Valtra Impresses Northumberland Estate

A Northumberland estate was so impressed by its first Valtra S Series bought in 2017 that a fleet of four is now replacing a previous brand.

Just over 1,000ha of combinable crops are grown by Rock Farms Ltd, near Alnwick, on a mix of owned and rented land. In 2017, an opportunity to rent out buildings with drying floors for woodchip conditioning led to the farm setting up an additional enterprise chipping wood for its tenant, using existing labour and the farm’s tractors.

Pictured with three of the farm’s four S Series Valtras are (l-r) operator Alistair Baillie, Farm Manager Carl Tuer, and operators Chris Dunn and David Gray.

Rear-facing seat

A trailed woodchipper requiring nearly 400hp was purchased, with a grab for self-loading.

“We had used one tractor brand for many years,” explained Farm Manager Carl Tuer.

“But to work the self-loading chipper efficiently and for operator comfort we needed a tractor with a rear-facing seat, and options were limited.”

The first Valtra was selected for the rotating seat which was essential for operating the trailed, self-loading woodchipper.

Carl visited Valtra dealer Brian Robinson Machinery (BRM), and was surprised by the S Series’ high specification and build quality. The price was reasonable, including a 6,000-hour warranty and many features classed as extras on competitor brands, and an S374 was ordered and arrived in late 2017, closely followed by another to power a second chipper.

The Valtra S Series tractors have a superb power-to-weight ratio and are ideal for both heavy cultivations and top work.

Change of brand

Compared to the other tractors the Valtra proved more fuel efficient, and additional advantages included superior ride comfort, better all-around vision, and a more spacious cab. Despite being a lot more powerful it was compact and very manoeuvrable, making it just as suitable for corn carting as heavy cultivations. When the farm tractors were next updated these were also replaced by Valtras, and the fourth S Series arrived in March this year.

“We had no idea that buying our first Valtra would lead to us replacing our previous brand for farm work as well as wood chipping,” concluded Carl.

“But it’s better in every way and the operators prefer it. The few problems we have had were rectified quickly by the BRM team, and we have full confidence in the dealer and brand for the future.”

The newest addition to the fleet is an S394 with the latest SmartTouch display and Valtra Connect telematics. Operator Alistair Baillie (pictured in cab) says that having two displays will allow him to make better use of the GPS guidance. Farm Manager Carl Tuer has full confidence in his fleet of Valtra tractors as well as the back-up from main dealer BRM.