EDITORIAL – Small Farms.
Moving from Sydney back to the bush at Marulan in 2008 was the best thing Robert Stitt had ever done. “I just love the people around here” he says “it’s such a welcome change – to be out in the country instead of the city, and to have the chance to live the life I’ve always wanted to.”
As a Dorper sheep farmer on 37 acres, Robert wanted to concentrate on improving water supply, shade and carrying capacity on the property and a SOTA Kubota package looked just right. “I saw SOTA Tractors at the Murrumbateman field day and had a good chat with Mark Crakanthorp. I had been looking around for some time. Mark offered an excellent price and the package was available immediately – we called it the ‘steal of the year’. I bought a Kubota B1600 with 4-in-1 bucket, a slasher, a ripper and a pipelayer.”
Robert put his Kubota to work slashing internal fence lines along the boundary of his block and transporting bucket loads of loam mixed with garden soil and mushroom compost to new tree holes for claret, golden ash and poplars each side of the driveway to the front of the house. “I wouldn’t know how anyone could own a tractor on a farm without a 4-in-1 bucket on the front” he says. “It just lets you do so much! Our Kubota has been going backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards with soil, sheep manure and more soil. We’re going to do the same thing with 2000 trees along the boundary fences soon, so that the livestock can have shade, shelter and wind protection.”
When a bobcat operator tried to lift a granite boulder from the big gully behind the house (otherwise known as the “canyon”) he estimated the weight of the boulder to be three tonnes. Robert retrieved the boulder from the canyon with his Kubota, moving very slowly in first gear and placed the boulder at the head of the rose garden. “Our little tractor is fantastic and sometimes I have to remember that it is only a little one but gee whiz it does a big job,” he says.
To take care of water needs for his family, his livestock and the property, Robert decided to install a 240,000 litre water tank so he could gravity feed water to every part of the property. The site for the tank stood 15m above the rest of the property and had a pile of logs and rocks on it. This needed to be leveled and a 14m diameter sand pad prepared. Robert used the 4-in-1 bucket to push the pile out of the way and level the ground in preparation. “Whether you have a 20hp tractor or a 200hp tractor, you’d still need that 4-in-1 bucket” he maintains.
“I’m also very happy with my Kubota because the fuel tank is easily accessible behind the seat and not in the engine compartment. It’s an absolute bonus when you don’t have to spill fuel and fiddle around, you just take the cap off, put the diesel in and put the cap on again and off you go*.” So would Robert recommend buying a tractor from SOTA Tractors? “Certainly I would, I spruik it all the time”, he says. “I’m rapt with it, rapt in the people I’ve met at SOTA and I’m very satisfied. I love sharing my excitement with others when something is done well. And I really love my new life”.
*This is a feature of the larger B-Series SOTA Kubotas.