In our series looking at how farmers and contractors manage their machinery, we visit Contractor of the Year Robert Targett
RC Targett, Park Farm, Castle Cary, Somerset
Dairy: 220 Pedigree Holsteins plus 280 youngstock/replacements
Cropping: 400ha cereals and grassland
Silage: 1,620ha grass silage plus 405ha maize
Combining: 400ha cereals
Other: 23,000 bales, drainage and digger work, manure spreading, umbilical slurry application, spraying, building work, farm supplies
Staff: Nine full-time
In your shed
Combine: Claas Lexion 450 due for change this year
Forager: New Holland FR9060 forager with Kemper and grass headers new this year
Tractors: Fendt 930, Fendt 718, two Fendt 716s, MF7480, two MF6480s, MF 6150, MF6290 plus four MFs for yard work on dairy
Loaders: JCB 414 loading shovel, JCB loadall 536-60
Diggers: JCB 3CX, Hitachi Zaxis 130
Grass kit: Claas Disco 8550 C triple mower, Claas Liner 2900 rake
Sprayer: 24m Multidrive/Clayton 4200
Drills: Kuhn 4m combination, 6.6m Accord conventional, two Gaspardo maize drills
Cultivation: Dowdeswell 140 six-furrow, Vaderstad Carrier discs, two 4m and one 3m Kuhn power harrow
Trailers: Two Richard Western silage trailers, three K-Two silage trailers, Wessex silage trailer, two RW dumptrailers
Muckspreaders: Two K-Two rear discharge spreaders, three Hi-Spec dung spreaders; Two Hi-Spec vacuum tankers
Balers: NH 740 round baler, NH 940 square baler;
Other: KRM fertiliser spreader M2W, Two McConnel hedgecutters
More from our What’s in Your Shed series
How loyal are you to individual brands?
I believe loyalty goes two ways, so we’re pretty loyal to the brands we’ve got. New Holland for foragers; for tractors, we were predominantly Massey before Agcotook over Fendt, and we’ve gone on from that. Loyalty also applies to our core customers – we’ve got a duty to do a good job for a sensible price.
Depends on what we’re buying: TH White for New Holland, Highwood for Massey, Vaughan for Claas and Compass Tractors for Fendt. For all the rest of our kit, it’s a mixture of who will give us the best deal.
My ideal tractor hasn’t been made yet. One that’ll start at 7.30am and I can give it a list of things to do and it’ll come back when they’re done.Of our current fleet I like the Fendt 716s – they drive well and are a nice sizetractorfor our customers’ smaller fields.
Favourite other piece of kit?
The Hitachi excavator. It’s a lovely bit of kit and when you’re driving it you’ve got plenty of thinking time.
Least favourite piece of kit?
Latest purchase? What do you think of it?
New Holland FR9060. TH White offered us an attractive deal on our year-old machine, which allows us to run within warranty for another year.The new model is a definite improvement over its predecessor, with good resale value minimising depreciation.
Oldest piece of machinery still at work?
The 1987 HOES trencher. As it is so old, fixed costs are now minimal, but it remains capable of high earning potential on specialist contracts.
How long do you keep your machines?
Generally we keep the forager for two years, and tractors for three. Butwe tend to do anything that makes economic sense. For example, we’ve just sold the forager which we’ve only had for a year. If a good price is offered for any item, then we’ll sell. Things like the loading shovel we’ll keep for about three years, or until they’ve done about 5000-6000 hours so as to maximise second-hand value.
What’s on your wish list?
I wish the public, and government particularly, could appreciate farmers.
Most embarrassing incident?
A lad had been sent off with some directions to a field he was supposed to be muck spreading and spread it instead on a neighbouring farmer’s field. He didn’t mind though.
Most awkward grease nipple?
The UJ on the 536-60. We’re thinking impossible at the moment.
In 1984 we made a self-propelled mower unit, way ahead of its time. We used the bits from a MF 760 combine and three PZ mowers and it took us a couple of months. We used it for about five years.
What could you live without in the workshop?
Our site welder which we tow behind the Land Rover – it’s great for repairs in the field or on site.
Do you buy second-hand?
Yes, to cut depreciation costs, but usually things we don’t rely on for the majority of our work. Butyou can pick up bargains that have only been used lightly.
Best bargain you’ve picked up at a machinery sale or dealers yard?
We never buy at sales, as everyone gets a bit over-excited with bidding. But, we did pick up a RedRock grab for £600 seven years ago and we’ve only just pensioned it off and bought exactly the same model new.
Favourite job? Least favourite job?
Favourite? Probably spraying. There’s nothing more pleasurable than being in a big field in the spring looking at a crop coming up. Least favourite is pointless paperwork.
Where would you rather be – on a tractor, in the workshop, in the office or shopping with the wife?
Shopping is an alien concept to me. Probably out on a tractor or in the workshop creating something – but not mundane maintenance work.
What’s your everyday transport?
A relatively new Ford Transit, which has done about 20,000 miles. It’s great for comfort and practicality and it’s nice to drive.
If you’d like to reveal the contents of your machinery shed to us, email firstname.lastname@example.org