James Chapman farms in Martham, near Great Yarmouth and runs a large arable operation incorporating 2,000 acres of wheat, barley, sugar beet, peas and potatoes. Traditionally, the farm ran McCormick tractors, but the quest for a more powerful and reliable tractor has led to the introduction of a Puma 240 CVX on to the farm.
“We used to run McCormick tractors, but when I was looking to upgrade to a slightly more powerful machine, there wasn’t a suitable model available,” explains James. “Eventually we decided to buy a couple of Massey Fergusons; one new and the other second-hand. The second-hand tractor turned out to be a bit of a nightmare and was spending too much time out of action, with various mechanical problems. It didn’t take long before we decided to replace it.
“I had a couple of different tractors out on trial and the Puma 240 came out on top. I knew that Case IH has a really strong track record for reliability and the farm’s main tractor driver was very impressed with the comfort and handling of the Puma, so it was a fairly straightforward decision to make.”
James has a number of different tractors on the farm, with the Puma doing the bulk of the heavy draft work.
“We have a 200-horsepower tractor for corn carting and drilling, a 185-horsepower tractor for fertilising and an older, ‘well used’ machine for smaller bits around the farm, like hedge cutting. The Puma is our go-to machine for heavy draft work, such as sub-soiling and ploughing, but it does do a bit of corn carting too.
“When doing heavy cultivation work, the continuously variable transmission is a great addition on the tractor, as it enables you to automatically speed up and slow down depending on how compact the soil is, without having to shift gear ratios manually. My main tractor driver on the farm really likes the transmission and we would definitely look to buy another vehicle with it on in the future.”
“We got the Puma in September 2018, so it has nearly done a whole season on the farm. So far, it has really impressed and we haven’t had any of the mechanical issues that we had with the previous Massey.”