Cat® 908 Compact Wheel Loader Running Strong After 19,000 Hours

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Cat® 908 Compact Wheel Loader Running Strong After 19,000 Hours

Craig Dixon says the best part of his job as a farmer is in the summer months. “Enjoying the hot summer days, when it’s warm and dry, and knowing that everyone else is stuck in an office.”

But summer or not, work at Willow Farm never stops. Dixon runs 750 head of cattle on the family farm near Woodhall Spa, in the centre of Lincolnshire. Primarily dairy, the milk is sold to Muller while beef goes into an abattoir to supply Morrisons. With a follower unit to look after too, it’s a constant operation – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

“Dad came here 65 years ago,” explains Dixon, “when he bought his first 100 acres having moved on from a tenanted farm.

“He only went into dairy because he needed more money to pay the mortgage. Willow Farm’s been in dairy ever since, except now, we’re farming 750 acres.”

 

Craig Dixon talks about how his Cat® 908 Wheel Loader has put 19,000 hours on the clock and still keeps his farm running.

The farm is always busy. Keeping the yards clean, scraping slurry, feeding the cattle. It never stops. “Everything is important, every day,” Craig says. “Our biggest challenges are not breaking down, keeping the flow of cash and everything else going, and not trying to do too much at once.”

Understandably, equipment plays a big part in that. Craig remembers when the farm hadn’t yet fully invested in mechanisation, and seemingly everything was done with hard, physical labour. Now, everything’s handled by a machine – whether pulled and powered by a tractor, or moved around by a telehandler or a wheel loader.

The Solution

Most farmers have a favourite, or most dependable, piece of machinery. For Craig, it’s the farm’s 908M Compact Wheel Loader. “It’s our main machine for the day-to-day running of the farm. It does everything, from mucking-out, feeding the cows, moving stuff around, construction – you name it, it’s probably done it at some stage.”

Craig reckons the 908M clocks up nearly eight hours every day. That’s between 1700 and 1800 hours a year.

“It’s a far superior machine in life expectancy, spare parts availability, ease of servicing – but more than all of that, it’s a pleasure to drive.”

 

Manoeuvrability, lift capacity and power-to-weight ratio are some of its stand-out features, enthuses Craig. “The horse power and the all-round visibility when sat on the seat – you can see right round the machine. That’s so valuable when you’re working in tight, confined spaces.

“It’s actually our second 908M. It still does the same job as it did when it was new, and at the speed it does at new. There aren’t very many machines you can say that about when it’s showing 19,500 hours.”

The Results

“We’ve had other machines in the past, but nothing compares to the Cat,” says Craig. “We don’t need to spend huge amounts of money on its maintenance, despite the fact we use it every day of the week.

“We haven’t had any issues since the machine came new. Actually, just the one – but it was ironed out so quickly we hardly noticed. And we’ve had none since, other than general wear and tear in the areas you’d expect. Our Cat® dealer is very good, as is the parts supply, which are normally here next day.”

Friend, colleague, even a competitor – Craig says he wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the machine. “If they wanted a machine to do the job, and to do the job right, then yes – I would recommend the Cat.”

 

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