Ross Collins, from H Collins and Son in Northamptonshire, is a farmer with a soft spot for a Quadtrac. With around 3900 acres to manage, the fourth-generation farmer is a big fan of the Case IH tracked offering.
“All the tractors on the farm used to be Case IH until 2005,” he explains. “We then went through a period of trying different makes but over the past three years we’ve started moving back to Case IH tractors as each machine comes up for renewal”. The portfolio they now have is pretty comprehensive, “our rep is really helpful and they just seem to be the better option. We currently have three Puma 160 CVXs, an Axial-Flow 9240 combine and two Quadtracs, a 600 and a 9380.”
“Whilst we’ve switched back and forth with tractor brands, we’ve stuck with Quadtracs for many years and just run and run them,” Ross adds. “In fact, we’re starting to get a bit of a collection as when it comes to replace them the older ones are worth more to us than their trade in value,” Ross admits. “The Quadtracs are a big commitment financially, but they cover so much ground and can be put on to so many different pieces of kit, they represent a good investment for us.
“We expect them to pull a lot of weight for cultivation work, such as a 12-metre Horsch drill and a 12-metre Horsch Terrano with the Optipac roller behind. We also put them on a triaxle muck spreader which is about the size of an artic lorry trailer!”
Ross continues; “We spread a lot of cattle manure, compost and gypsum so tend to have a Quadtrac on a spreader in front of cultivations and it doesn’t look out of place. It’s especially useful on hilly ground where we used to lose traction with wheels, particularly on ground that’s a bit wet and dangerous to go with wheeled tractors. For me, the Quadtracs are the original product and you can really tell that – the weight distribution, equal drive, traction, flotation, power and comfort are an unbeatable package. While the obvious plus of the Quadtracs is their power, when you use them for lighter jobs we find they don’t use any more fuel than a lesser horsepowered tractor when performing the same work.”
“Having now switched to Puma CVX machines, we find them to be very reliable, which is why we now have three on the farm. We’ll put 8,000 to 10,000 hours on them before changing them and they’re used for trailer work, general running around and a bit of ploughing. I really like the CVX transmission. It’s easy to use and stops a poor clutch operator from slipping the clutch to change gear.”
“The Axial-Flow, which we bought in 2017, is serving us well and we are very impressed. When we bought it the purchase price was competitive and it came with a proper three-year warranty, which was attractive. It has fewer moving components than other brands which hopefully means less can go wrong and we are banking on this simplicity resulting in lower running costs in the long term. Practically, it gives us a good grain sample and it’s also got a lovely comfortable cab – one feature I particularly like is the pivoting spout which is useful if you have a bit of a cross wind to ensure the grain ends in the trailer. Overall it provides good value for money, with some nice features, some of which competitors can’t supply.”