As part of the deal the club's groundcare team will be using Kubota machinery including Kubota Grand GL40 Series mid-range tractor to help maintain the Franklin’s Gardens pitch and training grounds. The Kubota RTVX900 will also serve the team as a general utility vehicle. The machines have been supplied by local Kubota dealer George Browns Ltd, who will also be providing ongoing service and aftersales support.
The Kubota L5040 GST tractor, part of the Grand L40-II Series range, is designed for optimum operator comfort, enabling high productivity. Features include a deluxe seat and extended legroom, while a larger control panel and ergonomic design makes it easy to access operational and hydraulic controls and levers.
The GST (glide shift transmission) gearbox functionality means that the Northampton Saints groundcare staff will not have to use the clutch to change gear, resulting in smoother performance.
The Saints groundcare team will also use the utility vehicle range, the RTV-X900. The new model is larger than its predecessors, featuring a powerful 21.6HP, 3-cylinder liquid cooled diesel engine.
Fitted with a high-rigidity frame to help isolate passengers from noise and vibrations, the RTV-X900 is capable of handing loads of up to 500kgs in the cargo bed and a further towing capacity of 1000kgs. Additional braking power ensures controlled driving on steep descents and across challenging terrain.
The most significant changes have been made inside of the cab, where 60:40 split bench seating, power steering, under seat storage compartments and a digital metre cluster have all been incorporated, alongside a horizontal opening front window.
The deal, announced at the club's Franklin's Gardens stadium, has already seen the Kubota brand on the back of the Northampton Saints' rugby shirts. Kubota also has access to player appearances and will be the official match day sponsor for the Saints’ key home game against London Irish on 13 February.