EDITORIAL – Farm Trader.
A lifestyle farmer from Gisborne is more than happy with his remanufactured Iseki, the first of its type in New Zealand. John Morell isn’t used to letting the grass grow under his feet. After 25 years of hard work in Australia, building an industrial waste disposal business, he and his wife recently returned to their idyllic hometown of Nuhaka, near Gisborne. Having already purchased and refurbished the local general store, café and fish-and-chip shop, Morell has set to work on his personal labour of love – restoring a nine acre market garden to its former glory.
In order to get the job done Morell needed the right machinery, and decided on a SOTA remanufactured tractor. “When I first saw it, I thought it was a new one!” said Morell. “Everything was new – the tyres, battery, upholstery, paint, hoses and belts – even all the bolts! The best part was when it started.”
Morell’s tractor is a SOTA remanufactured Iseki Landleader – a 25 horsepower, four-wheel-drive machine. “I bought a ride on mower but it couldn’t even cut the Kikuyu grass at the back of my shop! It just sits in the shed now,” he said. “My Iseki is really powerful and, because it’s four-wheel drive, it will go just about anywhere – I love it!” Morell bought his tractor from R & R Tractors, in Te Puke, who he found to be extremely helpful, advising him about the implements he needed and how to use the machine.
“Because the tractor was about half the price of a new one, I could afford to buy a package that included a 1.2 metre slasher and a 1.3 metre rotary hoe. I’ll probably buy a loader for it in the future. My block is divided into 3 paddocks at present. I’ll be able to do fencing and all sorts of stuff with it,” Morell says. “When I first got it, a few of my friends laughed at me … but I had the last laugh. After taking delivery, I tested it by slashing the Kikuyu grass out the back. It was all too easy!”
“The next day, I wanted to put it through its paces, so I took it to my block, which adjoins the local rugby ground. The grass was over 4 feet high. My friends were all hanging over the fence ogling at my tractor as it whipped through the grass effortlessly. None of them laughs anymore – I reckon they’re a bit envious.”
Morell was the first in the country to purchase a SOTA remanufactured Iseki, and to mark the occasion he was visited by Martin Cooper, SOTA Tractors’ Director and Lindsay Ferguson, distribution manager for New Zealand.
“We are excited to add these Isekis to our range of remanufactured Kubotas as Iseki is also a popular brand in New Zealand,” says Ferguson. “We expect a huge response from lifestyle farmers, if the first year of distribution in Australia is anything to go by.”
“Pre-owned tractors have never been distributed in New Zealand through conventional dealers before because of the variability associated with used machines – you might get a good one, a bad one,” he says. “A SOTA remanufactured tractor, however, is disassembled and rebuilt to a fixed specification, so they’re all the same. A SOTA tractor has an approved roll bar, a written warranty, guaranteed parts availability, operators manual and so on – basically just like a new tractor. In addition, they’re affordable, look great and are much more versatile than a lawn mower,” Ferguson says.