A young agricultural contractor has made a significant investment in tractor power and performance to give his business a boost. Alex Lamb has operated as FAS Agricultural & Forestry Contractors for the past three years and is steadily building a reputation among farmers in North Lincolnshire for reliability and the quality of his work.
He currently runs a McCormick MC115 to undertake trailer work, verge and embankment mowing, hedge cutting and timber extraction, and to operate farmers’ own equipment when they need an extra tractor and operator. But the scope of what Alex can do has widened significantly after he collected the keys to a McCormick X7.680 Pro Drive at the Lincolnshire Show from dealer TRP Sleaford.
“I’ve had my eye on one of these tractors since they came out,” says Alex. “I then managed to have a go on a friend’s tractor that he had on hire and that convinced me it was the machine to help develop my business.”
The X7.680 Pro Drive is currently the top model in the McCormick range with 188hp available for draft work and up to 212hp on tap for pto and transport operations from its McCormick BetaPower six-cylinder engine. A cast chassis frame and the ZF 7200 Series transaxle, which has a reputation for reliability and durability, add to the tractor’s performance credentials.
“I’ve only managed to do a couple of trailer runs with the tractor so far but it’s brilliant – very quiet and very comfortable on the road,” says Alex, who operates from Goxhill near Barton-upon-Humber. “The cab is nicely laid out and although there are electronic controls for the transmission and hydraulics, it’s all very intuitive and not over-complicated.” The tractor is equipped with a 50kph version of the Pro Drive 24×24 speed transmission, air trailer braking, independent front wheel suspension and hydraulic cab suspension. It also has front linkage – which can be used to operate front-mounted implements and will soon be carrying a toolbox for all the equipment needed during a day’s work away from home.
“Apart from the added opportunities provided by the front linkage, the big step up in power and performance over my MC115 means I can now handle more demanding cultivations and other equipment,” Alex points out.
“The tractor and driver hire side of things started off very slowly but I’m now seeing lots of demand from farmers needing extra manpower and a tractor, either for specific jobs or for seasonal trailer work, especially during the grain, sugar beet and potato harvests,” he adds. “And there’s always the verge mowing and hedge cutting work during the summer and autumn – the swing-round reach mower I have is quite a rarity; it operates on either side of the tractor, which is really useful,” Alex explains. “I’m looking forward to putting it on the new McCormick and seeing how the outfit performs.”