EDITORIAL – Small Farms.
Gay and Pat McAuliffe from Cootharaba, Queensland, are delighted with their new SOTA tractor package which they purchased last year.
“On our first property in 1985 at the time we couldn’t afford expensive machinery, we just had a few cows and it was hard to get the work done. We had to hire people to help us do the bigger jobs, which could get expensive at times. When we decided it was time for a tree change we bought a new property and moved here in April 2008. We had decided we wanted to maintain it properly and buy all the equipment this time around so we could keep up with the constant work. After speaking with friends and looking in farming magazines when we visited family, we compared packages and prices and found SOTA Tractors.”
Gay and Pat McAuliffe bought a Kubota L2201DT package including an AGMAX slasher, chipper, grader and post hole digger. “It’s just made life so much easier for us. There’s only the two of us and as we’re getting older, we need equipment that can do the work properly.”
“The chipper attachment is an absolute godsend”, says Gay. “We have over one hundred established fruit trees, and numerous palms on our property and there were leaves and foliage everywhere. It was constant work to keep up with it all, with palm fronds falling off all the time. Since we bought the brush chipper, we have been able to recycle a lot more – not much leaves our property now. We cut the bells off the palm leaves, transport them with the loader and then chip the leftover fronds. It makes fantastic mulch which we use all over the garden.”
A veggie patch on the new property had lots of metal stakes in the ground and a couple of small trees in it and Pat used the 4-in-1 bucket on the front end loader to pull them out as he couldn’t remove them manually without a lot of back breaking work. “Using the 4-in-1 bucket on the front end loader to lift things and transport them saves both of us from getting a hernia” says Gay, “It’s been really helpful.” The McAuliffes also leveled the veggie patch and made raised garden beds. “Since buying our SOTA tractor package, the difference is we don’t have to hire people to come and do the work, we can do it ourselves – whenever we want it done.”
The McAuliffes are looking forward to their next equipment purchase, an AGMAX finishing mower, so they can establish a low-cut lawn. “The first person I will phone about it will be Tom Thring, SOTA’s Manager because he does a good deal, knows his stuff and he took the time to establish a good rapport with me”, says Gay. “Being female, I can be a bit fussy when I’m buying something big and I annoyed the hell out of him with lots of questions about the tractor and implements. He was very patient and got back to me with information and prices by phone and email – it’s really nice to have good old-fashioned customer service where the person selling you the item knows what they are talking about.”
“Everything we asked of Tom he has been able to do. He’s very approachable and explained in layman’s terms some of the things we didn’t know. We asked for a spare key for the tractor and it was in the mail the next day. Tom and Nigel have been fantastic. Nigel delivered our tractor for us and he was very helpful.”
Gay and Pat have no hesitation in recommending their SOTA tractor package to friends and relatives who are in the market. “When friends were going to the Toowoomba Ag Show, we recommended that they speak to SOTA Tractors because we were very happy with our tractor package. We didn’t just read the brochures, we talked to the people who we wanted to buy our tractor from and we found SOTA’s service and deals were worth recommending.”