Dealer back up has also been an important consideration for him and, with Chandlers expanding to cover more of the country, he has greater confidence to take on work further afield.
“We can be 150 miles from our base in Bristol and, whilst tractor problems are rare, it is always good to know that there is a dealer close by,” he adds.
Operator comfort is important to help the team carry out the demanding work and long hours. However, it is also crucial to recruiting the right operators. Mr Collins believes that if an operator is given the choice they would choose to work with a Fendt over other brands.
“We ask our team to work long shifts, doing demanding work. Fendt’s Vario drive, the joystick controls, pre-sets and comfort, all play a part in our ability to recruit good people. The Vario is particularly attractive because operators are often working at creeping speeds and so there is no need for them to be constantly working the gearbox to get the most out of the engine, the Vario does it for them,” he says.
He has chosen to fit the tractors with all the available extras to provide operators with the best working environment, but also to return the best residual values when the time comes to upgrade.
“We run our tractors for up to three years and, when it’s time to switch, the residual value of the Fendts has never disappointed. When a tractor is so well specified new, it offers the second owner technology and features that may not be available on brand new models from other brands. I believe a used Fendt is often a better option than some nearly new tractors,” he says.
He also suggests that inheriting problems caused by previous owners is not an option. The downtime caused by tractor faults could be very costly and potentially damage the reputation of the business.
“There should be enough money in the work we do to provide the best machinery. Having new machines with a comprehensive warranty, that is upheld by a dealer servicing a wide area, minimises risk. I can’t afford for machinery to be out of action, and I want staff and customers to see that, as a business, we are willing to invest in the best machinery to do the best job,” he concludes.