WHM introduces new J series low-horsepower workhorses

By: Carene Chong

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WHM 534J tractor The new WHM 534J tractor. WHM 534J tractor
WHM 484J Front axle The J Series machines all have sturdy front axles. WHM 484J Front axle

New South Wales-based machinery company WHM Tractors has raised the bar in the affordable low-horsepower tractor market with the release of its new J Series with models ranging from 48 to 116hp.

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Officially launched late last year, the series currently features three models: the WHM 484J, 534J and 1164J.

According to WHM Tractors, the new line-up is a result of seven years of hard work, with several models still being developed and yet to be released — including the 394 and the cab-equipped 674 and 904.

Some key upgrades on the range compared to predecessor models include a more robust chassis, larger and more powerful naturally aspirated engines; larger cabs and the option of air-conditioned cabins on its biggest model, the 116hp WHM 1164J.

The range also has wider sun roofs and bigger radiators that allow operators to work more efficiently in Australia’s hot and challenging environments.

WHM Tractors has also installed batteries that are at least 50 per cent larger on the J series for longer run times. All come with battery isolators.

All WHM tractors come with sturdy 10-ply tyres for extra durability and a heavy front axle which, according to the company, is the most robust in its class.

"A half-tonne front-end-loader bucket puts 2.5 tonnes on the front axle," WHM Tractors owner Gary Lynch says. "Far too may tractors have front end loaders fitted to front axles, which must fail.

"The 4WD also transmits through this front axle," he adds, "so a sturdy front axle is vital for durability. The J models focus on this basic essential."

By installing few electronics on the tractors, WHM Tractors says it brings the price point right down and assists with serviceability without compromising on efficiency.

"In most country areas there are no skill sets available to fix electronics," Lynch says. "Electronics often cause major down-time, plus expense. Can they be great? Yes, they can … but at a cost."

All J series models feature power steering and all-wheel drive.

Other features include wide operating decks, dual rear hydraulic remotes, zinc plated adjustable three point linkages, two speed PTOs and two stage ceramic clutches.

A 4-in-1, euro hitch self-levelling front end loader comes standard on all WHM J series models.

While the machines are made in China, WHM Tractors prides itself in being involved in every step of the manufacturing process of its tractors; from sourcing to assembly, and from pre-delivery to service support.

Lynch says the J series fits right in with the company’s philosophy of "engineered strong, engineered simple and engineered affordable".

"Australia is a vast continent so the emphasis is simple, robust and reliable engineering that can be sustained by local workshops and mechanics," he says.

"Between 50 and 100 engineered features are now being built into each J model tractor and they’re still a work in progress.

"We have come ahead in leaps and bounds as sales were originally limited to the WHM factory and its surroundings in western Sydney but now, wider distribution is possible with significantly increased engineering specifications and the reliability that comes with it."

Lynch adds that the WHM range of tractors is often available at less than half the price of mainstream tractors.

"We believe we are the first to work really hard within the Australia market to engineer a rugged, robust, and low-cost tractor that can be supported without resorting to sophisticated local infrastructure," he says.

WHM Tractors is a division of family-run and -owned Weir and Harrod Machinery, which began its operations in 1913.

While its core business is manufacturing packaging machinery and equipment, the company has since branched out and utilised its engineering expertise on other areas such as agricultural machinery.

The WHM J series tractors are priced from $23,900 including GST. 

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