Since making its first steps into the diet-feeder market back in 1996, JF-Stoll has been making steady progress and indeed the firm’s share of its domestic market in Denmark is a claimed 25-30%.
Formerly know as JF, the firm took on the JF-Stoll name following the acquisition of German loader manufacturer Stoll last year.
The company made its initial entry to the diet-feeder market through an agreement with fellow Danish firm Samson – which is probably better known for its manure spreaders.
In 1997 JF-Stoll purchased the design and manufacturing rights for the Samson paddle-type mixer-wagon. Production of the machines remained at the Samson factory until 1998 when JF moved production to its own factory in Snderborg.
Having started with horizontal paddle mixers the firm made the decision to develop a vertical auger machine in 1999, a move driven by the Scandinavian market according to Hans Petersen, JF-Stoll’s export manager.
“Our Nordic customers demand a machine that can handle round bales and a vertical auger wagon has the ability to handle this material better than a paddle mixer,” says Mr Petersen.
To add weight to this argument the firm claims that out of the 60 or so machines it sells in Denmark a year, only one or two are paddle type units.
A contrast is the UK market which has traditionally been dominated by paddle-mixers.
Westmac is the UK importer for JF-Stoll products. Sales manager Martin Holden estimates that the UK feeder/mixer wagon market is well over 500 units per year, but exact figures are not available.
“We believe the UK market to be about 700 machines per year, but because manufacturers such as Strautman, BVL and Keenan – which are all well represented in the feeder market – do not release sales figures to the Agricultural Engineers Association we can’t be completely certain.”
Westmac would claim to sell about 35 wagons per year, of which eight or nine are vertical auger units, the majority are paddle mixers – a situation which Mr Holden believes will quickly reverse.
“In the past we have not had the product range to make a significant impression on the UK market, but with the growing range of machines coming out of the Snderberg factory we are looking to grow our UK market share to 10% within three years,” he adds.
The firm believes that the modular design of its f eeders will present an added bonus over competitor machines.
The company claims that this enables the farmer to choose the right size and the most suitable unloading system for the farm, plus it has the added benefit of making the machine a more attractive second-hand option as it can be altered to suit various situations.
“If the herd size increases or a new building is erected the feeder can be easily adapted negating the need to buy a new machine,” says Mr Holden.