Archive for December, 2009

New Holland joins forces with the Beekeepers to save the bees

Monday, December 14th, 2009

New Holland, one of the UK’s leading agricultural manufacturers, has announced that it has joined the fight to find solutions to the problems which are threatening and killing dramatically high numbers of Britain’s honeybees.

New Holland has formed a partnership with the British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) which has led the campaign to raise funds for research to fully understand these problems which, in the winter of 2007/8 alone, wiped out a third of British bee colonies.

As well as providing essential funding, New Holland will use its extensive dealer network and customer base to support the aims of the BBKA. It will have stands at key agricultural shows and events – where it can raise awareness of the work of the BBKA amongst farmers, land-owners and contractors. LAMMA 2010 will mark the official launch of the link with the BBKA and New Holland’s stand promises to create a buzz during the two days of the show.

New Holland also plans to help promote the BBKA’s key aims to educate the public on the importance of bees in the environment and the impact they have on food security.

Honeybees are an essential element of agricultural production in the UK. It is estimated that their pollination activities contribute at least £200 million to the agricultural economy every year. Not only are they vital for horticulture, they are also necessary for the successful harvest of oil seed rape, borage and other crops. And their contribution to British wildlife pollinating wild berries and seeds is impossible to quantify.

Honeybees are the principal economic pollinators. Without honey bees pollination is compromised; without pollination, harvests could fail which in turn could trigger food shortages. In short, the crisis in the honeybee population could easily become another crisis for UK farming and have a serious impact on the livelihoods of Britain’s farmers.

New Holland’s marketing manager Richard Spencer says this is a problem that New Holland, a key player in the British farming community, is taking very seriously:

“Becoming a corporate member of the BBKA is a logical step for New Holland. Our products are used to harvest crops such as oilseed rape: our specialist tractors are designed for orchards, for example. It’s clear that the customers who use these machines also rely on honeybees for their livelihoods. We’re excited about this opportunity to work with the BBKA.”

The BBKA’s President Tim Lovett is delighted that New Holland has joined the campaign:

“The BBKA welcomes the opportunity to work with a major player in the agriculture sector and to be able to raise awareness with key groups such as farmers, land-owners, fruit growers and contractors, all of whom  can have a major influence on the future welfare and success of honeybees in the UK. We are very much looking forward to working with the New Holland team.”

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Valtra Experience 2010

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Commencing on Tuesday 26th January at Lackham College, Wiltshire and continuing through to Scot Grass on the 11th May Valtra will be holding a series of Experience days throughout Ireland and the UK.

These one day events will take place on successive Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the Spring at selected locations ranging from dealers’ premises to farms, auction marts, colleges and showgrounds up and down the country.

Farmers, contractors, foresters, indeed anyone interested in Valtra machines will have to opportunity to experience representative models from each of the four ranges, from A Series machines starting at 74hp through N and T Series to the latest S Series up to 370hp. Also included are new models with Valtra’s Direct CVT transmission and the Versu multi speed powershift transmissions.

Visitors will have the opportunity to enter a draw at each and every location, the winning prize for which will be a £250.00 voucher which can be exchanged for goods at the sponsoring Valtra dealer. All visitors will also be entered into a national draw held at the

end of the series of events, where the prize will be a voucher entitling the winner to £5,000.00 worth of options (Recommended Retail Price) on a new Valtra tractor order.

To find out more about the return of this popular Valtra event, contact your local Valtra dealer or visit the Valtra web site www.valtra.co.uk and click on the top panel where indicated. Completing the on-line form will result in a personal invitation.

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Challenger equipment suits economic and climatic conditions

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Challenger comes to the LAMMA Show, to be held at the Newark and Nottingham Showground on 20th and 21st January, buoyed by strong demand for its tracked tractors and equipment during the past season.

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“We introduced the new ‘C’ Series tracked tractors into the UK at last year’s LAMMA show and, despite a general downturn in the industry, actually increased sales compared with the previous year,” explains Martin Hamer, National Sales Manager – Challenger. “In contrast to 2008, which was very wet, last autumn was extremely dry. But again the Challenger Mobil-trac system proved ideally suited to these demanding conditions.”

“Challenger tracks are the longest in the industry providing a large track footprint, high traction and low ground pressure, with the suspended track frame providing good contour following ability. These are unique Challenger track tractor attributes, which are not available from other machines – fitted with either wheels or tracks,” he adds.

After proving itself in the previous, extremely wet, year the Mobil-trac system showed its versatility in 2009 by also being the best option for work in dry, hard soils. This is because the long, suspended tracks provide optimum weight distribution, allowing maximum engine power to be transferred to the ground.

“The Challenger Mobil-trac system is also equipped with the unique OptiRide suspension system, which helps improve traction by enhancing ground contact. This works in combination with the floating mid-wheels that maintain correct belt tension and even contact across all the ground,” adds Mr Hamer. “This suspension system also provides the best operator comfort.”

A 355hp (max) MT765C will be representing the Challenger MT700C and MT800C ranges at the LAMMA show. There are six models ranging from the 290hp MT745C to the 609hp, MT875C, which all feature the new TMC II (Tractor Management Centre II) operating console, along with a new, clear and easy to use dashboard that displays key operating information.

Challenger’s industry-leading TMC Armrest with integral Display is one of the most comprehensive control systems available, providing fingertip control of a host of functions. This is now even easier to operate through its large (7in/178mm) colour screen, which also offers full ISOBus control of implements.

The One Touch Headland Management sequence is also even more comprehensive and easier to use. One Touch allows operators to store 35 functions for six different machines, and replay these at the touch of a button. This sequence can be programmed and edited on the screen, without the need to record the entire sequence again.

Challenger sprayer on show

Although the new RoGator sprayers, previewed by Challenger at the German Agritechnica Show, will be introduced in the UK later in the year, the existing RoGator 618 and 418 Multicarrier chassis-based sprayers are continuing in production.

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On show at LAMMA will be a 243hp, RoGator 618, equipped with a Chafer spray pack and boom. This uses a three-speed Poclain transmission that provides permanent four-wheel drive and a programmable ‘cruise control’. Full power steering to all four wheels offers foot-switch selection of two- or four-wheel steering. Fully automatic self-levelling suspension is fitted to the front axle, with AEON block suspension on the rear.

The specially-designed Chafer spray pack offers the highest specification with an electronic rate controller and multi-function lever incorporating all the spray sections and boom lift and tilt. Tanks are available in capacities from 4,000-5,000 litres and come with sloping floors for complete emptying along with a 5% extra room for foaming, an integral clean water tank and aggressive cleaning nozzles.

Booms are available in widths from 18-36m, with hydraulic tilt for hillside work as standard as well as stainless steel spraylines that are fully protected within the framework.

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Excellent all-round vision is provided by the top quality cab, which is rubber-mounted to reduce vibration and is fully air-conditioned with triple carbon filtration and dehumidifier. The ergonomic layout of the cab controls ensures high comfort and ease of operation with electro-hydraulic control of boom lift, tilt and fold.

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LAMMA debut for Massey Ferguson MF 7400 tractors

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Massey Ferguson’s new MF 7400 Series flagship model, the 240hp MF 7499, makes its UK debut at the LAMMA show in January. At the same time the company will be also introducing new cab suspension for the MF 5400 Series tractors and cab improvements for the MF 8900 Xtra telehandlers as well as.

Massey Ferguson at LAMMA 2010:

  • MF 7400 Series: Two new models, the 240hp, MF 7499 and 225hp (max), MF 7497, now top the MF 7400 Series. The high specification tractors are powered by AGCO SISU POWER 7.4 litre engines and are equipped with Dyna-VT continuously variable transmissions with new Dynamic Tractor Management (DTM)
  • 5400 Series: Cab suspension is now available as an option on all MF 5400 Series tractors with flat-floor cabs. The straightforward system provides damping in three dimensions.
  • MF 8900 Xtra telehandlers: New cab features, ergonomic control layout and high capacity ventilation system improves operator comfort. Extra cooling option increases performance in extreme working conditions
  • MF 8600 Series: Independent tests show the MF 8690 offers up to 16% saving in fuel consumption compared with similar powered tractors.

Also on show from Massey Ferguson at LAMMA will be an MF 5435 equipped with the new cab suspension and MF 945 loader, an MF 6480 and the sector-leading MF 8690 tractor. The recently launched MF 7282 Centora combine will also be on display as well as an MF 8925 Xtra telehandler with the new cab layout.

Two new flagships top out MF 7400 Series

Two new MF 7400 models, the 240hp (max), MF 7499 and 225hp (max), MF 7497 make their UK debut at LAMMA. These powerful and versatile tractors are equipped to the highest specification and combine high power and strength with excellent weight distribution, which makes them ideally suited to a wide range of modern farming operations.

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The new MF 7400s are particularly manoeuvrable for their power and, when equipped with the Integrated Front Linkage System (IFLS), are the perfect match for those operating cultivation, sprayer and drilling combinations, as well as front- and rear-mounted mowers. The tractors come with a high level of automation as standard, which improves control and reduces the strain on the operator.

Both tractors are powered by the superb 7.4 litre capacity AGCO SISU Power engine, which is renowned for its excellent economy and for producing high pulling power at low speeds. Economy is further enhanced by the standard Dyna-VT continuously variable transmission, which is now equipped with the new Dynamic Tractor Management (DTM) system, first seen on the leading MF 8600 Series

Now also standard on all MF 7400 Series models, DTM manages the engine speed automatically to consistently maximise productivity and reduce fuel consumption. The system works in all ‘pedal’ and ‘lever’ modes and adjusts the engine and forward speed automatically according to the load to produce optimum economy.

The new tractors also help boost workrates by combining operations using the fully Integrated Front Linkage system and PTO option, which fits neatly into the new front axle support casting. Combined with the excellent power to weight ratio this allows the tractors to easily handle front- and rear combinations. The addition of the unique Dual Control system option lifts and lowers front-mounted equipment, on a distance-based system, which considerably eases the workload when turning.

A high level of control, monitoring and recording is offered by the Datatronic 3 option. The addition of the ISObus operation option also allows the same terminal to control a wide range of compatible implements with simple ‘plug in and play’ connectivity. Auto-Guide fully automatic and integrated steering is another, output enhancing option.

Massey Ferguson’s, spacious sector-leading cab, which constrains noise levels to just 70dB(A) is available with Dual Stage pneumatic suspension for top comfort. This system automatically sets itself to match the travelling conditions.

Comfort is further enhanced by QuadLink front suspension that also protects the operator from bumps and improves traction. The system, which can be switched on or off, automatically compensates for the weight of a front-mounted implement and provides the same amount of movement without impeding the axle oscillation or turning circle.

Cab suspension for all flat-floor MF 5400 Series

Cab suspension is now an option on all Massey Ferguson MF 5400 Series tractors with flat floor cabs. The new system offers higher levels of comfort to operators who are now using these versatile, multi-function tractors for long hours on a wide range of demanding tasks.

“There is now increasing demand for extra cab comfort from all operators, but few other manufacturers offer cab suspension on tractors of 100hp or less,” explains Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson’s Brand Development Manager. “The new MF system is available for all MF 5400 Series tractors with a standard flat floor cab. This means Massey Ferguson is able to offer this extra comfort and protection for operators’ spines from ‘jarring’ and ‘bumping’ on models from 82hp to 145hp.”

Moreover, QuadLink front axle suspension is also an option on the five flagship models, the four-cylinder MF 5460, MF 5470 and MF 5480 and six-cylinder MF 5465 and MF 5475. Together, with the new cab suspension, this provides unrivalled comfort for operators in this power bracket.

The new cab suspension is a straight-forward design. The entirely mechanical system employs two new silent block bushes to support the cab at the front, with a pair of spring-assisted shock absorbers mounted on the two rear corners.

A Panhard rod on the rear spring units controls lateral stability, which combines with the vertical damping to provide suspension in three dimensions – up/down and side-to-side. The mechanical system requires no operator input, with the damping set to pre-determined levels by the shock absorbers and springs.

While available on cabs with the Visio roof option, the suspension increases the overall height of the cab slightly and this means it will not be available for the Low Profile Cab option, on which clearance under buildings is of paramount importance. The new silent block bushes will, however, now be fitted to all cabs – including those without the suspension option.

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Extra comfort for MF 8900 Xtra telehandler

A host of new cab features and an improved ergonomic layout provide greater comfort and ease of use across the entire Massey Ferguson MF 8900 Xtra telehandler range. The machines can also be fitted with the option of a new cooling system for higher productivity in the most arduous working conditions.

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Also new is a cooling package option that offers enhanced performance for continuous reliable operation in extreme conditions. This will provide greater productivity when working in hot and dusty situations as well as when towing. The new radiator, which is 43mm wider and 47mm deeper than before, offers up to 20% higher cooling capacity.

SCR technology on MF 8690 cuts fuel use by 16%

Independent tests show that Massey Ferguson’s MF 8690 tractor uses 16% less fuel compared with other similar powered tractors on the same work. The tractor is powered by an AGCO SISU Power Citius 8.4 litre, four valve/cylinder common-rail engine, which is the industry’s first to use Selective Catalytic Reduction technology that treats the exhaust gases with AdBlue additive.

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“When we first introduced the new MF 8600 Series we set out with a conservative claim that this technology will reduce fuel use by about 5%,” explains Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson’s Brand Development Manager. “However, independent field and laboratory tests, carried out last season, now reveal it is capable of providing a consistent 16% reduction in fuel use. This is significantly higher than even we expected and adds up to a considerable fuel cost saving over the tractor’s working life.”

With the SCR system exhaust gases are treated separately with the addition of AdBlue (urea), which converts nitrogen oxide (NOx) into harmless nitrogen and water. SCR provides the significant advantage of allowing the engine to be set up for optimum power, performance and economy without having to make any alterations to meet exhaust emission limits.

“SCR systems are able to continue to run with the optimum air/fuel mix for the best economy, which the tests show results in fuel savings of 16%, compared with other designs,” explains Mr Scott. “There is no need to compromise efficiency by altering the timing to reduce combustion temperatures on engines using the SCR after-treatment. The system is also considerably less complex than alternative internal and external exhaust gas recirculation designs and, furthermore, it doesn’t require any additional cooling packages.”

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Samuel R. Allen elected Chairman of Deere & Company Board

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

MOLINE, Illinois (December 3, 2009) – Deere & Company announced today that its Board of Directors has elected Samuel R. Allen as Chairman of the Board, effective at the conclusion of the Feb. 24, 2010 annual meeting of stockholders. Allen will continue as Deere & Company president and chief executive officer.

The action is another step in Deere & Company’s systematic process of leadership transition that was announced in June. Allen will become chairman immediately following expiration of Robert W. Lane’s current term as chairman and member of the Deere Board of Directors. The Board also voted to reduce the size of the Board to 11 members, effective at the same time as Allen becomes Chairman.
In June, Deere & Company announced that its Board of Directors had elected Allen to become president and chief operating officer, as well as a member of the Board of Directors effective June 1st, and chief executive officer effective August 1st.

Allen is a 34-year veteran of Deere with a broad range of leadership experience in many divisions of the company. Allen has served as a senior Samuel R. Allen elected Chairman of Deere & Company Board officer at Deere since 2001, was president of the Worldwide Construction & Forestry Division and also led Deere Power Systems Group, John Deere Credit’s global operations, and Deere’s global human resources and labor relations.

Allen also had responsibility in the past for Deere’s intelligent mobile equipment technologies and for Deere’s advanced technology and innovation. Previously in his career, he worked in positions of increasing responsibility in the Consumer Products Division, Worldwide Construction & Forestry Division, Deere Power Systems Group, and the Worldwide Agricultural Division, including managing operations in Latin America, East Asia, and Australia.

John Deere (Deere & Company – NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services for agriculture, forestry, construction, lawn and turf care, landscaping and irrigation. John Deere also provides financial services worldwide and manufactures and markets engines used in heavy equipment. Since it was founded in 1837, the company has extended its heritage of integrity, quality, commitment and innovation around the globe.

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John Deere shows new machines at LAMMA

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

John Deere’s new 8R Series tractors and top-of-the-range 7950 self-propelled forage harvester will be featured at LAMMA 2010 for the first time at a UK show, alongside the new 5080M and 5090M tractors. The company will also be launching its new PowerGard maintenance and protection programme for tractors.

Both a wheeled 8R and a tracked 8RT tractor will be on display at Newark in January, following their public launch at Agritechnica. With horsepower ratings from 245 to 345hp, increasing to 380hp with intelligent power management, the range includes the industry’s first ever tracked models with an infinitely variable transmission. Features include a new, spacious CommandView II cab, and a new AirCushion suspension system on the tracked machines.

Increased power and capacity is offered by the new 812hp 7950 self-propelled forage harvester, a true contractor’s machine that features an intelligent engine/speed management system on the ‘i’ specification model. This technology helps operators to maximise their performance both in the field and on the road.

This forager can be equipped with a choice of three different headers for maximum versatility. These include a newly designed heavy-duty 600C pick-up for grass harvesting; a new 12-row Kemper Champion 390 Plus header with a working width of 9m, which can harvest both maize and wholecrop; and a CRL coppice header for harvesting short-rotation coppice for biofuels.

The new 5M Series general purpose tractors feature a 4.5 litre Tier III PowerTech M diesel engine with rated power from 70 to 100hp and a choice of three transmission options. They are particularly suitable for diet feeding, mowing, baling, fertiliser spreading and transport, and can be equipped with matching John Deere front loaders for a variety of materials handling applications.

These new machines will be shown alongside the latest John Deere i-Series combines and sprayers, a new season 854 variable chamber round baler and both the XUV and HPX 4×4 Gator utility vehicles.

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Machineshift.com and its involvement in other operations, Christmas Tree Harvesting

Monday, December 7th, 2009

As night follows day there is one sure thing in the year and that is Christmas, and with the run up to Christmas there is a Christmas Tree Harvest. This is an industry that we have been involved with for many years now. One through to form thing about the Christmas tree harvesting season is its hard and fast. A season usually is over within a 6 week period, indeed a short amount of time for this the mammoth labour intensive operation. A harvest requires a special kind of individual as with this work it means being exposed to the elements, of what November can through at you and usually that involves rain, rain, rain a little more rain and quiet possibly snow frost etc, and its rained here for a solid 30 days meaning conditions are wet, mucky and very very tough.

The harvest season might kick off about September where a plantation is walked tress being selected for harvest. Cutting of the trees starts usually about the first or second week of November where a team of people will descend on the plantation cut each tree individually, net the tree and really depending on the structure of the work force or your facilities that are attached to the plantation the tree will be put on a pallet.

This years harvest went along the lines of tree cut, netted, gathered up into tractor and trailer brought to yard separated put on a pallet then loaded onto a truck. Sounds straight forward but when you think about it and start to break down each of those steps in the operation you have one person to cut the tree, couple of people to net said tree, more people to load the product, more to separate and load the trees onto a pallet. This really means you need a well oiled working unit as there is a time constraint involved and the flow of product from field to pallet must be very fluid meaning a large workforce.

The harvest this year was attacked in 2 different ways as it was facilities dependent in the field. Getting the product from field  to pallet got modified as conditions varied, a 13t excavator with a grab used to load a tractor and grain trailer with the netted trees in the field brought to a clean concrete yard then put onto pallets, this process cut down the work in the field here but left things harder in the yard as the pallets had to be made with 80 trees on each where each tree is packed on by hand. The second way we worked it was, netted trees in the field were loaded into a small trailer by hand then brought to yard area where they were separated and loaded into the palletiser by the excavator cutting down on workforce in the yard with less physical stress exerted on the workforce.

I have a video clip here as to the goings on of the palletising of trees. Roughly a 1000 trees were getting put on pallets per day with our estimate of total harvest of about 18000 trees being harvested to date. As quick as it arrives its over for yet another year and we are left wondering what all the fuss was about.

Find video clips here , here and here

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Powermax 165 video

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Here is 2 video’s of a Landini Powermax 165 with Landinis Autopowershift Transmission, I took these video’s when I took this machine for a little spin around the Carlow countryside when I visited Tom Murphy Equipment Ltd who had one on test.

You can find a previous post about the Powermax when it was launched earlier this year. Here is the first clip just click here then the second is of the machine while its moving, click here

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Liebherr Gives an estate car a “car wash” with just one bucket full of water

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

I have uploaded a video or two onto You Tube this one here is a funny clip of how an estate car can be washed with just one bucket of water, its pretty impressive as to the power of water mind you here in Ireland during the past 2 weeks nobody here needs to have the power of water explained to them seeing as allot of the west and south of the country is underneath water.

Anywho this size able machine and bucket really makes an impact to this estate car, click here to view.

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New Holland’s new head of ‘Goodwill’

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

New Holland has appointed a highly experienced new Aftersales Business Manager whose job it will be to oversee the essential area of aftersales customer care in the field.

Rob Alker, who began as an engineer at New Holland in 1994, has since worked his way across the company and across the world, becoming expert, not just in the nuts and bolts of each machine, but in how best to provide top class customer support.

Rob will be managing the aftersales and service staff and ensuring that the network of New Holland dealers are all well equipped, well trained, motivated and geared up to providing the best possible backup for their customers. Rob describes his team as New Holland’s ‘Goodwill Department’:

“Our main task is to make sure that we can ‘close the loop’ for customers when they have a problem, so it can be efficiently and satisfactorily resolved. My team’s job is to make the process of getting the customer’s machine up and running easier. Sometimes it’s necessary to use all means necessary: we’ve been known to stop the production line, or send tractor parts by taxi. I see this job as one that helps to generate customer satisfaction. “

Rob says his new role is a natural progression of his New Holland career: “In my time at New Holland I’ve worked in different disciplines; in sales and in service. I began as a Field Service Technician in the Overseas Department.

“I travelled all over the world, offering technical support and training to customers. It was a real eye-opener. When I started, I’d never been on a plane before. My first ever flight was all the way to New Zealand! It was a great experience and gave me a very broad view of our customers and their needs – which stood me in good stead when I returned to the UK.”

In 2007, Rob laid further strong foundations in his customer care experience when he took on the new role of National Account Manager. This role  focused on key fleet customers and specialised in providing them with very specific customer care:

“At the time we needed to boost our fleet customer base. To do that we devised ways to get closer to our customers. These big fleets need special attention. Because of the sheer number of machines they’re running they are high maintenance customers. We created a department that not only catered for  these needs, but actively encouraged new business from other fleet managers.”

That strong belief in the power of maintaining customer satisfaction has stayed with Rob and is fuelling his enthusiasm for his new role:

“Our dealerships have something to sell: They have the whole goods, the parts and the labour. But in our department it’s less tangible: our labour involves working to develop goodwill and good news, which in turn generates customer satisfaction which is an absolutely essential business tool for New Holland.”

Rob describes a recent incident which shows the team in action:

“Our warehouse received a call late one evening in the summer: The head farmer on a large estate had reported that his combine had broken down in the middle of the harvest. The overnight vans, which were ready to leave the warehouse, waited while the necessary parts were loaded on. Later, there was another call. The farm needed another part. The vans had long gone, so our man in the warehouse, Colin Andrews, who was due to finish work, drove out into the night instead to rendezvous with the overnight delivery vans. The parts arrived at the farm at 6.30 in the morning. The customer was relieved and delighted, the dealer extremely grateful and the aftersales team had succeeded in generating goodwill in spades.”

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