...More on previous page The Schwier family farms near Ongar, Essex and is a regular customer of RW Crawford. Trading as Schwier Farms Ltd, the farm is just under 10 miles from the dealer’s new depot and Andrew Schwier, pictured (left) with RW Crawford territory sales manager Nunzio Rio, commented that the new location will be much more convenient for his business, and for others in the west of the county. “We have always received exceptionally good service from RW Crawford but we are looking forward to the new branch opening which will make it even better,” said Andrew. The Schwiers operate a Challenger 775E and two Fendts; a 720 Vario and a 939 Vario. The farm is all-arable and on mainly heavy land. “We have been operating Challenger rubber-tracked crawlers for approximately 15 years,” he explained. “The main reason for our first purchase was to reduce ground pressure and compaction which proved very successful with an immediate improvement. The current Challenger is the third we have owned. Our heavy land makes it difficult to transfer power to the ground but the rubber tracks perform well and definitely give us better traction over tyres.” The Schwiers bought their first Fendt tractor from RW Crawford five years ago. “We moved to Fendt from a competitor, knowing we would be able to rely on the back-up from the dealer. At the time we priced it up spec for spec with the other brand and the Fendt deal was actually very competitive. The fuel efficiency seems very good, but it is always hard to compare accurately when operating conditions differ so much, but the Fendt tractors are the first we have had with CVT transmission and we very much like them for their efficiency and ease of use,” he added.
Tim Matthews is pictured at the demonstration day with the Fendt 1050 Vario. Trading as Matthews Farms and GTM Rural Enterprises Ltd, the Matthews family farms near Epping and also provides a contracting service including general farm operations, forestry and work for a local authority. The tractor fleet includes a Massey Ferguson 6480 on a ’56-plate’ plus three Fendts; a 2010 820 which was the first Fendt sold by RW Crawford, a 2015 939 and a 516 bought second-hand. “Our farm is all-arable and we moved from full tillage crop establishment in 2009 to min-till between 2012–2015, and since then have gone over completely to zero-tillage,” explained Tim. “We are using cover crops and crop rotation to tackle grass weeds and we have seen costs reduce and bio-diversity improve considerably on our heavy soils. Our over-wintered stubbles attract a range of wildlife and worm populations have increased 10fold,” he added. “During the transition through min-tillage and direct drilling we saw costs decrease but the weed burden increased and we saw zerotillage as the answer. During the season the stubble is rolled if conditions are wet, reducing slug numbers and to stimulate weed germination. Winter crops are put straight in and cover crops are grown across all the land intended for spring cropping. We have approximately 400ha (1,000 acres) part owned and part rented, and it is almost all heavy clay.” Tim said that since operating Fendts he has been impressed with the low fuel consumption and the Vario CVT transmissions. “There is nothing I don’t like about them,” he said. “I like the Massey Ferguson too. It’s good, reliable and cost-effective and anyone can get on and use it. “For us Crawford’s new depot will provide quite an advantage, reducing our distance to the dealer by about 25 miles,” he added. We have used the company since it started trading and it has always provided a good service and the team is great. Malcolm Baker and his son Shaun, in the service department, are second to none and we deal with Toby Bacon for sales who looks after us well too. I have come along today to meet the team and to try out the 1050 Vario,” he explained.
BOOK YOUR VALTRA T4 DEMO WITH US TODAY!
Essex branch – Nunzio Rio 07970 248113 Kent branch – James Robson 07712 306832
Dave Redford is pictured with James Clarke (middle) who is main machinery operator for Richard Marriage (right), trading as Brick Barns Farms Ltd, based just a few miles from the demonstration and new depot site, at Chelmsford. The all-arable farm is approximately 400ha (1,000 acres) and crops are all combinable, grown on a ‘good mix of soils’ from chalky boulder clay to gravel. Massey Ferguson tractors operated include a 220hp 6499, which is five years old, and a 3-year-old 8737, with up to 400hp. The 6499 is used for ploughing while the 8737 does most of the cultivation work. “We were looking for a tractor with plenty of power, not too heavy, a normal mechanical gearbox and which was comfortable and the 6499 was ideal,” explained Richard. “That was our first Massey Ferguson and it has proved totally reliable and is a really nice tractor. The 8737 was bought because we had been so impressed with the 6499 and the service from RW Crawford and we liked the idea of the 5-year warranty, although we never needed it. “When we change the 6499 we will almost certainly consider the 7-series which looks very good and we will also consider a small Challenger as we believe tracks will offer lower ground operating pressure and reduced effect of wheelings in the crop. The other main reason is the knowledge we have such a good main dealer nearby,” he said.
50 www.farmersguide.co.uk May 2017
34-63 ROP may.indd 50
Farmers Guide Magazine May 2017 Issue