In the lastest in our series looking at how farmers and contractors manage their machinery, Cathal McCarron talks to County Down farmer and contractor Roy Townley
Roy Townley, JD Townley & Son, Co Down, Northern Ireland
Beef: 80 head
Silage: 2,000ha grass silage and 400ha maize silage
Drilling: 400ha with a mix of combination units and one-pass systems
Staff: Five full-time plus seasonal staff
More from our What’s in Your Shed series
In the shed
Combines: Claas Lexion 570 and 520, New Holland CX8040
Forager: Claas Jaguar 900
Tractors: Claas Xerion 3300, 830 Axion, Ares 550. John Deere 7530, 6930, 6830, 6820, 6810. MF 6480
Balers: Claas 254, New Holland BR740, Case LBX432
Cultivation: Three five-furrow Kverneland ploughs, 5m Kuhn power harrow, 4m Lemken power harrow, two 3m Lemken power harrows, 3m Amazone power harrow
Drills: Two 3m Amazone one-pass systems, 6m Kverneland drill, four-row Samco maize planter, two Gaspardo eight-row maize planters
Slurry kit: Three Redrock tankers
Loaders: 414 JCB shovel
Sprayer: 24m Amazone
How loyal are you to individual brands?
I’m not loyal to brands, I prefer to have a machine that is suited to the job. That view isn’t shared by the drivers – they all have their favourite brands.
John Deere 6810. It’s the best tractor we’ve got – it’s bomb-proof. Having done 10,000 hours, the only thing we’ve had to replace on it are the brakes.
Other favourite piece of kit?
Lexion 570 Combine. It’s a great machine to drive and is fantastic even in damp conditions, which has been crucial the past few seasons.
Least favourite piece of kit?
New Holland BR740 baler. It was useless in short straw; there was too much dead area between the tines and the rotor feeder. It was impossible to get it to feed in material.
We just got our second Gaspardo eight-row maize drill. It was bought on the strength of the first machine’s performance. Having done a bit of drilling a few weeks ago, it is going very well.
Oldest piece of machinery still at work?
A 1985 JCB 3CX. Bought new back then and has been on the farm since.
Biggest machinery mistake?
An Amazone 3m one-pass drill. All the weight was on the packer roller and it was useless in sticky conditions.
How long do you keep your machines?
Until they become uneconomical with regards to repair bills.
What’s on your wish list?
A new Claas Jaguar 960 forage harvester.
Most embarrassing incident?
Probably the most common one is waiting on a field of cereals to emerge, to see where the tramlines are, and if there are any missed bits.
Most awkward grease nipple?
Our Krone Swadro 1250 rake is a sod to grease in general.
What couldn’t you live without in the workshop?
Our welders and space heaters.
Do you buy second-hand?
We avoid it if at all possible.
Best bargain you’ve ever picked up?
A 3m power harrow bought at a farm sale, I had it for a week and sold it for a handsome profit.
What would you buy if you won the lottery?
A farm, definitely.
Favourite job? Least favourite job?
The favourite job for me is combining wheat or barley on a good sunny day when things are going well. My least favourite job has got to be checking the grain dryer in the middle of the night when you should be tucked up asleep.
What’s your everyday transport?
A 1999 Mitsubishi Shogun. It has been bullet-proof, has done over 160,000 miles and is still going strong. The previous one managed over 220,000 miles before I changed it.
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