21 June 2002



The Tractor Village

THIS years show includes the first in a new series of features publicising independent test results for tractors and machinery. The first event in the series concentrates on tractors in the 110hp to 120hp sector, selected because it covers the average horsepower of new agricultural tractors sold in the UK and tractors in this sector are of interest to both arable and stock farmers.

This years exhibit, described as the Tractor Village, will offer visitors an opportunity to discuss and compare the performance data and other facts and figures available from tests carried out for farmers weekly and Profi International. Jimmy Birchmore, sales development executive for the RASE and the Tractor Village organiser, is pleased that CASE, John Deere, Massey Ferguson and Fendt will supply tractors to represent the models carried in the test.

Visitors to the stand will not be exposed to high pressure selling from the tractor manufacturers, said Mr Birchmore. There will be no salesmen or glossy brochures on the stand. The tractor companies will be asked to provide telephone and web-site details to enable visitors to obtain further information about models that interest them.

"The idea will be to allow visitors to look round the tractors and to get into the cab under the supervision of the staff on the stand. We expect to staff the stand with a mixture of independent machinery experts along with engineering doctorate students from Silsoe. Their job will be to provide information about the test procedures and results and to help visitors to make accurate comparisons."

The RASE believes encouraging farmers and contractors to make full use of the independent performance data will help them to make a more informed purchasing decision, Mr Birchmore explained. We realise that the reasons for choosing a particular make and model are often very complex and include factors such as the customers relationship with a particular dealer, but the performance figures should also be part of the decision making process, he said.

Plans to expand the performance data feature in the future could include the addition of a driving area where experienced operators could give some of the tractors a trial run. The idea could also be opened up to other equipment for which independent performance data is available, and a Telehandler Village is one of the ideas that has already been suggested for a future Royal Show.

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