What’s in Your Shed? visits a Herefordshire combined farm

Contractors Charlie and Dave Blandford are the newest to open their shed doorways for our month-to-month What’s in Your Shed? sequence.

Our staff have been everywhere in the nation, and this time we park up at a combined farm in Herefordshire.

Farm details

  • Measurement 364ha
  • Arable Wheat, oilseed rape, beans, spring oats for seed
  • Livestock 300 ewes and 60-70 B&B cattle over winter
  • Workers Charlie and Dave plus part-time assist

How model loyal are you?

We’re extra loyal to our native sellers than particular manufacturers of equipment, however the equipment must be good high quality and we do store round a bit to get the very best software for the job.

Pallisers of Hereford has been our go-to supplier because it opened within the early Nineteen Nineties and we’ve caught with it because it’s moved from Massey Ferguson tractors to Deutz-Fahr and now Kubota.

The extent of service we obtain is the principle purpose for this, however we’ve additionally been pleased with the tractors we’ve had, significantly the brand new Kubota M7s.

All our Krone grass equipment got here from Pallisers too, in addition to our Merlo telehandler and the Amazone drill, fertiliser spreader and sprayer.

Merlo TF42.7

Merlo TF42.7 © James Andrews

Persevering with the theme of shopping for native, our Claas mix got here from Morris Corfield, our trailers are from AW Trailers simply down the street, and we’ve received a couple of bits and items from Tallis Amos at Leominster.

We have now by no means been keen on trawling the nation to avoid wasting a couple of quid on particular person items of equipment. It’s time consuming and also you don’t at all times find yourself higher off in the long term.

See additionally: Video: Kubota’s 170hp four-cylinder M7173 on take a look at

Favorite piece of equipment?

Charlie: It’s the Kubota tractors for me. We’ve received three of them – two M7172s and a later M7173 – they usually’re all sensible.

Kubota M7172

Kubota M7172 © James Andrews

Previously, we’ve at all times had a six-cylinder tractor for heavier draught work, however these have gotten greater than sufficient energy for all the things we do.

At 6.1 litres, the engines are massive for a four-cylinder they usually generate loads of torque.

We first turned conscious of the M7s when Kubota rented some yard house off us to retailer its south of England demo fleet.

Simply earlier than the launch, a disguised blue prototype turned up on a lorry and we received to go searching it.

It was a bit tough and prepared, however we may see the potential. Quickly after they went on sale, we purchased a M7171 and we haven’t seemed again since.

Kubota M7173

Kubota M7173 © James Andrews

Dave: I’ve been actually impressed with our Horsch Joker disc cultivator and Mono TG toolbar.

It’s very effectively made and versatile, permitting us to make a seed-bed in a single cross with the legs and discs in play, or separate them in order that the discs can be utilized to work down furrows.

The auto-reset system is a godsend on our stony floor and I like the very fact it’s really easy to swap the factors round.

This implies we will use a slender one for deep working and a wider one after we wish to transfer soil at a shallower depth.

Least favorite piece of equipment?

We have now a 2.7m Joskin topper that isn’t fairly as much as the work we’re throwing at it.

It will get used for pulling down chicken cowl and environmental margins, which causes it to chew up drive belts for enjoyable.

The blades additionally get trashed very quickly, so it spends extra time within the workshop than it does working.

Newest buy?

The most important buy this season was a Claas Lexion 5400 mix, which we received to switch our 630.

It’s a five-walker machine with the brand new four-drum threshing system, which is meant to present efficiency nearer to that of a rotary.

We’ve observed a giant soar in output and we will go about 15% sooner than the outdated mannequin with out pushing the losses up.

The cab can be nicer, with a slicker display that’s extra intuitive to make use of, higher sound deadening and a a lot less complicated system for setting the reel velocity.

We have now had a couple of minor teething issues, however fortunately nothing that stopped us combining. These ought to all be sorted earlier than we get it out subsequent season.

 Claas Lexion 5400

© James Andrews

As spectacular as it’s, there are nonetheless some enhancements Claas may make. First, entry to the concave, decrease sieve and grain pan is needlessly awkward.

Earlier than we moved to Lexions, we had a Deutz 6065HTS, which had massive entry panels on the facet – it might be good to see one thing related on this machine.

We have now additionally simply achieved a deal on a Trimble Centerpoint RTX GPS system, which has a satellite tv for pc correction sign.

We wrestle for cell reception for RTK correction in elements of the farm, and this was way more dependable than the Kubota RTK system we tried.

The tools itself was fairly affordable however the subscription is dear at £1,160 a 12 months.

Oldest machine nonetheless at work?

We have now a 2002 Supertino trailed straw blower and silage feeder that we purchased new from a neighborhood farmer who had branched out into equipment dealing.

It’s effectively constructed and hasn’t proven a lot signal of wear and tear over the previous 18 years.

Today it primarily will get used for straw, which places little or no pressure on it, so it ought to have a lot extra life left.

How lengthy do you retain your machines?

Something with an engine and transmission we are inclined to hold till the guarantee is up. Within the case of the tractors and mix, that is 5 to seven years.

It’s a method that appears to work effectively, as we don’t should abdomen costly restore payments and we’re not stressing about damaged equipment after we’re busy.

If we do have an issue, it’s reassuring to know that Pallisers or one of many different sellers we use will quickly get it sorted for us.

This method isn’t vital for less complicated and fewer regularly used tools, such because the straw bedder or plough, which we hold till they begin to get worn or give bother.

What’s subsequent in your want listing?

We wish a front-mounted flail topper to switch the Joskin.

It must be higher suited to the cumbersome vegetation we’re slicing and having one on the entrance ought to imply it does a tidy job.

The topper isn’t a machine we’ll use fairly often, so we’ll in all probability search for a superb second-hand instance.

We might additionally wish to swap our 12t AW trailers for bigger 14t fashions with flotation tyres, and our oldest 2018 Kubota M7172 may get modified quickly because it’s reaching the top of its guarantee.

Most embarrassing equipment mistake?

Dave: I’ve had a few embarrassing trailer tipping incidents of late. Final 12 months I used to be importing in a shed with the solar shining in so I couldn’t see very effectively.

I believed I used to be away from the roof, however I pushed the trailer by means of the fibre cement panels and broken a few photo voltaic panels mounted above.

I did the identical factor whereas drying grain this harvest and dashing to maintain up with the mix. Fortunately there have been no photo voltaic panels above that roof although.

Charlie: I haven’t bashed a lot equipment, however I did make a critical setup error after we received our first Lexion.

We had been slicing beans, and I didn’t realise the rotor on the highest of the straw walkers wanted to be lifted proper out of the best way.

The mix blocked strong three days working and it took about three-and-a-half hours every time to clear it. It was a horrendous job.

Most costly restore invoice?

We haven’t had many costly payments lately as we’re effectively coated with warranties. Nonetheless, after we had a Deutz Agrotron M620 we spent a small fortune on a sequence of repairs to the aircon.

The principle drawback gave the impression to be a filter that broke up and prompted particles to undergo the system. In complete, it price us about £7,000.

Again within the Nineteen Eighties, we additionally had bother with an early Collins Teleshift that was primarily based on a Massey Ferguson 240.

The ahead/reverse selector wasn’t as much as the job and it failed repeatedly. It even packed up as soon as because it was being taken off the lorry after restore.

We appreciated it sufficient to purchase a few later manufacturing fashions although, and these didn’t give us any important issues.

What’s your greatest invention?

We’re not massive on inventing and constructing tools, however we make the odd software and infrequently modify bits to make them work higher.

Nonetheless, after we’re utilizing the equipment, we regularly consider ways in which producers may enhance the design.

A latest concept that got here to thoughts this harvest was for mix makers to suit a high-powered battery leaf blower on the machine with an built-in charger.

It will be so helpful to at all times have one there for blowing off, slightly than having to deliver one out from the yard.

What couldn’t you reside with out within the workshop?

We have now a giant Milwaukee cordless affect wrench that’s incredible for wheel nuts and the like – there’s nothing right here that it’s did not shift.

It will be good to have a smaller, lighter one for on a regular basis jobs, and we’ve received our eye on a cordless angle grinder.

Greatest tractor you’ve ever had?

We had a Massey Ferguson 3075 within the Nineteen Nineties that was a superb tractor and effectively forward of its time.

We significantly appreciated the Dynashift semi-powershift transmission, which was a giant step up from the Speedshift gearboxes we had earlier than.

It was additionally good to drive and had a cushty cab. That mentioned, we wouldn’t wish to return from the Kubotas.

And the worst?

We modify our tractors after they’re on comparatively low hours, so we haven’t had any important bother for a very long time.

The final main breakdown was a Massey Ferguson 590 Turbo, which had the engine seize within the area.

Favorite and least favorite jobs?

Charlie: My favorite is combining when the crop is standing tall, the climate is nice, and the yields are first rate. My least favorite is combining when the crop is flat and sprouting and there’s not a lot going within the tank.

Dave: You may’t beat spraying whenever you’re driving by means of a superb crop in good climate. Grain drying is firmly on the different finish of the spectrum, significantly after I’m dashing to maintain up with the mix.

Largest equipment cut price?

Just a few years in the past, we purchased a reconditioned Bunning Lowlander muckspreader for £11,000 that was like new.

Bunning Lowlander muckspreader

Bunning Lowlander muckspreader © James Andrews

It was a 2013 mannequin, however had been fitted with new mattress chains, oil seals, rotor ideas, a wide-angle pto and even had a brand new hood for spreading hen muck.

The supplier allow us to have it for an honest worth as we’d achieved a deal to purchase a part-exchange Samson spreader that they didn’t find yourself getting.

What’s your on a regular basis transport?

We’ve received a 2013 Ford Ranger Restricted with a 3.2-litre, five-cylinder engine and six-speed guide gearbox.

Ford Ranger

Ford Ranger © James Andrews

We purchased it when it was two-years-old on 20,000 miles and we paid £15,000, which didn’t appear too dangerous.

It goes effectively and glides together with our 12ft Gamic livestock trailer on the again. We’ve put one other 37,000 miles on the clock with out it giving any bother.

Package listing

  • Tractors Kubota M7172 x2 and M7173
  • Mix Claas Lexion 5400 with 22ft (6.8m) header
  • Telehandler Merlo TF42.7
  • Drill Amazone Centaya 3000 Tremendous
  • Cultivation equipment 3m Horsch Joker with Mono TG toolbar, Kuhn five-furrow plough, 4m Weaving Shortdisc, 6.3m Dalbo Cambridge rolls
  • Grass equipment Krone 3m rear mower, 7.8m tedder and 4.8m rake
  • Sprayer Amazone UF1801 mounted
  • Fertiliser spreader Amazone ZA-TS
  • Different AW grain trailers (14t and 12t x2), AW 25ft bale trailer, Polaris Ranger Diesel UTV, Gamic 12ft triple-axle inventory trailer, Supertino straw bedder, Joskin topper, Grasp 25t batch grain dryer