AGFEST 2018 EDITORIAL – Tasmanian Country.
SOTA Tractors is best known as a small-acreage specialist but it also offers a wide range of larger machines. During the past 15 years, SOTA has sold hundreds of compact tractor and implement packages throughout Tasmania. Its compact tractor range, from 25hp to 55hp, includes APOLLO machines and remanufactured Kubota tractors. The business’s tractor and implement package deals have proven particularly popular with Tasmanian hobby farmers.
SOTA general manager Steve Watt said it was a rare interstate-based farm-machinery vendor that had a successful, ongoing business in Tasmania, and said the compact tractor packages were ideal for lifestyle farms. “Our customers often require a specific set of implements for the tasks they are planning”, he said. “SOTA provides advice on the most appropriate implements, according to our customer’s budget. Our tractors all come with a front end loader, fitted with a four-in-one bucket. This is the single most requested implement and it is a standard feature on our Kubota, Farmtrac and APOLLO tractors.”
Mr Watt said while price and performance were important, there was something equally important – after-sales service and support when it was needed. He said SOTA communicated with its customers in a timely manner, not just before the purchase. “We have a network of local tractor mechanics in Tasmania for service and repair”, he said. “We generally ship spare parts overnight and, if our customers prefer, we’re happy to support their preferred mechanic with parts and know-how as well. If our customers are keen to personally service their tractors, we’ll support them directly.”
SOTA carries a huge range of tractor implements and is the Australian distributor of AGMAX implements, Wallenstein wood splitters and chippers and Del Morino implements. Mr Watt said while slashers and rippers were always in demand, Tasmanians had a special love of PTO-linked backhoes. “Tasmanians purchase more PTO backhoes per tractor sale than any other state. We believe this is because of the relatively high number of compact tractors purchased in Tasmania.”
Mr Watt said the Del Morino backhoes from Italy featured models specifically designed for compact and sub-compact tractors as small as 18hp. He said in recent years commercial farmers in Tasmania had been buying SOTA’s larger tractors, with the APOLLO cabin and ROPS tractors popular. “We have also been delighted in the interest in our premium Farmtrac cabin tractors. These are quality European cab tractors, with Perkins engines and Carraro transmissions.”
Mr Watt said SOTA was the direct importer of the Farmtrac range.