Business expansion in sight for Lincs agricultural engineering firm
A Lincolnshire agricultural engineering firm hopes that taking on a mainstream tractor franchise will secure jobs and help the business expand.
The Tractor Shop, located on the Fairfield Industrial Estate in Louth, has been appointed sales, service and parts dealer for McCormick tractors, covering North-East and much of North Lincolnshire, in a territory that extends from the Humber south to Ulceby and west towards the A15.
The new partnership between The Tractor Shop and McCormick distributor AgriArgo, based at Harworth near Doncaster, was launched at the Midlands Machinery Show where three examples of the McCormick range were displayed alongside established groundscare, ATV and agricultural equipment supplied by the dealership.
“We weren’t actively looking for a new tractor franchise but when the opportunity to take on McCormick came up it was too good to miss,” says Sam Plowright, managing director at The Tractor Shop. “It’s the perfect time to take on a mainstream tractor range to further expand the business because we’re just preparing to move into new and much larger premises.”
Sam Plowright, who is from a farming background, started The Tractor Shop nine years ago (in 2008) after the economic recession hit his tractor restoration business. He started refurbishing and selling ATVs before taking on a leading ATV franchise, and then added lawn mowers.
“Since then, we’ve taken on complementary product lines of ATV and groundscare equipment to gradually increase the customer base,” he says. “We’ve also worked hard to provide good service, and I like to think we handle all sales, service and repairs honestly and in a straight-forward manner.”
Marc Shepherd, who joined The Tractor Shop three years ago to focus on equipment sales, says Sam has built up the business through dogged hard work: “He never stops; he’ll do anything to help a customer,” he says.
In the workshop, David Wilson, Lloyd Barraclough and Laura Spilman wield the spanners to service and repair agricultural and groundscare equipment, while in the stores, a stock of service consumables for McCormick tractors is being added in support of existing tractors in the area as well as new ones supplied in future.
“In time, we’ll build up a stock of replacement parts for McCormick products old and new – although with AgriArgo’s parts store only an hour away, we’ll always have quick access to parts,” says Sam Plowright. “This is a really good opportunity that’s come our way; the territory was available and Marc has many years’ experience of the McCormick tractor range locally, so it all fits together nicely.”
As Marc points out, today’s McCormick range is as modern as you can get.
“There’s all the technology features like GPS and ISOBUS controls if you want them but also more basic specifications if you don’t,” he points out. “It’s also a very broad range – starting at just 43hp with the X2 compacts and going all the way to 310hp with the all-new X8 VT-Drive, the line-up is ideal for our arable and mixed farming area.”
With the progressive expansion of The Tractor Shop business and the need to stock tractors, implements and equipment as well as parts, tools and accessories, plans are in place to move into new premises next Spring.
“We’re not moving far, just across the road from where we are now, into a building three times the size,” says Sam Plowright. “It will be ready for our expansion with McCormick and maybe other new franchises to come, which will build on what we’ve established with the business so far.”