The trip from beginning to end was well organised with minimal pressure on the participants - a good mix of business and please kept all entertained. Thanks to John Tulloch, Chris at Karl Taucher Holiday Shoppe, Lutz Nabinger of Globus Tours, our very entertaining Europe tour director and teller of reasonably good jokes and lastly Mireille Ruitenbeek our capable unnerving coach driver.
Such was the success of this trip that 2008 is pretty much a dead cert, so if you are interested, pencil in your diary today.
Some 59 years ago two New Zealand air force mates Norman Todd and Jim Ross, fresh out of World War II, saw an opportunity to use their many skills learned in the air force. They pooled their resources and started a business called Ross Todd Motors based in Cambridge.
Their aim was to fix, modify or make anything from agricultural machinery to re-powering trucks (petrol to diesel). A large amount of the materials used came from army surplus.
The business flourished and in 1957 Ross Todd Motors took up the International Harvester agency and began selling IH tractors. Business was so good that branches were opened at Tokaroa and Matamata.
- Norman, Jim and Arthur Baker saw an opportunity in the construction industry - Baker Construction was formed using rubber tyred loaders and dump trucks.
- saw the formation of T. Doige Ltd, a logging company which eventually ran a fleet of 32 logging trucks repowered by Ross Todd Motors with Detroit diesel motors.
- saw the formation of TRT in Hamilton which was involved in truck mods, cranes and low loaders.
- Following the passing away of Jim Ross in 1981, the company was split up amongst the share holders and Norman Todd retained the original business and premises - Ross Todd Motors in Cambridge.
At the tender age of 9, Martyn Todd, Norman’s son, was put into a go cart and thus began a successful career of racing. Winning numerous titles till the age of 20 when Martyn decided to get more involved in the family business. Martyn was however still actively involved in rugby playing wing for the local senior team at Hautapu until a knee injury forced him to hang up his boots.
Having started his apprenticeship with the company in 1975 as a mechanic, Martyn was eventually handed control of the company in 1992 when his father decided it was time for him to relax and enjoy the fruits of his labour. Martyn says “I think it was probably the introduction of computers that got Norman thinking that it was now time to move on.”
Today Ross Todd Motors enjoys a good share of the tractor market for Case and through their other agencies also hold a good share of the equipment market and for TFM that means Krone balers and mowers. All this has been achieved through dedication from long standing key personnel like Grant Yearbury - Workshop Foreman, Simon Bouwstra - Senior Mechanic, Andrew Johnson - Parts Manager, Alan Bigger in the parts department for 19 years and finally Ivan Kendrick - Sales.
Martyn says, “When the heat is, on we can put up to 3 field service units out on the road to back our customers.” When asked about key events in the history of the company, Martyn commented “There are several but it has to be said the truly greatest moment was the 50th anniversary in 1996 when they invited past employees to a gathering that eventually ended up catering for several hundred participants including several from abroad. It was an emotional experience not to be forgotten.”
Dealership for TFM in 1991
Having signed up as a dealer for Tulloch Farm Machines in July 1991, Martyn says he has witnessed the development of the products over the past 14 years and particularly the Krone variopack baler and Krone mowers which are proving to be good reliable products to offer his customers. “I find the Parts Department at Tulloch’s to be reliable and their sales representative Ralph Priddle gives us good service.”
James McDonald, Geraldine
Second Season as a contractor, TFM caught up with James during July 2005 after his first season of using a Krone VARIOPACK round baler.
James has always been involved with the family farm and decided that he wanted to stay involved in agriculture. A stint of deer farming before and after a diploma course in Farm Management at Lincoln University set James up for the big “OE”.
James then spent some time in Ireland working on a 1500 acre cropping farm, growing mainly wheat. Showing good capabilities, he advanced to become the head tractor operator on the farm. He also worked on a farm in England, where he particularly enjoyed operating balers.
James then returned to New Zealand in July 2003, looking for a way to use his experience from overseas while at the same time assisting his father on the family farm.
One option was to go direct drilling, although quite a few contractors had recently started up in the Geraldine area, and James did not want to tread on anyone’s toes. An opportunity arose in November 2003, when he took over the baling side of Richard Dale’s contracting business, and James now employs up to 3 staff to keep up with the seasonal demand for the round bales, servicing clients mainly within ½ hours from his base in Geraldine.
The equipment and services offered
- Krone VP1500MC - round baling, balage, hay straw and whole crop
- Home made Bale handler (like Pronovost P6810) carting round bales to wrapper
- McHale 991B individual bale wrapping
- Tubeliner 5500 tube wrapping
- 3 Valtra 6750 tractors 105 hp
In the first season (2003/2004) James only started in December and consequently only managed 5000 bales with a fixed chamber baler ex Richard Dale. At the end of the first season, Paul Wilkins invited James to a Krone VarioPack demonstration
under one of the large pivot irrigators in the area where there was a very lush crop of Mowata.
James was suitably impressed with the performance of the demo machine under those conditions. He then took the demo unit home and had a go with it. Before long he had signed up for a new Krone VarioPack for the 2004/2005 season.
Asked why he bought the Krone baler, James replied:
- low horsepower requirement
- ability to bale any crop
- good service from Paul Wilkins
- fair price
- minimal moving parts
- good service from TFM
James added “I had a bearing failure on the fixed chamber baler. It was a Friday afternoon, and my local dealer said they could bring me out a replacement bearing Monday morning. So I rang Paul Wilkins, and they came out straight away, and I was back baling that evening.”
I was told that I was one of the few customers not to spend the additional $1500 + GST on the optional hydraulic reverser in case of blockages. But we only blocked maybe twice out of more than 17,000 cycles. So I am confident we don’t need the reverser.”
“ I was very impressed with the net wrap system. It worked well. We baled 3000 or 4000 bales of whole crop (oats, rape, triticale and barley), and the machine performed well. Because you can bale in very wet conditions, you need to be careful that you don’t get into trouble; however, even the wet bales don’t sag like they would with a fixed chamber. If we use the MultCut we charge an extra $1 per bale.”
James finds that his system with the bale handler works well in his area, because most of the carting is within a distance of 5 kms, and the handler can keep up with the baler at this distance.
It is a fantastic tool, and to make it even more efficient I could look at going the next step to the Pronovost P6812which can carry 12 bales. Presently his machine carries 10 round bales.
James enjoys the contracting and it fits in well with the other work on the family farm. In the future he may look at running 2 balers, and he will stick with Paul Wilkins, Valtra tractors and Krone equipment, for the service and reliability. “The Valtra has been a great tractor, with it’s low revs, high torque and low fuel consumption.”
James really likes his Valta tractor - "A great machine, with low revs, High torque and low fuet consumption."
A better season
Looking back on his second season, James can now smile, having made 17,500 bales with the VarioPack baler of which about 16,000 were balage.
“It is a good tally, considering that we had 13 days off in December due to constant rain, and then after 28 Jan 05, it was suddenly all over. We had 6 days where we made over 500 bales each day. Chris made the record up the Rangitata Gorge, baling 242 bales in 3 hours and in that time he changed the roll of net!”
- Some additional benefits now are -We start earlier and can continue later if needed
- There is no issue with dificult starting in barley straw.
- The variopack really bales triticale well with no problem.
“ We are now able to bale for our customers when the crop is ready to be baled regardless of weather conditions - within reason.”
FM Parts Department
A vital link in our commitment to supporting our customers and their machines
Whether you are farming or contracting, there is a lot of equipment out there to choose from to compliment your operation. The key issue is to ensure you are buying the right product to suit your operation.
However for the investment in machinery to be worthy, the SUPPORT from the Parts Department is absolutely essential. We at TFM believe we have a system that works, allowing you to buy with confidence. An insight into what has been set up to support our products may help you understand that when you buy from TFM or any of our dealers, you are assured of a genuine commitment to back up.
Left to Right - Ken Walker, James Hannon and Huge Lunde
1.5 kilometres of shelving!
We have just over 350sq. metres of floor space containing just over one and a half kilometres of shelving. In addition to this there is 291sq. meters of warehouse space for bulk parts. All together we house in excess of 39,000 line items at a value of over $3 million.
To manage this, the parts department headed by Hugh Lundie and assisted by James Hannon and Ken Walker, have an operating system from Distinctive Business Systems (DBS) in Dunedin with whom we are on line. The fundamental advantages of this system are many.
Firstly all of the information stored is on their computer in Dunedin, we have no need to employ a full time “IT” Expert. Back up is done over night in Dunedin which is one less worry. We share costs of software and hardware upgrades with hundreds of other users and we have access to the latest systems and most advanced hardware. More importantly if there is a problem with our system it is just a phone call away to have it rectified from their office through the online contact. There is no need for a technician to get in a car and travel to fix the fault.
Stock levels monitored carefully
In addition to the DBS system, other key functions ensure the part is available when you need it. On a weekly basis, parts that have depleted are re-ordered (particularly relative to Krone). As TFM is a medium sized company, the parts manager monitors the level of all parts and orders within the week, where necessary.and he can make on the spot decisions.
Parts are dispatched daily to fulfil dealers orders via New Zealand Couriers, who in our opinion offer the most efficient overnight service. In order to ensure our dealers have a reasonable amount of stock on hand, we prompt them for indent stock orders in March for us to forward on to our suppliers in April. This ensures parts arrive in New Zealand in time for the start of the season. In the unlikely event that a part is required which is not in stock, we air freight the part which takes as little as 3 days. In all but very few instances, the cost of the air freight is borne by TFM and not the customer.
The parts department has two functions - to support our dealer network throughout New Zealand with parts for all machinery imported and to provide a retail side for our Wairarapa customers. For local store customers, we have a number of additional agencies; a wide range of bolts and fasteners, oils and lubricants, Stahlwille tools, King Tony tools, Bordo drills, taps and dies, Alemite lubricating equipment, Timken and NSK bearings, Gates V belts, wire rope and chains, Fleetgard and Ryco filters, Hella accessories, Bertolini and Aitchison.
When one considers, that as machines get older their parts usage changes, existing models are upgraded and new models are introduced - to ensure the correct parts are in stock is a huge task - a task that we believe we have in control.