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Happy Chappy BAGMA stalwart Bob Chapman reveals why getting older makes it easier to sell expensive machines

The beginning of BAGMA | Top dealers named | BTME, LAMMA previews


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Welcome to 2017


And what a year we are leaving behind. COMMENT

BRIAN SANGSTER PRESIDENT BAGMA AS I WRITE this, the hills all around are covered in snow suggesting winter is well and truly with us and another year is coming to an end. And what a year it’s been. Perhaps the main thing was the Brexit decision. Hasn’t a lot been talked and written about that subject and yet there’s still no clear understanding of what’s in store for us? Now Mr Trump is set to take over America. How will Britain, the EU, and indeed the rest of the world engage with America for the next four years? We do seem to be in a very precarious place in the world right now. It’s certainly been another hard year for tractor sales with yet again diminishing tractor sales year on year. At the recent CLIMMAR Congress, almost without exception, every other country reported the same decline in tractor sales. So we shouldn’t blame it all on Brexit, but it doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that not all the dealers are going to survive. We’ve already seen a number of dealer takeovers, mergers, franchise and area changes and some depots even closing with the inevitable casualties. One such company of course being very close to my heart. So here we are with the second edition of our new-look BAGMA Bulletin with this edition profiling an old BAGMA stalwart and past president, Bob Chapman. Bob’s a leading Council member, he’s also our Legal & Parliamentary representative and occasionally still attends the bira Board of Management where he’s also a past president. The membership magazine of the British Agricultural & Garden Machinery Association Published 6 times a year by bira publishing Editor Chris Boiling 07823 416860 Design Alan Bingle 07949 024737 Publishing director Sarah Golden 0121 446 6888 All advertising and media enquiries please email:


Apologies for the omission of some of your favourite specialist articles in the first of our new-look bulletins. Just put it down to teething troubles, however, our specialists are back with their pens fully charged and again in full flow this edition. Our BAGMA Newsletter distributed monthly via email has also been given a new look. You may have noticed, we’ve renamed it BAGMA Briefing. If you haven’t received yours yet, drop an email to Kari in the BAGMA office: We’ve been talking about our new website for some time now. Well, it’s now up and running and if you’ve not seen it yet there’s access to lots of information for members. Go to as usual and you’ll access our website on the back of the bira site. The Service Dealer Conference and Awards was an excellent event in which BAGMA were again one of the sponsors. A number of our members were again nominated for awards and I was privileged to present the ‘Professional Turfcare Dealer of the Year’ to one of our longstanding members, Lister Wilder Ltd. I would again like to congratulate Ian Nutt and his team. Finishing with some good news from the industry, the AEA has just released the October registrations for tractors over 50hp as being 33.5% up year on year. A much needed boost reducing the year to date to ‘just’ 1.4% below 2015. Keep up the good work guys! As I mentioned in my last President’s Pen, 2017 is our centenary year, so we are open to suggestions as to how we should celebrate this achievement throughout the year and especially in August. Please feel free to give us your thoughts.

BAGMA, Middleton House, 2 Main Road, Middleton Cheney, Banbury, Oxon, OX17 2TN Tel 01295 713 344 Fax 01295 711 665 BAGMA president Brian Sangster BAGMA director Keith Christian Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the material published in BAGMA Bulletin. bira Publishing Limited can accept no responsibility for claims made by manufacturers, advertisers or contributors. Views expressed by advertisers or contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher or of bira. Advertisers in BAGMA Bulletin are not agents of bira or any of their associated businesses, including bira bank and bira direct. Also, bira and its associated businesses never act as agents for any advertisers. Printed in the UK by Buxton Press.


TRADE NEWS Who are the top dealers? Plus new members secure new deals and BAGMA celebrates 100th birthday.


BAGMA CENTENARY How did it all begin? We trawl through the archives to find a report on how the first meeting came about.


COVER STORY Past president Bob Chapman says you need a niche.


SHOW PREVIEWS January is a busy time for dealers with shows in Harrogate, Peterborough and Paris

bira, 225 Bristol Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B5 7UB Tel 0121 446 6688 Fax 0121 446 5215 bira president 2016-17 Vin Vara CEO Alan Hawkins Finance director John Collins Marketing, membership & publishing director Sarah Golden Commercial director Jeff Moody Professional services & special projects director Bob Jarrett Business development manager Alasdair Straker: 07808 899316 Regional sales managers Leigh Green: 07572 790337 Lorna Lewis 07814 767 925





Case IH’s Optum 300 CVX was named 2017 Tractor of the Year at the EIMA international farm machinery show in Bologna, Italy. Built in Austria, the Optum CVX was praised for meeting the demands of customers requiring a 250-300hp tractor with a high power-to-weight ratio in a compact, manoeuvrable layout.


Seoul-based agricultural equipment manufacturer TYM has bought fellow South Korean tractor maker Kukje Machinery, which owns Branson Tractors. TYM says it will keep both the TYM and Branson brands. Nathan Walker, md of Branson Tractors UK, has reassured Branson dealers in the UK that it is “business as usual”.


All change for BAGMA committee THE BAGMA AGRI-TEC Group, formerly the BAGMA Machinery Committee, has changed its name again to better reflect its new goals. It is now called BAGMA Connect. It also has a new chairman. Owing to business commitments, Ian Nutt, managing director of Lister Wilder, has stepped down and his place has been taken by Peter Arrand of RBM Agricultural. James Daysh continues as vicechair. Peter explained the new name: “During a general discussion about engagement via social media, magazines and digital marketing it was decided that

connecting with the landbased engineering sectors at all levels and encouraging a diverse and proactive group of industry representatives to be a part of the group was paramount to its success.” The group will meet at least three times a year in different parts of the country with a core group who will extend invitations to local regions and encourage more involvement from BAGMA members. Any members interested in becoming involved with BAGMA Connect can contact Peter Arrand at or Keith Christian at

Kioti UK has moved from the centre of St Neots to the outskirts – from the former RECO premises to offices attached to Abbotsley Golf Hotel. General manager Patrick Desmond says the new premises give them “a firm base for development for the future in a rural location”. He added: “And with hotel facilities onsite it means we have the facility to invite our dealers for training and onsite demonstration work.”


Scammers have become more sophisticated in their bid to part us from our cash. The BAGMA office has heard of a new type of business scam that will affect businesses who regularly invoice customers by email and include bank details on the invoice or electronic documents for a return payment. It seems that sophisticated email intercepts from the bad guys can result in simple software being used to alter the bank payment details on the document. Once payments have been made to this account it may be very difficult, if not impossible to get your money back. “Be warned and be careful,” is the message from BAGMA.


The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has launched a new campaign highlighting the importance of trailer safety. The campaign includes an online guide accompanied with short video to help people check if their trailer is safe. DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “Even a short journey with an insecure or unroadworthy trailer puts lives at risk.”

JANUARY 18-19 LAMMA, The East of England Showground, Peterborough


17-19 BTME, Harrogate International Centre, Harrogate FEBRUARY

14 BAGMA South of Scotland Regional Group Meeting, Stirling, Scotland 14 BAGMA Curling Competition, Stirling, Scotland


NEW MEMBERS SECURE NEW DEALS New BAGMA member Andrew Smith & Son of Campbeltown (pictured) is the new Zetor dealer for Argyllshire. Zetor’s northern area manager Nigel Wilson said: “They are one of the latest additions to the Zetor UK network which is currently under major reconstruction”. Another new BAGMA member in Scotland, Douglas Bain of AS Tractors, Oldmeldrum, has become the distributor for Turkish tractor manufacturer Armatrac. Speaking at the Black Isle Agricultural Show, Douglas said: “I have been looking for a competitively priced and reliable tractor for a niche market and I’m confident the Armatrac will fit the bill.”

Tractor brand earns its Stripe NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE DEALER and BAGMA member Green Stripe Garden Machinery is celebrating 20 years in business this year. The business was started by Gavin and Kirsten Bird and moved to its present location in Bishop Bridge, near Market Rasen, from Hemswell Cliff in 2002. Their showroom offers more than 100 different types of machine and a comprehensive range of spare parts. The latest brand to join the line-up is TYM. Gavin says they became a TYM dealer at the end of last year because the tractors not only “excel”, but also because

of the strong relationship with Reesink Turfcare and in particular TYM sales manager Steven Haynes and product manager Scott Turner. “Cementing the decision is the fact that it is important as a small but successful family-run company to work with the best in the business and for us that meant working with Steven and Scott,” he said. Other new TYM dealers include Oakley Garden Machinery in Somerset, Curtis and Shaw in East Sussex, Riverlea Tractors in Pembrokeshire, and Revill Mowers in Gloucestershire. BAGMA BULLETIN JANUARY 2017


BAGMA celebrates 100 years Vintage tractors sell for 2017 SEES THE British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA) celebrating its 100th anniversary. First established in 1917 as the National Association of Agricultural Engineers and Implement Dealers, the name changed in 1928 to the Agricultural Machinery Dealers Association and changed again in 1944 to the Agricultural Machinery and Tractor Dealers Association, which was incorporated in 1947. It became the British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association in 1972. During its 100 years, the Association has had 52 presidents, most of whom have served a two-year term and have a come from many of the well-known family-owned dealerships from the landbased industry. The actual birthday is August 16, 2017, but the association plans to mark the anniversary in each of the editions of the BAGMA Bulletin this year, starting with the first meeting this issue (page 6). If you have anything to contribute to the history, please email the editor: chris. Keith Christian, director of BAGMA,

commented: “For 100 years the association has represented the interests of machinery dealers in the UK across a broad spectrum of activities including legislative issues, supplier contracts, legal, health and safety, education and training. BAGMA continues to do this with the added benefit to members of the support of its parent group, bira (British Independent Retailers Association).” Congratulatory messages have started to arrive at the BAGMA offices. Not surprisingly, one of the first came from its “sister association” in Germany. The 75-year-old LandBauTechnik-Bundesverband praised BAGMA for being “a strong partner” and then went on to say: “We regret the Brexit decision in June 2016, but we are sure that our strong relationship will hold on, hopefully for another 100 years. We wish BAGMA a pleasant anniversary year and look forward to enjoying an anniversary beer with BAGMA team in 2017.”

more than £200,000

THE AUCTION OF Murray Simpson’s vintage tractors (BAGMA Bulletin Nov/Dec 2016) raised more than £200,000 for his estate. Mr Simpson of TM Simpson Tractor Service in Ceres, Fife, Scotland, amassed the 45 tractors over 35 years. The top prices included: John Deere Gp 1931-1932 – £14,000; Allis Chalmers A 1940 – £11,000; John Deere G 1938 – £6,100; Case C 1936 – £5,250; David Brown Vak1 1943 – £5,200; John Deere B 1936 – £5,000; Allis Chalmers U 1943 – £4,800; John Deere A 1937 – £4,700; Minneapolis Moline Twin City Kta 1935 – £4,500; John Deere B (Short) 1937 – £4,200; Massey Harris 203 1940-43 – £4,000; Oliver 90 1940 – £3,600; Minneapolis Moline Ztu 1947 £3600. The firm’s low-mileage Volvo F717 lorry from 1980 went for £10,200. The earliest tractor in the colCLASSIC lection was an unrestored Fordson TALE F from 1921 which sold for £1,500. The tractors went to buyers as far north as Orkney and as far south as Devon and Cornwall. Irish buyers also went home with a few lots.

Our centenary year is under way COMMENT

KEITH CHRISTIAN DIRECTOR BAGMA HAPPY NEW YEAR and welcome to the second edition of our new BAGMA Member Magazine. We decided to mail out this edition in the New Year as it is the first of a series of 100th anniversary editions which will run throughout 2017. We will be running news and views from the last 100 years of BAGMA in its various forms and would welcome any input or items of historical interest from our readers. 2016 has been a year of great note politically with the country’s decision to leave Europe and all the shenanigans with our political parties. We all have a view on things but who knows where Brexit will take us. The drop in the value of the pound seems to have helped many agricultural machinery dealers clear out used stock and hopefully lightened the BAGMA BULLETIN JANUARY 2017

burden of some of their inventory costs. New machine sales in this sector have not fared so well and it looks likely that this may be a longterm problem. We have seen many changes with agricultural machinery dealerships, some closures, some takeovers and still a few mergers and manufacturer changes. The tough conditions may encourage more consolidation and closures but as yet we do not see much of a reduction in the number of dealer outlets. The garden machinery dealers appear to be slightly better off with more stability and reasonable business in 2016. The surge in new battery-powered equipment and growth in robotic mower sales will be helping some dealers who have moved quickly to embrace these ‘new’ opportunities in 2016 and are in a position to exploit these markets in 2017. Changes to apprenticeships with the Trailblazer programmes and more changes to funding bands still appear to favour the landbased industry sector and we will see these proposed changes come to fruition in

2017. It is a complicated changeover from the current apprentice framework and will be well reported in this magazine. After much debate and discussion, we now have a fully functional, proactive BAGMA committee which will now be called BAGMA Connect and will be chaired by Peter Arrand of RBM Agriculture. The purpose of this group will be to deal with the day-to-day industry issues and encourage much more member participation. This will leave the BAGMA Council of Representatives to focus on strategic issues for BAGMA and longer term issues that face the industry generally. As well as the overall promotion of BAGMA and member recruitment. Very precisely on August 16, 2017, the trade association for machinery dealers that became BAGMA will be 100 years old. Born near the end of the First World War to help dealers and to engage with government on various matters affecting the farming industry in the UK, BAGMA continues to operate as intended 100 years ago.





Campey Turf Care Systems has provided a remedy for the leaf and debris problem at Cotswold Hills Golf Club. The BAGMA member has provided course manager Wayne Vincent with a Votex B40 Blower. Wayne said this blower has enabled him “to reduce our labour because there’s no longer the need to have men using hand blowers, because the B40 can get through all the copses, and if it can’t quite get into an area we can rotate the nozzle”.

Kubota appoints national distributor for Scotland ENGINE MANUFACTURER KUBOTA aims to increase its market share and brand awareness in Scotland after appointing a new distributor for the country. Engine and transmission specialists Mitchell Powersystems of Glasgow has signed up to supply Kubota’s full range of oil and water-cooled diesel and dual fuel engines, and offer full customer support in the region. Daniel Grant, business development manager

for Kubota’s engines division, said: “This partnership is all about strengthening our service offering and proposition across Scotland by joining forces with one of the most reputable engine specialists in the country.” Jem Engines, Kubota’s previous engine dealer for Scotland, will continue to represent the company under the guidance and support of Mitchell Powersystems.

THREE UK DEALERS WIN TRIP TO JAPAN THREE LUCKY UK dealers – Bartram Mowers, Ron Smith & Co and RT Machinery – have visited the Land of the Rising Sun after triumphing in Etesia’s Attila sales competition. After selecting these three companies to join 17 other dealers from Europe on the trip to Japan, operations director Les Malin said: “Competition has been fierce throughout the year, so I am delighted that so many dealers from the UK have responded to the challenge and won a chance to visit Japan. Their achievements reflect the increasing success of Attila ride-on and

pedestrian brushcutters in this country.” The itinerary included sightseeing and experiencing traditional Japanese hospitality and cuisine, as well as making a visit to the Orec and Toyota factories.


BAGMA member Stratton ATV has sold eight Polaris ACE 4 x 4s to the 43,000-acre Glenfeshie Estate in Inverness-shire. It is believed the estate, owned by Danish billionaire Anders Holch Polvsen, will offer the machines to guests so they can explore the many off-road tracks and trails on the estate, which sits in the south-west corner of the Cairngorms National Park.


BAGMA member Carters of Swanwick in Southampton is one of two new franchisees for the Suzuki ATV range. The other is Agroco Trailers in Ipswich. They join a network of more than 70 Suzuki franchises. Paul Tanner, company development manager at Carters, said: “We are very proud to have been appointed a Suzuki ATV dealer in our 95th year of business. With our ever increasing groundscare and domestic commitment, ATVs play a very important part in our product line-up.”


Duncan Russell, services manager at the Agricultural Engineers Association, has retired after 15 years at the AEA. Duncan is looking forward to enjoying some free time and indulging his passion for classic cars. BAGMA has wished him a very happy and enjoyable retirement and thanked him for all his support and cooperation over the past 15 years.


Top marks for Midlands Grounds Machinery MIDLANDS GROUNDS MACHINERY has sold an Etesia Hydro 124 DN ride-on mower to Solihull School, West Midlands. Head of grounds Karl Brotherhood says it is ‘perfect’ for helping him fulfil a number maintenance tasks around the 50-acre site. “I’d seen the Etesia machine in a number of trade magazines and it had caught my interest,” Karl confessed. “I had a chat with Dave Tullett from Midlands Grounds Machinery who brought the machine down to the school for a demonstration along with Ian Collington (southern area sales manager for Etesia) and it was obvious that this machine was perfect for what we wanted.” Karl added: “A big factor in buying a new machine is the back-up you receive from not only the dealer but also the manufacturer and I could tell that we would get a great service if we bought the Etesia machine.”

The winner of the SIP enginedriven pressure washer, offered as a prize on the BAGMA stand during Saltex, is Andrew Evans of Ieuan Evans & Son in Llandeilo. Ieuan Evans & Son sells ATVs, lawncare and forestry equipment. The draw was made by SIP’s national sales manager Paul Fennell after the show. To learn more about SIP visit



The top dealers Here they are – the Dealers of the Year 2016. In a ceremony at the Oxford Belfry Hotel, the prestigious Service Dealer Awards were presented to the stars of the industry. Cyril Johnston’s Conor Magee, Stephen Egerton, Brian Mitchell and Tom Black celebrate with their award

Chris and Trish Biddle present the award to Debbie and Graham Dale


Graham Dale, who retired from Lely Turfcare after 33 years working with the Lely organisation and 36 years associated with Toro, was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement award. Throughout his time at Lely, Graham saw turnover grow from £10m to over £50m. Tim Wall of Hertfordshire Garden

Machinery with Mark Kerr, UK OEM sales manager of sponsor Briggs & Stratton

GARDEN MACHINERY DEALER OF THE YEAR Joint winners: Hertfordshire Garden Machinery Ltd of Welwyn Garden City, and Cyril Johnston & Co Ltd of Belfast

Hertfordshire Garden Machinery specialises in the distribution and supply of garden machinery from Welwyn Garden City to all towns in the county. Cyril Johnston & Co Ltd specialises in the distribution and supply of garden machinery and equipment to customers throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland. The judges said: “Hertfordshire Garden

Machinery is barely four years old. The husband and wife team of Tim and Lyndsey have, in a short time, built up an impressive array of leading franchises and a very loyal customer following. “Cyril Johnston is a large, long-established, family-owned business with a fantastic new showroom displaying a diverse product range and offering initiatives such as a customer loyalty scheme.” In the final, these two dealers beat Ron Smith & Co of Worcester and Strathbogie Saw Service in Aberdeenshire.

OTHER WINNERS FORESTRY EQUIPMENT DEALER OF THE YEAR: F R Jones & Son, South-East London ATV/QUAD DEALER OF THE YEAR: Congleton Garden Machinery, Cheshire STAR OF THE DEALERSHIP: Gary Tully (Cyril Johnston & Co Ltd) APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR: Max Evans (BS Mowers Ltd)

Georgina and Arwel Evans receive their award from Julian Thompson (centre), managing director of sponsor Kramp UK Ltd

FARM MACHINERY DEALER OF THE YEAR Winner: Arwel Agri Services, Carmarthenshire

Arwel Agri Services is a family-run farm machinery and service business based in Harford, Carmarthenshire, West Wales. The judges said: “Arwel’s were one of the smaller dealers nominated this year. They really struck the judging panel as up and coming with a tailored approach to their part of the world with a good range of livestock equipment.” The runners-up were Yorkshire dealers Russells and Ripon Farm Services.

PROFESSIONAL TURFCARE DEALER OF THE YEAR Winner: Lister Wilder Ltd, Oxfordshire and branches

Lister Wilder is a family-owned business which specialises in supplying and maintaining machinery for the agriculture, groundcare, construction and arboriculture markets. The judges said: “As a larger more traditionally ag-based dealer (and indeed a recent winner of the Farm Machinery Dealer Award), Lister Wilder has demonstrated their entrepreneurial edge and ability to change over the last few years by broadening their remit to cover more groundcare. This has enabled them to continue trading successfully in what have been very difficult times for large tractor and ag machinery dealers. Lister Wilder has also been recognised with awards from Trimax and Kubota this year.” The runners-up were Cyril Johnston & Co Ltd of Belfast and Broderick Grass Machinery (NI) of Newtownabbey. BAGMA BULLETIN JANUARY 2017

Ian Nutt (second from right) and his team receive their award from BAGMA president Brian Sangster (centre)



‘A Federation of implement dealers in the United Kingdom is urgently needed’ BAGMA was born during one of the darkest periods of British history – during the First World War. IN 1917, GERMANY introduced from the Women’s Land Army worked unrestricted warfare and one in four on farms to fill the void left by men. A merchant ships were sent to the botfurther 66,000 soldiers returned from tom of the Atlantic by U-Boats. As a the frontline to help with the harvest. consequence, Britain’s food supply was And crucially tractors began to do the in jeopardy. work of many hands. In 1917 the GovThe Ministry of Food made rationernment bought 400 British Saundering compulsory and the newly-formed son Tractors and a further $3.2million War Agricultural Executive Commitwas invested in US models such as the tees in each county enforced the CulFordson. tivation of Lands Order, which saw the This was the setting when the Impleploughing of 2.5 million acres of grazing ment & Machinery Review’s May 1, land. 1917, edition ran an article headlined Within a short space of ‘An Implement Dealers Fedtime, the pre-war system of eration Wanted’. The article livestock dominated prostated: “Recent events, duction moved to arable The minimum especially in connection farming, particularly wheat subscription fee set with the Government tracat the association’s and potatoes. tor ploughing scheme, show first meeting in 1917. The Government also that a Federation of impleBut JB Pasche and SJ encouraged the transfor- Mawle said it was too ment dealers in the United mation of back gardens low and paid £5. Kingdom is urgently needinto allotments or small ed. It is, we think, much to holdings to increase food production. be regretted that the Implement DealEven the Royal Family played their part ers Federation, which was formed a few with the gardens at Buckingham Palace years ago, was allowed to expire, but turned over to horticulture. that it might now be advantageously This was also a time when the farmrevived seems to admit of little doubt. ing industry had lost more than 170,000 “It cannot be denied that a powerfarmers and 500,000 farm horses to ful association of agents, such as we the frontline. Faced by a lack of labour, believe could be formed, would have a farms adapted the way they worked to most beneficial effect upon the indusmeet the new challenges. try, and we need only point to the good A total of 98,000 extra women work accomplished by the Agricultural

1 guinea


Congratulatory messages have started to arrive at the BAGMA offices. Not surprisingly, one of the first came from its “sister association” in Germany. The 75-year-old LandBauTechnik-Bundesverband praised BAGMA for being “a strong partner” and then went on to say: “We regret the Brexit decision in June 2016, but we are sure that our strong relationship will hold on, hopefully for another 100 years. We wish BAGMA a pleasant anniversary year and look forward to enjoying an anniversary beer with BAGMA team in 2017.”


Engineers Association, the National Traction Engine Owners & Users Association, the Steam Cultivation Development Association, and other bodies, to bring to mind the advantages of combination.” Two of the driving forces behind the creation of an association of implement dealers were AJ Fletcher of Drake & Fletcher, Maidstone, who, as a member of the Kent Implement Dealers Association, “saw the necessity of a national association”, and Sir Ashton Lister of Dursley, who “circularised over a thousand implement agents to ascertain their views as to the establishment of an Association”. The aim was to create “a powerful organisation of implement dealers, which shall vigorously safeguard and promote the interests of the trade and be in every way worthy of the increasingly important industry it represents.” BAGMA BULLETIN JANUARY 2017

BAGMA CENTENARY For each of the 2017 editions of the BAGMA Bulletin we will be looking at key moments in the formation of the association and in the industry. If you have anything to contribute, please email the editor:

The year that was 1917

Britain is now into the fourth year of war with Germany. It’s the year when America and Greece entered the war, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia abdicates and Lenin begins his rule, British troops capture Baghdad (then the southern capital of the Ottoman Empire) and Jerusalem, Germany starts dropping bombs on London from fixed-wing aircraft, and TE Lawrence leads the Arabs into Aquaba. Bread rationing is introduced and the Women’s Land Army is formed.

60 shillings

The weekly wage of London bus drivers


The price of a pint of beer


Average cost of a house in the southeast


Average price of a car


Price of a litre of fuel


Price of a loaf of bread


Price of a pint of milk

Dealers were encouraged to attend a meeting at the Midland Grand Hotel, St Pancras, London, on the afternoon of August 16, 1917. The Review reported: “A very gratifying number of agents from all parts of the kingdom supported by a good sprinkling of manufacturers were present and it was evident that they came firmly resolved to form an association.” The new association formed that day was described by the Review as “a defensive body – an Association, moreover, that can render the Government very substantial help in many of their schemes for increasing the food production of the United Kingdom”. The first committee comprised 20 gentlemen representing different parts of the country. C Hussey of Hammond & Hussey of Croydon was the first chairman and AJ Fletcher was elected as secretary. Of the 20 companies repBAGMA BULLETIN JANUARY 2017

resented on that first committee, six are still members of BAGMA. These are TH White of Devizes, Alexander & Duncan of Leominster, AT Oliver of Luton, G Thurlow & Sons of Stowmarket, F Randell Ltd of North Walsham, and Peacock & Binnington of Brigg. The National Association of Agricultural Engineers & Implement Dealers’ first task was to negotiate with the Government to plough the million acres for the harvest of 1918. Longer term, the association’s objectives – as stated in the original minute book – included: lT  o encourage, promote, and protect the agricultural machinery and implement industry, to watch over and protect the general interests of users of agricultural machinery and implements, and of companies, firms, persons engaged in this trade; lT  o communicate any information that this Association may obtain;

lT  o render all assistance possible to the Government in carrying out their proposals for the greater production of food. It wasn’t long before the newlyformed association met up with the manufacturers’ body, the Agricultural Engineers Association. A deputation from the dealers’ association attended an AEA meeting on October 3, 1917. Keith Christian, director of BAGMA, said: “For 100 years the association has represented the interests of machinery dealers in the UK across a broad spectrum of activities including legislative issues, supplier contracts, legal, health and safety, education and training. BAGMA continues to do this with the added benefit to members of the support of its parent group, bira (British Independent Retailers Association). These extra benefits include the only trade association owned bank in the UK.”



How will healthy and safety change after Brexit? SINCE THE UK voted knows what’s going to happen. to leave the EU in June Next steps. Until the UK actually exits the PAUL MARSH Office manager 2016, there has been EU, the directives that much of our health and Safetyaide speculation about how safety framework is based on will apply in full. If health and safety is to be changes to these directives are made or new ones regulated. What’s on the added, the UK will still have a duty to transpose cards? them into regulations. That said, how quickly the Plenty of opinion. HSE will draft the new regulations or how active Almost as soon as the it will be in enforcing them remains to be seen. results were in, We suspect that neither will be top of its column inches were filled by “experts” ‘TAKING priority list. predicting the future of health and YOUR In the longer term? After the UK has safety legislation. Some commentators EYE OFF left the EU, in theory, the HSE could were pronouncing a bright future with THE BALL decide to start from scratch and bring in red tape being slashed. COULD BE new regulations. Alternatively, it could So will there be major changes? In COSTLY’ make minor changes to what’s currentthe short term the answer is “no”. In the ly in place. Or it could simply leave the longer term, possibly. Despite the fact that solegislation as it is but remove references to the called expert opinion has indicated that wholedirectives. Even the HSE’s future is unclear. Will sale changes are on their way, no one really the government leave it alone or will it use the SAFETY

opportunity to change the way health and safety legislation is enforced? Tip: For now, the only clear advice we can give is to carry on as you were. HSE inspectors are still active. The fee for intervention scheme under which HSE inspectors charge businesses for their enforcement time - is still in place. The impact of the Sentencing Guidelines is being felt, with greater penalties being handed out in court, and civil compensation claims continue to be made. Therefore, taking your eye off the ball could be costly. The current situation regarding health and safety following the Brexit vote is that nothing has changed and nor will it for some time to come. So, continue as you are. The longer-term picture is unclear as no decisions have yet been made.

To Train or not to Train? THE TITLE IS not a question, it’s a forgone conclusion. A good Independent analogy would be to ask consultant and LTA yourself ‘To breathe or scheme co-ordinator not to breathe?’ Skills and knowledge are the lifeblood of industry just as important as breathing is to us all. Businesses within our industry are enjoying mixed fortunes at the moment, depending upon which sector the business is operating within. There are always challenges, its normal! All business trends go in cycles, they always have done and I don’t see that changing, there are influences beyond control and the secret is not to waste time and energy on the things we cannot change. Ask yourself, can I do anything to influence the situation and if the answer is ‘no’ divert your energy into something that brings positive results for you and the business. The challenge is making the right decision in what you can influence! In my experience not enough people take ownership of situations, choosing to turn a blind eye. Trust me, raising the industry profile, attracting young people into apprenticeships, recruiting staff with the right attitude, upskilling staff within industry and accepting that investment in training is a given is a responsibility that has to be undertaken. Good years of sales bring with them their own challenges e.g. marketplace saturation, high second-hand machinery stocks, complacency, TRAINING



the need to recruit additional staff and the business outgrowing its management potential to mention but a few. I am sure that manufacturers will recoil in horror at my suggestion that sales volumes are not the only Holy Grail. Profitability, investment, securing the business’s future and meeting the customer’s expectations top the list in my view. People make businesses successful and when the going gets tough and margins become squeezed is the best possible time to have proficient staff around you. Why is it that when business is challenging there is this instant knee-jerk reaction to cut training investment? It shows the eye is being taken off the long game. I will leave you with a thought! In a recent survey 53% considered that the most effective way of gaining new customers was word of mouth. Now let me consider this for a moment, why would this be, is it that the dealer has: lP  alatial premises? I think customers prefer quality service and to a point value this higher than how the dealership is packaged. lT  he products are the best available? Quite possibly, premium products come with supplier competition. Word of mouth would therefore be related to product which may not be the ‘must have’ product next month. lT  he prices are the lowest? I suspect customers who put price over service head for the internet and will not support your business, you will be as good as your price. Quality product support costs money ultimately the product sale price has to finance this.

I suspect word of mouth recommendations are more related to the dealership’s integrity, knowledge, skills and provision of sales expertise in tune with the customer’s needs, properly resourced parts operations and efficient well trained technical support. Customer satisfaction drives repeat business, this is not always benchmarked by the business premises, the franchise held or the lowest price. Now back to the title! There is no option but to train staff! However like any investment, invest wisely consider conducting a training needs analysis the best place to start being with you own case. You can train as much as you like but if the business or departmental management does not create the appropriate working conditions and relationships. Staff, your internal customers can vote with their feet just like your retail customers. Before making a snap decision and condemning my thoughts, study the lost sales reports, scrutinise the cost of sales, cases of lost customers, work in progress, labour utilisation, rejected warranty claims, the amount of parts stock ordered on emergency and the deficits in parts stock. I’m not a gambling man but I would not mind betting you might just find that training will prove to be a gold chip investment.


If you would like to comment or share experiences please mail me on



Important changes to your duty to disclose information to insurers THE INSUR A NCE ACT 2015 came into force DEBBIE REID five months ago. It applies BAGMA Client services manager to business insurance policies and follows legislation already introduced for consumer insurance. The new Act changes what an insurer can do following non-disclosure of risk information by an insured. Previously an insurer could avoid claims, as well as cancel policies without premium refund. This was seen as unfair, particularly where the non-disclosure was unintentional. It was also contrary to modern insurance practice and one of the reasons for the new legislation. The action available to an insurer will now depend on whether non-disclosure by an insured was deliberate or reckless, or otherwise. At best, non-disclosure, whether deliberate or not, will delay claims settlement by the insurer. This is likely to put added financial pressure on a business at the time of a major loss. Business managers should understand their responsibility for INSURANCE


the disclosure of relevant information and what they can do to avoid non-disclosure. For larger businesses, this should include a documented search for information with questionnaires completed by others, or email trails. Evidence of a search for information can be used to prove that non-disclosure is not deliberate or reckless. Interestingly, the Act defines individuals who must disclose information. This is new and includes specifically senior managers, anyone involved in insurance procurement, insurance advisers and other agents of the insured, and anyone else who would benefit from the insurance. The Act also rewrites the rules around insurance policy conditions and warranties. Of particular note are the following: lA  ny rule of law that breach of a warranty (express or implied) in a contract of insurance results in the discharge of the insurer’s liability under the contract is abolished; lA  material representation made by an insured cannot be converted automatically into a policy warranty, even if declared to form the basis of the contract;

lA  n insurer will still be able to refuse to pay a claim, but only whilst a warranty has been breached; lT  he insurer cannot refuse to pay a claim if the warranty is not relevant to the loss. lT  here are other limitations around changes in circumstance and legality. Finally, anything in an insurance policy that puts the insured in a worse position than in accordance with the Act will have no effect. However, an insurer can contract out of this and include policy terms that are against the provisions allowed by the Act. This is subject to a test of transparency and does not apply to warranties resulting from representations made by the insured.


about the Insurance Act, advice on how to ensure your business complies with its terms and best practice, BAGMA members should contact Debbie Reid, BAGMA client services manager on 0344 8921330 or by email: info@



Biker Bob

BAGMA Bulletin meets up with one of the association’s stalwarts, Bob Chapman of Bavenhill Mechanics IN REAL LIFE, Bob Chapman could never be mistaken for a flash git. On paper, he could. He has a plane and co-owns an airfield. He has a fleet of cars that include a TVR Chimaera and a BMW 535. His motorbikes include a HarleyDavidson Ultra Classic and a Norton Commando. He owns a holiday home in the south of France and a business selling products with price tags in excess of £130,000. As we tour the business’s cluttered offices and storeroom, noisy workshop and new paintspraying room, ‘functional’ – not ‘flash’ – is the f-word that comes to mind. “These are investments I can enjoy, and the company benefits too,” Bob explains, as he drives across the road to the airstrip and hangars he co-owns with two other private pilots. The Cessna 182 aircraft is used to visit clients and win orders in the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and southwest England. The BMW 535 is “another project”. Bob has had the Norton for 35


years, while the Harley-Davison is used for trips This is because his businesses, Bavenhill to London “to beat” traffic and the Congestion Mechanics Co Ltd and Pattenden Machinery, Charge. “The train is the easy option,” Bob says. started in a former blacksmith’s forge, and the In May he plans to ride his Harley-Davidson present site at Preston Cross used to be a blackthrough France, visiting some dealers and his smith’s shop. Metalwork also makes up a large crop sprayer supplier, Berthoud, on the way. He chunk of the business. Pattenden manufactures invites other BAGMA members to join him and specialist fruit harvesters. fellow ‘BAGMA biker’, director Brought up on a farm by his Keith Christian, on the trip. grandparents, Bob joined Baven‘THE OLDER YOU Most of his biking is done GET, CUSTOMERS hill as a trainee manager in 1978, between his home near the mar- SEEM TO THINK after studying ag-engineering at ket town of Ledbury, in Here- YOU KNOW Rycotewood College (Thame) and fordshire, and London, where he WHAT YOU’RE serving an apprenticeship with a attends meetings of bira’s Legal TALKING ABOUT’ Ford dealer. He has been running & Parliamentary Affairs Comthe business since 1984, and still mittee. Guests at the meetings have included gets his hands greasy. high-profile politicians such as John Redwood The descriptions of him by friends range and Chukka Umana. When asked to introduce from “happy Chappy” to “larger than life charhimself to these MPs, Bob has been known to acter running a very specialist family business, describe himself as “a blacksmith from Hera stalwart of the BAGMA Council and great efordshire”. supporter of bira”. BAGMA BULLETIN JANUARY 2017





Photo: Paul Driver

Bob first became involved in BAGMA by attending local meetings. Then he was invited to national meetings and in 2001 he became the association’s president. For his inauguration, he flew himself to Oporto, in Portugal, for the BHF Group’s annual conference. This two-year stint as the figurehead for BAGMA led, in 2007, to Bob being appointed president of the BHF Group (bira’s forerunner). His advice then and now for independents is to “find a niche”. “Then you’re not trying to compete head-on with the big boys,” he says. Bob has certainly found a niche or two at Bavenhill Mechanics. After being a Fendt dealer for 20 years and having also sold Renault, Deutz, and Marshall tractors, Bavenill concentrates on Siromer tractors and making, selling and repairing harvesters for blackcurrants, raspberries, dwarf hops and cider apples. Cider is a particularly strong area for them and it is no coincidence that the world’s largest cider producer, Bulmers, is based nearby in Hereford. But, Bob says, this niche is “probably reach-

ing saturation”. After a frenetic period of plantHis interests include pheasant shooting and ing new apple orchards, there are signs of prorugby. He played for Ledbury’s first team for 30 ducers “backing off on the amount of apples they years and is still on the board at the club. He are taking”. Bob is hopeful of taking advantage has dabbled in golf but doesn’t have the time to of the growth of cider in Australia and the USA, play the game seriously. His clubs are gathering and the weaker pound since the Brexit decision, dust in the garage, near the covered TVR and but, just in case, he is developing other niches. motorbikes. Pattenden has developed a specialist Bob is 63 and working as hard as ever. Typimachine that helps to bend the hoops for polycally he starts at 7.30am and continues until tunnels. One of these machines was recently 6pm. He also goes into the office on Saturday sold to Australia. Another new growth area mornings. “I’d like to do a bit less but I’m quite is supplying renewable energy to farms. Since happy being involved,” he told BAGMA BulleBob’s son Christopher joined the business with tin. “Before my sons got involved I was thinking expertise in this field, Bavenhill has been doing about making plans to sell this business, but I well setting up chicken sheds heated by air and don’t want to stop now.” ground sources. The margins, Bob says, are a lot He is the key salesman. The business has a better than with tractor sales. website and attends some shows, but most of Bob and his wife Gini have four children. the sales come from face-to-face meetings. Bob One of his other sons, Clive, is also involved in says, after 40 years of practise, selling is easier the business and deals mostly with the patents now. “The older you get, customers seem to for the blackcurrant and apple harvestthink you know what you’re talking ers and the manufacturing side about,” he says. of the business. He usually delivers the prodBob himself was a twin. ucts too, as he believes it’s His brother lives in France, important to take this and this connection has opportunity to build up “You’ve always got to helped Bob to master a relationship with a make a margin. There French. customer he may have will always be something only spoken with on that catches you out so the phone before. He your margin has got to can deal with the same allow for that.” machine three or four times in its lifetime, taking it back in part-exchange for a new machine, repairing it and selling it on again. The tricky part is buying it back at the right price – he can’t go too low because he wants customers of new machines to feel they have made a shrewd investment. Bob also plans to invest in the business this year and aims to build a new workshop and office on the current site – heated by ground source energy, of course. How flash is that!


It’s showtime! January provides two great opportunities to see the latest products, meet old and new suppliers, and network with fellow dealers



New XUV and HPX Gator utility vehicles are now available ex-factory fitted with Datatag’s CESAR security marking and registration system as standard. Models from the range will be shown on the John Deere stand (G17) alongside the new topof-the-range 6R Series tractors and FarmSight precision farming technology.

January 18-19 The East of England Showground, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

WITH MORE THAN 900 exhibitors, LAMMA is the UK’s largest farm machinery, equipment and agricultural services show. Free to attend, it regularly attracts up to 40,000 farmers from around the country and overseas. BAGMA will be there and is cooperating with three other organisations to provide visitors with a neat line-up of trade associations in one place, Hall 6. The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) will be on stand 643, BAGMA on 644, the Landbased Engineering Training and Education Committee (LE-TEC) on 645 and the Institute of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) on 646. The aim is to work together to support LE-TEC and promote careers in agricultural engineering. Dealers, manufacturers and individuals are encouraged to visit this group of stands to learn what is being done in the industry to ensure the future of our workforce. New products due to be launched at the show include:

lA  utomatrics’ extremely small tracking products; lM  assey Ferguson’s MF 5700 Global Series tractors; lT  ractAir’s Central Tyre Inflation Systems; lR  DS Technology’s on-board weighing scales for agricultural loaders; l I seki’s TG tractors; lB  auer’s expanded range of steel tank slurry and digestate spreaders; lN  ew exhibitor PRM Waste Systems’ new pelletiser; and lV  äderstad’s TopDown cultivator in working widths of between 3m and 9m.


Stand G17


Master Climate Solutions will present its full range at LAMMA on stand B41. The mobile heaters are aimed at those who need high power heating with low running costs. They are suitable for heating livestock buildings, warehouses and for drying cereal and vegetables. A wide range of accessories means they can be adapted to individual needs. Simple and quick to install, they are also good for temporary heating.

Stand B41


A highlight of STIHL’s stand will be the BR 450 C-EF, the new and improved version of the BR 450 that boasts electric start. The key difference is the machine’s ability to restart quickly, with no need to take it off. The blower can simply be started up while on the

user’s back – meaning no unnecessary interruptions during the long work day. Another benefit of the machine is the engine is switched off when not in use instead of being left on idle, reducing the noise output and fuel losses.

Hall 4, Stand 492



BTME offers great networking opportunities for dealers NEW PRODUCTS, NEW techManagers’ Conference offers more nology, new materials – it’s all at than 200 hours of education and the Harrogate International Censome excellent networking opportre from January 17-19. tunities. Last year’s event saw That’s when the BIG GA nearly 9,000 turf managers, golf Turf Management club owners, manExhibition (BTME) agers and industry takes place. Four decision-makers halls packed with turning up. BIGGA Turf Management 150 exhibitors The ‘Continue to Exhibition (BTME) and thousands of Learn’ workshops January 17-19 products and ideas. include guest speakHarrogate The ex hibition ers such as Neil ClevInternational covers everything erly, superintendent Centre, Yorkshire from ar tif icial of the Olympic Golf grass to golf course Course in Rio, and furniture, irrigation to fertilisers. the course managers and superArtificial turf manufacturers, intendents responsible for hosting mower manufacturers and seed the last four Ryder Cups. Their providers mix with colleges and discussion will be guided by BBC other education providers. Breakfast TV presenter and keen Alongside BTME, the Turf golfer Naga Munchetty.



New to the HE-VA range of machines is the Crimper Roller, a knife roller designed to roll, cut and bruise cover crops in front of a direct drill. Rolling down the canopy, the Crimper Roller makes it easier to drill through a heavy cover crop and bruises the foliage to speed up degradation. “The advent of large-scale cover cropping has led to increased interest in how to destroy and drill through the canopy,” commented James Woolway, OPICO managing director. “This new Crimper Roller has angled edges set at 140mm spacing to cut or bruise the cover crop every 140mm along its length. This allows effective drilling, whilst also ensuring quicker decomposition of the cover crop” The Crimper Roller is available in a 3m rigid model, or 3m, 4m or 6m folding models, starting at £5097 + VAT. The 6m Crimper Roller (pictured) will be on display on the OPICO HE-VA stand (B10) at LAMMA. It retails at £10,963 +VAT.


John Deere will be launching a new fairway mower at BTME 2017. The 8900A PrecisionCut fairway mower, the widest John Deere fairway mower yet, is the latest addition to the company’s award-winning A Model family of fairway, rough, trim and surrounds mowers.

All these suppliers are available through bira direct Your buying division – offering you discounts and credit! For more information, call our product sourcing department - Mike Whiles on 0121 446 6688.

bira direct - BB advert.indd 1


01/12/2016 13:08:10




SIMA 2017 February 28 to March 2 Paris-Nord Villepinte exhibition centre, Paris, France

WHAT WILL FARMING be like in ten years’ time? Visitors to SIMA, the Paris International Agri-Business Show, will get a glimpse into the future of farming when the leading manufacturers and 15 start-up companies unveil their innovations. The future will also be the key topic at one of the side events. The morning discussion at Le SIMA Dealer’s Day-Ting (Monday, February 27) will see dealer associations from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and the USA discussing the topic of ‘Being a dealer in 10 years’. The show itself, at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre, will see 1,740 exhibiting companies from 40 countries taking part. The lineup includes new participants from Korea, China, India, Turkey, Finland, Indonesia, Japan and North America. Companies from Italy, Ireland and the Czech Republic have taken more space. To accommodate the new exhibitors, SIMA 2017 will stretch from hall 2 to hall 7. Hall 2 will host the SIMAGENA Ring as well as part of the milking and livestock machinery sector which will also spread to hall 3. The expanded New Technology and On-board Electronics sector will be in hall 4.

Trelleborg to launch goldmedal-winning product at SIMA

Trelleborg has been awarded a gold medal at the 2017 SIMA Innovation Awards for its new Variable Inflation Pressure (VIP) system. Developed in partnership with tractor manufacturer Agco Fendt, the VIP system is a smart and autonomous complete wheel that’s capable of self-adjusting the pressure of a combine harvester’s tyre according to its precise load during operation, optimising the tyre’s footprint in order to reduce soil compaction. The system will be launched at the 2017 SIMA Exhibition in Paris, February 26 to March 2.

GROWING THE WORLD PREPARE YOUR VISIT ON FOLLOW us ON Contact: Amélie GALATRY - Promosalons UK +44 20 8216 3100


innOVaTiOn YfirsT B

s er in 10 year B e i n g a fa r m



• Register for your free badge with the special code INTJVNUZ6 EXPOSIMA 70, avenue du Général de Gaulle - 92058 Paris La Défense cedex Tél. : +33 (0)1 76 77 11 11 - Fax : +33 (0)1 53 30 95 09 E-mail :



SPECIAL EVENTS AT SIMA AXEMA-EurAgEng Conference Saturday, February 25


The aim of this conference is to build closer ties between the agricultural machinery industry and the academic and research world. The theme is ‘Ecologically intensive agriculture: an opportunity for innovation in equipment and systems’.

African Summit Sunday, February 26

SIMA aims to bring together professionals from the agricultural sector, exhibitors and African institutional partners during two events at the show: on Sunday, February 26, when African ministers and ambassadors gather for the opening of the show; and on Tuesday, February 28 at a conference with the theme ‘Agricultural mechanisation in Africa: the best strategy for establishing a foothold in this market’.

Le SIMA Dealer’s Day-Ting Monday, February 27

The morning will see dealer associations from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and the USA discussing the topic of ‘Being a dealer in 10 years’. The afternoon will be given over to business meetings between exhibitors and dealers. This event is organised in association with SEDIMA and CLIMMAR (the distributors’ network in Europe), with additional contributions from EMDA for the USA and CAMDA for China.


BAGMA Annual Curling Match February 14 The Peak, Stirling Sports Village, Forthside Way, Stirling FK7 7UJ THERE WILL BE no love lost among dealers and suppliers on February 14, when the 29th annual BAGMA Curling Match takes place at Stirling Sports Village. As usual, all standards of curlers are welcome to attend and play, from experienced players to complete novices. It’s one of the highlights of the BAGMA calendar north of the border. Anyone connected with the industry is invited as BAGMA is hoping for a record turnout in its centenary year. The cost is £25 per player, which covers ice time and a meal after the match. The event is sponsored by Safety Aide Limited, the health & safety/environmental consultants to BAGMA members. If you wish to take part, visit the BAGMA website for further details and a booking form. Prior to the match, the South of Scotland regional meeting will be held at Forthbank Stadium, which is adjacent to The Peak. BAGMA BULLETIN JANUARY 2017

Lower margins and uncertainty BAGMA hears about the challenging market conditions in Europe BAGMA WAS ONE of the 16 national dealer dealerships and now owns 23 outlets. In both associations at the 63rd annual congress of Italy and Sweden several tractor and machinery CLIMMAR (Centre de Liaison International manufacturers have started with direct sales. In des Marchands de Machines Agricoles et Italy, multiple manufacturers (like MaterMacc Réparateurs). Meeting in Venice, Italy, the assoand Goldoni) are now owned by Chinese manuciations discussed the difficult market condifacturers. One of the largest New Holland dealers tions, continuing reorganisations of distribution closed but other brands have filled the gap. channels and new European RMI regulations. Despite the market conditions stabilising Delegates heard how low prices for commodiagain, Danish Dansk Maskinhandlerforening ties like milk, meat and arable products have led is experiencing turmoil in dealerships. Several to lower incomes for farmers throughout Europe, brands including Agco, Claas, John Deere and resulting in lower demand for new Väderstad have reorganised their distractors and machinery. In Germa- ‘34% OF tribution channels both severely and ny, for instance, LandBauTechnik- DEALERS rapidly. One third of the Agco dealers Bundesverband reports an overall ARE MAKING have gone and LMB Danmark A/S downturn in the market leading to A LOSS ON took over the Claas importership. lower dealer margins and uncertain- OPERATIONS’ Most striking is the new strategy ty. John Deere decreased the number of John Deere, that will transfer its of authorised dealers from 60 to 38 and Agco complete importer and dealerships within six (Fendt) and Claas forced large dealer companies months to Semler Gruppen, the importer of to choose a single and exclusive brand strategy. Volkswagens. Cooperatives Agravis and BayWa service about Like the bigger countries, smaller markets are 50% of the national market. BAGMA reported also suffering. Belgium’s Fedagrim speaks of a on how Agco and New Holland dealers are going downturn of 15% and also in Luxembourg sales out of business whilst others put (renewed) effort are down dramatically. Tractor sales decreased into garden and groundcare machinery. There from 229 in 2013 to 124 until October 2016. are 25 John Deere dealers (down from 40) and Combine sales are down from 12 (2013) to 4 and 11 Claas dealers with 22 outlets, partly owned forage harvesters are down from 12 (2013) to 2 by Claas. The overall agricultural machinery units in 2016. Grey imports of new tractors and market has gone down by 20%. But the devalmachinery is causing increasing problems in ued pound offers chances for exporting used most European countries. Austrian association machinery. ARGE reports one third less tractor registrations France’s SEDIMA sees the number of private in 2016. More worrying is the average gross profit dealerships increasing. Agricultural dealers no of dealer companies of only 1.9%. A striking 34% longer grow regionally but nationally, and new of the dealers are making a loss on operations. companies are building new distribution chanIn total, 70 people took part in the congress, nels. One example is Groupe Dubreuil, which including a representative from the China Agriis active with car dealerships, petrol distribucultural Machinery Distribution Association tion and airline transport, and has now bought (CAMDA), who came along as a possible prelude several successful Case IH and New Holland for CLIMMAR membership. ​




KUBOTA’s Grand L40-II has a spacious integrated cab offering 140mm extra width internally, and fender-mounted main hydraulic and PTO controls.

A new factory in Fyffe, Alabama, USA, has been set up to manufacture the OGGUN IRON HORSE, a tractor designed for small-scale domestic and international farmers. The tractor, which can sport a 19hp Honda gas or Kohler diesel engine, weighs 1,500 lbs and uses hydraulic steering and brakes. It is built to sell at $10,000 in the gas model, and $13,000 in diesel, and uses non-proprietary components. GRILLO’S SERIES 10 AWD climbing ride-on mower has a low centre of gravity and small turn radius to get to tight spots on steep ground. The Grillo Climber 10.22 model is powered by a 22hp Briggs & Stratton Intek 7220 Professional series engine with a hydrostatic transmission and a 93cm cutting deck. The more expensive Grillo 10.27 has a 27hp Briggs & Stratton Intek 8270 Commercial series engine, which includes a cyclonic air filter for mowing in dusty environments. It has a 98cm deck.

IBEA distributor aims to turn back the clock “OUR AIM IS to turn back the clock to a time when IBEA was better known and garden machinery dealers worked with their suppliers rather than for them.” So says Hannah Searle of Autoculture, the UK distributor for Italian garden machinery manufacturer IBEA. Hannah says IBEA sales during the first year with Autoculture have been “growing strongly” and she has high hopes for 2017 as the range now includes flail mowers, turf cutters, and a range of chainsaws with larger engine powers and guide bar lengths. “We are awaiting final confirmation of additions to our mower ranges for spring 2017, and more products and accessories are due in our two-stroke range later in 2017,” Hannah told BAGMA Bulletin. She also said they are planning some dealer incentive trips to Italy. The first dealer to come on board was Alfold Mower Centre in Surrey. Alford Mowers closed its showroom in 2010 to concentrate on repairs. However, Nigel Budd and his team saw the potential of IBEA, cleaned up the showroom and reopened it to display IBEA products. Nigel said: “IBEA has given us the opportunity to reopen the sales side of our business and with

Alford Mowers has

reopened its showroom to

become IBEA’s first dealer

the help from Hannah and (her dad) Mark in the Autoculture office, I am once again excited about selling.” Autoculture is run by Mark Searle, wife Sally, daughter Hannah, and her husband, Andy. The Surrey-based business has two parts: Autoculture Work, which sells the IBEA range of garden machines, and Autoculture Play, which sells a range of children’s toys. 01342 870 242

The multi-function AVANT 500 series (pictured below) is designed for the development and maintenance of landscaped areas. The articulated telescopic loaders are compact, strong, versatile, easy to drive and turn smoothly.

Vertas Group’s Toro T4240 high-output mower in action

Vertas opts for Toro FAST-GROWING FACILITIES MANAGEMENT provider Vertas Group has bought a Toro T4240 mower for its grounds team, which primarily maintains sports fields for schools, football and rugby clubs in Suffolk and East Anglia.


Contracts manager Shaun Swan likes the machine’s portability and versatility, but the main benefit, he says, is the top quality finish. “The cutting cylinders float and follow contours producing a consistent and beautiful cut,” he said. BAGMA BULLETIN JANUARY 2017


The two tractor-trailer combinations are tested at CLAAS’s Cirencester depot,

watched by members of the industry.. Photo courtesy of Scarlett Research Ltd

Braking bad and good BAGMA HAS BEEN advocating the testing of trailer brakes and working with the Department for Transport (DfT) to bring about legislation changes to tractor-trailer speeds and weights for a number of years. To help raise awareness of the key issues surrounding tractor-trailer braking, the association supported a demonstration day organised by the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA). Manufacturers, suppliers and the press turned up at CLAAS’s Cirencester depot to see two tractors with fully loaded trailers put through their paces and to witness the differences between braking with correctly set brakes and braking pressures and with faults built in. Tractor-trailer performance has been on the agenda since 2014, when the DfT announced its intention to modify legislation affecting the maximum speed and operating weights of agricultural tractor-trailer combinations used on UK roads. In March 2015, phase 1 saw an increase in the maximum permitted road speed for tractors without full axle suspension from 20mph to about 25mph (40km/h) and trac-


tor-trailer max gross train weight from 24.39 tonnes to 31 tonnes (with the maximum trailer weight remaining at 18.29 tonnes gross). Phase 2 – which was due to be introduced in time for the 2016 harvest – would have seen further increases in tractor-trailer operating weights and speeds, including increasing the trailer max laden weight limit. But these changes were likely to require the roadworthiness testing of ‘heavier and/or faster’ tractors and trailers. While the Government considers its options, the AEA brought in the leading expert in this

TO HELP RAISE AWARENESS OF THE KEY ISSUES SURROUNDING TRACTOR-TRAILER BRAKING, BAGMA SUPPORTED THE AEA’S DEMONSTRATION DAY area, Dr Andy Scarlett of Scarlett Research Ltd, to show the braking system performance levels likely to be required of larger (possibly heavier and faster) tractor-trailer combinations in the UK. Dr Scarlett is particularly concerned about the braking performance of some older, highcapacity ‘Legacy’ trailers. He believes the braking systems may be inadequate in many cases due to undersized brake actuators and/or suboptimal design. He is also concerned that the DfT may “side-step” the problem by allowing ‘Legacy’ trailers to pass a proposed roadworthiness test at a higher line pressure value (7.5 instead of 6.5 bar). At the demonstration day he showed how this creates imbalance between the tractor and trailer during braking and increases the tractor braking load by up to 23%. He said this increases system wear, stopping distances and the risk of jack-knifing. It’s a risk that isn’t worth taking, he says, as under-performing ‘Legacy’ trailer braking systems can be uprated for less than £200 – which, he points out, is considerably less than the typical tractor braking system repair costs of £2,000-£3,000. More next issue.


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British Independent Retailers Association (bira) is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA) is a trading name of bira. Bira Insurance and Towergate Insurance are trading names of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. Registered in England No. 4043759. Registered Office: Towergate House, Eclipse Park, Sittingbourne Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3EN. Towergate Underwriting Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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