Staffordshire farmer finds an AVANT a perfect replacement for a skid steer loader

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When Graham Mellor and his step-mother Sheila needed to replace a 20 year old skid steer loader on their Staffordshire farm, they were delighted to discover the many advantages offered by an Avant R28 compact multi-purpose loader.

Purchased by Mr. Mellor’s grandfather in 1949, 100 acre Windycote Farm near Stoke-on-Trent is currently home to 100 pedigree Suffolk ewes and 30 short horn suckler beef cows.

Although the farm uses a conventional tractor/loader for many heavy duty tasks, the Avant is now proving ideal for working around the many buildings where space and access are both at a premium.

Supplied by local dealer Robert Lee (Plant), the R28 is used mainly for handling large bales of straw and silage weighing up to 500 kg and, with a quick attachment, for mucking out duties with a bucket.

According to Mr. Mellor: “The Avant is much easier to drive than our old skid steer machine and its all-wheel drive and good ground clearance means we can now also use it in the fields.”

Unlike other models in the growing Avant range, the R-series design puts the driver on the rear section of the articulated chassis, making it more suitable for use in very confined areas where the layout makes it easier to negotiate tight turns and reverse with both accuracy and safety.

The R28 model chosen by Mr. Mellor is powered by a Kubota diesel engine developing 21kW (28 hp) via an hydrostatic, 4 wheel drive transmission. Compared with other makes of rear-seated loader, the Avant design offers a much more compact package with the additional benefit of a telescopic boom which provides a maximum lift height of 2790 mm in the case of the R28.