In early February each year the UK’s largest dealer event attracts farmers, contractors, foresters and construction workers from across East Anglia and the south-east to Ulting in Essex. This year marked the 59th Doe Show and David Williams attended.
Held the first week of February, the Doe Show marks the end of the pheasant shooting season and provides an opportunity for the dealer, farmers and estate owners to get together and discuss priorities for the coming year.
The event has grown considerably over the years and brings together at one location products from all the main franchises of Case IH division Ernest Doe Power and New Holland division Ernest Doe, both part of the parent business Ernest Doe & Sons Ltd.
Most product displays are static, with each supplier having its own stand space but there are also working demonstrations on the dealer’s farm at the rear of the depot. The latest Case IH and New Holland tractors perform cultivation tasks with a selection of implements, but a highlight for many is the annual vintage display, where Doe Triple D tractors, Fordson and Case tractors can be seen at work.
Busy three days
“We are very lucky having this event to start our year,” commented sales director Graham Parker. “It’s a big investment for us but this year the level of enquiries and sales was the best since 2015. Because the event is over three days, there is an opportunity for customers to attend regardless of weather or other events and although often it is quieter on the third day, this year the number of enquiries received and orders placed was just as good as on the first day.”
Ernest Doe Power general sales manager Gerald Silvey agreed. “It was an excellent show for us resulting in a lot of business done at the event and many enquiries to follow up in the coming months. The Case IH tent proved popular with visitors and on the first day it was the busiest I have ever seen it. The latest Case IH 50-series combines were on display, with features to increase productivity and reduce driver effort, and feedback from those who had come especially to view them was extremely positive.
Graham said ex-hire and second-hand equipment sold well and that even though there were a large number of Richard Western and Marshall trailers on offer, most sold during the three days with the remainder likely to be ordered within a week of the event finishing.
Good, used grassland machinery was also very popular and Graham said that by the end of the third day the entire stock of mowers, rakes and tedders had been sold.
New machinery was also in demand, and SIP grassland machinery was a highlight. “Taking on SIP has turned out to be a good decision for us, and it’s obvious from comments received and the increased levels of interest that the brand is gaining a strong reputation,” he said.
Two new combines were sold, as well as most of the used harvesters on offer. “One customer noticed how well used combines were selling,” commented Graham, “and asked for a price for his current machine as a trade in. He called the next day to place an order for a new replacement.”
New tractors sold included a New Holland T8 Smarttrax along with other Case IH and New Holland models. Graham said availability of the New Holland T6 mid-size model with DynamicCommand twin-clutch transmission has resulted in a high level of interest and increased sales, and is almost as smooth as a CVT and extremely efficient.
“What has become apparent is that many smaller family farms are investing in new machinery, and in particular new tractors. They are taking the opportunity to invest in future-proofing their businesses for the coming years with efficient, reliable machinery,” Graham continued.
KRM fertiliser applicators, the range of Dal-Bo machinery and Maschio flail mowers all enjoyed a particularly successful event with record numbers of orders. Manitou handlers also attracted many enquiries from potential customers.
“We invested late last year in a large number of Marshall flat trailers which we knew were ideal for our customers,” commented Graham. “These were offered at a special price during the Doe Show and all sold before the end of the event.
“Construction equipment also proved popular, with orders placed for excavators, dumpers and rollers, of which several excavators were ordered by farmers for ditching and estate maintenance applications.
“It was an excellent show for us in terms of orders placed, but also the level of interest and serious enquiries from farmers planning ahead. Machinery often isn’t available off the shelf as it used to be, so leaving it late to order major items has become risky and it seems those in the industry are increasingly planning ahead and ordering replacement machines in plenty of time.”
Combines available for 2019 harvest
Axial Flow 50-series combines are available for the first time for the 2019 harvest, following a successful launch and targeted demonstration last year. The machine displayed was awaiting delivery to a customer who committed without trying the latest innovations.
“The 50-series models gain extra automation over previous 40-series versions,” explained product specialist Paul Freeman. “Structurally they are similar, including the engine power but even an average user should see at least 10 per cent extra productivity and some considerably more.
“AFS Harvest Command ties in with systems such as automatic guidance to maximise productivity and some features are options while others are standard.
“Among the options is hydraulic table angle adjustment, allowing the table to be tilted forward or back to optimise cutting and collecting performance in a range of crops and working conditions.”
Feed rate control was available previously and operated by monitoring drive-line effort to assess the density of crop passing through the machine and grain losses to set working limits. An enhanced version is more sensitive, based on engine load measurements and very small changes are detected instantly for optimum working efficiency.
“It’s far more reactive,” explained Paul. “When there is the opportunity to increase the travel speed the machine takes it.”
Additional sensors in the sieve box monitor air pressure. “A thick layer of grain on top of the sieves increases the air pressure, and the management system decides whether to open or close the sieves, adjust the fan speed or vary the travel speed to find the optimum, based on the priority set by the user. Options include maximum output, optimum grain quality or minimum losses, and grain cameras using visible and invisible light sources monitor the clean grain elevator and detect starch from cracked grains, foreign bodies in the sample and other criteria to ensure quality meets the standard selected,” he explained.
Threshing quality is also adjustable from the cab by adjusting the vane angle to either restrict crop flow keeping it within the rotor area for longer, or allow it to move through faster for increased productivity and reduced straw damage.
Pictured with the new 50-series Axial Flow are (l-r) Case IH digital marketer Liam Bond, product demonstrator Ed Watson and Paul Freeman.
New arena grader
On the Logic stand sales representative Oliver Minns is pictured explaining features of the new Surface-Pro arena grader. It has a 1.5m working width and 2 rows of spring tines with operating angle adjustment in 3 stages. Electric raise and lowering is standard and the model displayed had an optional perimeter plough, to pull material in from the edges. Pictured with Oliver and the new grader are James Perry who farms near Stansted, Essex with his son Jack and father Steve.
Strong interest in verge cutter
On the Spearhead stand a new front-mounted verge cutter was attracting considerable interest from farmers and contractors. Pictured with the Rolliflail HD Offset 120 are (l-r) Stuart Hardy and Robert Bush of verge cutting specialists Bush Wheeler Services Ltd, based at Goffs Oak, Herts and Spearhead area sales manager Jack Norton.
Combine headers proving popular
At last year’s Doe Show MacDon combine headers were shown for the first time and after the first full season of sales through the dealer, the products are proving popular. “Extra productivity is the main advantage,” commented product specialist Mike Van Den Bosch (right), with the dealer’s general parts manager Andy Bloomfield. “A wet harvest in 2017 meant farmers were keen to improve performance in difficult conditions, although those who bought our headers for the 2018 harvest which turned out to be relatively easy and dry, were also impressed by the additional threshing performance resulting from the improved crop feed. Ernest Doe & Sons has supplied versions for Case IH and New Holland combines across the trading area and the most popular working widths to date have been 35 and 40ft, although orders for the coming harvest have all been 40ft so far.”
First showing of new sprayers
New Kuhn products included Oceanis 2 trailed sprayers available from 5,000–7,700-litres capacity and with 24–48m booms. The new model replaces previous Oceanis versions and the Doe Show was the first dealer event at which it was shown. Pump options are 500-litres/min piston diaphragm or 700-litres/min centrifugal and the sprayer is available with Canbus or Isobus technology. Four-point suspension operates in the field and on the road ensuring great towing performance. Additional options include Multispray Duo offering single nozzle section control and automatic nozzle switching between two nozzles to maintain optimal droplet size and for extra flexibility Multispray Quattro can be specified providing switching between four nozzles.
Models of 36m and above feature variable geometry booms as standard – an option previously, and ensuring accurate contour following. Boom Assist Pro is a further option allowing height control by ground or crop following and a hybrid mode averages distance above variable crops to ensure a smooth boom ride.
Also displayed for the first time was the Optima XL 5000 shallow disc cultivator available in 3–4m mounted, and 4–5m trailed versions currently with more sizes to be added. Large 620mm discs are standard and additional packer options include double-U and V-line. On-the-move depth control is standard now whereas it was an option on the previous model. “It’s longer overall, for reduced bounce at higher working speeds,” pointed out Kuhn UK crop protection and establishment specialist Will Waterer.
Narrow folding boom now available
The new Hardi Delta Force 24m boom was displayed on a Navigator Hawk trailed sprayer. Previously the Delta Force boom was available only in a 36m spray width, having replaced the previous Force boom line-up. Narrow folding is a feature which means all models up to the 39m fold to a transport width of just 2.5m. Auto Terrain is an option with 3 or 5 ultrasonic sensors working with a chassis sensor to control the boom angle. Accelerometers mid-way along the boom measure movement and are used to counteract yaw. “It’s been a very busy start to our year,” commented sales director Peter Wiles, “and the Ernest Doe Power sales team has received considerable interest in our latest sprayers.”
Strong demand for grass machinery
Interest in power harrows and grass maintenance machinery meant a busy show for the Opico sales specialists. “Our grass harrows, the Sward Slitter and Sward Lifter have all been in demand across Ernest Doe’s operating area,” explained territory manager Glenn Bootman. “The grass maintenance season is just starting, and we expect to be very busy in the coming months, especially in the southern sales areas where grassland and livestock farms rely heavily on our products.”
Latest fertiliser applicator shown
The latest version of Teagle’s Centerliner fertiliser applicator was shown. Available in a base SX version, as the mid-spec SXE with Isobus compatibility, or the top specification SXi with weigh cells, an Isobus option and compatibility with most manufacturer mapping systems, the new spreaders offer improvements for users including better sight glasses in the hopper front and a new version of the Easytronic remote control. The latest spreader is pictured with Teagle area sales representative Chris White.
Efficient chopping of cover crops
The Dal-Bo Maxicut 600 was launched in 2011, but increased use of cover crops has resulted in dramatic recent sales growth. “It’s available in working widths from 3–9m,” commented UK sales manager Steve Atkin. “It’s an economical and quick means of chopping cover crops, maize stalks and oilseed rape stubble and Ernest Doe Power sales representatives have taken several bookings for demonstrations for this autumn already. Our products are extremely popular with farmers in the dealer’s sales area, including our range of high performance rolls.”
Impressive tool display
The impressive Sealey tools and workshop equipment display included exclusive offers available only at the Doe Show and, as in previous years, customers took advantage of the opportunity to purchase the quality tools at very attractive prices.
Sales growth for seedbed cultivator
Lemken products are sold through Ernest Doe in Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk and through Ernest Doe Power south of the Thames and UK sales manager Paul Creasy explained that sales of the Karund mounted seedbed harrow had increased recently as demand for a light seedbed cultivator for sugar beet and other spring crops has grown. The Karat tine cultivator with quick-change feet is also proving popular due to its versatility for autumn and spring crop establishment, working after the plough or direct into stubble.
Affordable alternative to used tractors
Displayed were new S-series New Holland T6 and T7 tractors. S-series includes cost-effective entry-level specification, allowing the purchaser to upgrade with any additional features needed. “The main components are the same as standard specification models,” explained tractor product specialist Tim Lowden, “but without any extras it is available for approximately £7,000–£10,000 less. Only RangeCommand 40kph transmission is available and there are 3 models in the T7 range – the T7.165S, T7.195S and T7.215S and in the T6 range just a T6.125S, none of which have power boost.
“Most sold so far have replaced main tractors of 10 years old or so on mixed and livestock farms. They provide a practical and affordable alternative to a low hour second-hand or ex-hire machine.”
Shown for the first time was the new T6-180 6-cylinder DynamicCommand. “It’s the only one in the country currently and deliveries to dealers won’t start until April this year. Many arable farmers like the 6-cylinder option for its power delivery and extra weight and with DynamicCommand dual-clutch transmission it is a superb tractor for field work,” he added.
Tim (right) is pictured with Ernest Doe area sales representative Chris Scott.
Optimisation system proves popular
More than 50 per cent of new CR combines ordered for the 2019 harvest have the latest Intellisense harvest optimisation system, reported New Holland harvester product specialist Nigel Honeyman, who is pictured with CNH industrial finance representatives Francesca Jacobs (left) and Anna Strozek.
“We ran a CR10-90 demonstrator equipped with Intellisense during the 2018 harvest which impressed those who tried it, but most of those who have ordered it have done so without even seeing it in action,” commented Nigel. “It will help users gain a greater return on their combine investment and most will see at least 10 per cent additional productivity. It optimises output and it’s been interesting to see how many of those who have tried it have been amazed at the true capacity of their machines having operated combines without the system previously way below their full potential. The benefit gains will depend on the operator, but even those with considerable experience will see significant advantages during long working days.”
All-new cab glass protection
APG Applied Protection Guards manufactures and supplies the Cabguard protective screens which fit over tractor cab doors and windows, preventing glass damage during tasks such as hedge cutting, mowing and forestry applications. The original version fastened on with suction cups but an all-new Cabguard Highway Plus version is easier to fit and remove using a set of semi-permanent fixing brackets which remain fastened to the cab even when the transparent polycarbonate screens are removed, saving considerable time, explained director James Green.
Typical cost for a set of screens to fit a New Holland T6 or T7 cab door are £216 for the original specification or £336 for the Highway Plus. The protective screens are fitted with a gap between them and the original cab glass, preventing condensation and providing room to move and absorb impact from stones and other debris without shattering the cab glazing. Pictured (l-r) James Green, apprentice Josh Payne and Niall Green.
New brand proves a success
SIP grass harvest machinery quickly proved a success for Ernest Doe & Sons, which took on the franchise in late 2017. “User feedback has been very positive,” said dealer area sales manager Derek Peck who is pictured (right) with SIP sales director Martin Holden. “We had some excellent demonstration days last year, allowing potential customers to see the machines working for the first time and the mowers in particular have impressed users with their extreme resistance to blocking, while rakes and tedders proved popular too. Last year it was a relatively new brand for most who enquired about it, but we have even more demonstrations lined up as a result of customer requests for the coming season and expect it to be a very busy spring.”
Martin said the Airswath belt merger was available for front mounting last year, but now a rear mounted version can also be supplied allowing up to 8m of forage to be swathed in a single pass. “The belt merger helps prevent soil, muck and slurry residues from being picked up within the swath and transferred to the silage clamp,” he explained. “Contamination can cause serious problems but the belt merger provides cleaner forage and enables far higher work rates than a conventional rake. Working speeds up to 15–18kph are easily achieved so there are significant benefits for users.”
“We had a really good first season with the SIP range,” added Ernest Doe Power Dartford depot sales manager Nick Booth. “It’s quality machinery at a very competitive price and many farmers and contractors travelled from Kent to the show to view the range.”
Husqvarna battery and petrol chainsaws were demonstrated. With the new 572 model – which replaced the 372 and 576 versions is area business manager for the south-east James Woodbridge (right) and with the new 550XP Mk2 is UK category manager Andrew Lees. “The new chainsaws have 12 per cent extra cutting capacity and 20 per cent improved cooling capacity over models they replaced,” explained Andrew. “The new 550XP Mk 2 will be available from April this year, and shares many new features with the latest 572 model. Overall, the 550XP has been our best selling saw and contributing to the improved cutting performance is the X-Cut Husqvarna-manufactured chain, launched last year.”
High demand for DD rings
Great Plains genuine parts are available through the Kverneland Group, and were promoted at the show. Parts technical support specialist Kevin Waddingham (and service support specialist Andy Lake were kept busy at the event as customers took advantage of out of season offers for replacement wearing parts. “We have been really busy,” commented Kevin. “Customers prefer buying genuine parts for the guaranteed quality and at the Doe Show DD rings have been in especially high demand from farmers and contractors getting organised for the year ahead and ordering parts which will be used this autumn.”
Latest cleaning equipment on show
On the Karcher stand a display of power brushes, pressure washers and steam cleaners allowed visitors to view the latest products and assess features and benefits. Karcher representatives John Fisher and Tom Miller said hot water cleaners were proving especially popular. Several orders were placed during the first day for the compact HDS6/12 model which was available at a promotional offer price.
First showing for bale spreader
The new Midi Lite bale spreader by Spread-a-bale was displayed for the first time at a dealer event, having been launched earlier this year. It’s designed for smaller loaders up to 1,000kg capacity and weighs only 600kg unladen. “It takes full size 8x4x3 bales,” explained UK sales manager Dave Bull. “The current Maxi, Midi and Mini models remain very popular with users and this lighter version enables those with smaller tractors and handlers to gain the same benefits.”
Larger reach models most popular
“Bigger hedges cut less frequently during shorter hedge trimming seasons are typical of many farms,” explained Shelbourne Reynolds sales and marketing director Neil Smith. “Larger 6.0–6.5m reach models are most popular and forward reach is being specified more often as it offers more comfortable operation with better work rates due to the improved operator view. Most sold for farms tend to be linkage mounted whereas contractors opt for axle mounted models and although there is a perception that linkage mounted versions can be fitted and removed more quickly, modern axle-mounted models are actually not a lot different.”
Successful event for tillage product firm
UK-based tillage product manufacturer Cousins enjoyed a very successful Doe Show and company representatives reported particular interest in wide sets of rolls as well as cultivation equipment for spring crop establishment. “We have seen a definite switch to spring cultivations as more spring-sown crops are included in the rotation,” commented managing director Laura Cousins, who is pictured with Cousins product specialist David Howard (left) and Ernest Doe Power Dartford depot sales manager Nick Booth. “The precision seedbed harrow has been especially popular for sugar beet and vegetable establishment, as well as for preparing seedbeds after the plough,” she added.