EDITORIAL – The Weekly Times.
Martin Cooper and his brother, Bruce, had a good idea – something they believed had never been done before. Why not set up a national used tractors dealer network? The products would be a popular brand, stripped to their individual parts, remanufactured so everything was renewed to a fixed specification, then backed by a three month warranty and sold at about half the price of a similar new tractor. And so SOTA Tractors Pty Ltd, of Clifton Hill, has hit the ground running, with a showing of three tractors at the Henty field day.
“I’m from a marketing background and Bruce is from an engineering background,” Martin said. “We’ve been selling components and an exclusive range of tyres in Melbourne for 17 years. “We did six months of research before we went into this. We’re quite excited because what we are doing – setting up a national dealer network to sell warranted, used machinery – has never been done before.”
“The problem has always been the variability of the machines, which meant that dealers could not have common stock and parts. Our operation doesn’t have that variability – and our dealers are delighted. There’s a shortage of good secondhand compact tractors – and these are as close to new as you can get. We expect hobby farmers to make up 80-85 per cent of our customers.”
There is a large market for small tractors among lifestyle, small acreage, horticultural or hobby farmers. Martin said the tractors were from Japan, typically 10 to 20 years old, had begun life as rice paddy tractors and were remanufactured in Asia before being imported to Australia. “We are appointing dealers, and Boman Ag, Wagga Wagga is our first dealer in NSW.”
Martin said the range started from 12.7kW at $8800rrp and went through to 34.3kW at $19,500rrp.
By Ed Featherston