What’s in your shed? Surrey farmer opens his doors

Godalming-based farmer and contractor Chris Cherriman is the latest to let us snoop round his machinery shed.

Farm Factfile

Cherriman Contractors, Prestwick Manor Farm, Chiddingfold, Godalming, Surrey

Farming: 55ha arable, 200ha organic grassland let to local sheep farmer.

Contracting: 250ha baled silage (70% lucerne), 200ha ploughing and cultivation work, 200ha drilling, establishing new grass leys, muck and slurry spreading, hedge cutting, grassland regeneration, planting game cover, fencing.

Staff: Me full-time, Dad filling in gaps and 2-3 casual workers at busy times. Two of these are small contractors like me and we help each other out.


In the shed

Tractors: : John Deere 6170R, Landini Powerfarm 85

Telehandler: JCB 536.60.

Plough: Kuhn 153 Varimaster five-furrow.

Cultivators: Terra Tech Multi Cult one-pass, Heva front press.

Rolls: Dalbo 630 ring rolls.

Drill: Kuhn Venta 3m combination drill

Hedgecutter: McConnel 65T

Muck spreader: Bunning 120 Lowlander

ATVs: Can-am 650 quad and Polaris buggy.

Grass kit: Kuhn 7501 rake, Krone 7.82 tedder, Claas Disco 3100C mower, Kuhn flail topper, Einbok grass harrows

Trailers: Bailey 14t grain/silage trailer, Bailey 14t bale trailer

Fertiliser spreader: Kuhn Axis

Post knocker: Protech 200s

Landini Powerfarm 85
Cherry Products man platform
Terra Tech Multi Cult one-pass cultivator
John Deere toolbox
Kuhn rake
Kuhn Varimaster plough
JCB 536.60
Kuhn Venta drill
Makita impact driver
Claas Disco mower
Can-Am 650 ATV
Agriweld weight block

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20 questions

How loyal are you to individual brands?

I’m very loyal to John Deere and Kuhn as they make excellent products and the back-up is great too.

Who is you favourite dealer?

Farols at Midhurst – they offer a great service and are brilliant at letting you know what’s going on with your machines. Halse of Honiton is also very good. It stocks a lot of kit at very good prices.

Favourite piece of kit?

Tractors aside it would have to be the JCB 536.60. It’s well screwed together and is particularly impressive when bulldozing muck and loading spreaders. We had a Merlo before which was great in the yard, but it would just spin the wheels when the going got tough.

Least favourite piece of kit?

The Landini 85. It’s Dad’s tractor and he seems to like it, but I’m not a fan. The electric clutch has no feel and when it’s under load you can’t change down fast enough. It’s also had more dealer visits than any other tractor we’ve had.

Latest Purchase?

Terra Tech 3m Multi Cult. I was looking for a good one-pass machine and this offered everything I wanted. It’s got McConnel Shakaerator winged legs on it and goes a great job.

Oldest piece of machinery still at work?

Our Allman 12m sprayer is the oldest machine we use. It’s 25 years old and is still limping along. We kept it for spraying game cover and the odd paddock.

How long do you keep your machines?

I tend to change my tractors every three years. The rest of the kit is changed when it starts getting unreliable. The hedge cutter also gets changed every five to six years.

What’s next on your wish list?

I’ve already got a new McConnel hedge cutter on order for July and I’ll be replacing the John Deere in April next year.

Most embarrassing machinery mistake?

Buying a slightly dodgy second-hand Manitou. The gear selector jammed when I was driving down the A3 and it nearly killed me when it locked up and swerved into the fast lane.

Most awkward grease nipple?

Universal joints on the JCB – there’s not a big enough gap to get to them.

What’s your best invention?

I’m not that inventive really, but the extra toolbox bracket on the John Deere has been really useful.

What couldn’t you live without in the workshop?

The Makita cordless impact driver. It speeds up changing parts and undoing nuts and bolts considerably.

Do you buy second hand?

Sometimes, but it would have to be immaculate. I like to buy new if I can afford it so I know what I’m getting. The last second-hand machine I bought was a two-year-old Bunning 120 muckspreader. It has only done one season’s work and was spotless.

Favourite job

Mowing and raking

Least favourite job

Working in tiny fields – it’s so tedious.

What’s your everyday transport?

A 2011 Toyota Hilux Invincible. I like it, but it’s already on its second clutch. Apparently they’re bringing out a heavier-duty version for off-road use so hopefully that’ll solve the problem.

Best tractor you’ve ever had?

My current frontline tractor, which is a John Deere 6170R. The 6930 I had before was good, but this has got a much bigger and more comfortable cab. I could do with a bit more power when pulling the cultivator on heavy ground, so I might go for a 6190R next time.

Worst tractor you’ve ever had?

We had a string unreliable Internationals and the last one decided to run away in the middle of harvest. It crashed through two fields and ended up in a pond. That’s when we decided to switch to John Deere.

Biggest machinery bargain?

An old set of Vaderstad rolls I bought for £300 and then five years later part exchanged them for the current Dalbo rolls and got £1,200.

What would you buy if you won the lottery?

A bigger farm away from Surrey – we’re right in the commuter belt and the people that have moved here don’t understand that farming can be muddy and smelly. The South Downs would be nice.

Any machinery toys/ classics lurking in the shed?

The Can-Am 650 quad is the closest I’ve got to a toy. No classics I’m afraid.

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