seating.
Len says there are various other Kubota machinery on the farm that have been running for many problem-free years: “These machines just keep going without breakdowns; they simply last and last”, he says.
This was one of the main reasons why the Kubota name surfaced when the brothers had to consider replacing the mechanical workhorses on the farm. They prefer to standardise on one brand, making their management task much easier. With stalwart support from Maubra, Kubota dealer in Brits, they have found a dependable tractor partner just around the corner.
Len says: We have a long term relationship. We support each other and we receive excellent service.”
The brothers have entered into a partnership with a neighbour to cultivate 450 hectares of grain. There, also, the Kubota team has proved its worth.
Kubota offers a perfect fit
A few advantages that makes Kubota a perfect fit in any farming enterprise are:
- Absolute dependability – no time go to waste with a tractor breakdown.
- Machines work problem free all day long, even at idling speed.
- Impressive fuel savings in comparison with other tractors they had on the farm.
- The donkey gear of the M8540 makes it ideal for compost moving and aerating.
- It is also the ideal tractor for spraying with enough power for the whirlwind spray.
- The tractor’s airtight cabin protects workers against poisonous substances.
- The M8540 can also be used to spray at night when most workers have gone home.
- Even the bigger tractors move with ease between rows in tunnels.
- The tractors are small but powerful with a minimal turning radius – “on a tickey”.
- The tractors are uncomplicated and operators quickly master it.
The team members are:
L4100 and L3200:
The L-series has four models ranging from 24,6 to 38,9 kW (32 – 52 hp) of which the three cylinder L3200 is the smallest. The L4100 has four cylinders and delivers 30,6 kW. Al four models are four wheel drive.
The M series (narrow/standard) is available in models from 51 to 96,9 kW. The narrow gauge M8540 comes in a roll bar model of 63 kW with eight forward and eight reverse gears, or with a cabin and ten forward and ten reverse gears.
Kubota’s off-road vehicles are in a class of their own regarding economy, utility, dependability and user friendliness. The RTV1140, with its diesel engine of 1 140 cm3, is a robust four wheel drive all-rounder with a load capacity of 730 kg.
For more information on the Kubota range, contact Robert Keir on 011-284-2024 or firstname.lastname@example.org. In Brits Chris Coetzee of Maubra is also on standby to assist. Contact him on 082-263-7520. www.kubotasa.co.za