Performance of First CLAAS Axion Prompts Southland Contractor to
Performance of First CLAAS Axion Prompts Southland Contractor to Buy a Second
Nightcaps Contracting opened for business on April Fools’ Day, 1999, but the inauspicious
start date hasn’t stopped the business gaining a firm foothold in the Southland region.
Owned by Tony and Nikki Philpott along with Hamish and Liz Wilson, and Broad Acre
Farms, Nightcaps Contracting Ltd now employs up to 35 staff and offers excavation,
cultivation and harvesting services to a mainly dairy farming clientele within a 60km radius of
Nightcaps, northwest of Winton.
Tony says the business has grown on the back of a dairy boom in the region and its
extensive fleet now includes 6 diggers, 6 trucks and 9-10 agricultural tractors.
The harvesting operation specialises in pit silage and baling, running a CLAAS Jaguar 840
Self-Propelled Harvester (soon to be updated to a new CLAAS Jaguar 850 Speedstar), 3
balers, 2 CLAAS swathers and 5 CLAAS mowers. Nightcaps Contracting also owns a range
of cultivation equipment, including a recently purchased Amazone precision planter which
will be used to sow beet crops.
Most of the operations tractors are CLAAS, and though Tony reckons CLAAS is a top make,
it’s the sales and backup service provided by his local CLAAS dealer, CLAAS Harvest
Centre Southland (formerly Landpower Southern), that really makes the difference.
“They’ve always been a good outfit to
deal with and we are very happy with the
service they provide.”
The fleet includes a reliable 205hp
CLAAS Ares 836 which is used for a lot
of the heavy duty cultivation work. Last
year this was joined by another flagship
workhorse in the form of a new CLAAS
Axion 820. The Axion 820 has a rated
horsepower of 193hp, which can be
boosted to 227hp via the innovative
CLAAS Power Management System.
Tony says he and his team were so impressed with the performance of this machine, they
decided to purchase a second Axion 820 this year.
“It’s a good looking tractor and the cab layout is great. It’s also got plenty of ‘true’
horsepower. Some tractors claim to have this extra horsepower, but when you actually need
it, it’s not there. But when you need the reserve power from the Axion, you know you are
going to get it.”
It was a demonstration of the Axion’s ability to climb and manoeuvre safely on steep ground
that convinced him to buy the machine in the first place.
“We specialise in steep ground and because we’ve got good operators and good equipment
we tend to get a lot of the steeper jobs.”
He says the Axion has proved ideal on challenging terrain, pulling a 4tonne set of discs or a
6metre leveller without any problems at all. “That leveller moves a mountain of dirt.”
The versatile Axion has also been used for towing 12tonne trailers or for operating a
3.5metre buck rake on silage stacks.
“The guys who drive the Axion love it and they say it is a very user-friendly machine.”
Along with the second Axion, Nightcaps Contracting will also be adding a CLAAS Arion 610
(125hp) to the fleet in spring this year to go with an Arion 610 and Arion 640 (155hp boosted
to 175hp) already in operation.
Tony says the Arion is a good, reliable generalpurpose tractor. Nightcaps Contracting will use
the new Arion 610 mainly for towing balers,
swathers and trailers.
Like the Axion, it’s also very comfortable to
“But again it all comes down to the backup
service we get with it. If something goes wrong
we know we are going to get help promptly.”
CLAAS Axion and Arion tractors are available through CLAAS Harvest Centres nationwide.
For further information contact:
Dave Knowles, Product Manager – CLAAS Tractors
021 287 5853
1 September 2009