Devizes Town Council invests in Kubota

Great service at the grass roots

The trend of devolving local services from county and district councils to grass roots authorities has become increasingly popular over recent years, and there are many who say their village and towns are looking better as a result.

For authorities like Devizes Town Council, it puts ultimate control over the quality of ‘feel good’ ingredients like playing fields, verges, trees and other key amenities back in the hands of the community that loves them.

As Cemetery and Open Spaces Supervisor in the beautiful Wiltshire town and a man who has lived there all his life, Mike Aiston believes that the local pride felt by his team of 16 operatives makes a big difference. He is quick to give credit also to Lister Wilder for the part the dealership has played in helping him choose the right equipment to do the job. 

“We work closely with Toby Bennett (Area Sales Manager) – he has known us for a long time so he knows what we need and advises on what will work best for us,” says Mike. “He has always been very helpful and even when we had a tractor that they didn’t supply he loaned us one to get us out of trouble.”

A big part of the Devizes challenge involves grass, with large areas of parks, open spaces and playing fields as well as housing estates. When the time came to replace several machines, Mike sought two quotes and was very happy with the solutions that Lister Wilder offered, not least because they involved Kubotas, which he has always regarded as being robust and reliable.

At the heart of much of the work the maintenance team does is a 66hp Kubota M4062 tractor, notably in providing the traction for a Trimax ProCut rotary mower. “That combination does the cutting on all our big areas and leaves it looking very nice,” says Mike. “We also use the tractor with a 2.5 tonne trailer and a wood chipper – it’s ideal on all fronts. We looked at another brand as well but we felt that the Kubota was more solid and that the service we were getting from Lister Wilder locally was so good.”

At the same time, the council also invested in several other Kubota machines:

  • F3890 out front mower  –  powered by a 37.3 HP engine, it’s ideal for mowing large areas quickly and has auto assist 4WD as standard.  “It’s an absolutely brilliant bit of kit,” says Mike. “We use it mainly on verges. It’s manoeuvrable, fast and leaves a great finish. We have the road kit so that we can quickly drive it from site to site. 
  • BX231 compact tractor – used by the council in its mowing configuration with a cutting deck driven by the PTO. “ We find the smaller mower deck useful to get into smaller places,” says Mike. “But it also pulls a bowser which we use for weed killing on roadsides, and we are considering getting a small flail to go on the back. It’s beauty lies in its flexibility.”
  • G23 High Lift – has a 48-inch cutting width and 150mm maximum lift height to provide excellent ground clearance for climbing obstacles such as curbs. “It’s a great machine which we use in the areas where we need to cut and collect,” says Mike. “That includes the wildflower meadow areas, which we cut just once at the end of the season.”

Now coming up for retirement after 45 years of service with the council, Mike ensures that every operator undergoes intensive training on the machines, especially in relation to working on busy roadsides. He believes in giving individuals ownership of specific machines and asks them to complete daily maintenance sheets.