In our latest snoop around a farmer’s shed, we visit Texan Aaron DeBerry who opens his doors to reveal the kit in his barn.
How loyal are you to brands?
We will go with whatever is best and we are pretty loyal to John Deere. All our main stuff is Deere and the hay machinery Massey Ferguson. John Deere’s service and reliability is good and they are comfortable tractors. If you are sitting in a machine all day it needs to be smart.
See also: Read more What’s In Your Shed? articles
BE Implements in Littlefield is the best. It provides a good service and if you need one of the fitters to stay till 10pm to fix a machine, they will. It gives a good trade price on parts too.
Favourite piece of kit?
Any truck. I love hauling grain to the elevator, as no one bothers you all day.
Tractors John Deere 8360R, 8335R, 8285R, 6210R, 4640, 4105 plus 400CX loader
Combine John Deere S670 with 12-row corn header
Sprayer Self-propelled John Deere R4030 with 30m boom
Cultivators Krause Gladiator 12 row strip-till cultivator, Landoll 9.5 Vertical Till, Sunflower 12m finishing plough, Unverferth 230 Rolling Harrow
Drill John Deere 1770 NT 24-row corn planter, Great Plains 8m wheat drill
Baler Massey 2270 XD big square baler
Trucks International Eagle, Kenworth W900L, Peterbilt 379 with extended hood
Other 2x John Deere 544J loading shovels, Komatsu 25 forklift, 2x J&M 1151 chaser bins, 2x grain trailers, various hay trailers
Least favourite piece of kit?
The sprayer. I hate it. I think it’s because I was burnt out by doing so much spraying when I was a kid. Dad used to make me spray all the time, so I’m tired of it and don’t want to drive it anymore.
Latest buy? What do you think?
We bought our big new corn planter recently, going from 16 to 24 rows. It helps as we don’t have many staff, so has speeded the job up and we can plant about 100ha in a day.
Oldest machine still going?
We have an old two-wheel drive John Deere 4640, which my dad really likes. It was made in 1980 and still does some light work, such as levelling ridges, and has about 12,000 hours on the clock.
How long do you keep your machines?
We try to trade everything after two years, except the baler, which is changed every year. I don’t want to be working on machines that have broken down at night. We also try and buy the biggest kit we can afford and have less staff.
Next on the wishlist?
I’d love to buy a new Peterbilt flat-top truck for hauling hay and grain. I have a thing for trucks and the Peterbilts hold their value.
Most embarrassing mistake?
I hit a natural gas irrigation pump motor with the plough, which smashed the cooling jacket and broke the driveshaft. Both needed replacing and it was a one-day job to get everything up and running again.
Most awkward grease nipple?
The drivelines that come out from the pto on the grain carts. There are loads of shields to take off, but I tend to cut them up – then Dad goes mad.
What’s your best invention?
Gear oil is a real nightmare to get out of the 200gal drums, so I made up an airline fitting that pressurises the barrel and helps to get the thick oil out.
What couldn’t you live without in the workshop?
Our half-inch cordless impact drivers. They are so handy and mean you don’t get worn out loosening and tightening loads of nuts and bolts. We buy Makita or Dewalt.
DeBerry Farms, Olton, Texas
Farming 2,700ha arable
Cropping Corn, cotton, alfalfa and wheat under centre-pivot irrigators
Livestock 200 suckler cows
Contracting Hay baling
Staff Two full-time staff plus father and two sons
Do you buy second-hand?
We don’t buy much used stuff. Labour is a problem for us, so we need things to work well and not break down.
Favourite/least favourite job?
I like baling hay as it’s one of the more profitable jobs on the farm. My least favourite is definitely spraying.
What’s your everyday transport?
I’ve got a 2007 GMC Sierra 1,500SLT. It has a 5.3l V8 and just had to have a new transmission at 190,000miles.
Our 8285R tractor is my favourite. It is a great mid-size model and the active steer system makes life pretty easy.
Bargains are pretty hard to come by these days and I can’t think of anything we’ve picked up really cheap.
What would you buy if you won the lottery?
I would buy all the machinery I could as well as some neighbouring land.
Any toys or classics in the shed?
We have three snowmobiles. We usually drive six hours to the snow in New Mexico or Colorado in the winter and have some fun with those.
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