Tractors – modern simplicityAugust 21, 2020 5:06 pm
At the start of this project there were only six tractors on Grenada, of Chinese manufacture, lying broken, neglected and unloved. So, we had to look further afield for farm equipment that would satisfy our very specific needs. Our recent unique agricultural revival on Grenada required that we adopt a new approach to machinery including which brand of tractor we would buy for our cane fields.
Traditionally, tractors were seen as horse-power alone and simply used for pulling rather than the multitude of tasks a tractor and the correct equipment is capable of. Ollie, our “master of machines” was tasked with finding a suitable tractor in terms of size and power as well as being compatible with our unique Grenadian topography dominated by steep volcanic slopes. He unequivocally specified a tractor classic, the JOHN DEERE 6430.
The John Deere 6430
In Grenada’s harsh and unforgiving climate of salt and tropical heat we needed a tractor that would tolerate these conditions. We also needed a tractor strong enough to haul the seven tons of a fully-loaded sugarcane trailer, rotavate, plough and prepare the land and yet be nimble enough to manoeuvre our narrow roads with ease and in safety. The John Deere had it all!
Ollie tracked down and purchased four pre-owned tractors, packed them up in parts – managing to fit everything into a large shipping container – shipped to them to Grenada, reassembled them and put them to work thus initiating their new working life in the Caribbean.
Keeping our tractors in tip-top condition
Sourcing maintenance parts was also a consideration, getting parts from suppliers in certain countries is not always easy nor reliable. In the John Deere we have a tractor where maintenance parts can be accessed with ease so that the engineers in our dedicated workshop can maintain our tractors to our very high standards.
Training our workers
For our team, training to operate these John Deere tractors has been an excellent learning experience. There isn’t much in the way of tractor driving in traditional farming in Grenada. Thanks to the simplicity of the machinery our workers have taken easily and well to the tractors, transferring pre-existing skills in handling big buses or trucks to the task at hand. For our team it has become a source of pride to be driving our modern John Deere tractors over the fields and along the roads of Grenada.