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Pictured with a selection of tractors from the Case IH range are (l-r); Tim, Sarah and Tony Nicholson, Kevin Chubbock, CNH Industrial Finance representative Francesca Jacobs, Profitable Farming Company’s Martin Hobbs, David Nicholson, Case IH area sales manager David Redman, Case IH high horsepower tractor specialist Paul Freeman and area sales manager for the east Ross Macdonald.

New franchise celebrated at east Norfolk open day Long-established dealer Stalham Engineering invited new and existing customers to an ambitious open day to celebrate the company’s appointment as a Case IH main dealer. David Williams was there. The Nicholson family has operated from Stalham since 1936 when Jimmy Nicholson set up a contract threshing business having invested in a Ransomes traction engine and threshing drum. In 1938 he rented a cottage and blacksmith shop on the site that currently houses the showroom, workshop and petrol station, purchasing the land with adjacent fields a few years later. By the 1970s the family had put up new buildings and developed the yard to accommodate separate businesses including car service and repairs, digger contracting and sales and service of garden and agricultural machinery. Stalham engineering took on the JCB franchise for Norfolk in the early 1980s and enjoys a loyal following of local farmers and contractors as well as industrial and construction users. Other key franchises include Pottinger, McHale, Opico Maschio, Spearhead, Standen, Lely, Cousins, and Bailey Trailers, offering a wide range of quality products to suit agricultural customers across the trading area and in January this year Case IH joined the brands on offer from the family dealer.

Perfect fit for business “We are very familiar with the Case IH brand which has an enviable reputation in the industry,” explained managing director Sarah Nicholson. “We were fairly certain that taking on the franchise would be a good move for us and for our customers but even so we discussed the move

with quite a few potential users before committing, and the response was entirely positive. Our trading area includes farms of all sizes and types so we needed a range offering machinery to suit, and the breadth of the Case IH line-up makes it ideal from the 50hp Farmall to the 620hp Quadtrac and everything in-between. The large square baler is also very attractive as there is high demand for large square bales in this area.” Sarah said another attraction of the Case IH franchise is that the products complement those from the dealer’s other main franchise; JCB.

Pottinger products displayed included mowers, cultivators and drills. The franchise has been held by Stalham Engineering for approximately six years and Tony Nicholson explained that most sales are of the Synkro cultivator and ploughs but that Terrasem air drills and power-harrow drills are also supplied. “The drills suit our area well,” said Tony. “The Terrasem drill has wheels in front of the discs and customers like that feature. Soils within 15 miles of our base tend to be mainly medium sandy loam although a bit further afield we also cater for those growing crops on heavier soils to the south and lighter sand in the west.”

Case IH is a significant new franchise for the long-established dealer. (l-r) David Nicholson, Case IH commercial business manager Robin McArd, Tony Nicholson, Sarah Nicholson, Case IH business director Paul Harrison and Case IH area sales manager David Redman.

Immediate sales “Since the announcement that we are offering Case IH products there has been a lot of interest from potential users including demonstration requests,” she added. “However, the weather has been very unfavourable so far, but even so we have taken orders for quite a few tractors; some from current Case IH users and others from those using competitor brands. There is considerable interest in the Rowtrac with its half-track drive system but we expect the Puma 175 to be the best seller overall, with a superb power-to-weight ratio it’s ideal for our market. The CVT transmission option offers great productivity and ease of use so we expect that to be specified by many customers and we have ordered a demonstration square baler ready to demonstrate as soon as crop condition and weather allow.”

Pictured with McHale products displayed are service engineer Shane McKenna (left) and area sales manager Kieran Hughes. The McHale franchise was taken on only last year but many machines have already been supplied and there are customers waiting for demonstrations as soon as the grass harvest starts. “The dealer has already supplied several Fusion baler-wrappers,” explained Kieran. “Like other areas of the UK there is limited labour availability and being able to make and immediately wrap bales with one tractor and one man is attractive and time-efficient. The Fusion tends to come with full specification including a single piece belt for reliability and minimal crop loss, and hydraulic net tension is standard. Obviously, this sort of machine attracts contractors but at least 15–20 per cent are bought by farmers wanting flexibility to work when weather allows. Grass isn’t all ready at the same time so if they want to go, they can go,” he added. Also available from the dealer are McHale’s new mowers including a set of front and rear and a new rake, added to the range for the coming season.

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Farmers Guide Magazine April 2018 Issue