Hamish Dykes scores the new Ranger 9/10 for its performance during the busy lambing season
ScottishBorders agricultural, construction and industrial equipment supplier Wm W.M.Rose & Sons Ltd became a Polaris dealer inNovember 2013. Established over fifty years, the company has among itscustomers the Dykes family, recent stars of the nightly BBC2 series LambingLive, with farmer and presenter Adam Henson, and with BBC presenter Kate Humbleas their apprentice for a week. Having dealt with John Dykes since the 1970s, Wm Rose and Sons were contacted by his son Hamish who istaking the reins in this generational farming family. A short while before theBBC show the farm needed to replace its existing UTV and had a number of machineson demonstration for several days. The family’s decision was to go with a new Polaris RangerDiesel 900D a week or so later and it proved invaluable, taking the stage aspart of Lambing Live. The Ranger is used on the farm in the fields andhillsides for checking on and feeding the sheep. During lambing time, and onthe show, it was fully employed towing the feeding snacker so the pregnant ewesgot supplement food and vitamins to help with their pregnancy.
The Dykes have beenfarming along the Pentland hills since the 1950s and have over a thousand ewes,using Bluefaced Leicester rams with Scottish Blackface sheep to produce Scotchmules, Texels and Beltexes with the mule flock to produce good meaty lamb, andhoggs, ewes in their first year that will be first time mums. While sheep farming is big business it isalso a gamble and a 24-hour, 7 day-a-week job, and Hamish Dykesknows the value of a good, reliable off-road UTV to get around the farm in allconditions, bringing in lambs that need special care and attention. Hespleased with the performance of the Polaris Diesel 900D throughout theexceptionally busy lambing period and during the course of Lambing Live. TheirNew Zealand Huntaway dogs Doug and Jess thoroughly took to it as well. Justifying the purchase and running costsare really my only concern. The others we tried couldnt do it. Polaris hasbeen good so far. The three main benefits to me and my work from using thePolaris is fuel efficiency, versatility of vehicle and greater road speedthan the previous vehicle. Its still relatively early days yet, but very fewcomplaints so far, so Id give the Polaris Ranger a 9/10. Cant say 10 as therealways has to be room for improvement!
Whilethe BBC series has drawn to a close, work never stops on the Dykes farm or forthe Polaris, says Hamish.