Chris Mepham Invests in Kubota 

There are a variety of good reasons for choosing a Kubota tractor, but in Chris Mepham’s book right up there with the quality is the support he gets from Lister Wilder’s Ashford branch in Kent.

Chris and partner Helen run a small sheep and pig farm along with an agricultural contracting business on the edge of the Romney Marshes and are currently on their second Kubota M series tractor. It’s a brand Chris chose based not just on his long-term appreciation of Kubota reliability but on his respect for Lister Wilder’s Tim Cottrell (now Branch Manager at Ashford).

While farming had long been a sideline, an appalling run of bad luck had forced Chris to diversify into it as his full-time occupation some five years ago. His main income at that stage had come from arboriculture and forestry, but that came to an enforced end when he suffered a serious head and neck injury while lone working. He was very lucky that it didn’t end his life and he still lives with a high level of pain.

“At one stage, I ran a successful arboriculture and forestry company that employed as many as 17 people but the accident meant that I had no choice but to fall back on farming,” says Chris, who had trained as a shepherd many years ago. “In tree surgery, we always used Kubota machinery and, provided they were properly maintained by the dealer, the engines never ever broke down. So, when I moved to Kent from Sussex about 15 years ago, I was recommended to Lister Wilder as a dealer and that’s when I met Tim. He was at that time a technician and we hit it off immediately. From then on, whenever I needed a tractor, I spoke to Lister Wilder.”

“It was about a year ago that I started talking to them about the Kubota M7-173 KVT Premium. They let me take it out and I absolutely loved it so bought it along with an MX loader.”

He adds: “I have driven just about every make of tractor in my time and have found the Kubota so well thought out. Everything is where you want it, colour coded and numbered, and it comes with a five-year warranty. I have found it to be a fantastic product. 

“But most important of all to me is the dealership. Whenever I phone up the agriculture service team there is someone to talk to and if I need support someone will be here within a very short time – they don’t finish at 5pm if you need them.

“I think the secret is that the technicians in Ashford have all either worked in farming or contracting or come from farming families. So, if you have a query, they have an answer because they know the job.”

In his sheep and pig farmer role, Chris uses the M7 for livestock movement and all routine tractor loader work, but it comes into its own when he is out contracting which may typically be corn cart, fencing or muck-away. “To date it has done 53 hours from new and I simply can’t fault it,” he says.  “You have fantastic visibility, it is comfortable, with plenty of pulling power and stopping power. I rate it up there with any of the big names in tractors – it’s better value and you get amazing back-up.”

“What’s more, when you wander into the branch, they are always cheerful and greet you with a smile. That isn’t always the case elsewhere.”