Farm machinery dealer John Charnley & Sons has reached a milestone by supplying 100 tractors since taking on the McCormick retail sales and service franchise four years ago.
The 100th tractor – a 100hp McCormick CX110 XtraShift – has been put to work on the dairy farm run by David and Jo Lomas, and their son Michael, at Tarvin near Chester. Another two McCormick tractors are already used on the farm.
"We’re delighted to have reached this milestone," says Will Charnley, who runs the family business with his brother David. "When we took on McCormick in 2007, we were given a target of 12 tractors in the first year but we did twice that number and customers have kept coming back for more."
Will Charnley (left) of John Charnley & Sons with dairy farmer David Lomas and two of his McCormick tractors – a 112hp MC115 and the 100th McCormick supplied by Charnleys, a 100hp CX110 XtraShift.
John Charnley & Sons, based at Brindle near Chorley, Lancashire, is renowned for its large stock of Nuffield, Leyland and Marshall parts. But over the past four years the business has gained just as good a reputation for the way it handles new tractor sales and the parts, repairs and service work that supports them.
"We’d focused used tractors and parts for 20 years," notes Will Charnley. "But we jumped at the chance to take on McCormick to start supplying new tractors again."
With the first order taken within a week of signing the agreement, and orders for another nine following in quick succession, it appeared they had done the right thing. So a new workshop was put up, the parts store extended and a new tools and sundries showroom built to improve facilities for staff and customers alike as the venture took off.
When asked what attracts customers to the dealership, Mr Charnley replies: "We’re a long-established business, the McCormick range suits farms in this area that want a straight-forward tractor and I’d like to think we do a good job with service and parts back-up."
Dairy farmer David Lomas supports that view: "We have dealers closer than the hour’s drive it takes to get to Charnleys but we’ve had very good back-up and I like being able to deal with ’the boss’," he confirms. "We’d have to change makes to use a closer dealer but the McCormick tractors have done the job, so why change? The others are either too dear or unreliable, in my view."
The CX110 has been kept busy since Charnley’s 100th McCormick was delivered to the home of the 180-head Beestonview Holstein herd, averaging 100 hours a month looking after all handling work on the farm, hauling a slurry tanker and leading forage to the clamp when the grass and maize are being harvested.
"It’s a bit longer in the wheelbase than the previous tractor, so it handles the loader better, and the pick-up hitch works well," says David Lomas. "I think I’ll miss the opening side window on the new cab – but visibility to the side is better and I like the interior, especially the ideal location for the loader joystick, which makes it very easy to use."
The new tractor joined a CX95 LP that has racked up 5500 hours on the feeder wagon, handling slurry and operating a grassland spiker, and a three-year old McCormick MC115 – also supplied by Charnleys – which Mr Lomas also rates highly.
With its 112hp output, 32-speed, four-step powershift transmission, and economic load-sensing hydraulics, the tractor is ideal for its ploughing, power harrowing, subsoiling and mowing duties, he says.