A new purpose-built depot at Brigg, North Lincs has been opened by Claas dealer Marsh
A new purpose-built depot at Brigg, North Lincs has been opened by Claas dealer Marsh, part of the manufacturer-owned Eastern Harvesters Group. David Williams attended.
Marsh and Seward serve customers in the east of England through a network of seven depots, from Cambridgeshire to North Yorkshire, Seward branches serving the north of the area and Marsh, the area to the south. The exclusive franchises held by the dealer include Claas, Lemken and KRM together with a small number of specialised equipment brands.
/ More than 500 customers attended, and the evening started with a presentation by Trevor Tyrrell and Richard Vaughan.
The new Brigg depot replaces a previous site in the town, which the dealer had outgrown and which presented access problems for larger machinery. Built on a greenfield site of 1.5 acres the new depot has a foot print of 14,000ft2 with the impressive workshop occupying almost half, and there is also a very extensive parts area with ample room for further expansion.
The open evening included a presentation by Claas UK CEO Trevor Tyrrell, and Claas Retail Operations director Richard Vaughan and was attended by more than 500 local farmers and contractors. A comprehensive selection of machinery was on show from the tractor, materials handling and green and golden harvest ranges, many items carrying ‘sold’ labels as they were awaiting delivery to owners immediately after the event.
/ A selection of new and used machinery was on show.
“Customer attendance has been overwhelming and testament to the all year round hard work of the Brigg team,” commented Richard Vaughan. “With such glorious weather we expected a number of customers to be busy with field operations but it would appear everyone has supported the event and joined in the celebrations of the opening of this state-of-the-art facility which sets a new standard in the area and industry and as part of a long term strategic investment plan it puts the business in a strong position for a very long time.
“Support from customers also came in the form of some serious enquiries for most products but in particular the now very popular Claas tractors and also machines from the Lemken product line with a number of orders confirmed on the evening.”
Pictured during a brief quiet moment are (l-r) parts manager for the Brigg depot Phil Dent, being assisted during the evening by parts manager for Ulceby Cross Guy Wiley, and branch parts supervisor Dan Tagg.
The new showroom is well-stocked and special offers during the evening tempted many visitors to stock up with service items and accessories, keeping the staff busy.
Senior representatives from Claas UK welcomed visitors and joined in the evening celebrations. Retail Operations director Richard Vaughan is pictured (left) with Claas UK CEO Trevor Tyrrell.
Attending the depot opening was farms manager Stuart Meeson, who was with Graham Rowles Nicholson – owner of Limestone Farming Company. The land is at two main locations; Willoughton and Stow, and three Claas Lexion combines are operated including two conventional 750s and a hybrid 770. The two smaller machines harvest crops on the heavy land farm at Stow, including winter wheat, oilseed rape, winter barley and some beans with conventional headers while a draper header is used on one combine for grass seed. “Having two smaller combines gives us the flexibility to continue harvesting the main crops with one machine while the other is harvesting rye grass seed,” explained Stuart. “The farm has quite small fields too, so a bigger machine with a larger header would be less convenient and, when we worked out cost comparisons, it made little difference to operate two medium-sized machines than it would one larger one. We have operated three combines for the past seven years, replacing five of another brand for the three Claas, and our decision has proved successful.”
Stuart changed the fleet to Claas when he became manager. “I was very familiar with the brand,” he said, “and knew the machines were reliable and a step ahead of anything else. The back-up from Marsh and Claas is incredible too. During one harvest we measured the average call-out response times and from the telephone call to having a service technician in the field, a distance of approximately 14 miles; we never waited more than 30 minutes.”
The lighter land farm at Willoughton has a six-year rotation and cropping also includes vining peas and sugar beet. The larger hybrid 770 operates with a 35ft header.
As well as arable cropping, the farm enterprise includes up to 5,000 pigs on a 750-sow unit and 350 suckler cows, for which the barley straw is baled. A new enterprise commencing operation next year is an AD plant, which will be fed partly with pig slurry and also with maize, which is being introduced into the farm’s cropping rotation.
Other Claas products operated by the farm include three Claas Arion tractors; a 630, a 640 and a 650, the fleet updated every five years.
Stuart is pictured at the event with one of the farms’ three new combines for the coming season.
BASF regional sales manager Adrian Gray was at the open evening, explaining the benefits of his company’s range of rodenticides. “We had a really busy season between October and April, the mild winter allowing rats to breed aggressively,” he said. “Farmers used a large amount of bait but there is less evidence of them around buildings now, although we will almost certainly see large numbers again in the autumn as winter approaches. Neosorex Gold Ratpacks are ideal for placing in areas where consumption is slower as they remain fresh for along time, but loose bait works best where populations are higher as it offers a low-cost and is palatable with rapid results. The assurance scheme has meant most farmers plan ahead and are better prepared for infestations, allowing problems to be detected sooner and dealt with more quickly.” Adrian added, “As a company we are very pleased to be associated with the Marsh & Seward brands which have always aggressively supported our full product ranges from all its locations.”
A demonstration of the Gates hydraulic hose assembly equipment used by Marsh workshop and parts staff attracted considerable interest during the evening. “The Gates system uses all components, including the hose, manufactured by Gates so we can offer our exclusive leak-free guarantee,” explained distributor Kiowa sales engineer Chris Hodgson, who is pictured (right) with sales engineer Stevie Hudson (centre) and Marsh parts manager Phil Dent. “The Gates system is the best on the market by a long way,” said Phil, and an advantage of the company is that it offers regular refresher courses for our staff, keeping them up to date with the latest legislation. When Claas hoses fail, then we will always try to fit a genuine replacement part but for everything else we use Gates assemblies and, as more customers become aware of the free hose assembly service we offer, demand is increasing.”
Attending the event was Mark Worrall from Norman Jackson Farms Ltd, the main base of which is at Appleby. Approximately 3,500ha (1,413 acres) is farmed across 16 locations and cropping includes wheat, oilseed rape, sugar beet, poppies and vining peas. “We deal extensively with Marsh at Brigg,” he explained, “and describe the after-sales department as the ‘fourth emergency service’. The staff are excellent, which is very important to us as we operate a lot of Claas equipment including two Lexion combines on tracks, with another hired in during busy periods. Our machinery is contract-hired and updated every three years. We also run five Arion 650s and one Axion 950 tractor as well as five Scorpion telehandlers, along with an older model.
“The addition of the Lemken franchise to the products on offer through Marsh has pleased us, as we have had to buy implements elsewhere, but I can see that we will be purchasing cultivation equipment from the dealer too in future and this will suit us well. Marsh is a really good, efficient and well-organised outfit and the level of support and interest we receive from Claas at Saxham is great too. It just seems to be the whole Claas ethic about the way it does business which is great.”
Pictured (l-r) Marsh general sales manager, Philip Dover; Mark Worrall, workshop foreman Steve Gillett, farm machinery operators Kevin Hill and Michael Ogg, and Dale Griffin, who looks after the farm’s account.
Branton, Yorkshire-based farmers, Brian and Alison Cheetham, are pictured with Marsh sales representative Dale Griffin and some of the Lemken products on show. The Cheetham’s 162ha (400-acre) farm is all-arable and crops include sugar beet, wheat, barley, oilseed rape, maize and beans on land which Brian describes as very variable, and includes heavy clay and peat. A Lemken Juwel 8 5f reversible plough had been selected by the farm, chosen for its build quality and value and Brian said its performance was proving excellent, with 80 per cent of the land ploughed each year. The farm also operates a Claas Lexion combine, a Scorpion telehandler and a KRM fertiliser spreader, and an Arion tractor used with the plough. “We like dealing with Marsh for the service and its location, and deal mainly with Dale Griffin through the Brigg and Markham Moor depots. Taking on the Lemken franchise is a great move for Marsh and we are already considering the purchase of a power-harrow drill from the dealer.”
Michelin tyre specialists were advising farmers and contractors on the most suitable tyres for their applications as well as answering technical queries. Tyres on display included the latest YieldBib range designed especially for self-propelled sprayers and spreaders. The new tyres use Ultraflex technology to provide a large increase in load capacity over AgriBib tyres of the same size and fit in to the range between the AgriBib and premium SprayBib tyres which offer even greater capacity, up to 7.75t per tyre, and are designed for the largest self-propelled machines. Pictured with the tyres are (l-r) Michelin agricultural account manager Ian Whitwell, BA Bush tyres representative Rob Hoggarth, Marsh engineer Ivan Green and BA Bush area sales representative Jake Whitwell.
Also delighted with his decision to purchase a Lemken plough was Malcolm Vaughan, farm manager for Sir Richard Sutton Estates Ltd, which is based at Stainton le Vale, near Market Rasen, Lincs. Approximately 3,300ha (8,170 acres) are farmed in one main and several outlying blocks and cropping includes wheat, barley, oilseed rape and beans as well as a small area of sugar beet. “Some of our land is quite tricky to plough as the soil doesn’t slide well along conventional mouldboards,” explained Malcolm, “so we decided to try slatted bodies and they were significantly better. Following the demonstration earlier this year of a large semi-mounted plough, we have ordered a new 8f Lemken Vari-Diamant 11V capable of ploughing on-land or in-furrow and which is due to arrive in July.
“We are pleased that Marsh has the Lemken franchise now and believe it will be very successful for the dealer. We have operated Claas combines since the 1990s, before Marsh had the franchise, and get on well with the brand. Now dealing with Marsh and the Brigg depot, we are always very impressed with the after-sales department and, in particular, the service manager, John Gillett whose attitude is that a broken down combine must be returned to work as soon as possible by any means possible. We are always looking at what is out there but remain confident that no other dealer would give us the back-up we receive from the Marsh team. We are considering purchasing a new telehandler this year and will be hiring a Scorpion for the harvest to evaluate it, as that way we can get a true picture of what the machine is like to own, and far closer to reality than if we just borrow one on demonstration for a few days,” he added.