Based in Blaeneifed, Cardiganshire contractor Wyn Jones offers a wide range of farming services, enhancing his spraying work with a thriving dairy farming business, as well as providing hedge-cutting and general contracting services. He owns two Kellands machines - an Agribuggy A280 for spraying and a Multidrive 6195 which he uses principally as a load carrier.
Covering a patch from Newport, Pembrokeshire in the South to Aberystwyth in the North, Wyn sprays between 10,000 and 15,000 acres a year, treating maize, spring cereals, fodder beat and pasture.
Working in hilly and often challenging terrain, he typically works around 12 acres-an-hour but in ideal conditions can cover up to 200 acres a day.
Because of the challenging nature of his patch, features such as low ground pressure and consistent reliable traction are essential and are key reasons why he chose a new Agribuggy A280.
Wyn explained: “The Agribuggy’s Mechanical Drive is a big advantage. I don’t think a hydrostatic would be able to get up and down the banks here in West Wales.
“Mechanical Drive makes me feel a lot more comfortable and secure. The grip is great and the Agribuggy will go up and down slopes in almost any weather and conditions. The main thing holding me back is confidence. I quit well before the machine does!”
“The Agribuggy is safe and reliable and it has helped me win contracts where operators with hydrostatic machines have been unable to work.”
And it’s not just grip. Mechanical Drive technology means lower fuel costs, less maintenance and a longer working life. It also delivers safe, comfortable transport with maximum speeds of up to 50 km/h – helping Wyn expand his patch and take up opportunities that would not be worthwhile if he was driving a slower, fuel-hungry machine.
Wyn said: “In the autumn there are a lot of smaller jobs which it would not really be worth taking in a hydrostatic, but the Agribuggy is fast and comfortable on the road and reduces downtime getting to and from places which gives you an advantage.
“The faster road speeds mean I can cover a patch up to 37 miles to the north in Aberystwyth, and 22 miles south in Pembrokeshire.”
Working long hours at a stretch can put a lot of strain on operators so comfort and visibility make a big difference to the productivity of a sprayer contractor.
Wyn said: “It’s a really comfortable environment to work in with very little noise - in fact I have never been in such a quiet cab. When you go out in another machine you really notice the difference.
“The visibility is excellent and the whole cab is well designed – there’s even under-seat storage for nozzle tools which is very handy.”
Featuring four-wheel steering and a unique low centre of gravity design – Wyn’s Agribuggy A280 offers a strong combination of power, visibility and fingertip control. He can switch between two and four wheel drive, adjusting performance to suit the conditions, while the machine’s low-ground pressure reduces compaction and damage in the field.
Equipped with a 2,700 litre spray tank, which has been internally baffled and gel-coated, the Agribuggy has 12/24m fully hydraulic aluminium Pommier booms and boom suspension, with tilt and yaw control.
For power, the A280 has a torquey Cummins 148hp power pack, and features a 4-speed heavy-duty automatic transmission with 2-speed transfer box, a lockable centre differential and an independent parking brake. This lean-burn engine boosts efficiency by ensuring the lowest running and maintenance costs in class.
For Wyn, it’s not just about the performance of the product on the road and its productivity in the field, but how good the back-up is if there’s a problem or an urgent part is needed.
He said: “The team at Kellands always do their best to look after me. I’ve had a service technician get here next day at 7am to help me with an issue, and they have even kept the shop open late when I wanted to pop in to collect a part.”
So will he buy another?
He said: “I like the design and am now on my sixth machine in 18 years. Once you have one you don’t look back. I certainly found hydrostatics very strange after working in an Agribuggy.
“It’s a machine that keeps its value so it’s a solid investment when it comes to resale prices. I’d be happy to buy another - providing the deal is right.”