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Borders dealer open days enjoy huge attendance The annual open day event by Claas main dealer Rickerby is always a popular attraction and this year’s was no exception. David Williams attended. The family-owned main Claas dealer has eight branches serving Lancashire, Cumbria, Northumberland, The Borders, East Lothian, Durham and parts of south-west Scotland and has approximately 130 employees including 80 providing after-sales service. Its 2-day Spring Event is held at its main Carlisle depot and doors open at lunchtime with coaches bringing in customers from outside the Carlisle area and almost 5,000 visitors attend over the two days. Brands represented along with Claas include Bunning, Bailey Trailers, Kramer, Opico, Storth, Lemken, KRM, Abbey, McConnel, Iseki, IAE, Bargam, Quicke, Kawasaki, Suton, Ransomes Jacobsen, Fleming and Foster as well as many sundry suppliers offering everything needed by farmers and contractors across the trading area.

Positive mood Rickerby West sales director Martyn Henderson said dealer and manufacturer staff were kept busy with enquiries and orders for products across the brands, from workshop sundries to new machinery. “Approximately 4,500 people attended, and with some concern over the affects of Brexit we didn’t know what the general mood would be like. However, we had a superb event and it seemed that as well as enjoying a great social occasion and opportunity to spend time with our teams and fellow farmers, customers were keen to make purchases, from spare parts to large-scale machinery. Farm revenues have improved a little during the past year and this was reflected in the positive atmosphere.

“Often, at these events, one brand in particular will have had a particularly busy show, but this time it really was across the board,” he added. Martyn said demand from professional users for Claas products continues to grow. “We had an excellent year for Claas combines in 2016, and the Jaguar 900-series forage harvesters, with their latest features, have seen strong demand too. Claas tractors are an area of particular sales growth for us. There are many more out working and farmers, contractors and operators love them so we gain sales largely through recommendation. Reliability is spot-on and the resale values, which could be an issue in the past, are now as strong as those of other brands as demand is growing for good second-hand examples. It is apparent day-to-day at all the branches, as well as looking back at the open days, that Claas has really got its tractor range right now.”

The 2-day event starts at lunchtime, and continues late into the evening. Much of the area served is traditional dairy farming and most customers attend during the evening after milking.

pq The showroom and parts stores staff are busy throughout the two days, as customers make the most of special offers. Pictured (l-r) David Maughan, Alan Sim, Keri Ellis, Phillip Stead, Peter Carruthers, Chris Beesley, George Burgess and Jenni Kempson.

Definite success Martyn said the Rickerby Spring Show strategy is reviewed each year. “This year was our 16th and we had no hesitation in deciding to hold it again next year, along similar lines. The dates will be 7th and 8th March 2018,” he confirmed. Farmers Guide had a stand at the event, and its on-site team was busy throughout meeting new and current readers. Those receiving the magazine already gave excellent feedback regarding the content and many coming across it for the first time were keen to receive it and signed up at the event and during the month following.

u Claas is the dealer’s main franchise and more Jaguar forage harvesters are sold through its branches than by any other UK dealer. Because of the mix of farming in the area, almost all the Claas product range is in demand. At the event, Claas green harvest product specialist Dean Cottey was in constant demand from new and existing customers, answering queries about the range.

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Farmers Guide Magazine May 2017 Issue