More horses and a better tractor


Waikato, New Zealand dairy farmers, Andrew and Toni Rooks, are adamant they got more horsepower for their dollar and a better tractor for good measure when they purchased a Claas ARION 620C. Source: AFDJ eNews

Andrew and Toni sharemilk about 440 cows on a 160 hectare property overlooking Raglan harbour, about 50 km west of Hamilton.

They also run 200 replacement heifers and 140 grazing stock on a 112 ha run-off block purchased last year.

Andrew and Toni started looking for a new tractor about three years ago.

“This was our first big purchase after nearly 20 years of sharemilking,” Andrew said.

“Our 20-year-old Massey Ferguson came with us from Taranaki when we moved here seven years ago, but it wasn’t suitable for working on this hillier country.

“We were sick of having to pay someone else to do our drilling, mowing and silage work.

“We needed to upgrade – not only to get some extra horsepower – but for our safety.

“We started looking around for a second-hand tractor but we were worried that we might end up buying someone else’s problem.”

Having made the big decision to purchase a new tractor, Andrew and Toni visited several farm machinery dealerships in Hamilton.

“A lot of farmers are fixed on one colour, which I can’t understand,” Andrew said. “If you are going to spend your hard-earned money, then at least have a look around to see what you can get for your money.

“We compared all the major brands and we quickly settled on a CLAAS ARION 620C. We got another 30 or 40 horsepower for the same price. This was well under the $1000 per horsepower yardstick and there is no doubt we got a better tractor.

“We took the ARION for a test drive and that was it.”

Andrew and Toni have since clocked up more than 1000 hours in their ARION.

“I love it – it’s so easy to drive, simple to operate and comfortable to drive,” Andrew said. “We don’t need a tractor with all the bells and whistles – we just want something that we can hop in and go to work. I am amazed by how quiet it is.

“This has more than twice the horsepower of our old tractor yet you can easily have a conversation on the phone or with your passenger. It’s got great visibility – the exhaust comes out beside the cab, instead of right bang in the middle of the bonnet and your line of sight.

“Some of our land is pretty rough and without the suspension, I would get bounced out of the seat.

“The cab suspension really takes the jolt out of the bounces. I can drive this all day and not get tired.

“Overall, we have been really impressed with its performance and the service we get from CLAAS Harvest Centre in Hamilton. Finance was a piece of cake and the warranty has been great.”