Friday, 26 April 2024 10:55

Quality lubricants keep tractors safe

Written by  Mark Daniel
Evan Paxton says quality lubricants are a key factor in maintaining his fleet. Evan Paxton says quality lubricants are a key factor in maintaining his fleet.

Evan Paxton and his family at Riverview Farms, Dargaville, are one of New Zealand’s leading suppliers of kumara.

Located two-and-ahalf hours north-west of Auckland, the 200ha farm crops around 60ha of kumara and also fattens prime lambs and beef cattle.

Using the local Delta Co-op to pack, market and transport the family’s crop throughout NZ, the Paxton’s know it’s critical they keep their machines humming.

“If we do have a breakdown, especially on a key tractor like the 7230 or 7290 we use for groundwork, or our moulding or spray tractors, it pretty much stops the whole day. Until they’re fixed, we’re under the pump,” says Evan.

“Thankfully, breakdowns are rare, but if we’re working towards a weather window or trying to fill orders from the packhouse, they can have a huge financial bearing on our company.”

Established in 2001, Evan and partner Tanya joined forces with his mother Judy, brother-in-law Graham and his wife Twane to create a true family business.

Over the ensuing years, as the business grew, the Paxtons became staunch fans of the green and yellow, running a fleet of 12 John Deeres, ranging from 70hp to 290hp, and in March took delivery of its thirteenth tractor from local dealer Brandt Machinery in Whangarei.

The new 6120M utility tractor with AutoTracTM replaced the businesses’ very first John Deere, a 6400 that was bought back in 1994.

“A small compact tractor like the 6210M with 120hp is ideal,” says Evan. “We can use it to pull a three-metre machine for harvesting, and for dayto- day crop maintenance, whether it’s spraying and dry cultivating or top chopping.”

Realising that maintenance plays an important part in the John Deere’s reliability, Evan also considers quality lubricants are a key factor in maintaining his fleet.

“The old 6400 we’ve just traded-in had done over 13,000 hours and we have had absolutely no issues with the engine, just a few little bits and pieces, as you would expect,” Evan said.

“Over the past 10 years, we have exclusively used JD transmission, hydraulic and engine oils and grease, and we’ve noticed a significant difference with the running of the machines, especially using the grease on our harvesters and tractors as well.”

Evan uses Plus-50 II Engine Oil, Hy-Gard hydraulic oil and SD polyurea grease. He says the 500-hour service interval is also a game changer and although a few tractors might go over when they are busy, they’ve had no issues to date.

“I personally wouldn’t recommend using a cheap oil, as at the end of the day, quality pays, meaning the machines are working and not sitting in the shed. I think when times are tough, people might look for a cheaper product, but for us, it’s more about peace of mind. We know your tractors are in safe hands.”

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