28 June 2002

Contractor makes a big investment in hire tackle

A NEW Lincs based contracting and hire service – Agriserve – has invested more than £250,000 in three Challenger crawlers, a cultivator and a drill.

The Challengers are to be available on either a hire or contract basis, with or without a driver and with or without an implement at a charge starting at £1000 a week for a self-drive Challenger only.

The new 410hp 95E and 270hp 55 Challenger rubber tracked crawlers – plus a five-year-old 55 model – were recently bought from the dwindling unsold stock held by previous importer, Claas. To utilise the power of these machines a new 6m Vaderstad pneumatic drill and a 5.5m Knight Triple Press Plus cultivator was added to the shopping trolley.

Agriserve, a company set up by J L Farms of Low Fulney, Spalding, is headed up by John van Geest, chairman of the farming company, who decided to start the contracting business after being impressed by the performance of a Challenger 55 he bought for his 600ha (1500-acre) farm.

The service offered by Agriserve is flexible and, says Mr van Geest, cost-effective.

"I knew Agco would be taking over the Challenger distribution, and I realised that was likely to mean a price increase, which made the Claas tractors more attractive.

"I decided to have them all equipped with a linkage and pto because this will make them easier to utilise," he says.

"We have also taken out a four-year contract with the Sleaford branch of R W Marsh, which sold us the tractors, and this company will be responsible for all servicing and repairs, which means we do not have to put a spanner on them." &#42