Machinery News

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Lincs dealer open day success, despite ideal weather for drilling

With local fields just about dry enough for spring drilling, many exhibitors at the G&J Peck Spalding depot annual open day feared attendance would suffer but, with orders placed and many enquiries for follow-up, the day was judged a great success. David Williams was there.

From its five depots in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, G&J Peck Ltd looks after customers across the east of England and East Anglia. Key brands include New Holland, Case IH and JCB, with Case IH sales and service through the dealer’s Pecks AgriTrac-branded depots. Key complementary franchises include Amazone and Krone, along with Larrington Trailers, Claydon Drills, Knight, Cousins, Monosem, Suton, Lynx, Teagle, Garford, Honda, Horstine Farmery, Stocks Ag, Stihl and Mitchell-Rowlands. The dealer’s trading area includes vegetable and root crop producers and many potato and onion growers, and the Spalding depot is the UK headquarters for AVR and Dezeure trailers, for which the dealer is the main UK importer.

Excellent support

“As in previous years we were extremely well supported by our valued suppliers and customers, who continue to make this an important annual event in our calendar,” commented G&J Peck director and New Holland brand manager Stewart Barnett. “The whole G&J Peck team contributes a lot of time and effort preparing for the big day and it really makes it worthwhile when customers turn out to support us. A big thank you to everyone who attended!

“While the current climate continues to challenge our industry, we were delighted with the event’s success. Our major brands all reported very good enquiry levels with genuine new orders taken through the day. Our area sales managers were busy, and have many sales leads to follow up during the coming weeks. Our parts and service teams were on hand to discuss special offers on anything from purchases of powered tools to the booking of winter services. The parts area was very busy with customers taking advantage of our ‘On the Day Offers’, and Wellington boot sales were predicted to break all records!” he added.

“We now need nature to be kind over the coming weeks with enough dry weather to allow our customers to conclude any outstanding root crop harvests and get through the spring drilling and planting season with minimal disruption,” Stewart concluded.

Tractor order made on the day

One of several tractors ordered at the open day was this New Holland T7.260 Stage 5 model, which replaces a T7.250. The new tractor will join the fleet of farmers A&J Neal based at Ring’s End, near Wisbech, Cambs. The arable farm also operates a New Holland CX6080 combine and tractors including a T7-200, a TSA135 and a TS115. A Ford 7910 is also used occasionally. “Our tractors were all supplied through Peck’s Ramsey St Mary depot,” explained Andrew Neal. “The team does our servicing too – and service manager Phil Brown is excellent. We visited the open day with the objective of agreeing a deal for a new tractor.”

Pictured are – in the seat James Neal, on the step Peck’s New Holland area sales manager Richard Greenacre, and in front New Holland area sales manager David Carver (on the left) and Andrew Neal.

Usable capacity for larger tools

Lynx products exhibited included a new front weight block. The EcoBox Weight has been updated to include a heavy-duty steel lid, increasing security for tool storage. Area sales manager Roy Milburn explained that the box is proving popular as the 160-litre internal storage space offers usable capacity for larger tools and sundries. The version on show weighs 1,050kg, but there are versions up to 1,750kg, all with identical dimensions. “The box is made of composite material, so the weight depends on the density. It’s available in any colour and costs from just £1,410,” Roy explained.

Camera guidance an added option

Demand for Monosem precision drills continues for establishment of sugar beet and maize crops, reported Kevin Irlam-Mowbray, who is pictured with a selection of models at the show. “We recently launched a precision seeder for cereals as we believe optimised plant spacing offers opportunities for better establishment and yields,” he added. “We have also recently added camera guidance as an option for our precision hoes. Our hoe range has been available for approximately 60 years, but camera guidance improves precision and allows higher working speeds making them suitable for larger-scale full farm weed control.”

Considerable interest in cultivation

A New Holland plough was on show, and implement sales manager Tim Lowden explained that interest in the company’s new range of cultivation products has been considerable, with sales achieved throughout the UK. “Our plough line-up includes models from 3–9f and mounted, semi-mounted or trailed. There are versions rated from 110–360hp which means we have something suitable for most farm types and sizes.” The model displayed at the Peck open day was a PXVS 5, 5f rated at 360hp and with hydraulic width adjustment.

First signal transmitter in Wales

RTK signal provider RTK Farming had a stand at the event and many farmers and contractors in the region use the supplier’s services. Company news included its first signal transmitter due to be installed in Wales during February, with others to follow soon after. The company also sells and hires guidance products and dealer liaison manager Jeff Stephenson (left) is pictured with the portable GPS Rover RTK signal receiver which the company hires out for approximately £250 per week. The portable receiver is popular for mounting to vehicles such as ATVs, and compensates for speed and angle while moving. Director PJ Walker (PJ) is also pictured, with a handheld RTK Tablet LT700H which offers RTK accuracy for activities including mapping field boundaries, HLS-designated areas, drainage and irrigation projects. “It can also accurately measure heaps of any material, making it easier to estimate costs for transport, for example,” added ’PJ’.

Demand for most efficient harvesters

The open day included products from across AVR’s range, and sales manager Tom Lootens explained that Ge-force hook-tine rotary cultivators are in high demand. “Many growers are upgrading to larger models, and sales of folding six-row models are increasing in order to replace four-row machines,” he said. “With only one opportunity to establish potato crops each year, creating the best possible conditions for growth is essential. The hook-tine cultivator’s crumble effect is much better for the crop than the finish from a power-harrow.”

Tom said a new trailed two-row bunker harvester will operate in the UK this season. “Customer demand is for the most efficient harvesters, and our bunker models can keep operating without a tractor and trailer alongside. They unload on the move so there is no need to stop and, for most of the time, the operator has only to concentrate on the harvesting rather than watching the trailer too.”

Tom is pictured with AVR marketing and communications manager Tine Coopman.

Tractor simulator demonstrations

Case IH area service manager Sam Davies is pictured demonstrating the features and benefits of Case IH AFS Connect on a tractor simulator, to farmer Andy Kirk and his daughter Jess. Andy farms at Brothertoft, Lincs and is also a self-employed machinery operator for several farms in the area. “We deal with Pecks and the team provides very good service,” he said.

Also trying out the Case IH AFS Connect simulator were William and Charlotte Clark (above). The Clark family farms at Beech Tree Farm, Gosberton, near Spalding and operates a New Holland combine and other machinery supplied by Pecks.

Another open day visitor keen to try out the new Magnum AFS Connect cab was farmer and contractor John Ashmore. Trading as JW Ashmore Ltd, the company is based at Enderby, Leics, and the family farm grows wheat, oilseed rape, oats, barley and fodder beet. Contracting for local farms includes spraying, cultivations and other general field tasks. “We use a Magnum 310 and two Pumas,” John explained. “We also have a JCB Loadall, supplied by Pecks. I very much like the Magnum, which is used for primary cultivations. It’s great to drive with plenty of power for heavier tasks.”

Pictured trying out the cab of the new Magnum AFS Connect tractor was farmer Tony Fowler.  Tony’s all-arable farm at Wisbech St Mary is contract-farmed, and he said he has a long history of dealing with Pecks.

Well-made, strong and reliable

Farmers David and Ralph Elmore are from Conington, Beds and were at the open day looking at Cousins cultivation machinery. “We use Cousins equipment on our all-arable farm and like it because it’s well made, strong and reliable and works well,” explained David. “When we have a bespoke requirement, the manufacturer is always happy to modify the design to suit our needs.”

Guidance solutions explained

Pecks AgriTrac precision farming specialist Rob Heanes was kept busy explaining capabilities and costs involved for a range of guidance solutions. New Trimble terminals on show included the XCN 1050 which comes with a built-in navigation controller making it easier and quicker to install. “The wet weather has resulted in lots of enquiries for entry-level systems, mainly to help tackle black-grass,” he said. “Where smaller farms haven’t had a guidance solution to ensure complete field coverage, this has shown up with patches of black-grass making it obvious where areas have been missed. The other key reason for interest from new users is to accurately map field boundaries and confirm field sizes.”

Chosen for level of comfort

Farmer and contractor Andrew Lawman is pictured with Pecks area sales manager Ken Beard and a new JCB Loadall AgriPro. Trading as Graham Lawman, Sawtry, the Cambs-based family farm has a suckler beef enterprise using Limousin bulls, and arable crops which are mainly cereals. The business is also a forage merchant supplying hay and straw bales and offers a contract baling service. Three Loadalls are operated and a recent purchase is a new 536-95 AgriPro which is due for delivery shortly. “We use JCB because it’s a good product and the back-up from Pecks is excellent,” Andrew explained.

“We tend to buy a new one every three or four years which then does most of the work, and the workload reduces as the models become older. The newest averages 1,700 hours per year, while the oldest works just 600–700 hours per year. They are used all year round, and we run five balers producing 15,000t of forage annually.

“We also run three Fastracs including two 4240s and an 8310, which were chosen for their level of comfort, especially while working with our bale chaser. Four-wheel steer is a big advantage for our triple mowers too. G&J Peck also supplies our combine – we operate a New Holland,” he added.

Tipping trailers in high demand

Larrington trailers are in high demand according to manufacturer Richard Larrington who is pictured (on the right) with Derby-based agricultural contractor Lee Gilbert. “We sell higher numbers of tipping trailers every year,” explained Richard. “We used to be known for supplying direct to end users, but since we set up our agreement with Pecks through which the dealer is responsible for sales in its area and we provide back-up, this has worked well and now we work on a similar basis with dealers in other regions.

“We have two standard trailers – the Harvester, with a half-pipe design allowing it to release its load easily from a shallow tip angle making it ideal for low buildings, and the Majestic which is a heavy-duty contractors’ trailer to withstand the most demanding work environments.”

Trading as Lee Gilbert Agri Services, Lee deals with Pecks for JCB Fastracs, but was at the open day to view Larrington trailers. “We run forage harvesters and specialise in slurry applications, and we need extra trailers. This was an ideal time to find out more about the Larrington products.”

Up to 600m of hose for popular model

Suffolk-based Mitchell-Rowlands displayed its Drainjetter field drain cleaning and clearing products. “Sales are increasing,” explained managing director Graham Mitchell-Rowlands who is pictured with one of the machines. “The recent wet weather has highlighted that there will be advantages this spring where drains have been maintained and kept clear, including the ability to carry out field tasks sooner and better conditions for crop establishment. Our professional specification 500m model with full remote control is currently the most popular, and it can take up to 600m of hose.”

Franchise proved successful

Mowers, rakes, tedders and square balers from Krone’s range were displayed and sales enquiries were from new and existing customers, explained territory sales manager Eddie Caulfield. Pecks took on the franchise in 2015 and Eddie said that the move has proved extremely successful. “The Pecks team supports the products well, and customers can rely on the service and back-up. Recent interest has been across the range, but the Big Pack 1290 XDP high density, high output baler is generating most enquiries from larger farms and contractors.” Eddie is pictured with a Krone Swadro tedder which was sold at the open day.

Knowledgeable team, great support

Pictured with the latest Amazone Pantera 4503 self-propelled sprayer are (l-r) technical support engineer Chris Bendall, farmer Stephen Pugh and Amazone area sales manager Rupert Batho. Trading as S&S Pugh & Son, based at Low Grounds Farm, Swineshead, Stephen explained that he runs a three-year-old Pantera which was purchased when the farm’s tramline width changed from 24 to 36m. “We liked the Amazone product and it’s proving excellent while working approximately 1,000 hours per year. Amazone’s team is knowledgeable and gives great support, and the back-up from Pecks is very good too,” he added.

Assured of excellent back-up

Pictured inspecting the latest JCB Loadall are (l-r) farmer Michael Fisher with farm machinery operators Philip and Colin Hill. Trading as Terrington Hall Farm, Michael’s all-arable enterprise is at Thorney, Cambs and the machinery fleet includes a 2008-model JCB Loadall 536-70 which is used mainly for grain handling and general farm tasks, and a Fastrac 4220. “We do a lot of business with Pecks, mainly because we are always assured of excellent back-up,” explained Michael.

Handlers used almost every day

The machinery fleet operated by farmers and contractors JR Naylor & Sons includes a special edition JCB Loadall 560-80, and a New Holland combine, both supplied by Pecks. “We have operated five or six Loadalls since moving to the brand many years ago,” explained Robert Naylor. “Our handlers did more in the past when we had cattle, but they are still used almost every day for handling muck, fertiliser and grain.

Ideal solution for large grass areas

A Honda TRX420 Fourtrax ATV with a Logic trailed flail mower created considerable interest at the event. With farm woodland, paddocks and conservation areas likely to remain soft and vulnerable to damage from heavier machines this spring, the ATV and mower provides an ideal solution for those with large areas of grass to maintain.

Drill design benefits highlighted

Pecks took on the Claydon franchise in 2014 and Claydon managing director Jeff Claydon (right), who was at the open day with territory sales manager for the east and south of England Taig Norman, said that the range of drills has been popular. “This season has highlighted the benefits of our drill design,” he explained. “Demonstrations carried out in the autumn in testing conditions have resulted in excellent crop establishment and healthy-looking plants as we come out of the wet winter. Our design includes wheels which run on undisturbed soil, so they travel well without smearing or blocking. The tines are well spaced and there is nowhere for trash or sticky soils to become trapped and block.”

Jeff said that sales of mounted drills – available in 3–6m working widths, have been particularly high as farmers try to minimise headland damage.

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