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Yorkshire contractor GA Liddle & Son has operated 49 beet harvesters since 1956, including 10 Vervaets. Geoff is pictured (right) with Graham. ...from previous page

beet for customers since the mid-1950s when Geoff Liddle bought a brand new Standen Junior harvester. Invoiced to the company in October 1956, it cost £365 and worked behind a petrolparaffin powered Fordson E27N. The family has owned 49 beet harvesters since then, including 10 Vervaets , the first replacing a Riecam harvester in 2003. Approximately1,200ha (3,000 acres) of beet are harvested each year, most of which are for the Newark factory and include those grown on the family’s own arable farm and for farmers within a 20-mile radius. “We run two machines, updating the new one every two years and the older machine every three or four years,” explained Graham. “One harvester could just about cope, except in a difficult year, which is why we operate two machines. One

does most of the work and the other is a reserve machine, ensuring the best possible service for customers. If ground conditions become wet we can stop harvesting to reduce soil damage, knowing we have back-up capacity to catch up again after the break. Being able to protect soils is very important to farmers.” The two machines are Vervaet 617 models but this season the new, larger Q621 was tested. “Yields are increasing, trailers are getting bigger and we believe latest models have potential for higher outputs, while the new wheel layout reduces compaction and rutting, even with the larger tank. We found the new wheel layout a big advantage spreading the weight more effectively which benefits the land and we liked the new depth control. The new lifting head has advantages too, its open frame design allows operators

to monitor what is happening better and transfer from the lifters to the cleaning table was excellent, coping well with large feed beet,” he added. Graham said the new machine would tempt him when it’s time to update. “Having tried it, and experienced the improved performance we are fairly convinced it will benefit our operation including the 40kph transport speed option as the demonstrator handled well and felt safe at the higher speed.

East Anglian users' view Pictured in the cab of the larger 625 are Paul Stent, trading as PJ Stent Ltd and Robert Wright who trades as RC Wright Ltd. Paul is based near Beccles, Suffolk and Robert is near Holt in Norfolk and both operate Vervaet harvesters and had been trying out the updated 625. Paul currently operates a 625, registered on a 64-plate and a 617 on a 66-plate and Robert has a 625 registered on a 64-plate. Both operators liked the extra power from the new Mercedes Benz engine, especially when working on slopes. Most of Paul’s work is on heavy Beccles clay and he commented that the Vervaet’s walking shares suit the challenging heavy soils but perform equally well on lighter land. More of Robert’s customers are on lighter

East Anglian contractors; Suffolk-based Paul Stent (left) and Robert Wright who operates in Norfolk, are impressed with the latest 625.

soils and he commented the Vervaet’s performance is excellent from the lifters to its cleaning. Paul noted the improved weight distribution of the 4-wheel model; “Running both 17t 4-wheel and 25t 6-wheel versions, I have noticed in the past that customers love the level finish behind the 6-wheel,” he explained. “The rear wheel layout of the new Q616 is equally good and will be seen as an advantage.” “I believe Vervaet machines are the best available, and the back-up we receive from Jeremy Riley and his team is unbeatable,” added Robert. “Back-up is second to none,” agreed Paul. ■


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