Friday, 08 November 2019 11:57

Reverse steer avoids pain in the neck

Written by  Mark Daniel
Greg Bolland’s new reverse steer N134 tractor in action. Greg Bolland’s new reverse steer N134 tractor in action.

Greg Bolland's new reverse-steer Valtra N134 tractor eases his workload and prevents tractor driving from giving him neck and back pain.

His business AMT Hedgecutting operates from Waimauku, northwest of Auckland, servicing clients in the greater Auckland area and the Far North.

The business operates three hedge cutters suited to different-size jobs, and now comes Bolland’s first Valtra tractor. 

He settled on the Finnish brand after looking at various others and keeping an eye on local contractors who have been mulching for many years.

“Mulching is pretty hard on tractors, but Valtra has the forestry background we were looking for,” Bolland said. “So the fact that you can get them with forestry specs and factory belly guards makes sense.”

Bought from Waikato Tractors, the N134 Valtra is optioned with the factory built Twintrac reverse steer system. This set-up enables the seat to rotate through 180 degrees, allowing the operator to look out the back window and steer using a supplementary steering wheel. 

“It’s nice to be able to look out the back window without turning your neck all the time and twisting around. It makes a hard job really easy,” said Bolland. 

“We use reverse steer for the heavier mulching jobs when we bring down big tops of trees. I just chopped down 30-year-old avocado trees and backed over them. With the stump grinding you can just sit there and look out the back window.”

He says the Valtra has incredible power for a four-cylinder engine. 

“I’ve got the 50km/h transmission with the front suspension, allowing me to eliminate the need to use a transporter for short distances.” 

Bolland says the 600 hour engine and 2400 hour hydraulic and transmission service periods reduce the cost of ownership.

The tractor powers a linkage mounted Seppi forestry mulcher and a stump grinder, and it has frontloader mounted forks. The tractor also has frontloader forks that he uses to clean up sites.

The Valtra N Series uses the same cabin as the larger six-cylinder T Series, said to offer visibility in all directions and a sub 70 decibel noise rating. 

For those operating loaders, an optional extra roof window gives better visibility of the implement. 

Other options include a choice of single or twin doors in the cabin, and the SkyView forest cab that has a large polycarbonate roof.

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