Sandwiched between sea and fells near St Bees on the Cumbrian coast T W West Ltd, run by Tim West is an expanding agricultural contractor. Established over 30 years ago as a round balling service when Tim was still at college, the company now operates around 20 miles north and south of the St Bees base and offers a wide range of services from single operations to full farm management. As a result Tim runs a range of equipment to match the services offered. Tim also farms around 350 acres in his own right.
“I purchased my first Valtra, a HiTech 6750 with reverse drive in 2002 mainly for buckrake work and I’ve been a keen Valtra owner ever since,” Tim recalls. “I strongly believe its not what a piece of kit costs to purchase. Its what it costs to own – The largest repair bill I’ve ever had was just £4,000! – In that respect Valtra are way ahead of the competitors.” With fourteen years experience with the brand and now 13 Valtra tractors on the fleet Tim’s in a good position to comment.Tim also treats staff well. “Sellafield is just up the road and they are always on the lookout for good staff. We have to pay well to compete, but good staff paid well actually save me money because they look after the equipment.”
In recent years Tim finds there have been a number of important business changes. “The number of customers has reduced but the size of their farms has increased. Traditionally this is a dairy area with high rainfall that helps grass growth but due to low prices dairy farm numbers are declining.” To help offset any future decline in business Tim has launched a new venture composting green waste. “While this is a separate operation it dovetails nicely with the contracting. If work is a little flat for whatever reason including weather we can often spread compost.”
Will Tim continue with Valtra? “We’ve just taken delivery of a T154 and I’ve a T174 on the way. With the support we get from D W Toppin Ltd both for Valtra and other kit they supply I’ve no plans to change.” Do Tim’s men like their Valtra machines. “Well its like this. Each man has his own tractor and they often come in on a Saturday to clean them – they like them.”