Dean Townley on behalf of Frank Dakin & Son from Brewer’s Oak, Shropshire tells us all about their Väderstad Rapid drill.
Have you always been a Väderstad man?
The farm has been running a Väderstad drill since 1998.
What was the first Väderstad equipment you bought?
The first drill was a 6m Väderstad Rapid with system disc.
Why do you love the Väderstad brand so much? We love this brand because it is well constructed, simple to use and holds its second hand value well.
What’s the history of the farm?
Frank Dakin & Son is an all arable farm specialising in combinable crops. The farm is a mix of owned and tenanted land with 2 further share managed farms, appprox 800 hectares in total. The sister farm in Northumberland also runs a 8m Väderstad Rapid.
What first drew you to the Rapid 600?
We were first drawn to the Rapid 600 because of its ability to form a seed bed in one pass directly into ploughed ground, minimum tilled ground or even directly into stubble for cover crops.
Did you have a demonstration of the machine before buying?
No demo for the current machine as is our 4th! We did however have a demo in 1998 for our first.
How many acres to you use the Rapid for per year?
We use our Rapid for the 800 acres on a range of crops, from drilling OSR at 1cm deep, to drilling winter beans at 10cm depth.
What’s the main feature that you like most? Main features we like are even depth of sowing and therefore emergence, even at fast forward speed (we drill at 16kph), large hopper to minimise refill downtime, thorough cultivation and consolidation of soil.
Why RVW Pugh? Did you deal with us before we had the Väderstad franchise?
You are our local dealer for Väderstad, plus we have purchased Heva cultivation equipment through Pugh’s too.
Have you found the service and sales support good from the company?
As the drill has performed faultlessly, we haven’t had any cause to call you out, however we have always found Pugh’s staff friendly, approachable and well informed on their product.
Nigel Simms from Top Secret Furniture in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, tells us why the Merlo 26.7 is the perfect machine for both their furniture businesses and their farm.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
We’re a family business – ‘Top Secret Furniture’, selling luxury furniture in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, alongside farming on a local farm in the area where we breed pedigree Limousin cattle, ‘The Simbo’ herd.
Have you always used Merlo telehandlers and did you try any competitive brands before purchasing the Merlo telehandler?
This is the first Merlo we’ve had but we previously had a JCB. The Merlo has a more suitable cab for us and a few of our family friends run a Merlo on their farms and rate them highly, that’s why we have tried and purchased the Merlo and we couldn’t be happier.
What do you like about the Merlo 27.6 Telehandler?
What can I say, it’s brilliant, it’s exactly what we were looking for. We use it every day if it’s on the farm or down at Top Secret Furniture. That’s what we wanted, something that could do both jobs and this sure does. It’s a compact machine but has a spacious cab at the same time, with astonishing space and visibility which is very important when it’s out on the farm and loading and unloading the furniture. We are very happy with it.
How have you found the process of dealing with RVW Pugh?
We have been very happy with the whole process from the first point of contact from looking at the Merlo, through to purchasing and the aftersales with Pugh’s. Their Holmes Chapel depot is only a mile from our Top Secret Furniture store, so if something did ever happen they’re not far from us which is an added bonus.
Stu Jones of Manor Farm, Cheshire tells us a little bit about his MF 1840 square baler and why he has had MF balers on the farm since 1979.
Tell us abit about yourself and the farm? Cattle/Sheep/Arable?
Our family has been farming Manor Farm, Frankby since the 1930s when the farm was purchased from the Lord Royden Estate. Currently all the farm is down to grass. All hay and straw bales made go into the equine and pet store markets.
Have you always had a MF Baler? What year did you buy your first MF1840 Baler?
Our First Massey Ferguson baler was a MF20 purchased in 1979 and we purchased the MF1840 baler from RVW Pugh around three years ago.
Did you have a demonstration before buying?
No we didn’t have a demonstration as we didn’t think it was required as this baler was replacing our MF1839 model.
How many acres do you bale per year?
Weather depending, yearly we bale approx. 300 acres of grass in addition to approx. 60 acres of straw, purchased locally, from behind the combine.
Have you tried any of the other balers?
We did have a John Deere 359 Baler but we replaced this a few years previously with a MF1849 before upgrading to the MF1840 in 2017.
What are the main feature you like about the machine?
The main features we like on the MF1840 is its reliability, quality of build, coupled with the consistent bale length and weight which is exactly what you’re looking for in a baler.
What other MF equipment do you have?
We currently have a MF5425 tractor.
Why RVW Pugh?
We have enjoyed a long relationship with RVW Pughs, their sales team and service team have always provide excellent service and after care.
For more information on the MF1840 Square Baler please contact your local depot.
Here, Dan Lovett from Oldford Farm in Staffordshire tells us all about his Fendt 313 & 513 tractors and his Rolland Rollfeed 6222 set up.
Livestock/arable farm? Acres? Location?
Here at Oldford Farm, we milk 1000 Jersey cross Fresian cows where we operate on a grass-based system. The cows peak an average of 6,000 litres. We only grow fodder beat and grass for grazing and silage.
Have you always used Rolland Feeders and did you try any competitive brands before purchasing the Rolland Feeder?
We’ve had Rolland Feeders here for about 5-6 years but before then we had Richard Western Feeders. I was always looking for something more like the New Zealand feeders, and there’s nothing like it on the market, the Rolland feeders are the closest thing out there to it. They are a very good machine and for what we want here at Oldford Farm it is brilliant. It’s a one machine operation; we use the Fendt 313 with a loader to fill and also feed the cattle, this allows us to keep the capital down and also cut down on diesel usage which is very important to me.
What did you like best about the Rolland Feeders and how do you find the build quality?
I would say the best thing is that it does exactly what we want it to do here at the farm and more than anything it doesn’t wear metal. We’ve been very lucky with the Rolland feeders and it’s nevermissed a feeding and I’d say it does roughly 10,000 feeds a year. I would also say it is a light machine and when we need to take it into the field it doesn’t mark the ground.
How have you found the process of dealing with RVW Pugh?
I’m very happy with the service we get from RVW Pugh. They’re always on the other end the phone and always very reliable. If we do have a breakdown or a problem, they’re here as soon as they can and work to sort it out.
I hear you’ve got a few Fendt tractors, have you always been Fendt?
No, we haven’t, we did have John Deere before and also had a Valtra but we’re very happy with the Fendt and wouldn’t look back. We haven’t had a big problem (touch wood) and when we do have a question or little issue it’s sorted straight away – they offer great backup.
We’ve currently got the Fendt 313 and 513. The 313 is a very handy tractor fitted with a loader
(the tractor we use with the Rolland feeder) and it does the filling job and also the feeding which makes it a one tractor operation. Then we use the 513 for the fertiliser spreading and livestock haulage. I must add I do like the short wheelbase.
How often are you using your Fendt tractors (hours per year?)
I would say we use the Fendt 313 around 2000 hours a year doing all the feeding while we use the 513 between 2000 and 2500 hours a year between various jobs.
RVW Pugh have recently supplied a special consignment of Massey Ferguson compact and specialist tractors to Lower Hope Farms Ltd near Hereford.
The farm consists of 1500 acres of combinable crops, 1200 ewes, 50 head of cattle and most importantly, 200 acres of fruit. Producing cherries, raspberries and desert apples, the farm packs as much as 500t of fruit in just six weeks.
Bringing in the harvest is now down to 270picking staff, 10 of which are full time and three new MF 1747 tractors and one specialist order MF 3709V supplied by RVW Pugh. Replacing a varied fleet of New Holland, Landini and Claas, the MF 1747s were specced on larger wheels for predominantly towing the trailers of crop home and working specialist compost spreaders around the fruit trees. The MF 3709V was fully loaded with front linkage and PTO and joins the farm’s existing Fendt for front mowing and spraying.
The farm used to buy a new model each year and hold onto the old machine, but reliability was becoming an issue with at least one in for repairs most weeks. With only 6 weeks to bring in the harvest, no breakdowns was crucial to the operation.
“We tried a number of models from different manufacturers before making our decision,” explains manager Ed Turner.
“We all liked the Massey Ferguson for its excellent turning circle and compactness, plus the build quality is very good offering the best value for money. The 1747 is unbelievably simple, which is exactly what we need here as many of the drivers are from Eastern European countries and have never driven anything but a car before, so it is exactly what we require,”
Ed continues. “We also liked the joystick spools for controlling our muck spreaders and the hydraulic flow is also excellent. A decision was made that a new purchase was to be the best way forward as reliability has been a rising issue previously, with the service on our doorstep I knew these Massey Ferguson tractors will be the right decision,” he concludes.
Mr Pacey of Vernon Partners, Town End Farm has introduced the Hustler SL360X to his feeding system on their farm.
Town End Farm have fitted their new Hustler SL360X to the loader on the front of their Fendt 516. Mr Pacey says that the top four key benefits the Hustler has brought to Town End Farm are:
Tudor Thomas from Llangorse tells us why he has recently purchased a Fendt Tigo forage wagon.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Tudor Thomas, I live in Llangorse, near Brecon. I farm with my father on our 450 acre dairy farm, with 200 acres in an arable rotation, running 190 cows and followers and finishing all bull and beef calves. I also run a contracting business independently from the farm. I cover a range of jobs including slurry tankering, ploughing. drilling, fertiliser spreading and silaging.
This year the wagon has chopped 750 acres of silage, between the farm and contracting. I looked into wagon silage because it works well and is very labour and fuel efficient for our multicut system. It also comes in handy for zero grazing early and late into the season to reduce feed costs.
Why choose the Fendt forage wagon?
I chose the Tigo 50PR forage wagon as I liked the chop length as well as the build quality.
What were the main features that drew you to it?
The main feature is the moving bulk head, which gives it extra capacity and makes it compact and manoeuvrable whilst still giving good output. It’s possible to average 65 acres a day on second cut silage depending on crops, field sizes and distance from the clamp.
What other tractors have you got?
I have a Fendt 718 which I bought second hand from RVW Pugh in May 2016. The farm also runs varying ages of Masseys purchased from RVW Pugh over the last 15 years.
Why RVW Pugh?
RVW Pugh provides a good service covering our area and provides the back up to keep things running. There are also lots of spares in stock which can be posted same day to get them here quickly due to the distance from the depot.
What is your next planned purchase?
I’ll probably look at changing the tractor or a drill next to get higher outputs.
Jonny Hewit and Alan Clare from Red House Farm, Dunham Massey farm free-range chickens and run a ‘pick your own pumpkin’ business. Here’s why they decided to buy an MF 4707 Global with loader…
“Oliver from the RVW Pugh Holmes Chapel branch called in at the farm for a chat having heard that we were in need of a tractor due to our old one breaking down. We explained our needs to which he suggested we look at the Massey Ferguson 4707 Global with a loader.
Upon doing some research into the market the MF 4707 began to appeal to us for many reasons; the simple and efficient cab layout being one of them and compared to its rivals that we looked at, the Massey was the only one that we found to be comfortable enough for any operator.
Myself and Alan were invited to the depot at Holmes Chapel to view an MF 4707 that would have similar specs to ours; we were welcomed with tea and biscuits and felt very happy taking our time to look around the tractor. Oliver was able to answer any questions we had regarding the tractor itself or how it compared to similar tractors on the market. After being convinced by not only the tractor but the depot and aftercare team we agreed to go with the Massey Ferguson 4707”
“From the day we got the tractor we knew we had made the right choice, with an excellent turning circle the tractor steered between our buildings with ease. One of the concerns we had when looking for a new machine was that as we plant pumpkins we need to be able to operate the machine at very slow speeds, however with the simple 12 x 12 gearbox in the Global tractor we found this no problem at all, we simply put the tractor in low box and put it to work! With having a large amount of the general public around we needed something that looked the part and for me there is no more iconic ‘red tractor’ than the Massey Ferguson”.
“The team at Cheshire have been great in looking after us ever since we did the deal on the machine, as I said we were completely tractor-less when Oliver first came to call and we knew with purchasing a new order there would be a lead time however RVW Pughs made sure we always had a machine to use in the meantime and that our business was never effected by the lack of tractor. We have since had the first 50 hour service on the machine which we might have missed had Pughs not been in touch to let us know we were nearing the service time! It’s been a real pleasure to deal with such a professional company who still have the customer as priority, I look forward to doing more business with them in the future.”
Elwyn Jones of E G Jones & Son Ltd from Talgarth, Brecon answers our questions on why he purchased the Merlo TF38-10 and what he thinks of it.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I run a construction company in the Brecon area in Mid Wales, but my brother does farm in the area.
Why choose the Merlo TF38-10? And what did you have before?
I use the Merlo mainly on my construction site. This Merlo TF38-10 is not my first, it is actually my second, and I also have the Merlo P27.6.
I am very impressed with the machine. The cab suspension is brilliant and the hydraulic system is also a key factor. I opted for the best tyres on the machine which was a great decision as I drive on the road. I also want to say that the Thorough Examination is crucial to what we do and I would advise everyone that has a telehandler to book theirs in for one now!
Why RVW Pugh?
RVW Pugh is a great company, the service you get from David Smith, the service team and the parts department is great, you can’t fault them one bit – you can always trust the Pugh’s team.
What are you thinking of purchasing next?
I am saving up for the next big purchase but I am definitely looking at buying attachments for the Merlo!
Here, Patrick from Busby farms in Stafford explains why it’s power and compact size makes the Fendt 211 an integral part of their strawberry harvest.
Was Fendt your first choice when it came to choosing a tractor?
Yes we have had them before and they work well for what we want them for.
How do you find the 211 tractor to drive?
It’s just brilliant, a very smart tractor. Really comfy and nice to drive, I enjoy driving it in comparison to other small, compact tractors.
Do you find the size works well for the job you are doing?
It’s great for us as we mostly use it on topping and spraying for the strawberries. It’s easy to get around, gets into all the small places. For its power I would say it’s very compact, it does not look like it’s got that horsepower when you look at the size.
What is the main job you use the 211 for?
We use it mostly on the strawberry production but it is a great all round tractor. It does most things that we need really. We do about 1500 hours per year with the tractor so its used a lot.
How do you find the Vario transmission?
Very smooth, it’s so lovely to drive. Makes it a pleasure.
What other machines do you drive on the farm?
We also have a Fendt 209 that is a little older but again it’s a good tractor, similar to the 211. We like the Fendts for the fruit. They tread carefully but get the job done.
Do you feel like the power of the tractor is sufficient for your needs?
Yes definitely, it suits us well. Not too much and not too big for what we use it for.
Ross from Edwards of Byton, Court House Farm tells us how they ended up purchasing a new Fendt Rogator 645 sprayer, and what they think of it.
Tell us abit about yourself and the farm (location, what crops you grow…)
We are a mixed family farm in North West Herefordshire on the Welsh border. We have breeding ewes, suckler cows, cereals and potatoes farmed over 1,200 hectares of land.
Why did you choose the Rogator? And are you happy with it’s performance?
We hadn’t considered a Rogator as had ordered a new machine from our previous manufacturer, but I mentioned them in passing to Robert at the Royal Welsh Show last year and within a week a demonstrator machine was in our yard! My sprayer operator was a bit cautious at the start as the machine looked a lot bigger than our previous one but after half an hour with the demonstrator man from Fendt he was convinced it was what he wanted. The performance has been very good and a real step up in output from our previous machine.
Is your driver happy operating the Rogator?
Our driver is very pleased with the machine, it has great driver comfort and relative ease of operation. The cab is a very nice environment to work in and the controls and settings are easy to access. The suspension is very good which leads to the boom stability being excellent which is key, and leads to higher output. It is also very well balanced with the engine in the middle and the aluminium booms. It also has good road speed which is important as our ground is spread out geographically.
What do you think of the service you receive from RVW Pugh?
We have had Fendt tractors for a number of years now so knew we would receive excellent service from both Fendt and RVW Pugh.
What is your next planned purchase?
In his own words, Dan Lydiate tells us how he has found his recent delivery from RVW Pugh’s – an MF 5713 with loader.
“I had delivery of the MF 5713s on July 3rd. It was the first Massey Ferguson we have had on the farm and straight from the outset I was very pleased. As a loader tractor I would be interested to see if there was a better one on the market!”
“When stacking bales or piling up muck your hand doesn’t need to leave the joystick; everything is on there which is so handy! The shuttle forward and back, gear change and all of your loader functions! The cab is very spacious and comfortable and the visibility due to the sloping bonnet around the cab for loader work is top class. Our farm is a traditional hill farm so to have a tractor that packs a punch for its size is exactly what we need. The MF 5713s is 130hp so more than enough power for what we throw at it, but to have that power and manoeuvrabilty to get in and out of smaller sheds is perfect”.
“The simple button on pillar that sends extra oil flow to the loader comes in very handy when you’re solely doing loader work like piling up muck or loading/stacking bales. It means you’re not reving the guts out of the tractor to get the loader to move more quickly, it’s just very responsive when the tractor revs are idle .The loader is also very simple to un hook and hook back on from the tractor when I need a few days mowing or topping”.
“Overall I have been very impressed! It’s a great tractor loader combo!”
Adrian Marsh from Tern Hill, Market Drayton has had nearly 60 Fendts from RVW Pugh. Here he explains why he’s never looked back…
“I’m 51 now and started contracting with my first Ford 7710 tractor when I was 19 and had them until a friend said I should get a Fendt 716 on demo. We tried that from RVW Pugh and never bought another blue one again.
Since then we flirted with a Valtra but didn’t particularly like that. We now run three Fendt 724s, one Fendt 720 and one Fendt 828. I think in total we’ve had nearly 60 Fendts! We also run a small Claas Elios tractor for the horse yard.
For the main contracting work we look for something that the drivers like, quick on the road, easy to drive, ahead in terms of the technology and above all, reliable. We’re serviced by the Holmes Chapel branch and the workshop team are fantastic, they manage to do most of our booked in servicing in the evening or at the weekend when the drivers are having some rest and always respond to any minor breakdown swiftly.
Getting good service and keeping my tractors going is very important to me and even if they are struggling we have always had a replacement until the service guys can catch up. Contracting and driving for a contractor are tough jobs and I think Fendt tractors are the best. Anything that helps us meet and exceed customer expectations can only be a good thing.
All in all, I am very pleased!