A very successful open day at Peacock & Binnington’s new Halsham depot was the first since the dealer took over the business of long-established Northfield Agricultural Services. David Williams was there.
The event was the public launch of the new trading agreement although Peacock & Binnington acquired its neighbour last autumn. Both were long-established Agco dealers and continuity of service is assured by the retention of the Halsham team following the takeover.
Acquiring Halsham means Peacock & Binnington now represents all Agco brands across all of South Yorkshire from two depots; Selby and Halsham as well as Lincolnshire from three depots at Brigg, Corringham and Louth.
Northfield Agricultural had been trading since 1976 at the site and had built a loyal customer base among farmers and contractors in the area and, building its reputation on excellent after-sales service, was an ideal fit for Lincolnshire-based Peacock & Binnington which celebrates 125 years serving the industry this year.
Brands represented include Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Valtra and JCB along with quality complementary franchises; Krone, Joskin, Vaderstad, McHale, McConnel, Alpego, Cherry Products, LH Agro, Stihl, Draper, Stocks-Ag, Martin Lishman, Stewart Trailers, Larrington Trailers and Albutt.
Dealer staff from across Peacock & Binnington’s depots were at the event assisted by manufacturer representatives to cope with the large number of product and service enquiries from new and existing customers and although the weather on the day was ideal for completing spring drilling and spraying, the attendance was excellent as customers were keen to meet the extended team and show their support for the dealer.
Benefits of the new trading agreement
Massey Ferguson area sales representative David Broad explained that customer benefits from the new trading agreement include support and back-up from a bigger dealer along with more specialist technical support, sales support and a wider range of demonstration equipment. “Peacock & Binnington depots all run as separate identities but with the backing of the parent company, and this means the Halsham branch will be no different and the dedication to customer care by George and Richard over many years will continue. Customers I have spoken with since the autumn when the business was taken over have been very positive and appreciate the benefits it offers and are excited by possibilities including a wider range of products available.
“Luckily there was quite a wide overlap of franchises between the neighbouring dealers which helped create a natural fit and this not only benefits customers, but both businesses too.”
More choice and improved back-up
“We always receive great service, the depot is next door to our farm and we know the team is available whenever we need them,” explained local farmer Jonathan Hodgson who is pictured with daughters Lucy and Isabel and dealer senior sales support representative Rob Atkins. Jonathan said his tractor fleet includes two Fendts – a 720 and an 828, he runs a Massey Ferguson combine and also has a JCB Loadall 541-70 bought from the dealer. The 280ha farm is all arable growing combinable crops and Jonathan said that he believes service and parts back-up will become even better while a wider pool of machinery brands will allow a wider choice. “It’s all very reassuring for us,” he added.
Superb accuracy from latest drill
Humberside Farmers is based at North Newbald, near York and foreman Paul Smith is pictured at the open day with members of the Vaderstad and dealer teams. The farm is all-arable with crops including oilseed rape, potatoes and peas although most of the 1,400ha is down to cereals.
Vaderstad products used include a Rapid 6m drill plus Carrier, NZ and TopDown cultivators. “We stick with Vaderstad products as we have found we can always depend on them,” explained Paul. “The Rapid RDA600S drill is our third Rapid, and the latest is fitted with SeedEye ensuring superb accuracy. We changed from a 5m TopDown to a 6m model last year because we found it is more of a soil conditioner than a simple cultivator. On some of our heavier ground in particular, since moving to the TopDown our crops have been the best ever, and we credit much of this improvement to its performance.”
Award-winning combine on show
The Fendt Ideal combine displayed was the same machine which had recently appeared as the machinery prize winner at the 2019 Farmers Guide Awards for Excellence, and it had been cleaned and polished ahead of the open day by JGF Valeting based at Doncaster. Pictured with the Ideal are (l-r) Fendt area sales manager Simon Hewitt, Peacock & Binnington harvest sales support manager Scott Nicholson, JGF Valeting’s James Fisher and Ryan Baines and Fendt harvesting product manager Ant Risdon.
Unique bale clamp
The new bale clamp from Albutt is unique, according to business development manager Dan Cross. The F650HX has Hardox tines for resistance to breaking or bending and a hydraulic flow divider valve ensures both sides close and open simultaneously. The lower tine bar folds up for transport and the clamp is suitable for round, Hesston, mini-Hesston and Quadrant bales.
Good service always available
The Robinson family farms at Sunk Island, south-east of the Halsham depot. Trading as CG Robinson & Son the all-arable farm is mainly combinable crops although some land is rented out for vining peas. A Fendt 6275LMCS combine was purchased for the 2018 harvest with a 22ft PowerFlow table. “Our previous combine was almost identical but had a standard 20ft table and the improved performance resulting from the more even crop flow is impressive,” explained its main operator James Robinson.
The farm has dealt with the Halsham dealer team since 1976 when it started offering Massey Ferguson products, and also operates a Challenger crawler. “Good service was always available,” said Michael Robinson, “and I am happy that the team at the depot is remaining while becoming part of a larger dealer will give us a wider choice of brands for the future. The Challenger was bought from Peacock & Binnington’s Brigg depot as that was the nearest franchised dealer at the time, but it will be much more convenient going forward being able to have it serviced more locally.”
Since changing tractor brands to Valtra in 2007, the Hodgson family has never looked back. “We had used another brand for many years without problems, but then started to get reliability issues, and got fed up with big repair bills,” explained Will Hodgson. “We had heard a lot about Valtra and were recommended the brand for its reliability so we bought two; a T151 and a T131 both from the dealer looking after our area at that time. “We upgraded the T131 to a second T151 quite quickly then ran both until 2017 when we changed one for a new T174 Versu from Peacock & Binnington at Brigg which was our local dealer at that time. The improvements over the older model were significant and we have just taken delivery of a second T174, but an Active specification in February this year,” he added. “We have 240ha of arable cropping as well as bed and breakfast pigs and the Valtras spend much of their time on the pig unit and perform field top work and transport tasks. They are excellent for road work.
“This Peacock & Binnington Halsham depot will be a big advantage for us as, although the service from Brigg was always excellent, this location is much more convenient. We have no doubts at all that we will remain with Valtra in future and are confident that back-up available from this depot will be just as good.”
Back-up always available
Mick Grant and his son Harry are pictured with George Cross and one of the Massey Ferguson tractors displayed. Trading as William Grant (Paul) Ltd and based at Roos, just a few miles from the Halsham depot, the farm is mainly arable with pigs too. Harry, who is the fifth generation of the family to farm there, commented that almost all the machinery was supplied by the dealer including Massey Ferguson tractors. “Our first Massey Ferguson was a 595 bought in the late 1970s and was the first sold by Northfield. We have run many over the years but now have a 7618 and a 7624 as well as a Fendt and a Challenger. Other machinery supplied from the depot includes a Vaderstad Rapid drill – our third of the type, a TopDown and a Rexius press. Trailers are from the dealer as well, and we have a Joskin tanker for the slurry.
“There has always been back-up available any time we have needed it, and we believe that with the previous team remaining and the back-up of Peacock & Binnington going forward it’s all very positive.”
Sprayer adjusts to ground contours
A Fendt Rogator self-propelled sprayer was displayed at an extreme angle to demonstrate its ability to adjust to follow ground contours. In the cab are enthusiastic youngsters Alfie (left) and Alex Watt, sons of Halsham depot administrator Colette Watt.
Busy day for precision farming company
Topcon specialist LH Agro had an indoor stand at which sales and service engineers Robert Reed and James Donger were kept busy explaining features and benefits of the latest precision farming products. Automatic headland turns are available through X25 and X35 terminals with customisation including specifying the number of bouts skipped and the ability to automatically select all the tramlines first and then work the areas between.
The new AE535 electric steering motor is more compact than its predecessor allowing tidier installation with a shallower motor unit and built in status lights and switches.
New slurry applicator on display
A new Joskin Quadro 20,000-litre slurry applicator using the company’s Vacu-Storm pumping system was displayed, awaiting delivery to its new owner Tim Burdass. Trading as J&M Burdass based at Kilham, Yorks, the farming business includes arable cropping – a mix of owned and whole farm contracted and pigs which are fattened for JSR. The tanker has been purchased to apply pig slurry and Tim explained that, equipped with a John Deere NIR sensor to measure nitrogen, phosphorous and potash, it is suitable for slurry or digestate and will be used also to provide contract slurry application for farms in the area. “With John Deere software in the cab, we can monitor and control variable rate applications to make the most of the nutrients available,” he explained.
Keen interest in induction heater
A wide range of Draper workshop tools was displayed, many available with special discounts for the event, but the product attracting most attention was an induction heater priced at just £525. “It’s designed for rusted components such as bolts and bearings,” explained Draper area sales manager Richard Adams. “It quickly heats metal components of up to 42mm diameter and is supplied with three pre-formed induction coils suitable for most farm situations. There is also a free-style length of cable which can be looped around components where the supplied loops aren’t suitable. It runs from a 13-amp mains socket, the tool and wire remains cool and there is no naked flame so it’s much safer than using oxy-acetylene in the workshop,” he added.
Handler attachments on display
Farming at Green Hammerton, Tim explained that the farm has a Holstein dairy herd and also grows arable crops. A fleet of Massey Ferguson machinery includes tractors from a 1960s 35X to a 2-year old telehandler, used with Cherry Products attachments, and a Massey Ferguson combine bought second-hand last year.
“We deal with Peacock & Binnington’s Selby depot and have always received good service – we rate them 10 out of 10,” he explained.
Alpego was an established brand for Northfield Agricultural Services but is new to Peacock & Binnington and sales from the Halsham depot have been mainly power harrows, flail mowers and drills,” explained area sales manager for the north of England Robert Wilmshurst. “This area includes a lot of heavy ground and our power harrows have a full three-year drive-line and structural warranty which is reassuring for users.”
Busy day for grain storage products firm
On the Martin Lishman stand, grain storage products including the Floor Vent system as well as small sprayers for field margins were creating considerable interest, explained sales executive Tom Pickering and national sales manager Joel Capper.
Popular verge and hedge-cutters
Both Peacock & Binnington and Northfield Agricultural Services have represented McConnel in their trading areas for many years, selling large numbers of Power Arm verge and hedge-cutters to contractors and farmers explained territory manager Ian Lax who is pictured with one of the latest models. “Most are 5.5–8.0m models and as well as the hedge-cutters, the dealer has recently supplied an Agribuggy.”
Straw baling demand
Halsham is the only Peacock & Binnington depot from which McHale machinery is available, having been offered by Northfield Agricultural for many years. “Most demand is for straw baling with the large number of arable farms in the area explained McHale sales manager for the north of England Mike Jackson. The V660 belt baler accounts for most sales and customers know it will be backed up by great service from an enthusiastic team.”
Excellent dealer back-up
The Farnaby family farms at Scorborough, near Driffield, Yorks and pictured (l-r) are Dom Cuthbert with his uncle Andrew, George Cross and Colin and Harry Farnaby.
The mixed farm includes a commercial beef suckler herd of pure Limousin cattle and much of the machinery used has been supplied by the Halsham depot. “We bought our first Massey Ferguson 2620 from George and still run Massey Ferguson today,” explained Colin. “Back-up from the dealer is excellent and we have always found the team loyal to us, so we are loyal to them. We are pleased that following the takeover by Peacock & Binnington the original team remains involved and we can appreciate that going forward there will be a wider range of machinery available to us.
“We run a JCB Loadall too, and bought a second-hand Vaderstad drill and we currently operate a fleet of four Massey Ferguson tractors which we try to keep up to date. It’s a fairly reliable brand; we get very few issues and with the good team backing it up at this dealer we have just what we need.”