Sandstone Estates commenced in its present form in 1996 and started with a fleet of modern equipment, mostly John Deere tractors and combine harvesters. Many of these are nearly 20-years old with our venerable 9400 tractor heading the list. However, many of our other fleet items are just as old. Our 7710 tractor which was purchased new on an auction in Holland after that particular model was discontinued has soldiered on through thick and thin for many years. Here it pulls a massive 20-ton Chaser Bin working alongside our combine harvesters. This process significantly speeds up the harvest turnaround time.
Many of these John Deere tractors have done in excess of 12,000 hours and we are hopeful that with good maintenance and specifically under the supervision of Chris Wilson, one of the most experienced Agricultural Engineers in South Africa, this trend will continue.
Modern farming equipment is so expensive that the very survival of the enterprise depends on looking after machinery very well indeed. We have a significant workshop capability at Sandstone Estates.
We also deploy our Heritage equipment regularly and it is not unusual to see a 60-year old tractor cutting our airfield, for example.
We will be posting updates on how elderly tractors can play a vital role on the modern farm.