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Busy Essex dealer show reflects optimism within industry Case IH and New Holland dealer Ernest Doe & Sons enjoyed almost record attendance resulting in large numbers of enquiries and orders at its 58th Doe Show. David Williams was there. The Doe Show is in early February each year at the dealer’s Ulting, Essex main depot and brings together almost all the suppliers to its 19 branches across East Anglia and the SouthEast, exhibiting a selection from their ranges in one location. With different franchises for the two main divisions; Case IH main dealer Ernest Doe Power and New Holland dealer Ernest Doe, the event is the largest dealer open day in the UK calendar and with special offers available on new as well as ex-hire and second-hand equipment, visitors travel from all over the UK. The dealer event runs from Tuesday to Thursday and this year highest attendance was on the first and last days, with a quieter Wednesday due to snow falls in Norfolk and Kent, which put some potential visitors off traveling. Higher than normal Thursday attendance more than compensated, resulting in a record day for orders taken by the dealer sales teams.

Positive start to 2018 Ernest Doe Power general manager Gerald Silvey was delighted with the high attendance. “It was really pleasing to see an increased number of visitors for the Doe Show this year,” he said.

“Several suppliers ahead of the show had requested bigger stand areas and this reflects the growing business that we are now doing with them and the additional machines they are adding to their portfolios. “Generally, customer interest was good in all types of kit but interest in the new Manitou MLA pivot-steer telehandler and the Case IH Maxxum with the newly designed Active Drive 8 transmission, was high. With Case IH continuing to offer many new features on its tractors, a real effort was made to ensure as many different models were available for customers to look at in the Case IH Marquee as possible. This area of the show was immensely busy over the three days with many customers taking the opportunity to look at the kit and discuss their requirements with Ernest Doe Power and Case IH staff.” He continued; “On the back of increased sales in 2017, the early signs for 2018 are that customers are positive about machinery purchases and this was highlighted by the high level of business completed over the three days.”

All about selling Sales director Graham Parker agreed.

New KRM Bogballe spreaders were shown; improvements include a new chassis offering easier washing after use, fold out guards and washing out ports make it easier to reach the metering system and spreading discs with a pressure washer. A fold-out step option allows easier hopper access. Performance is improved including increased capacity while higher application rates up to 650kg/minute allow faster application speeds even at the widest spread widths. The new models are part of the M-Line range and the M35, M45 and M60 replace the M2 and M3 versions. Area sales manager for the eastern area, David Wagstaff is pictured (left) with area sales manager for the South-West, Chris Whear, and one of the new spreaders.

The New Holland area was busy throughout the three days. A concept autonomous tractor was displayed and attracted considerable interest.

“Unreservedly, the Doe Show is all about selling. We offer true bargains in all areas of our business with a focus on moving our aged and demonstration machinery to make way for new stock arriving in the spring period. Interestingly, many visitors are surprised to see all our machines with price tickets attached. Many dealers don’t do this, but our view is that we sell more due to this practise. Many people are put off by inflated, and in some cases unrealistic, retail prices but when you cut through the discount minefield, very often the true purchase price is very affordable. “Our 2018 show is shaping up to be our best ever in terms of sales volume and until we process all the paperwork we will not know exactly where we are. However, early indications are truly positive.”

Construction machinery The dealer is a major supplier of construction machinery too, and the show brought in additional orders and requests for quotations for some large-scale equipment. Orders taken at the show included Thwaites dumpers, Bomag rollers plus some Hyundai excavators. Graham Parker explained, “With construction equipment, in many cases, it’s all about availability and at Ernest Doe we hold huge stocks to satisfy customer demand. As a result, this part of our business continues to grow nicely including our new construction franchise Atlas Copco, which created considerable interest and with a cross over into farming for items including compressors and hand-held air tools, there was additional demand from farmers and agricultural contractors.”

The SIP franchise was the event’s big news. Ernest Doe branches north of the Thames and Ernest Doe Power branches south of the river have chosen the brand to offer to grassland farmers and contractors across the trading area. SIP is relatively unknown in the UK, having been brought in previously by independent importers, but now products are supplied by the manufacturer’s new UK division with focus on premium specification. Products include mowers, rakes and tedders from small working sizes up to 15m, with features to optimise performance and forage quality, and reduce downtime. Ernest Doe’s Dartford depot agricultural sales manager, Nick Booth, says SIP will suit his customers. “The quality is there, the strength is there and when you look at the care that’s gone into details like shaping the steel to optimise paint adhesion and finish, it should remain in good condition for many years,” he said. SIP UK sales director Martin Holden (pictured right, with Nick) added; “The reaction from potential users inspecting products at the show has been surprise at the quality of build and superb design. There is interest across the board; mowers, tedders and rakes and the new belt merger is something which many are considering with greater focus on quality of forage and reduction in contamination during handling. It offers higher working capacity than a rake with less contamination and for dairy farmers, in particular where milk quality is a priority, we expect demand to grow.”

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