Two Kubota RTV900 four-wheel drive all-terrain utility vehicles have been voted 'top of the class' at the West London Shooting School, one of the oldest in the country.
Framed by vast, man-made hills in Northolt, Middlesex, just 12 miles from the centre of London, the School gives lessons in clay and game shooting as well as gun fitting. Founded in 1901, it delivers around 6,000 lessons a year and also hosts a variety of corporate events including multi-activity days.
Its two Kubota RTV900 utility vehicles replaced a pair of Kawasaki Mules which were proving increasingly expensive to maintain.
Roddy Richmond-Watson, one of the School's directors, said: "As the maintenance costs for the Kawasaki vehicles were proving far higher than we liked, we looked around for alternatives which would not let us down and be more economical to run. We needed a simple and totally reliable light utility vehicle with low ground pressure that would not damage the ground, as we like to keep the site as tidy as possible and don’t want any ripped up surfaces. The Kubota vehicles do a great job."
The West London Shooting School uses a Worksite and a Recreational RTV900 which is complete with an effective camouflage finish. Their chief role is to transport clays and traps around the 50 acre site in their hydraulically-tipped rear cargo boxes. These have a load capacity of 500kg (1,100lbs) within generous internal dimensions of 1.32m wide x 1.18m long x 0.29m deep (52in x 47in x 11.4in).
Both vehicles, capable of carrying two people in their bench seats, also take maintenance equipment, tools and materials around the site.
In addition to their reliability and low maintenance requirements, West London Shooting School is impressed with the RTV900's unique three-range variable hydrostatic transmission system (VHT). This is actuated by a single foot pedal that gives infinitely variable forward and reverse travel up to a maximum speed of 25mph.
In action, VHT delivers rapid acceleration, excellent traction across all surfaces and impressive hill climbing ability thanks to the use of an additional hydrostatic assist motor that 'kicks in' when climbing a slope, instantly delivering more torque to the drive wheels.
It also provides dynamic braking for safe, controlled hill starts and descents without having to rely solely on the vehicle's brakes. "The system works very well and is highly effective on our steep banks," said Mr Richmond-Watson.
Both vehicles were supplied by Kubota Tractor and Groundcare equipment dealer George Brown Implements Ltd of Chesham, Bucks.
The West London Shooting School's head groundsman Billy Rimell said: "The Kubota RTV900s are extremely reliable and easy-to-use utility vehicles that do everything we ask of them quickly and efficiently. The dealer comes along twice a year to service them and between his visits we never have any problems, which is just how we like it."
Designed and built on tractor technology, the RTV900 is an extremely rugged machine that has set a new standard in all-terrain utility vehicles. It is powered by a Kubota 22hp three cylinder water-cooled diesel engine, easily accessible for servicing. Where required four-wheel drive can be de-selected for reduced tyre wear and enhanced fuel consumption when driving on firm surfaces. With its unique transmission system, advanced automotive type suspension and power steering, it offers the highest ground clearance in its class.
There are four RTV900 variants to choose from – General Purpose, Recreational, Worksite and Street Legal models – all of which are extremely rugged machines, making them ideal for the most demanding sites and applications. In addition to its class-leading RTV900 all-terrain utility vehicle, Kubota provides a market-leading range of compact tractors and ride-on mowers, as well as being the global leader in the sub 50hp tractor sector.