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‘Driving Force’ demo days generate enquiries and sales

A wide range of Claas tractors were available to drive at the event, working with various Horsch implements.

Forgiving land and a lucky break in the weather provided a great opportunity for farmers from Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and south Norfolk to try out the latest Claas and Horsch products in the field at a demonstration event by Manns. David Williams was there. The ‘Arrive and Drive’ events at three venues during one week in mid-March were organised by the Claas dealer and enjoyed great customer support. An airfield near Corby, Northants was first, followed by Euston Estate near Thetford, Norfolk, finishing the week with a demonstration at Home Farm, Nacton, near Ipswich. Weather the week of the events as well as the preceding week had been wet, providing challenging working conditions across East Anglia but a benefit was that without being able to progress spring drilling or sugar beet planting on their own farms, many farmers were free to attend. Claas dealer Manns took on the Horsch range in January 2017 and enjoyed a very successful first year with the brand. General sales and franchise manager for Horsch and Stewart Trailers Chris Chilvers said Horsch machinery’s premium quality makes it an ideal fit with the Claas range and said customers and sales teams are equally happy. “Having Horsch available has proved very successful for our teams and our first year supplying the brand surpassed all our expectations in terms of customer interest and sales achieved. Already, our 2018 sales have passed the total for last year so clearly our customers are pleased with the arrangement.” Chris said sales of trailed and self-propelled sprayers are going well, and although the trend is towards larger capacity and

working widths, there are also sales of trailed models replacing competitor self-propelleds. “The range suits our trading area and almost all our sales staff have made sales,” he added. “Cultivation equipment and drills are in high demand and an encouraging number of new Pronto and Sprinter drills have been supplied. We have many new users to start off this spring as soon as conditions are dry enough for drilling. Also we have requests for demonstrations too,” he said. The three days gave a great opportunity for owners and staff to experience first hand driving and operating the Claas tractor range, with the added benefit of seeing at work Horsch cultivation products, commented Chris. It was also the first public showing, since taking on the franchise, of the Stewart Trailers. “How do you measure success – is it by the number of people attending (or the number of burgers consumed!) or the communication that generates interest resulting in the purchase of the product? We feel the events were a great success and have received very positive feedback. “We are very grateful to the three landowners and managers for lending us the venues; Nick Sansom at Deenethorpe Airfield, Corby, Matthew Hawthorne of Euston Estate and Andrew Williams of Home Farm, Nacton.” ■ Simon Bloomfield’s Joker cultivator did an excellent job on wet soils early in the day at Euston.

Manns field sales manager based at the Thursford branch, Simon Bloomfield, was demonstrating the latest Horsch Joker cultivator behind an Axion 800-series. “Jokers are very popular in our trading area,” he said. “They are fantastic shallow tillage machines and capable of high work rates as they perform well at high speed. 6m working widths are most popular for us and we have received a lot of requests to see it working today from potential users currently operating competitor cultivators. There is a good range of packer options to suit all soil types and the finish is well-waterproofed.” Simon reported that land close to the depot is mainly light but with a heavy band running through it which means versatile machines are needed. “We have sold four trailed sprayers from Thursford and all have replaced selfpropelleds. There is interest too in new Horsch self-propelled models and we have a list of customers looking forward to demonstrations. “Having the cultivation kit to offer has helped us sell tractors too. Customers like to use one dealer where possible for the full package and previous users of competitor brands have tried the Claas alternatives during the past year, got on well with them and ordered. C-Matic CVT transmission is becoming the popular option and once a user has experienced the benefits, they seldom go back to a manual,” he said.

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