SAFETY factors persuaded Wilts dairy farmer Jim Webb to trade in his ageing yard tractor for a new Kubota compact. That decision was taken 12 years ago and he is now on his second Kubota after another trade-in last year.
"We used to have an old Massey 135 for scraping the yards in the dairy unit, and it did a very good job," said Mr Webb, who has 140ha (350 acres) at Middle Hill Farm, Tockenham, Wootton Bassett, plus another 60ha (150 acres) nearby.
"The biggest problem was the brakes. The old tractor was working in slurry every day of the week and we were always having to see to the brakes.
"In the end I decided it was too risky to go on using it because sooner or later there would be an accident and one of us might be badly injured.
"The Kubota has good brakes which dont seem to be affected by the slurry. I am sure it is a lot safer for the sort of work we are doing."
Another benefit from switching to the Kubota was changing from two to four-wheel drive, which meant a better grip on the wet concrete. It also brought a more comfortable cab which is appreciated by Mr Webbs daughter, Clare, and Helen Hogan who share the yard scraping duties for the 120-cow herd.
As well as dealing with the daily slurry routine, the 34hp Kubota L3300 gets an occasional change of job when Mr Webb uses it in his garden to ridge the potato patch, and it also powers the spinner when the potatoes are harvested. *