Essex hobby farmer discovers the benefits of an Avant compact wheeled loader


Retired head teacher and now hobby farmer Malcolm Duncanson and his wife Jo are delighted with an Avant compact tool carrier purchased to tackle a wide variety of jobs on their 20 acre smallholding in Essex – home to a horse, donkey, chickens, four goats plus two dogs and nine cats.

Having spotted an Avant machine during an internet search and then seeing one in action on his own land when a local fencing contractor used it for banging in posts, Mr. Duncanson realised it would be the perfect tool for his own jobs.

Affectionately known as ‘Froggie’ because of its bright green colour, the model 520 chosen is now used for far more jobs than originally envisaged, thanks to its outstanding versatility and ability to be equipped with any from a choice of over 100 attachments. Currently, Mr. Duncanson uses a bucket, a post basher, a set of pallet forks and a brush to keep his yard and barns tidy.

Commenting on Froggie, Mr. Duncanson said: “Every other machine I had looked at was far too big, but as soon as I saw the contractor’s Avant I could immediately see that it not only very compact but also had the power, manoeuvrability and cross country ability to tackle everything I needed. And, on top of all that, I find it very easy to get on and off which is becoming more and more important as I get older!”

Avant’s 520 model is powered by a Kubota D722 diesel engine developing 14 kW (20 hp), has an inside turning radius of just 995 mm and a maximum lift height of 2790 mm with its hydraulically powered boom in the fully extended position.