Compact modified tractor caters to soft fruit grower’s unique needs - Fruit & Vine

Compact modified tractor caters to soft fruit grower’s unique needs

The Antonio Carraro TN5800 supplied by Kirkland is the third in The Summer Berry Company’s modified tractor fleet, used to spray strawberries on its 400-acre fruit farm near Colworth in West Sussex.

Established in 2006, the company grows strawberries, raspberries and blueberries under polytunnels at the Summer Berry farm in Colworth. Recently, the need arose for a tractor narrow enough to safely fit between the tight strawberry rows, measuring only 160cm.

After some time searching for the right machine, farm manager Arunas Budry got in touch with Kirkland, who specialise in compact tractors. Having provided the farm with modified tractors in the past, the supplier’s skilled engineers were once again able to alter an existing machine to the customer’s specification.

Dave Allen, service manager at Kirkland, explained: “We sourced a cab and cut it down to measure just 800mm wide which allowed the tractors to have plenty of space when going up and down the rows. This is Summer Berry’s third modified tractor by us here at Kirkland.”

Measuring just 117cm in width, the Antonio Carraro TN5800 is one of the narrowest models on the market, making it an ideal machine for any fruit grower looking for a narrow tractor to navigate tight rows.

According to Arunas Budry, head of farming at Summer Berry, the AC TN 5800 was originally a cabless tractor. “Kirkland was able to modify a cab and fit it for us, so we can spray strawberries safely and not touch the plants, thanks to its narrow width.”

Another UK fruit grower that has turned to Kirkland in search of a narrow tractor is Berkshire-based Hall Hunter Partnership. A company representative said: “I am very pleased with the Antonio Carraro TN 5800 tractor. It’s very manoeuvrable on tight headlands and the cab is surprisingly spacious even for over 6ft tall drivers with plenty of leg room.

“The electro hydraulics are positive in operation and ease of use and most importantly, we do not touch the plants with the cab, considerably reducing damage especially to the flowers in our blueberry fields. The tractor will also be used to spray 6-line high table top Strawberries in the harvest.

“All in all, Kirkland have gone the extra mile designing this tractor and I am very thankful.”

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