Open Day Celebrates New Hampshire Depot
Following the expansion of its AGCO trading area, RW Crawford celebrated the opening of its new Ropley, Hampshire depot with a very successful customer open day and machinery demonstration event.
The open day, in late September, was attended by more than 300 farmers and contractors who took advantage of the opportunity to view and test-drive the latest products from premium brands represented by Crawfords. AGCO brands available include Fendt and Valtra, and the manufacturers’ product specialists assisted the Crawfords team in dealing with enquiries from new and existing customers.
Fendt wheeled and tracked tractors, an Ideal combine, and sprayers and grass harvesting products were displayed. Highlights included the first 500 Vario-series tractor to arrive in the UK with the latest FendtONE cab and control concept, and the Ideal 8T combine which was one of several sold by Crawfords this year during a successful harvest demonstration campaign. A Rotana 160V round baler and a Slicer mower generated enquiries from grassland farmers, and the dealer has already taken orders for Fendt Former grass tedders for next season.
Rogator trailed sprayers are new and share class-leading features with Rogator self-propelled models. A 5,500-litre Rogator 355 trailed sprayer at the event proved popular and attracted a lot of interest from Hampshire farmers.
Fendt tractors in the demonstration area included a 943MT Vario rubber-tracked crawler, as well as the latest 6th generation 942 Vario and 742 Vario wheeled tractors which are two of the dealer’s best-selling models. The Fendt Rogator self-propelled sprayer has proved particularly popular across the Crawfords trading area, and open day visitors were able to try the dealer’s Rogator 645 demonstrator.
New generation N5- and T5-series Valtra models recently arrived in the UK and feature a revised cab layout including the new SmartTouch armrest, a customisable A-pillar information display and an exceptionally smooth five-step, powershift transmission. Members of the Valtra UK team and brand specialists from Crawfords received positive feedback regarding the latest models from current Valtra tractor users as well as those operating competitor brands, and a T255 Versu in the demonstration area worked most of the day as potential customers tried the new cab and transmission.
Crawfords Sales and Operations Manager based at Ropley, Alan Haines, said he was overwhelmed by the support from the local farming community at the open day. “Farmers and their families, contractors, Young Farmers Club members, and the local NFU were all keen to find out what we offer and to meet our team. Most were from Hampshire and while some already deal with Crawfords through the Billingshurst depot, many others said they are likely to use us in future.”
Alan explained that most enquiries were for Ideal combines and the Manitou pivot-steer telehandler, while Valtra fifth generation and Fendt tractors with FendtONE control concepts also generated plenty of discussions.
“The new depot gives us an exciting opportunity to establish ourselves in Hampshire, and many attending the day said that they are delighted to have a dealer nearby offering a great range of brands backed by excellent after-sales service.”
Manitou Proves Popular
Manitou handlers included MLT 741-140 V+, MLT 635-130 PS+ models and the MLA 533-145 V+ articulated loader. Many enquiries were from current Manitou users from the local area, but there was also interest from those with other brands. Although the MLA 533 has proved equally popular with arable and livestock farms in the dealer’s established trading areas, most enquiries at the event were from livestock farmers attracted by the excellent visibility from the large, centrally mounted cab.
Cultivators and Drills
The Amazone team demonstrated cultivators and drills, including the Condor 12m direct drill which offers low crop establishment costs and reduced soil movement. The Cayena 6m drill was also working and machines sold already by Crawfords are proving popular with customers due to their low power requirement, simple design and competitive price while also providing reliable crop establishment. A static display of Amazone disc spreaders also generated many sales enquiries.
Väderstad demonstrated the popular Rapid drill operating as a direct drill. With the front cross-board removed, the drill had three rows of coulters instead of the usual two, providing extra space for trash flow while maintaining traditional seed row spacing.
Cultivators working included the Carrier XL which can achieve soil movement across the full working width, even with the discs set for ultra-shallow operation.
A demonstration by Trelleborg highlighted the advantages of IF and VF tyres over standard versions, and emphasised why adjusting tyre pressures to suit the speed and load is essential. A Fendt tractor with its rear tyres set at different pressures was driven across prepared soft ground, then the wheel marks were assessed. The exercise clearly showed the increased ground contact area and reduced compaction from the lower inflation pressure.
New Franchise Ktwo Trailers
Ktwo is a new franchise taken on this year, and products are available from all four depots. Trailers and spreaders were on show at the event, and stock is being held for quick delivery.
Quicke linkages and loaders, and Cherry Products loader and handler attachments were also displayed.
The 4×4 Specialists
Crawfords holds the Isuzu franchise at its Essex, Kent and West Sussex depots, and a selection of used D-Max pick-ups displayed at the Ropley open day highlighted strong demand for the range.
Clothing, Tools, Gifts & More
Supplier stands inside the large workshop included Morris Lubricants, Sparex which promoted its LED lighting, and Draper with special offers on workshop tools and equipment. Michelin also displayed a selection of tyres and a product specialist was on hand to explain which were best for specific applications.