Buying all of one’s agricultural machinery from one manufacturer has its benefits for customers: one and the same contact person, the same ordering and processing procedure and the familiar good service of the dealer. One also does not need to constantly switch over in regard to the technology. For example, because the operating interface is the same for all the machines. The agricultural contractor Björn Kaiser in Ebsdorfergrund near Marbug and Heribert Glaßl in Hofgeismar in North Hesse appreciate this.
Contractor Björn Kaiser has already threshed 270 ha of oilseed rape and grain. He is satisfied with the threshing quality and also that the table can be converted from rape to grain within a matter of minutes. “The competition can hardly do that,” he comments.
Thick clouds of dust spread out over the wheat field on this late summer evening in August. One can only see a vague silhouette of a combine in it. The field is on slightly hilly terrain. But the machine seems to stick to the slope. Metre by metre the Fendt 6335 C PL eats its way through the golden field of grain. “In the cab, you don’t even notice that you’re working on a slope. It always remains horizontal,” explains Björn Kaiser about his work with the patented Para- Level slope compensation system from Fendt. It compensates for slopes up to 20 percent and keeps the threshing, separating and cleaning units level. In a radius of some 30 km around Ebsdorfergrund near Marburg, Björn Kaiser works the fields for his customers: mixed farms, from part-time farmers to livestock owners with several hundred hectares of arable land and biogas facilities. This demands tremendous flexibility from the young contractor. Besides threshing grain and oil seeds, that includes harvesting and silaging maize, maintaining grassland, tillage and pesticide application. He manages all of this mainly through his good relationship with Dominik Happel, his permanent employee, who he trained himself, and powerful technology: five Fendt tractors, a Fendt combine, the Fendt Katana 65 forage harvester as well as various implements for tillage and pesticide application.
Björn Kaiser likes his work. While he climbs down out of the combine, he happily explains how he founded the contracting business directly after he completed his agricultural studies. First in cooperation, with collectively used machines, now with his own machines. “It is easier for me, if all my machines come from the same agricultural equipment manufacturer. For example, the operating interface on the Fendt combines is set up exactly like that on the Fendt tractors. That is a great advantage. Just like the cooperation with the RWZ Technik Center Marburg-Cappel and Heiko Knesebeck from Fendt,” he explains. “I just have one contact person for all matters concerning agricultural machinery. That saves time, and that is very important,” says the 33-yearold and makes his way home with his combine to Wittelsberg, where he lives near his parents’ farm with his wife Tina. The farmyard is surrounded by fancy half-timber buildings. Large flower pots with white and red hydrangeas, juniper bushes and willows decorate the paved area. It is hard to imagine that these are the headquarters of an agricultural contracting business. “It is a pleasure for us to maintain these old buildings. We feel good here,” explains Konrad Kaiser, Björn’s father, and points proudly to the white-washed house with the brown beams, where wide, masonry stairs lead up to the front door. The office of the contracting business is attached on the right side, and also that of his farming business. Kaiser senior has an agricultural business here on the southern edge of the Amöneburger Becken, which includes farming and seed production. The contracting business has grown steadily over the past years, but “higher, faster, further” is not the motto of this mid-sized business. “Besides high-quality work for our customers, I would like to create another job in the next few years and provide training for specialists in agricultural services,” says Björn Kaiser and has a look over the yard when different machines are now standing. Ready for the next operation.
A good one hundred kilometres north of Ebsdorfergrund, new Hofgeismar, another Fendt-green harvesting machine is working on amber fields of stubble. Sascha Lückert produces heavy, dense bales of straw here with a Fendt 1270 S square baler. They tumble out of the back of the machine like large cubes of sugar. The baler is also a part of the product line of Fendt agricultural machinery that belongs to agricultural contractor Heribert Glaßl in North Hesse. “Furthermore, we work with five Fendt tractors from the 700 to 900 series and, most recently, with a Katana 65 forage harvester,” explains Heribert Glaßl, as he walks over the large premises of his company on the road between Hofgeismar and Grebenstein. There was once a factory here, which went bankrupt, he says. Glaßl bought the area, built additional warehouse and machine buildings and founded a contracting business in 1997. First he only had used machines. But then the business grew. New agricultural equipment was added. He has been working closely together with Torsten Himmelmann, sales consultant for agricultural machinery at the RWZ Raiffeisen-Warenzentrale Kurhessen-Thürigen GmbH in Hofgeismar from the very beginning. “We practically have our dealer and the workshop at our doorstep. It was therefore natural to buy the harvesting machines from the same manufacturer as our tractors, whose good quality we are used to,” he explains and points to the Fendt tractors that are standing next to the new Katana forage harvester, which harvested grass for the first time this year. Their relationship with the Fendt dealership RWZ is so good and well-rehearsed after 20 years that everything works with just a call. That really simplifies work. In the meantime, Glaßl and his ten employees now cultivate ten thousand hectares a year. For example, in 2012, they harvested about 2,000 ha of maize and applied bio-solids and compost on more than 10,000 ha. “We have a broad range of customers. From simple farmers to large-scale agricultural enterprises,” he sums up and opens the door to his house, which is situated directly next to the company premises. Three large dogs, two Dobermans and a mutt, welcome him enthusiastically. He gives them a friendly pat and points them towards their dog baskets in the hall and the kitchen. The agricultural machinery mechanic by training lives in this house together with his partner Michele Leischel, who is responsible for the bookkeeping. This division of work is an important element for the success of the business, considering the large number of jobs. It is starting to rain outside. That means finishing time for Sascha Lüttker and the square baler. At Heribert Glaßl’s house, the phone is ringing. A customer would like to make arrangements for tomorrow and the next day. “It’s like that year around,” the 39-year-old laughs and with this remark, he hits the nail on the head. Because in order to utilise the machines optimally, they must also work in the winter, for example, chopping wood. Heribert Glaßl is a Fendt full-liner, who works full power all year around.
Fendt full-liner: tractors, Katana forage harvester and square balers. With this fleet, contractor Heribert Glaßl has everything under control in his business. Here he is in his yard together with Torsten Himmelmann, sales consultant for agricultural machinery at the RZW Kurhessen-Thüringen GmbH in Hofgeismar.