Kilkenny dealer joins the Pottinger family

Pottinger Ireland added a new dealership to its network last Thursday (November 9). Richard O’Shea, of O’Shea Agri, Castlecomer, will be the Pottinger dealer for Kilkenny and the surrounding areas.

Pottinger, which is best known for its grassland equipment here in Ireland, also manufactures a wide array of tillage machinery. Regardless of sector, technology is key; that was the message from the Pottinger team attending the launch of O’Shea’s dealership.

O’Shea’s business has, most recently, been focused on plant hire and sales. Coming from a farm, he has always been mad about machinery. He decided to join the Pottinger team after visiting its factories in Austria.

He joins the Pottinger family at a time when the company is embracing technology. As they say: “It’s about the future.”

Pottinger O'Shea

Some of Pottinger’s technology, for example, focuses on avoiding contamination of grass. Its new SENSOSAFE animal detection system uses infra-red sensors to detect animals lying on the ground in front of the mower. When an animal is detected, a signal is sent to the hydraulics to lift the mower.

Diarmuid Claridge, general manager of Pottinger Ireland, explained: “We’re protecting the environment and preventing contamination. There’s nothing worse than having a dead fox in your silage; that’s contamination and it’s going to lead to possible bacteria in your silage.”

Pottinger O'Shea
David Kelly, Pottinger Ireland’s service manager; Christine McAuliffe, O’Shea Agri; Paul Wilson, Pottinger Ireland’s territory manager; Padraig Brazil, Pottinger Ireland’s parts and logistics manager; Richard O’Shea, O’Shea Agri; Richard O’Shea (junior), O’Shea Agri; Diarmuid Claridge, Pottinger Ireland’s general manager

Other simple pieces of engineering make big differences, Claridge explained.

“Well-designed wheels on a rake – for example – where the front of the rake isn’t digging into the ground; it avoids contaminating your silage with soil. Farmers need to be thinking of contaminant-free silage and bringing up milk quality; that’s where the bonus money is.”

Claridge continued: “Someone asked me lately what advice would you give a farmer today?

“I said to invest in technology, because if you don’t you get left behind. The technology train is going; get on it; be on it; and invest in it. Technology is there to save you money – and it will save you money.

“For tillage farmers, the price of grain is low and we have to look at different methods of how we reduce the cost of growing an acre of grain. Sometimes I believe farmers get too caught up in t/ac. They should be focusing on €/ac.

Using technology to their advantage can reduce inputs and reduce the cost per acre.

The main focus at the launch night in Co. Kilkenny was customer support.

David Kelly, service manager for Pottinger Ireland, explained: “The sales team sells the first machine; good service sells the next three.”

Pottinger O'Shea

Kelly was keen to point out that Pottinger is developing a good team of service technicians and is making sure that they’re up to speed.

Technology is changing, which means training has to change too.

The company is focusing on machinery set-up. It’s educating dealers and customers on how to set up machines properly and how to adapt these settings if a tractor is changed on the farm.

It’s important that farmers have the support to keep going on a Saturday night at 9:00pm in the middle of the silage season.

Pottinger O'Shea

“The motto is to keep the farmer moving. When working windows are so short, farmers can’t afford to be left [sitting in the yard]. Silage takes about two weeks to complete in the right weather now. At silage time, if the farmer breaks down in the middle of the night, we are only a phone call away,” Claridge added.

“The main depot in Clonmel has 90% of the parts required and will be backing up dealers like O’Sheas. We can get a part to a customer in four hours.

If the part isn’t available, it will be shipped within 24 hours to the dealer or direct to the customer.

“We’re expanding the dealer network. We have blackspots where we don’t have enough dealer coverage and that’s what we’re developing. However, we are also committed to developing our current dealer network to be more efficient and be more reactive in sales, service and parts.”

Pottinger O'Shea

Paul Wilson, territory sales manager with Pottinger Ireland, mentioned the next machine on Pottinger Ireland’s roll-out list.

“We have our new baler, which everyone is waiting for. We’re excited to get it over here. It will be on show at Agritechnica.”