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Stackyard News Jun 2012

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Hire Firm Hawk Orders McCormick Tractors for 2012 Fleet

A consignment of 20 new McCormick tractors is being handed over to one of Britain’s leading tractor rental companies.

Rental operator Hawk is running new McCormick MTX150 and XTX185 XtraSpeed tractors in its fleet; pictured are (from left) Tim Lawrence, fleet manager at McCormick distributor AgriArgo UK; John Smith, Hawk Tractors operations manager; and Andrew Annandale, one of Hawk’s area rental managers.

Hawk Tractors

Hawk Tractors will supply the MTX and XTX six-cylinder machines to farmers and contractors throughout Britain as part of a fleet that continues to expand to meet demand for short- and long-term hire.

“We now have more than 270 tractors, including tracked machines at the top end of the power scale,” says John Smith, operations manager. “Having a cross section of tractor makes and models gives a choice of power output, features and sophistication for customers with different needs and preferences.”

Hawk Tractors is a division of Hawk Group, a £70m business supplying operated and self-drive rental plant from its new headquarters base near Whitchurch, Shropshire and a branch at Blythbridge near Peebles, south of Edinburgh.

The agricultural division, run by a team experienced in the farming industry, manages a fleet of telescopic handlers as well as tractors.

“Customers hire our machines for just three or four weeks or for several months,” explains John Smith. “They take them to supplement their own tractors when extra units are needed or to have use of a more powerful tractor for seasonal work.”

Hiring is an economical way of getting a modern, up-to-date tractor, he points out. There is no big capital outlay and routine servicing and repair costs are included in the rental charge, which qualifies as a business expense.

The hire season gets underway in March when potato growers need extra tractors for field preparation and planting, and continues with first-cut silage. It then picks up again when the pea harvest is imminent and plenty of tractors and trailers are needed to ferry the crop into freezing plants.

“But our busiest period is from July to November when farmers and contractors need extra units for harvesting grain, rapeseed and potatoes, and more power for cultivations and sowing,” Mr Smith points out.

The McCormick XTX185 XtraSpeed tractors being run by Hawk in its rental fleet has 171hp available for draft work and up to 183hp for pto and transport operations, plus a 50kph transmission with cab and independent front axle suspension.

McCormick XTX185 XtraSpeed
The McCormick additions to Hawk’s 2012 fleet comprise ten each of the 141hp MTX150 and 171/183hp XTX185 XtraSpeed models.

The tractors are supplied through McCormick dealers who then provide local parts, service and repair back-up. For customers in areas lacking a McCormick dealer, Hawk’s own team of 15 regionally-based technicians provide this support.

“One question we’re always asked by potential hire customers is: ‘How good’s your service?’ which really comes down to the dealer involved,” says John Smith. “In our experience, the McCormick dealers who work with us have always provided good back-up, treating the tractor and customer as one of their own.”

As for the tractors themselves, Mr Smith says he is pleased to have McCormick machines in the fleet to maintain a long association with the make and intends adding more in the coming years.

“A lot of our regular customers specifically ask for McCormick tractors because they know they’ll get a machine that performs as well as anything else in the field and has easily recognisable, intuitive controls,” he points out. “That makes it easy for drivers to familiarise themselves with the machines and get the best out of them from the start.”

The McCormick MTX150, with its 16x12, four-speed powershift transmission, load-sensing hydraulics and 6600kg lift offers a ‘no frills’ six-cylinder option for general field and trailer work. The XTX185 is a higher productivity package that comes with boost power up to 183hp for pto and transport work, a 50kph 32x24 transmission with eight powershift speeds, and 8000kg rear linkage.

McCormick’s popular cab and front axle suspension are also part of Hawk’s XTX185 specification and drivers of both models get to work in a spacious four-post cabin with first-rate all-round visibility.

For the first time this year, farmers can also rent a Leica GPS guidance system to operate their McCormick tractor with greater bout-matching accuracy for increased productivity and input savings.

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