Chinese tractors have slowly developed in specification and quality over the 15 years or so they have been in the UK. The market in the UK is fairly small at around 300-400 units a year, but multiply that by 15 and you get 4500 – 6000 users, some of these tractors are getting on a bit needing service and parts. The Chinese way of doing business does not lend its self to orderly distribution of which service and spare parts are a vital component,there are probably only three places in the whole of the UK you can get proper support for your tractor but they only keep parts for the tractors they have supplied , not the machines that have come in from mainland Europe or imported by the “fast buck” brigade. There are also companies that charge eye watering prices for fast moving parts forgetting about the slow moving parts. We have found companies charging £23 for a Foton oil filter that should cost £7.00 and Foton cab glass door at over £1500 + fitting which should cost £350 including fitting! The problem of Chinese tractor parts and service goes right back to the manufacture, the problem being that unless we as a private company have an exclusive distribution agreement or exclusive models the amount of money invested will always be limited. Would you develop a business and invest in stock with out any sort of exclusivity to protect your investment?
Foton Tractors have over 10 years in the Chinese tractor market we are profitable and forward thinking. Our current stock of parts is way in excess of what is need to support the tractors we sell but we are also happy to support the Foton tractors in the UK which are sold without proper support. We have recently invested in a 3500 sq/metre purpose built building, new service vehicles, more parts and computer system. The question is do we utilise 10 years of knowledge on all Chinese tractors or do we expand in other more profitable directions? If you are reading this blog and own a Chinese tractor please respond with your thoughts, it will make the decision much easier if at least our Chinese tractor supplier takes on board that a solid partnership with a forward thinking, established and profitable company in the UK would increase their sales and hugely increase their reputation in the market.
With the coldest of the winter weather still to come the condition of the antifreeze in your tractor is important
When supplied new all Foton tractors are filled with a blue glycol based antifreeze. Antifreeze has a finite life and needs checking periodically, the blue glycol based antifreeze has a life of about two years and then starts to degrade. Don’t worry it doesn’t suddenly become ineffective but it does drop off in performance and need changing to make sure your engine is protected from extreme cold. Should the coolant freeze the pressure will almost certainly crack the block of the engine either internally or externally. If you want to do this yourself a hydrometer will be needed, they are widely available from most motor factors.
You might not need to flush and recharge your tractor’s radiator with new coolant each year; however, seasonal evaluation of water-based coolants with a hydrometer is highly recommended. Wait until the tractor engine has cooled. Cover the radiator cap with a cloth, turn a half revolution to check for any remaining pressure, and remove.
Check inside the filler neck for debris of any kind, indicating a need to flush the system. If you find none, insert the hydrometer hose into the neck, squeeze the bulb and release to fill the column. The “freeze” scale on one side of the hydrometer indicates the freezing point of the solution. It should register less than negative zero degrees C. The reverse side displays the boiling point. Fully effective coolant should indicate a boiling point above 130 degrees C. If either freezing- or boiling-point requirements aren’t met, flush and replace the coolant.