The success of a recent UK auction of 1960s tractors should be a prompt to see what’s lurking in the gloom of your old machinery shed.
Crow has bases in Hawera and Taumaranui, from where six full-time staff mow roadsides, trim shelter-belts and do mulching for farmers. The firm’s territory takes in Mokau to Whanganui and Bennydale to Waiouru.
Over the last 14 years Crow has trialled and bought many types of tractor, but now he’s sticking with the German Deutz Fahr brand.
The fleet includes three M600 Summit units delivering 140hp from a six-cylinder engine, with a long wheelbase layout that makes a stable work platform. Add to that a 6160P featuring sharp design details and high-end technology such as auto-powershifting and programmable hydraulic output.
The ‘baby’ of the group is a 5130 TTV, a smaller but no less sophisticated tractor than its bigger brothers.
The 5130 spends much of its time in mowing roadsides or the region’s sports fields. The use of its stepless transmission helps deliver the exact speed for the job at hand, while programmable engine control and a clever steering system reduces the number of turns of the steering wheel to make turns. This makes for a very versatile tractor. Much of Mulch and Mow’s work is with rear mowers, heavy-duty mulchers and rear reach mowers powered by 140hp M600s and the high-tech 6160P units.
Crow says long wheelbases combine with high lift capacities and flow rates from the hydraulic system to make the bigger Deutz machines ideal to cope with the demands of this equipment.
“Good visibility, operator comfort and excellent ergonomics make the Deutz brand a winner for our team,” he told Rural News. “Add in the unique colour coding for the main control groups, so then operators, who generally stick to one tractor, can switch machines if required with no time lost becoming familiar with controls.”
Looking forward, an upcoming addition to the largely green fleet is waiting in the wings -- a new 6215 RC high power prime mover. This will go into service powering front and rear-mounted mowers in combination, effectively doubling work-rates, while also providing plenty of power for tough jobs.
The new addition will take the overall count to 15 tractors. However, it looks as if Crow may have to take a second sock off if he adds to the fleet, just to keep an accurate tally.