In the field
Having completed my first year at Bateman, I’m pleased to say that all my preconceived thoughts about Bateman, the quality of machines, backup and the attention to detail has exceeded my expectations. I’m certainly enjoying the challenge; working with forward thinking farmers to find solutions has always been my passion since I started in the machinery sector sixteen years ago.
In a year or two we’ll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Bateman in the UK, which is an incredible feat. It’s great to see that after all these years the passion still burns brightly throughout the business, exciting new innovations are always at the forefront of our minds. If you stand still in Agriculture, you’ll end up going backwards, therefore, looking ahead and progressing the machines is so important, it’s something the business has been doing especially well over the past few years, capitalising on new technologies, it’s certainly an exciting time to be a part of something big.
After enjoying a fast start to 2023 with the Lamma show kicking the year off in style, Spring work was earlier than normal thanks to an exceptionally dry February, although an unseasonably wet March and a wet April did dampen a few spirits in the industry. However, with more settled weather into May, crops are looking healthy, I’m pleased to say there is renewed optimism in our on-farm conversations about the remaining year ahead.
So far it is not been an easy year for farmers, but when has farming ever been easy? British farmers are incredible people, often staring adversity in the face, but always coming up with new ideas and innovations to stay profitable and move forwards. One of the most enjoyable parts of my role is listening to farmer’s stories and offering solutions within the agronomy aspect of their businesses.
The uncertainty of recent crop prices on farmers and contractors has led to conversations about how much they appreciate the relative certainty of Bateman’s cost of ownership. We’re not immune from price increases any more than the next company, however the fact that we make the majority of components in-house enables us to have much greater control of our material costs. Our pre-owned machines also offer a low cost route for owners looking to change their machines. This along with our low maintenance & downtime costs is resulting in very low cost of ownership for our customers’ especially when compared to other sprayers in the market.
Over the past 12 months there has been much discussion about new chemicals especially with PWM systems. We have not experienced issues like some manufacturers with certain chemicals, however, I think it’s worth pointing out that running with the recommendations is very important. In order to eliminate or at least vastly reduce the issues that could occur such as running higher water rates in certain chemicals make sure to maintain sprayer hygiene at the end of each day. Not only will this improve reliability through the busy season, longevity of machines is also increased.
A particular passion of mine is specifying exactly the right sprayer for the customer. No two Bateman sprayers are alike, this is because we only specify what is required. Some people might be surprised at the lengths we go to in making sure the right choice of tyre is specified to ensure the carrying capacity is correct for the application. All of our tyres are roll tested and specified for each machine based on the machine weight and requirements of the farm. For example, high-speed road work needs a finely balanced tyre that can handle being dropped to a lower pressure to give a good rolling circumference and applying as little pressure on the ground as possible, which has certainly been highly prominent this Spring.
We are finding that some customers are now looking to run one tyre all year round to cut overall costs and more importantly tread as lightly on the ground as possible, therefore, we have worked closely with tyre suppliers to make sure we have the right solution for our customers.
Show season is always an interesting time of year, we get to meet up and discuss our machines, any issues & solutions and generally catch up with our current and potentially new customers, which is something Bateman has always enjoyed and I certainly look forward to catching up with everyone at the upcoming shows. In the meantime I’m always available on the phone or email to discuss any requirements or questions you may have.