JD Spencer & Sons Invests in Kubota

It was a crisis in the family farming business that first introduced Kubota’s top-of-the-range 170hp M7 tractor to Wiltshire-based JD Spencer & Sons. It wasn’t a brand they had previously considered but several years later, with a fleet now of five working across its extensive acreage, there is no looking back.

The accident that took one the business’ then front-line tractors out of play came during a peak harvesting period at a time when that brand’s dealership was unable to help with a loan vehicle.  They were, however, fortunate to be offered a Kubota to fill the gap …and a voyage of discovery began. 

“It is when times are difficult that you for help outside of your usual relationships,” says Henry Spencer, who is in the third generation of a business that milks some 500 cows but also has extensive arable land for maize and winter wheat. “When we looked closely at the M7 and added in the benefits of a package that includes interest-free credit a substantial warranty plus overall great value that we gave it serious consideration. We are certainly glad we did!”

Once we had all had some time behind the wheel, we quickly began to appreciate its strengths including the size, the steering lock, manoeuvrability and the low-level cab with mirrors tucked in. It’s a very good all-round 170hp tractor for this neck of the woods with our high hedges, low trees and narrow lanes.”

While based near Chippenham, the JD Spencer & Sons territory is well spread, with a total of 2,500 acres stretching up into the Cotswolds around Badminton and west towards Swindon. The soil types vary between sandy loam, Cotswold brash and steep clay. As a result, their front-line tractors have to be flexible, and Henry says the M7s deliver on every task.

“We use them for everything. We run a 35-foot wide set of triple Kubota mowers on them – a lot of people wouldn’t believe you could run three mowers on a tractor of that size. We also run six-metre power harrows but we equally use them to pull feeder wagons and we have a loader and a round baler. They are not too big to chain harrow a field but will run the power harrow when we are drilling maize.”

He adds: “I have been baling on steep valley banks where some people wouldn’t entertain working with a tractor. You always feel safe – it never runs away, never stalls just slows down, so if you are going down a hill you just reduce your speed and the engine braking comes in. There is plenty of power for what they are – as true a 170hp tractor as any I have driven. Unlike some others, what it says on the bonnet is what you get.”

Henry also highly rates Kubota’s company approach to its smaller customers and the support it gets from Lister Wilder as its dealer. “In our direct dealings with Kubota they have treated us as if we matter and taken on board our opinions in the way that other brands wouldn’t.  Their attitude towards continually improving the product is one of the key reasons why we go with them.”

“Lister Wilder have been very good. Bryn Kinsman (Area Sales Manager) looks after us well and I have particular respect also for Toby Bennett (Head of Agricultural Sales) who has been very accommodating to our needs, and Jack Huckstep (Agricultural Service Manager) who has provided a good service even when Bibury was being re-developed. They all go over and above to ensure that we have all we need.”