Dave Baverstock spoke to Farmers Guide about his new role at the helm of PHR Rayne, where he has worked for more than 25 years.
Having begun life in the agricultural industry as a farm worker in his teens, Dave Baverstock joined PHR Rayne as a farm mechanic/engineer in 1994. After more than two and a half decades with the company, he is now the new owner.
Commenting on the takeover, he says he is feeling a mix of “fear, apprehension and excitement”, but adds: “I knew if I didn’t take over, the business would disappear and our customers were keen to see it stay with the people they knew. It’s still a family business as one of my sons has come on board as a director and we work side-by-side.”
Dave says he has seen many changes at PHR during his time with the company.
“When I started, the basic stock tractors were just 110hp,” he explains. “Now they are much bigger – the largest I’ve worked on recently was a massive 400hp. Everything has grown in size, including farms. Smallholdings have gradually been taken over by contracting firms.
“The dynamics of the sales process has changed, as we sell less but the numbers are up as the equipment is bigger and better equipped to do the job. Nowadays, manufacturers are reacting to the needs of the customer and not so much bespoke engineering is needed, but we still find we have to adapt and adjust some items to meet the client’s needs.”
Dave is looking to stay true to the company’s roots and is not planning to make significant changes, but rather to establish the business as the go-to provider for service and sales, reinforcing the message that it is stable and able to meet local agricultural needs. Looking ahead to the next five years, he says it will remain a family company – local and personal.
“We have a good relationship with other dealers and like working alongside them, rather than trying to be their competition. If we expand, it will be purely to satisfy the customer needs with an extra engineer or office staff to keep the business running smoothly.”
He says the team are not afraid to take on a challenge. “If we can’t do what the client needs, we work with other local companies to get the job done.
“We are a Fendt specialist and though I have worked on most farm equipment, I have a special place for Fendt in my heart,” he adds. “They offer a complete package for the client. We can adjust a piece of equipment for bespoke engineering, or rebuild the engine etc.”