Versies do the job at Mullewa

27 Jul, 1999 10:56 PM
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ONCE a Versie man always a Versie man? There's cause for such a statement in the case of Mullewa farmer Phil Saunders. Phil owns four Versatiles, all bought from McIntosh and Son Geraldton, and all with regular duties. The four-wheel drive "fleet" comprises a Ford Designation Six Versatile 976 (on duals), a Ford New Holland Versatile 9280 (singles) and two New Holland Versatiles, 9282 (singles) and 9682 (duals). With timing a critical aspect of a good program, the tractors are used for spreading, spraying, deep tillage and seeding. Probably the most eye-catching is the 195kW (260hp) 9282 towing a Hardi 4228 boomsprayer. For farm manager Alan Wood, it makes perfect sense to use 9282 to provide a smoother operation and safer operator environment. "I use the Versie on singles and there's less bounce than a ute," he said. "I can operate around 20 to 25km/h and visibility is better to see foam markers, especially at night." Alan said there also was less tearing up of crops using the tractor and better following characteristics of the sprayer. "The other aspect is that I'm spending less time refuelling," he said. "I can get about 400ha a day completed with the rigby using the Versie." The 9282 also is used at harvest towing 25 tonne chaser bins and is employed for towing spreaders pre and post-sowing. The 9280 also does similar work and is also used to tow packers when required. The flagship 269kW (360hp) 9682 is used for seeding and at harvest when unloading field bins, via the tractor's PTO. In years when melons are a problem, an offset disc is employed, pulled by the 976, which also is used for deep ripping and supplementary seeding tasks. According to Alan, the Versatiles rarely miss a beat, which is the obvious reason why they are the preferred tractor. ÿ

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