Familiar faces and new customers turn out to appreciate machinery road show
6th December 2023
Fruit and vineyard machinery specialist Kirkland took its Road Show across the UK this summer, which proved a big success. Fruit & Vine reported from the event held at Boxford Farms in Suffolk.
Commenting after the 2023 Kirkland nationwide tour had completed its final event, marketing assistant Tilly Shephard said: “We wanted to reach our customers throughout the UK, from Scotland, Hereford, Hampshire, Kent and East Anglia. It was a great turn-out – we managed to catch up with lots of customers, as well as meet many new faces. Around 200 visitors attended over the five locations.
“Everyone was able to try out different machines and see them working in real-life situations. We think it’s important to keep up-to-date with our customers and let them know what new machines we have to offer.
“One of the most popular machines demonstrated was the electric Compact platform.
The Compact electric harvesters and platforms offer a solution to the increasing labour shortages that UK growers are currently facing. Being 100% electric, they will provide growers with maximum efficiency and reduced noise during harvest. It was a great machine to show customers at our Road Shows and had plenty of interest.”
Good opportunity to showcase kit
Kirkland sales manager Ben Devine is pictured at Boxford Farms with an Antonio Carrero Mach 4 Tony fruit and vineyard tracked tractor, which offers 98hp from the four-cylinder Kubota engine and 330Nm of torque at 1,500rpm. Ben commented: “The event went really well. We’ve had a great number of people turn up – it’s good to see some familiar faces, as well as new customers.
“These events are key for spreading awareness of the Kirkland brand. It’s a good opportunity to show some new bits of kit, as well as highlight some of our top-selling pieces of machinery, too.
“We’ve had a lot of interest in our mowers for maintenance in between trees, especially those that allow for a range of different functions through changeable tool heads.
“The tractors have pulled quite a crowd, too – they are always good to showcase. Also, our apple harvesting machine and our fully electric platform have received plenty of attention today.”
Wide range of products
Hosting the Suffolk arm of the Road Show, Boxford Farms produces top, stone and soft fruit including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, rhubarb, cherries and apples.
Boxford currently uses a lot of Kirkland machinery, including a number of narrow tractors, mowers, weed control options and platforms, with farm director Robert England (pictured on the left) and farm manager Peter Kemp looking to add further tractors and mowers to their arsenal of machinery.
“Kirkland are very active promoting their products through hosting events such as this. They offer a wide range of products and we’ve invested quite a bit in various pieces of machinery from them over the years,” explained Robert.
Seeking mowing kit for top cider brand
Pictured with his son Edward, former owner of Aspall Cyder, Barry Chevallier Guild now works with Aspall as a brand ambassador.
Having retained the apple orchards, Barry’s purpose in attending the Kirkland event was to see what kit was available to assist in the maintenance of the fruit trees which were planted in the 1970s by his father to the organic standard of the time – with “big gaps between the rows and between the trees,” he explained.
“We’ve dealt with Kirkland for years,” said Barry, having purchased from Kirkland many times previously. “I’ve seen their tractors online, but really, until you’re standing next to one it’s hard to gauge the size.” Barry was particularly interested in mowing equipment for between the trees.
Hard work but rewarding
Connor of Wisbech Contract Farming attended the event with his son Freddie, and commented to Fruit & Vine: “We grow apples (Gala, Braeburn and Kissabel) as well as Conference pears. We use quite a bit of Kirkland machinery on the farm on a daily basis. For me, it’s well-built, strong and reasonably priced. Fruit farming is bloody hard work, but rewarding!”