What’s in your shed? Cumbrian contractor John Horsley opens his doors

In the latest in our series looking at how farmers and contractors manage their machinery, Nick Fone visits Cumbrian contractor John Horsley

Farm Factfile

Horsleys of Abbeytown


Arable: 1,600ha of cereals, 8,000ha of spraying, 1,200ha of combining

Silaging: 2,830ha of grass silage, 570ha of wholecrop and 650ha of maize

Cultivations and drilling: 2,000ha of ploughing and cultivations and 700ha of maize drilling

Baling: 11,000 round bales, 7,000 of which are wrapped for silage

Other: Slurry, muck, fertiliser and lime spreading

What’s in your machinery shed?

Tractors: JD7530, 6930 and 6620, Claas Axion 850 and Arion 640, NH TM155, TM140 and T6080; JCB 2135 Fastrac

Loader: JCB TM310

Foragers: Claas Jaguar 850 and 940

Combines: Claas Lexion 510, 2 x NH TX63

Balers: McHale Fusion baler/wrapper and Claas Variant 260

Sprayers: 24m Knight demount, 24m Gambetti mounted

Trailers: 2 x 15t Frasers, 4 x 11t Frasers and 5 x 12t Baileys

Muck spreaders: 3 x 10t Bunning Lowlanders

Ploughs: 3 Kvernelands and 1 Lemken

Drills: 4m Vaderstad Rapid, 2 x 3m Amazone combi and 1 x 3m Kuhn combi

Spreaders: 3 x Amazone ZA-M and 2 x Landrive lime spreaders

Slurry kit: 14,000-litre Agrimat tanker with 3m injector, 9000-litre Major splash-plate tanker and 2000m umbilical system

Claas Jaguar forager
Ford 5610
John Deere 6620
New Holland TM155
New Holland TX63 combine

More from our What’s in Your Shed series

20 questions

Favourite dealer?

Rickerbys at Carlisle. They’ve got seriously good people in the stores, a down-to-earth salesman, excellent service staff and a good man at the top.

Best-ever tractor?

A Ford 7700 2wd. I did 10,000 hours with it and it didn’t have one serious problem.

Least favourite piece of kit?

Our Agrimat slurry tanker. It was a nightmare from day one. Its biggest disaster came when the tanker and injector parted company, ripping the chassis in half.

Latest purchase?

A 2003 New Holland TX63 with really low hours on the clock. It’s run perfectly all through harvest.

Oldest piece of machinery still at work?

Probably me. Other than that it’s a 15-year-old 12t Fraser trailer. It was the first high-speed trailer we bought to go behind our first Fastrac – a 1994 165-55. The tractor is long gone but the trailer is still going strong.

Biggest machinery mistake?

In 2004 I bought a low-loader trailer to haul plant machines about but I didn’t do the research properly. VOSA became interested and it caused me no end of trouble, so I quickly sold it.

What was your most embarrassing incident?

A couple of years ago I was folding up the booms on the sprayer when the phone rang. I let go of the spool-lever to answer, thinking the booms were fully folded and continued to drive on, knocking the chimney off a holiday chalet and destroying the roof.

What’s on your wish list?

A brand-new, purpose-built, workshop big enough to fit combines and foragers. It’s got to have roller-shutter doors – I dream about being able to open up the workshop in seconds at the flick of a switch.

What’s the best piece of machinery advice you’ve ever been given?

The farmer I worked for when I left school said: “If you can get a job done today, do it because you might not be able to get to it tomorrow”.

Best secondhand bargain you’ve ever picked up?

I bought a trailed Claas Jaguar 62 forage-harvester for £1800, used it for two seasons and sold it for twice as much. All because it had grey guards rather than green ones, which supposedly made it rare.

What would you buy if you won the lottery?

A new self-propelled sprayer with all the whistles and the bells. It must sing, dance and tell me how big the field is…

Favourite job?

Crop spraying. I love to see the crops we’ve drilled coming up and doing well.

Least favourite job?

Carting silage down rough, bumpy roads and dealing with car drivers who just won’t budge.

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

Out on the tractor, seeing the whole operation in action running smoothly.

What’s your everyday transport?

A Citroën Berlingo van. It runs on fresh air and never seems to go wrong.

If you’d like to reveal the contents of your machinery shed to us, email fwmachinery@rbi.co.uk