An eastern Scotland farm machinery dealer took on a new tractor franchise to deliver an improved standard of service and a comprehensive product line-up to its customers.
Mearns Tractors Ltd is handling the McCormick range from its East Drumhendry premises near Laurencekirk, covering a territory that takes in southern Aberdeenshire, Angus and Tayside.
Andy Smith and his brother Shaun, who runs the family’s contracting operation, bought Mearns Tractors in 2004 as a business specialising in potato machinery. About three years ago they moved it to larger and more easily accessible premises at East Drumhendry where there is a workshop and parts store, and a shop counter selling service consumables, batteries and sundry other supplies.
There is also an area dedicated to models and toys where a wide choice of tractors in miniature can be bought for farm youngsters likely to be operating the real thing in future.
As for the full-size tractors displayed in the yard at East Drumhendry, Andy Smith reckons the new McCormick X7 Pro Drive range is more than a match for machines of similar power and specification.
“It has a transmission that I know inside out; it’s one of the toughest there is,” he says. “The McCormick engineers have given it very slick controls, which make the shift quality really good and the speed-matching works very well.”
Push-button controls for the Pro Drive transmission are located on a fixed joystick attached to a new seat-mounted console that also places the tractor’s other controls close to hand. These include toggle switches for the auxiliary hydraulic valves that give fingertip operating comfort and convenience but also proportional response like a lever.
“The new layout has brought the McCormick product up to date with features that drivers want without being over-complicated,” says Andy Smith. “Anyone with a bit of tractor driving experience could get in the seat and use the tractor without a lot of instruction.”
The McCormick X7 Pro Drive comes in four- and six-cylinder models – the latter with a tough cast chassis frame for heavy duty operation using front- and rear-mounted implements.
Rated speed power outputs are from 131hp to 175hp but the fuel-efficient FPT engines deliver peak outputs of 143hp to 188hp when working hard under load with draft implements, and Power Plus ‘boost’ lifts that to a range-topping 212hp for road travel and pto-driven equipment.
The 24×24 speed Pro Drive transmission can be upgraded with creep speeds and 50kph gearing, while cab and independent front axle suspension increases ride comfort for the operator who gets to work in the new Premiere cab.
“It’s a very spacious and modern design with a wide, one-piece windscreen giving first-rate visibility,” says Andy Smith. “I think any tractor driver would be happy to spend a day’s work in there.”
The Mearns team continues to provide service and support for products supplied before the switch.