With more new products and brands on display than most county agricultural shows
With more new products and brands on display than most county agricultural shows, Ernest Doe & Sons’ annual open days attract visitors from all over the UK and the mix of static and working exhibits take almost a full day to fully explore. In its 56th year, the 2016 show took place over three days in early February. David Williams reports.
Few farming events provide as much to see as the annual Doe Show. State of the art Case IH machinery attracted interest and orders in the Ernest Doe Power display area (above) while the working demonstration outside included the Doe Triple D tractors along with Case IH and New Holland tractors and a wide variety of implements.
The two main brands represented by the dealer are Case IH and New Holland, supplied through the dealer’s 19 Ernest Doe and Ernest Doe Power branches across East Anglia and the south east but these are complemented by many quality implement and accessory brands providing everything mechanical that a farmer or contractor could need. The Doe Show is an opportunity to see all that is new and to have a deal on the day with special discounts available, staff on site to negotiate and take orders, and a fantastic selection of ex-demonstration and ex-hire equipment available to buy.
“Everyone knows the market has been tough recently, with farmers and contractors affected by reduced profit margins so we saw the three-day event as an opportunity to work with the customers and sort out deals which would help them work within their financial budgets but, at the same time, keep up to date on their farms and take advantage of the latest and most efficient equipment,” explained Ernest Doe & Sons sales director Graham Parker who has particular responsibility for the New Holland division. “We were delighted to find that visitors to the show expressed optimism regarding the year ahead and were keen to make use of the attractive finance packages on offer, and the many new products we had on display created considerable interest and generated a good number of orders.
“Particular highlights were the latest New Holland T7 HD tractors, for which we received four confirmed orders at the show. It is a superb high specification and highly capable tractor and the orders are an indication of the high regard with which the current New Holland line-up is held.
We also took orders for other New Holland tractors at the show as well as for several new combines too, some of which we had been negotiating for a while, but others which were new enquiries at the show. Buyers of used machines included farmers, contractors and traders from around the UK taking advantage of the opportunity to see everything in one place and to make use of the offers available,” he added.
The Case IH display area included the latest Axial Flow combine harvesters as well as the rubber tracked Rowtrac and other tractors including Farmall, Maxxum, Puma and Magnum models while Ernest Doe Power’s own brand new demonstration Optum 300 was working with a Kuhn 7f reversible plough in the neighbouring field.
On hand at the event to assist the dealer staff were many representatives from the sales and service departments of Case IH and also present were members of the farmers buying group, Fram Farmers, through which members can obtain preferable terms on Case IH products.
The new Case IH Optum 300 is pictured at the event next to the equivalent model in the New Holland range; the T7-315. Both were equipped with 7f reversible ploughs and good working conditions meant visitors to the event could try out the many features designed to optimise working efficiency.
“It has been a very busy event for us,” said Ernest Doe Power general sales manager Gerald Silvey. “We expected a lot of interest in the new Optum as we know it is ideally suited to much of our trading area and, on display, we had the first one sold in the UK, which we will be delivering during the next few weeks. The recently updated Puma CVX range offers cab upgrades and T4 final engines and, with the new Puma CVX 240 boosting to 270hp, it fits right behind the Optum models. The Puma range is traditionally a volume seller for us and this show has not proved any different, with orders taken for several units,” he added.
The show also saw the first order taken for a new 340 Rowtrac, a machine that has created great customer interest. “Headland compaction is a hot topic,” explained Gerald, “and with this machine providing a steering front axle, compaction is much reduced over other twin track units. We have our own Rowtrac 380 available for demonstrations from the end of the show, and this will be constantly busy during the coming months.”
Gerald commented that the business had also enjoyed a busy end to 2015 for sales of the Axial Flow combines, the trend definitely towards larger machines and with customers taking advantage of combine updating to also increase size. “With three models in the flagship 240-series and the ability to offer track and self-levelling options with the smaller 140-series models, we are able to compete in all markets offering a real choice whatever the farm size.
“Another new product which we feel will become increasingly popular is the Horsch Leeb sprayer. It is well built, provides excellent value for money and is a great addition to our portfolio of products we can offer,” he added. “We have sold several trailed machines over the past 18 months and customers appreciate the quality of build and reliability these machines provide.”
Orders and enquiries
Graham Parker commented that smaller to medium value items were also in demand, and grass harvesting equipment sold well with Lely enjoying a busy event taking orders for mowers, mower-conditioners and tedders. Great Plains and Lemken cultivation products attracted many enquiries and requests for demonstrations and there were orders placed for equipment from both brands.
Trailers were another product in great demand and more than 50 per cent of the available ex-hire fleet examples from Marshall and Richard Western found new owners. “Ex-demonstration machinery was offered with zero per cent finance and this was well received and meant a large quantity was sold,” explained Graham. “There are lots of requests for demonstrations too, for as soon as spring cultivations commence and we are certain that many more items will be sold as a result of the 2016 Doe Show during the coming months. It isn’t all about achieving extra sales though; we are a long-established dealer with an excellent team of staff sharing a superb relationship with the agricultural community across the area we serve. The Doe Show allows everyone to get together and enjoy an excellent social occasion, while discussing plans for the coming year,” he said.
As well as its dedicated agricultural product ranges, the dealer has an active construction machinery division, including several leading brands and has seen great demand in recent years with the dealer quickly gaining market share across its area. These products were also displayed at the Doe Show, many of them working, and orders were taken for more than 20 Hyundai tracked excavators and loading shovels, 16 Thwaites dumpers and Bomag machinery too, including trench rollers which have seen increased demand due to health and safety requirements.
General Sales Manager Gerald Silvey is pictured (centre) with Dalbo export manager Hans Otto Wildfang (left) and Dalbo UK Sales Manager Steve Atkin. The Dalbo brand was taken on by Ernest Doe Power five years ago, its range of products ideally suited to the dealer’s sales area, the result of which was that an award was presented by the manufacturer for its sales which were the highest of any European distributor. The same happened at the end of the second year of sales, and the third, fourth and fifth with the recently awarded fifth certificate presented and displayed at the event.
Each year Ernest Doe & Sons sales, parts and service staff nominate their choice of supplier of the year, the decision based on many factors but primarily those which ensure excellent customer service and Dalbo received an award for ‘Supplier of the year’ on the second day of the show. It was the third time Dalbo has received this prestigious award.
Weaving Machinery exhibited its versatile Short Disc cultivator, which has proved very popular with users since its launch last year. Also on display were the company’s Tine Drill, designed for min-till crop establishment and the larger Trailed GD Drill. Ernest Doe Power general sales manager Gerald Silvey commented that there is a growing trend toward minimum disturbance drilling, as farmers across the east of England battle against the black-grass problem and that sales of Weaving drills have increased steadily.
Suton sales technician Kevin Chubbock was kept busy on the company’s stand explaining benefits of the range to prospective customers. The new and improved Sitesweep is a general purpose sweeper and collector and is proving popular with AD plants and construction sites. A built in water tank helps keep dust down, and there is a kerb brush option available too.
Due to be added to the range later this year is a new heavier duty sweeper collector, designed for mounting direct to the telehandler’s carriage and designed for full-time use.
“We have been busy dealing with queries relating to the whole range of products,” said Kevin, “and demand is such that we are encouraging purchasers to order early now for harvest. Everything is in demand, including the popular grain pushers available in 3-7m sizes.
Manitou area sales manager John Concha commented that the company enjoyed a good year of sales in 2015, with increased demand for telehandlers to the construction industry while sales of products to agricultural users in the eastern area were also good, matching the previous year.
The latest MLT960 with 6t lift capacity and 9m maximum height was launched last year but is now generally available. Ernest Doe and Ernest Doe Power branches have supplied several already, primarily for use in AD plants and for large grain stores where the high capacity and fast cycle times are a benefit.
A new Bredal trailed spreader was displayed by KRM, and offers advantages for those wanting to use section control for improved accuracy of applications. A twin feed belt system replaces the traditional single belt and allows different feed rates to the left and right, and works with the discs to achieve section control to 12 sections. Fully Isobus compatible, the spreader is easily linked to the tractor controls and field mapping systems. The F8 version, with a capacity of 5.7m3, is priced at 57,350.
KRM managing director Keith Rennie is pictured with the new spreader for which several orders have been taken already.
Lemken regional service manager for the UK and Ireland Richard Dixon is pictured with the Titan plough which is now available with up to 14f, or 12f when fitted with the FlexPack press. “We expect the FlexPack to prove a popular option for the larger ploughs in this area of the UK,” he said. “We are busy generally, and Ernest Doe has seen significant demand for our products including ploughs and sprayers in particular. The new Vega sprayers have the features professional growers require, and with even wider booms coming later this year we will be able to satisfy the needs of even more larger farms.”
Cherry Products’ star attraction was the versatile Weight Box which managing director Graham Cherry explained always creates a lot of interest. Empty weights of the various models range from 420-900kg and with ballast they are up to 2 or 3t capacity. “We have seen demand growing each year with doubling sales, due to their excellent design,” commented Graham who is pictured (right) with agricultural contractor Stephen Osborne, based in West Sussex and whose activities are predominantly forage related as well as combine harvesting for local farmers. Most other general farm operations are carried out too, he explained.
South-West area sales manager for Spearhead, Dan Mallard, is pictured with the new Rollicut 170 mower, described as ideal for estate and paddock use. It has a 1.7m cutting width, three rotors and height is adjusted via the rear roller. Also available in 2.1, 2.3 and 2.9m cutting widths, the 1.7m model costs 5,800 and Dan said users have been particularly impressed with the even spread of cut grass.
Kuhn’s new Axmat Plus spread monitoring system was displayed at the event and is expected to be available for sale in late 2016 ready for the 2017 season. Analysis of the pattern is provided by 27 radar pick up points and, an advantage of the system is that quality as well as quantity of product is determined. Within four seconds of spreading starting the system has tested the spread pattern and adjusted the machine to suit the type and density of the material, then a consistent spread pattern is maintained throughout the operation. Area sales manager Paul Gregory explained that the technology is available for all Isobus-controlled Kuhn spreaders, including those manufactured from 2014, and can be retro-fitted to existing machines. Pictured with the Axmat Plus display unit are (l-r) Jonathan Lovell, Paul Gregory, Matt Grew and Tim Holliday.
Opico grass products and Maschio power harrows and drills were displayed on Opico’s stand. Maschio product specialist David Day said the event was busy for the company. “Both the grassland and arable product divisions have been very busy,” he said. “We started the event taking an order for a 6m Aquila Rapido drill which had been an existing enquiry but it was a great opportunity to confirm the order. This will be supplied to a Suffolk farmer through the Marlesford branch. We also took an order during the first morning for a 4m power harrow which is being supplied south of the Thames to a farmer close to the Ringmer depot.”
Opico specialist Glenn Bootman reported considerable interest in grass harrows and the sward slitter as well as the sward lifter, with farmers and landowners keen to improve grassland and pasture quality. The new MicroPro Avadex applicator was also creating interest. “Since its launch in 2015, black-grass and Avadex have been at the forefront of the minds of arable farmers and we have sold tractor linkage mounted as well as trailed versions for use with ATVs and UTVs. The trailed unit with an integral Honda power unit is priced at 20,462,” he explained, “and we have had more enquiries today at the show for that than we have anything else.”
Demand for cordless outdoor power tools is growing, according to Husqvarna specialist business development manager Gary Philpott, who is pictured with a new battery-powered electric blower capable of producing an air volume equivalent to that of a 50cc petrol-powered unit. “The attraction of battery power is that there is virtually no maintenance needed, no stale fuel issues and the sound levels are lower, which means operators can often hear what is going on around them better than they could when using an engine-powered tool. It is convenient too, as it is ready to work at the touch of the button,” he said.
“In our chainsaw range, the 365 petrol powered model with its 65cc engine tends to be most popular with farmers, capable of tackling a broad range of tasks and very versatile, whereas the electric models offer performance roughly equivalent to a 35cc saw and will work with bars up to 14 inches,” he added.
The electric blower demonstrated by Gary operates with a backpack battery capable of providing up to three hours of continuous operation, and it costs approximately 420, whereas the equivalent petrol version, in Gary’s left hand costs approximately 700.
The Draper Tools display area was constantly busy with special offers on the wide selection of tools and workshop equipment and sales were brisk as customers expanded and re-stocked their farm tool kits.
Martin Lishman sales director Ian Clayton-Bailey is pictured on the company’s indoor stand at the event. Generating most enquiries were the range of grain pedestals, the company’s FloorVent system, the ATV mounted sprayers and Barn Owl Wireless – which provides remote monitoring of stored crops and automatic activation of drying and cooling equipment. “Since we introduced the store monitoring system interest has continued to grow and more stores are using it, including many large grain storage companies and co-operatives as well as smaller farms,” said Ian. “The reassurance provided by remote monitoring cannot be over-estimated and knowing that a warning will sound if the stored crop condition exceeds the pre-set parameters provides peace of mind.”
The Marshall Trailers franchise was taken on by Ernest Doe during 2014, and has proved an early success, the line-up providing something to suit the needs of farmers and contractors across the east of England. David Marshall is factory-based usually but also helps out at shows, and he is pictured with the new hybrid dump trailer which is designed to provide genuine usable capacity, he explained “We offer versions rated from 6-16t,” he explained, “and whereas most dump trailers can’t actually accommodate the rated load, our range does, and is proving popular with users.”
The dump trailer is sold through both the agricultural and construction divisions of Ernest Doe and it has an 8mm floor and 6mm sides and there is the option of a hydraulic rear door.
“We are really pleased with the success of our brand with customers of Ernest Doe,” expressed David. “The addition of them to the dealer hire fleet means customers have been able to try them before buying and they have been well received.
East Anglia-based Shelbourne Reynolds enjoyed a busy event, with particular interest in the latest 800-series hedgecutters which have replaced the previous 700-series models. The new models have increased boom length and the other big change is the frame with a new hitching system making it easier to mount and dismount the sprayers from the tractor. A new axle subframe allows the lower lift arms to remain on the tractor and these can be used to lift the hedgecutter from the ground to working height, after which the axle bracket mounts are latched. This allows faster hitching which means the tractor can be easily released for other tasks and it is a feature only available currently for the 800-series models. Other upgrades include a 30 per cent larger oil tank with a larger radiator to optimise efficiency by maintaining a low oil temperature. Maintenance is simple with a pull-out screen. Auto-reverse is incorporated into the fan control to keep it clear of debris. The slew has a greater angle of operation, taking it to 103 degrees rather than the previous 90 and this maintains a narrower transport width. LED lights are standard as is a centre strobe light. Also new on the stand was a 6m telescopic. The new 660T provides the flexibility of telescopic operation on a standard 600 frame, and it is equipped with a 70hp hydraulic system and simple controls. It is a basic trimmer with a decent reach and competitively priced compared with the higher specification 700 series, at just 20,795. Also new in the range is the 457 which has a 5.7m reach and replaces the 450 with a 5m reach. This is priced at 14,186.
Pictured on the stand at the event are; (l-r) Sales director Neil Smith, demonstrator Adam Whitaker, sales administrator Clair Mills, service manager James Swinstead, and regional sales manager Ian Taylor-Balls.
The huge 24m Megaroll 2430 folding rolls from Dalbo were displayed for the first time at Agritechnica in Germany late last year, and have immediately proved to be in demand on UK farms with orders received from the day of their launch. The working area at the Doe Show provided an opportunity for potential purchasers to see them in action, folding and unfolding between working and transport positions. There will be full availability for 2017.
On the Horsch stand, the Avatar drill, available in 6, 8 and 12m working widths was generating interest, its low-disturbance crop establishment attracting farmers keen to minimise the stimulation of black-grass seeds. A test machine operated in Essex during 2015 proved very successful. A split hopper allows combined grain and fertiliser drilling and the row spacing is 16.6cm. The drill weighs just 6.5t in its standard format but with extra weight added, it can achieve up to 220kg pressure per coulter for added penetration, enabling it to drill direct into hard, dry stubbles. “We enjoy selling the Horsch range of products,” said Fyfield branch area sales manager Ian Kirby. “We know we can rely on very good back-up for our customers- it is a good franchise to have. We have customers speaking very highly of the Joker and Sprinter drills as well as the Terrano cultivator which suits the heavy land in our area.” Ian is pictured (left) with Horsch eastern region sales manager John McCauley.
Demand for starter chargers was high in the Sealey display area with farmers looking ahead to harvest and knowing machinery will soon need to be removed from winter storage and prepared for use. The most popular unit for farm use currently is the 360-amp model, explained area sales manager Tom Feakes, who is pictured with southern regional manager George Sealey.
Tom is pictured (left) with George and two of the solar-powered welding helmets which were on special offer and had almost sold out at the event, j