Challenger Tractors: Running The Royal Flush

Thanks to the diversity of their operation—raising citrus, wheat and corn while also providing custom agricultural land-development services—Richard Berry & Sons of Cutler, California, operates a variety of Challenger® tractors.

At the end of 2017, Richard Berry & Sons of Cutler, California earned a unique distinction when they took possession of a new fixed-frame Challenger 1046.

“Supposedly, we are the only ones in California, maybe the nation, running every series of Challenger, a so-called ‘Royal Flush,’” says Vincent Berry, who represents the business’s fourth generation. “That’s the 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900 and 1000 Series tractors,” he continues. “If you want to see where the Berrys are working, you just look for a yellow tractor, and I like that idea.”

In total, the Berrys run eight Challenger tractors. Bob Berry, Vincent’s father, says they bought their first about 20 years ago, moving from heavy steel-tracked equipment to today’s rubber-tracked and wheeled equipment. Due to their power and reliability, each tractor fills a specific role in the operation. The MT400 and MT500 Series are used in the citrus and row-crop endeavors, while the MT600 Series is their choice for lighter land development.

“The tracked tractors [the MT700 and MT800 Series] are what we use for heavier land development, such as disking, chiseling and ripping; and then the 900 Series is used for land leveling. With all the different-sized tractors, we’re available to do most everything that a person needs done.”

With the power of an articulated-frame tractor and the efficiency of a fixed-frame machine, the Challenger 1046 has brought new versatility to the family’s business. This is especially important as the population continues to grow in California’s Central Valley, making the transport of heavy equipment more difficult.

“Belted tractors are always going to be needed, but if you move them much more than 8 to 10 miles, you have to low-bed it to the job, which is more time-consuming and difficult with the population we have,” Bob explains. “With a wheeled tractor, you can just hook up the implement and run it up the road.”

The Berrys say their affinity for Challenger tractors has been strengthened by their relationship with local AGCO® dealer, Quinn Co. in Selma, California. “Whenever you need them, they’re just a phone call away,” Vincent says. “From the salesmen to the parts and service guys, they just take really good care of us.”