By Jacqueline Pettigrew

New Holland has announced the winners of its ‘2018 Dealer of The Year Awards’, with many of the top honours heading to Scottish-based dealers.

Forfar’s Agricar claimed the top spot, winning Telehandler Dealer of the Year, before going on to take the overall title.

Ravenhill of Elgin were awarded Large Tractor and Harvester Dealer of the Year, while Lloyd who have dealerships in the north of England and south of Scotland took Tractor Dealer of the Year. Fife Tractors were winners of the Service Dealer of the Year accolade.

The awards celebrate excellence in performance and service quality across its extensive UK and Ireland network of 53 dealers, covering 125 locations across the UK and Ireland, and this year included new product-line categories that reflects New Holland’s expansion in product line up, with the successful introduction of the new T5 and T6 DCT tractors and New Holland Agriculture-branded grass and cultivation equipment.

The awards were presented by New Holland Agriculture’s vice-president for EMEA sales and marketing, Alessandro Maritano, at the manufacturer’s recent dealer conference.

Pat Smith, New Holland’s business director for the UK and Ireland, said: “The year 2018 was a successful year for New Holland, with the introduction of several new product lines and strong performance across our entire dealer network. These awards are a demonstration of the achievement of individual dealers but also serve to highlight the high levels of service provided to all our customers.”

Agricar was originally founded in 1986, with two branches and has grown quite considerably into a strong family business with family values, serving customers from the south of Aberdeen, across to the west of Scotland.

This proudly makes it one of the strongest agricultural dealers within the UK dealer network, a spokesman said this week.

Throughout that time, the one thing that has remained true is their commitment to their mainline dealer, Ford as it was then and as we know it today, New Holland. Agricar recently celebrated 30 years in business and is looking forward to many years to come in what is an ever changing and challenging market.

Agricar director, Derek Johnston, commented: “We are delighted to have won the overall award. Credit goes to our dedicated staff who support our customer base day in day out.

“Our partnership with New Holland has never been stronger and this has helped us achieve this great award. The future looks promising now we have New Holland brand implements added to our product offering.”

Agricar’s group sales manager, Colin Duthie, added: “We have a superb line up now available to us from within the New Holland brand with machinery to suit all types of needs within the agricultural and private sector.

“With the introduction of these new products not only can we continue to support our long standing loyal customers but we have the opportunity now to meet new customers and supply them with premium product and service to support their business.”

Main category winners:

Overall dealer of the year: Agricar, Forfar

Large tractor and harvester dealer of the year: Ravenhill, Elgin

Medium tractor and harvester dealer of the year: Robert D Webster, Kilham, Yorkshire

Small tractor and harvester dealer of the year: T Alun Jones, Dryslwyn, Carmarthen

Product line category winners:

Tractor dealer of the year: Lloyd

Combine dealer of the year: Ernest Doe, Ulting branch

Hay and forage dealer of the year: TH White Agriculture

Service dealer of the year: Fife Tractors

Construction equipment dealer of the year: T Alun Jones

Telehandler dealer of the year: Agricar

Telehandler Dealer of the Year and Overall Dealer of the Year: Agricar of Forfar.

Tractor Dealer of the Year

Lloyd – Founded in 1964 as a tractor dealership in Carlisle, Lloyd has grown considerably over the past five decades but has retained its approach and style as a family-run business with local roots.

With branches across the North of England and South of Scotland – in Alnwick, Bishop Auckland, Carlisle, Dumfries, Kelso, Newcastle and Penrith, as well as Doosan specialist, Construction Plant, in Middlesbrough – the business also offers a range of new and used equipment and machinery.

Since its beginnings, it has been an integral part of Ford’s and subsequently New Holland’s UK dealer network and having recently celebrated its 55th year in business to have been named New Holland’s Tractor Dealer of the Year for 2018 was highly appropriate.

Barry Lloyd, its managing director, commented: “We are delighted to have won this award. Our partnership with New Holland has developed over decades and lies at the heart of our business.

“To have our commitment to New Holland and their core tractor range acknowledged in this way is an excellent reflection of how important they are to us and vice-versa. Not only do we have many customers who are incredibly loyal to New Holland, but their impressive product development over the years has attracted many new customers too.

“We are proud to represent such a forward-thinking and innovative company and look forward to working with them for more decades to come,” he told The SF.

Ravenhill of Elgin – Large Tractor and Combine Dealer of the Year

Ravenhill was established in 1985 following a management buy-out of three existing branches at Elgin, Maud and Turriff.

Since that time, the company – which is owned and operated by the Wills and Davidson families – has opened further branches in Aberdeen and Dingwall, as the company continued to grow in strength.

With a staff of more than 90, the company boasts an annual turnover of £28m.

“We feel very proud to have won this award, it recognises the hard work and effort of all our committed staff,” said the company’s Siobhan Simpson.

“We feel we are unique as we focus on customer care and aftersales support first and foremost, and we are very proud of that.”

A leading established supplier of New Holland agricultural machinery, Ravenhill also offers ground care machinery and supplies Wacker Neuson and Merlo machinery.

Service Dealer of the Year – Fife Tractors

Fife Tractors, owned by Ian Brown, was established in 1971 as an agricultural engineering service and supply business, operating mainly in Fife and Kinross.

It holds the New Holland franchise for tractors, combines, balers, telehandlers, ground care equipment, plus many other franchises, including Kuhn, Vadersatd, Schaffer, Quicke and Richard Western.

With Ian as managing director, the company employs 13 service staff, three parts staff, two salesmen and two office staff, and keep more than 11,000 different lines of New Holland parts in stock.

Mr Brown told The Scottish Farmer: “Winning Service Dealer of the Year is a great achievement. Ronnie Steedman is our service manager and he and the entire team here at Fife Tractors deserve great credit, it’s very much a team effort.

“Operating from our base in Cupar, our aim is to provide the best possible service and parts back up for the local farming industry in general, as well as supporting the products we supply. To help us achieve this, we invested heavily in parts stocking and manufacturer training, for all our sales staff and service technicians.”