What’s in Your Shed? An Aberdeenshire contractor opens his doors

In the latest of our series looking at how farmers and contractors manage their machinery, Emily Padfield visits Aberdeenshire farmer Jon Bennett who farms with sons Aron and Richard

Farm factfile

JP Bennett & Sons, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire

Farming: 265ha owned and rented


Contract farming: 240ha

Stubble-to-stubble contracting: 240ha

Spraying only: 80ha

Other activities: Fertiliser spreading, baling, cultivations, drilling, silage work

More from our What’s in Your Shed series

In the shed

Combine: New Holland CR9080 Elevation with 30ft header, 4wd and oversized wheels

Tractors: Fendt 930, Fendt 818, Case-IH CVX195, New Holland TM190, Case 1056

Loaders: JCB 530/70, JCB 526s, MF50

Ploughs: Two Kuhn Manager 8-furrow reversible ploughs, Kuhn 121 five-furrow reversible

Cultivators: Simba 2B 14ft discs and trailed press, Vaderstad Rexius Twin 4.5m, Vaderstad Crosskill rolls and 6.2m, Vaderstad 10.3m rolls

Drills: Simba Horsch 6m grain and fert

Fertiliser spreaders/sprayers: Berthoud 30m trailed sprayer, Kuhn Axera fertiliser spreader

Trailers: Three Marshall 14t trailers, 16t NC dump trailer

Other kit: Kuhn trailed mower conditioner, New Holland 644 baler, Spearhead 4.5m topper, 13t and 3t slew diggers

20 Questions

How loyal are you to individual brands?

Generally, we buy the product that suits the job, but we’ve always had New Holland combines and JCB loaders. We got our first Fendt in August 2006.

Favourite dealer?

Every brand is well catered for around here, so we’re in an excellent position. We go to AM Phillip for Case, Simba, JCB and Berthoud, Ross Agri for Fendt, Ravenhill for New Holland and J Brock and Sons in Essex for second-hand kit. I’ve never met a dealer so honest about his kit.

Favourite tractor?

Fendt 930 for its reliability, amazing power and fuel economy. It’s a premium brand at a premium price, but it’s worth it.

Favourite other piece of kit?

The CR9080 Elevation because of its huge output and capability last year. We opted for 4wd and took the oversized wheels off our previous 980. We wouldn’t be without it now and it didn’t get stuck once last season. We were managing 120 acres a day in spring barley.

Least favourite?

The Kuhn Axera M as it seems to break up fertiliser. We’ve now sold it for an Amazone GPS spreader instead.

Latest purchase?

A Simba Horsch 6m grain and fertiliser drill, which arrived last week. We’re moving to 30m tramlines and have invested in a 30m sprayerand the new fertiliser spinner too.

Oldest piece of machinery still in use?

An MF50 industrial loader, great as a back-up and for unloading lorries away from the main yard.

Biggest machinery mistake?

A NH TM190 and buying a second one after we knew what the first one was like. We ended up putting 600 hours on a demo while ours was being fixed. Up until that, we had always had New Hollands.

What’s on your wish list?

A new Fendt 936 – if we win the lottery.

Do you buy second-hand?

Yes, occasionally. Usually, things like heavy cultivators – we will look to Brocks as we know we don’t have to travel to look at the machine before buying. They even send pictures of any repairs made on the item. And we’ve bought a second-hand Fendt from Ross Agri.

Best bargain?

A nearly new seven-furrow Kuhn plough for £9000 at a local sale which had a list price at the time of £24,000. We fitted another furrow to make it eight as a back-up for our existing eight- furrow.

Favourite job?

Combining for me, drilling for Aron and spraying for Richard.

Where would you rather be – on a tractor, in the workshop, in the office or shopping with the wife and kids?

On the combine.

Everyday transport?

A 2007 Defender 110 twincab with 21,000 miles on it. I’m on my seventeenth Land Rover since leaving school.

Biggest myth to do with machinery?

That Fendts don’t break down. Everything does, just some more than others.

If you want to reveal the contents of your machinery shed, email your phone number and a few brief details to fwmachinery@rbi.co.uk.

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