The 100th birthday of a key figure in service support for David Brown was honoured by its successor Case IH at a recent party to celebrate the occasion.
John Mullard joined the Meltham manufacturer in 1938 and worked for more than 40 years as senior service representative, assisting David Brown dealers with technical issues and training. The son of a blacksmith who owned a smallholding, his family background in farming and engineering stood John in good stead for his choice of career, according to his nephew, John Lloyd Davies.
“His knowledge of farming were invaluable in dealing with the David Brown factory design and production teams, dealers and farmer customers,” says Mr Lloyd Davies, speaking on behalf of his uncle, who is now a little hard of hearing.
“He also spent time working abroad for David Brown in product support, including a spell in Sweden.”
Mr Mullard worked for the firm through the period of its takeover by JI Case in 1972, and the release of the 90 Series in 1979, joining dealers from around the world in Monaco for the launch of what was a radical new design for David Brown. He retired in 1980, five years before Case and International Harvester’s agricultural businesses were merged to form Case IH.
At a celebration with family and friends, held at the Riverside Hotel, Cressage, near Shrewsbury, local Case IH dealer Pontesbury Tractors arranged for the presence of a current Case IH Puma 200 CVX alongside a vintage David Brown 880 owned by former David Brown engineer Gordon Potter. A specially branded bottle of champagne was presented by Paul Hamer of Pontesbury Tractors to Mr Mullard as a gift from Case IH to celebrate the occasion and acknowledge his service to its predecessor.
Current Case IH After Sales Manager for Wales, Martyn Williams, said: “As tractors have changed since John’s retirement, so have many aspects of the service support role that backs both farmers and dealers with advice and help.
“The machines themselves have obviously become more advanced, with time and fuel-saving technology such as CVX continuously-variable transmissions and AFS precision farming technology now commonplace. And service manuals and updates are now available electronically at the manager’s fingertips, whereas in John’s day it would have been necessary to carry a car bootful of manuals.
“But many of the basic principles haven’t altered, and the support Case IH after sales managers provides to dealers and their customers today mirrors very closely that which John provided for those of David Brown during his career.”