With a reputation for rearing strong pheasants that offer excellent sport, Park House Pheasantries needed an all-round workhorse that could help maintain the perfect environment for breeding, rearing and shooting the birds.
As a result, owner Stuart Riddell invested in a Kubota camouflage RTV900 all-terrain utility vehicle to help manage the shoot and game farm – and four years on, he’s been so impressed with its performance that he’s since purchased two more of the machines.
Stuart, a fifth generation gamekeeper, is chairman of the Northumberland and Durham branch of the National Gamekeepers Organisation. Each year, Park House Pheasantries rears in the region of 50,000 birds for the shooting season and caters for small syndicates which require a couple of hundred birds through to large shoots which take 17,000 birds. Such are the quality of the pheasants reared at Park House Pheasantries that customers from across the UK return year after year.
But like any good gamekeeper, Stuart knows that this isn’t down to chance and, in fact, it requires careful management to breed strong birds and provide an environment that offers good sports shooting.
And this is where the Kubota RTV900 all-terrain utility vehicle comes in. With the highest ground clearance in its class and four wheel drive, the 21hp machine is designed to perform easily over the most difficult terrain. What’s more, it has a maximum speed of 25 mph and, because Stuart opted for a road legal specification, it is suitable for use both on and off the estate.
The RTV900 is used daily for everything from feeding pheasants to spraying game crops using a purpose built front mounted Logic sprayer, as well as transporting chicks, feed and bedding. The tipping bed is particularly useful for filling holes around the rearing pens with gravel. It is also powerful enough to pull a game trailer loaded with a full day’s bag and can easily rescue the odd 4 x 4 that becomes stuck in a rut or mud!
Another benefit is the fact that the RTV900 can be used safely by all of Stuart’s staff, even his young apprentices and its rear canopy provides a safe containment for his working dogs which are used for drives and pick ups.
Speaking about the RTV900, Stuart said: "Over the past four years, I’ve been particularly impressed with the Kubota’s versatility, reliability and comfort, together with features such as the power steering which are all essential for a vehicle that is, used on a daily basis."
Servicing and maintenance has been provided by local Kubota dealer Lloyd Ltd who Stuart says has always listened to his requirements and responded quickly to his needs for any on-site service requirements. He has used Lloyd Ltd for more than seven years and says that it is their excellent after-sales support that convinced him to buy his second RTV900.
"Glen McVitie at Lloyds is very knowledgeable and quick to respond whenever I need him, which is essential because I cannot afford to have the RTV900 off-site, even for servicing," added Stuart.
Kubota provides a market-leading range of compact tractors and ride-on mowers, together with its class-leading RTV900 all-terrain utility vehicle and is the global leader in the sub 50hp tractor sector.
Their machines have a legendary reputation for quality, performance, reliability, ease of operation and outstanding value-for-money and a national network of Kubota tractor and groundcare dealers, such as Lloyds Ltd, provides the highest standards of advice and after-sales service.