Agricultural work is definitely not just a man’s job. The International Day of Rural Women, which falls on 15 October, is a reminder of this fact. Even when it comes to users of our tractor, women are no exception. In both professional and personal life, ZETOR tractors are accompanied by women like Mrs Soňa Hálková from Lubenec.
“I got into tractors when I was a child. We had a small farm, a few horses, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry. My dad worked in agriculture, so I spent most of my time working with him from the age of two and basically grew up in a tractor,” says Soňa Hálková.
Soňa's choice of profession was therefore very clear. After her apprenticeship in 2003, she joined the company Lukra Lubenec, where she still works to this day. The company breeds cattle, cultivates grains and cereals, and sells brown coal, so the job description is varied. Soňa enjoys ploughing the most, but she gets to do a great deal of things throughout the year. In the winter months, work in the workshop (machine maintenance and repair) and cattle feeding take precedence. Spring is then a period of inspecting and rehabilitating pastures and working with cows. Harvesting and baling straw is a priority, as it is used as both fuel in the heat production plant and as food for the cows.
Only a ZETOR will do
The company's fleet consists of tractors of various brands, including six ZETORS. And Soňa just so happens to work with them. Specifically, the company owns two ZETOR 5245s, a CRYSTAL 8011, 8145 and 12145, and a FORTERRA 140 HSX. “ZETOR tractors have been close to my heart since childhood and I’m glad that I primarily get to work with them. They’re simple, reliable and powerful machines that get the job done. Older tractors are aesthetically perfect for me and you can repair everything yourself. But I also like the newer models, especially from the larger series. The FORTERRA that I drive is comfortable and strong enough for a four-cylinder engine,” she explains.
Every tractor is suited for something different within the company. The ZETOR 5245s are used for working in a cowshed, for collecting stones, or for repairing fences. The CRYSTAL 8011 is mainly used as a feed wagon, while the CRYSTAL 8145 and 12145 tractors are used for transporting hay and straw. The latest addition, a FORTERRA acquired in 2015, is used for ploughing, fertilising, supplementary fertilisation, as well as for rolling, baling and transporting hay, straw and grains.
The older tractors have been serving the company since it was founded in 1991. Soňa Hálková chose the FORTERRA based on her own prior good experiences with it. “In 2015, when we needed to buy a new tractor for me to work with, the company was inclined towards other tractor brands, which were in common use at the time. I suggested that the ZETOR FORTERRA would be better for my work and more affordable than the other ones that were being proposed. And so, we ended up getting the FORTERRA,” she adds.
ZETOR also “plays first fiddle” in private
In addition to working with ZETOR company tractors, Soňa also uses her own ZETOR CRYSTAL 8045 model to tend to her private farm. It is used for harvesting apples and pears, or for working in the forest. She always makes sure not to miss out on any of the agricultural action. She likes to visit field ploughing days and the Země živitelka and TECHARGO trade fairs.
Soňa’s positive relationship with the brand has been immortalised by a tattoo on her left forearm. “It was actually by chance. I already had several tattoos, and I got a voucher for another one as a birthday present from my sister. She jokingly said I could get a ZETOR tattoo, now that I already had a new tractor. The tattoo artist at the tattoo parlour laughed, saying he had tattooed many different things in his day, but never the ZETOR logo before. Regardless, I’ve seen the ZETOR logo tattooed on other people many times, so I guess it's become a big hit. Those who know me would understand,” says Soňa with a smile.
ZETOR tractors hold another more romantic significance for Soňa. She met her current boyfriend two years ago thanks to her tractor. He would come to the company to perform regularly scheduled servicing on the ZETOR FORTERRA tractor, so they immediately found something in common to talk about.
Come and see what has been happening in the world of ZETOR over the past few weeks.
In the next instalment of our series, we move to another continent. We will look at how ZETOR tractors are doing in North America.
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