McCormick tractors are being re-introduced into the Scottish Borders with the appointment of G Marshall (Tractors) Ltd at St Boswells as the sales and service dealer for the region.
George Marshall (left) and after-sales manager Alan Blaikie with the first stock delivery of McCormick tractors: a 110hp X60.40 with McCormick LiftMaster loader and a 126hp four-cylinder MC130.
The agreement to supply the red and silver machines to farmers and contractors follows a thorough assessment of the current McCormick range by customers and key staff at Marshalls, and an evaluation of the back-up resources available from McCormick distributor AgriArgo UK.
"We had another couple of offers for a new tractor franchise," says dealer principal George Marshall. "But after speaking to some of AgriArgo's existing dealers and placing test tractors with customers, we decided McCormick offered the best all-round package."
The dealership based on the Charlesfield Industrial Estate in St Boswells supplied Renault tractors from the mid-1980s and continued its association with the product range until this spring. Now, the business exclusively supplies McCormick.
"I'm delighted that George and his professional team agreed to supply and support the McCormick tractor range in the Scottish Borders," says Ray Spinks, AgriArgo general manager. "With a line-up of first-rate livestock tractors and six-cylinder machines capable of matching the performance of anything else in the field, they have every opportunity to make a success of our new relationship."
George Marshall set up his own machinery repair and servicing business in the late 1970s having served his time as an engineer at Kelso Tractors. He moved the business to its current spacious premises in 1995 with a determination to make service and parts back-up his number one priority.
"We have a retail display area in front of the counter for things like tools, oil, accessories and the like but the real focus is on parts," says Mr Marshall. "I like to hold a good stock so that customers can get parts when they need them and our service technicians can carry out servicing and repairs without delay."
The decision to go with McCormick was influenced to a great extent by the large stock of fast-moving parts held by AgriArgo at its Harworth base near Doncaster.
"One of the franchises available to us holds no parts stock in the UK at all, which is no good to me or my customers," Mr Marshall points out. "In contrast, the McCormick products are backed by AgriArgo's stock as well as our own, and if necessary parts can be ordered for next-day delivery from the ARGO Tractors warehouses in France and Italy."
Experienced storesman Rob Douglas manages the parts operation at St Boswells and George Marshall wants to recruit an experienced salesman to help introduce the tractors to customers.
"To the west of the A68 here at St Boswells it's mainly mixed and livestock farming and to the east predominantly arable cropping, so we're well placed to serve both sectors," he points out. "That's why it was important to have a tractor range with products suited to both types of farming; we may not be in a position to offer tractors beyond 230hp just yet but all other needs are covered."
George Marshall particularly likes the balanced weight distribution of the six-cylinder MTX and new X70 series machines; it should make them sure-footed performers with good manoeuvrability and low compaction, he says.
"For the livestock man, the new 92hp to 120hp McCormick X60 is a really excellent tractor comparable to any manufacturer's equivalent model and the four-cylinder MC up to 126hp will suit stock and arable men alike,” he says. “It shares its back-end, load sensing hydraulics and semi-power shift transmission with the bigger 117hp to 141hp MTX six-cylinder machines – so it has a good specification in a highly manoeuvrable package.
"Then we have the new X70 series up to 230hp, with the latest SCR engine technology for improved fuel economy," says Mr Marshall. "An eight-speed powershift for the 32x24 transmission gives the tractor tremendous control versatility."
After-sales manager Alan Blaikie, who oversees the seven service engineers that handle workshop and on-farm repairs, describes the McCormick machines as good, solid tractors that have the features operators need without being overly complex. He believes farmers who have yet to consider a McCormick will soon come to appreciate their appeal.
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