The annual open day by G&J Peck Ltd at its Spalding branch always attracts visitors
New franchises, new machinery and the opportunity to chat with dealer and manufacturer staff and to meet up with friends and colleagues from the agricultural industry, were the main attractions for visitors to one of the biggest dealer open days in the eastern counties. David Williams reports.
The annual open day, organised by G&J Peck Ltd at its Spalding, Lincs branch always attracts a large number of visitors, and exhibitors from the machinery trade. Pecks is a main dealer for New Holland, Case IH and JCB, with six branches in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, and its customers include arable, livestock and mixed farmers as well as specialist vegetable and root crop producers. For the open day, sales representatives and product specialists from all the branches converge at Spalding, making the open days an excellent opportunity to find out about the latest machinery and services available, and to conclude a deal with special offers available on many of the product ranges.
This year’s big news was the appointment of the dealer by Krone to represent the brand in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and parts of Lincolnshire through its Pecks AgriTrac branches, mirroring the areas for which the dealer currently represents JCB and Amazone.
Also shown by the dealer for the first time at an open day was the Dezeure trailer, which is being imported to the UK by Pecks to complement its specialist AVR product range which has proved popular with potato and onion growers in the area.
JCB’s latest 4000-series Fastrac, which has replaced the 2000-series was displayed, with the dealer having already taken six firm orders from customers across its branches.
Knight’s latest T4 self-propelled sprayer was another machine attracting considerable interest, with features making it ideally suited to use on the larger arable and vegetable farms.
New Holland’s record breaking CR10.90 combine was on show, together with examples from all the manufacturer’s main tractor ranges from the Boomer compacts to the large T8 series.
The world’s largest production tractor; Case IH’s Quadtrac 620, with up to 692hp available, was displayed along with the latest Maxxum, Puma and Magnum models.
The Krone franchise fits in perfectly with the dealer’s other main product ranges, according to Krone national sales manager Richard Shelton “It complements the Amazone range superbly, and the Krone finance schemes operate through JCB Finance, with which the dealer staff and customers are very familiar,” he said. “It was a big decision for us to appoint Pecks to represent our brand, but we know it is a good dealer which has built its business on its reputation for quality and service, just like Krone. Our big square balers are ideally suited to farmers and contractors in Peck’s trading area and we know the dealer staff see the appointment as a massive opportunity for them to gain extra business.
“The round balers will be popular for livestock and mixed farms and we expect to see steady sales growth of tedders and rakes, although demand in the area tends to be lower for these due to the types and sizes of farm,” he added.
Krone’s BigX forage harvesters are also expected to be popular with the dealer’s customers.
“We know the BigX range is ideally suited to the needs of farmers and contractors producing silage for AD plants, particularly those with higher horsepower,” he explained. “There are already several larger models in use in the area and we know that Pecks will offer these existing owners the same high standards of after sales service that they provide to customers who have made their purchases from them.
“The long-standing and very successful JCB franchise speaks volumes about the high standards of service provided by the dealer and the professional relationship it shares with its customers and we believe the Krone products and, in particular the round and square balers, and forage harvesters, with their reputation for quality and reliability, will appeal to the same users,” he added.
To encourage early sales ahead of the grass harvesting season a zero per cent finance package was launched at the event, to benefit those wishing to purchase mowers, tedders, rakes and round balers and will be available until the end of March. “The scheme allows purchasers to invest in the latest equipment, and spread their costs over three years,” explained Ian Loversidge. “We believe it will be welcomed, particularly by livestock farmers who will also be able to make the most of the tax advantages available by buying before the new tax year begins.”
Pictured at the open day are the Pecks AgriTrac team (l-r) Wayne Cottam, and Ian Loversidge, and from Krone; product support specialist Gary Pettett, Richard Shelton and area sales manager Iain Faulds.
Seen for the first time at a public event, ahead of its official launch at Sima the following week, was Sulky’s Isobus bridge, developed in conjunction with RDS and which allows the company’s Econov spreaders to be controlled from a wider range of makes and models of tractor, including John Deere. “Sometimes compatibility problems between different versions of Isobus can cause issues, which means extra control boxes and screens are needed, but the bridge provides compatibility, allowing the tractor’s standard controls to be used. At a cost of #1,700 the bridge is considerably cheaper than the #5,150 potential cost of the extra equipment and means control is simpler too,” explained Reco area sales manager for the south-east David Parsons.
Pictured with their Xeos Pro 4m power-harrow combination drill were visitors Richard and Edward Green of Rose Hall Farms, Walpole St Andrew, Cambs. Richard explained that the new drill had been ordered in December after the farm had looked at alternative makes and models but was selected for its build quality and general design. “It looks right for the job,” he said, “and will be used for establishing our combinable crops. “The all-arable farm also grows potatoes and sugar beet and Richard added that the family has been dealing with Pecks area sales representative David Blore for many years and receives very good service.
Pecks took on the Claydon drill franchise during autumn 2014, and it was the first time the products had been seen at a Pecks open day. “Costs of establishing crops have become a significant factor and we have had a favourable response from farmers to the direct-drilling concept,” explained Pecks sales specialist Richard Greenacre who is based at the Ramsey branch. “We run a Claydon Hybrid demonstrator and have had considerable interest, especially with the recent low grain prices. The drill can save farmers a lot of money and is well made, and with the company being relatively local, and the Claydon family having its own farm we can take potential customers to meet the Claydon team and to see how the system works in practice. It is a very different system to that used by most farmers currently and there is a need to commit to the process over two to three years before the full benefits become apparent. There are already several users in the area we serve, and we are looking forward to looking after their needs in the future and to learning from their experiences with the drills.” Pictured are members of the Claydon team with Peck’s product specialists; (l-r) Taig Norman, Tom Clark, Jeff Claydon and Richard Greenacre.
Visitors to the open day included local farmers DE Dye & Son who farm at Sutton Crosses, near Spalding, Lincs. The family business currently uses an AVR cultivator, which it has had for seven years and a 2-year-old planter and Wayne Dye commented that the AVR brand has been chosen for the back up available as well as its good design and reliability. “We like the look of the new concept trailed bunker harvester which has a proper swan-neck elevator just as would be fitted to a traditional trailed, which means the trailer loading can be adjusted to minimise damage. We had a demonstration last year of the 2-row version and were very impressed and despite conditions being very wet, we were all surprised how clean the potatoes were after lifting. The AVR 9200 harvester is a machine we would seriously consider purchasing in the future.
“We have purchased a variety of machinery and brands from Pecks over the years and the service has always been good and we are well looked after by Kevin Butler. The AVR back-up is superior to what we have experienced from other brands too and both manufacturer and the dealer are great to deal with,” he added. Pictured with the AVR harvester on show are (l-r) Kevin Butler, Alfie Dye, Wayne Dye, Derek Dye, AVR sales manager Tom Lootens and Dezeure sales manager Siel Himpens.
Dean Bartram of Littleport began using JCB Fastracs for his contracting business in 1995, and now operates seven of the machines. Operations include haulage, baling and de-clodding and the present fleet includes two 8310s, a 3230 and four 2170s as well as two Loadall telescopic handlers, hired in during busy periods. Two new 8310s were ordered recently, one of which has already been delivered with the second due during March and among their first tasks will be miscanthus baling and ploughing while one of the 2170s will be operating a de-stoner. The business serves customers across East Anglia in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Suffolk and Dean commented that the relationship with Pecks is excellent, especially with Kevin who looks after the account. “We receive very good back-up and know that if a problem occurs out of hours then Pecks always finds a solution to keep us going. However, the Fastracs are so reliable we rarely need to use the support but it is good to know it is there,” he explained.
Representatives from Case IH were providing support to the Pecks AgriTrac sales team. Pictured (l-r) are Ross Macdonald, Paul Freeman, Matthew Pratt, Alun Scott, Barry Ward, Wayne Cottam, Philip Stephenson, Kevin Robinson and Trevor Shaw.
The AgriTrac division was well supported on the day, with a full line up of Case IH products from the new Farmall C to the Quadtrac 620 and Axial-Flow 230-series combines, alongside the latest technology from Amazone with the new Pantera 4502 self-propelled sprayer, Cayron plough and ZA-TS spreader to name just a few. Wayne Cottam commented that the order take on both products and indeed the new Krone franchise were excellent on the day and that he would like to extend a big thank you to all of manufacturers and new and existing customers, without who the dealer couldn’t make the open day such a huge success.
The Dezeure trailer range was shown for the first time in the UK at Lamma this year and is being imported by Pecks principally to suit the needs of its many potato growing customers, but also for those transporting forage, maize and root vegetables. With its conveyor belt floor and the ability to raise the discharge point to allow loading into other trailers, lorries or bulk hoppers, it can be used for field to lorry transport reducing the problem of mud being carried onto the road, and will also reduce rutting and compaction in the field with its tri-axle design and large flotation tyres. Pictured with the trailer displayed are (l-r) Kevin Butler, Dezeure sales manager Siel Himpens and AVR sales manager Tom Lootens.
The record-breaking New Holland CR10.90 combine harvester was displayed at the event. With its colossal potential output expected to appeal to many of Pecks customers, it was attracting a lot of interest and the dealer has many requests for demonstrations during the 2015 harvest. Pictured with some of Peck’s New Holland sales team are New Holland specialists at the event; (l-r) Paul Roberts, Tom Clark, Stewart Barnett, David Blore and Richard Greenacre.
Increased interest in machinery for distributing and applying digestate from anaerobic digesters has meant dribble bar systems from SlurryKat have been in demand.
Pictured trying out a New Holland T6.160 cab for size are cousins Finn McCormack and Jack Louth who were attending the open day with Neil Louth, who is employed by farmers PN Watts of Deeping St Nicholas, Cambs.