Ross Agri reflects on 50 years in business

  • This year marked a significant milestone for Fendt dealer Ross Agri Services Ltd.

Managing Director Martin Ross joined the family business to work with his parents in 2000 reflecting on his 22 of the 50 years he explained:

“Farming has changed, machinery has changed, and technology has brought the biggest fundamental changes to agriculture in the 50 years we have been in business. I have had to adapt the service we offer our customers to react to the way technology is influencing the way they farm.”

Working with Fendt, he has had to adjust to the speed of change faster than most. The AGCO group premium brand has been at the forefront of pioneering agricultural technology and has expected its dealers to keep pace.

“When I started, there were three questions I would ask a customer to specify on a new tractor. Do you want front linkage, how many spool valves do you need, and what tyres would you like? Now I may as well be speaking a foreign language to some customers, if I were to list off all the various options that are available to them,” he says.

There is no doubt in his mind that the development of new technology is helping agriculture to be more sustainable and productive. However, he also recognises the impact this has had on the business and how it has challenged him, and his staff, to deliver an ever-diversifying range of services to their customers.

“Our customers are having to run tractors for longer hours to see the return on the ever-increasing investments they are expected to make. It is our job to make sure these hours are as stress free as possible. We are fortunate to have the Fendt franchise that offers 8,000 hour warranties, but, with the cost of tractors almost doubling in 20 years, many are looking for fixed costs to help manage their farming enterprises.”

Used Fendt tractors with as many as 10,000 hours are supplied with 12-month warranties which Mr Ross suggests represents a shared commitment between manufacturer and dealer to deliver on their promises.

The service level expectation has seen Mr Ross choose to invest in staff who specialise in the technology that has come to control the latest machines. However, this is not to the detriment of skilled engineers who offer welding and fabrication at Ross Agri Services’ St Cyrus base.

“Selling premium brands is one thing. We are never going to be the cheapest and we are often unapologetic about being the most expensive. The value is in the aftersales service. We pride ourselves on being able to offer our customers a one stop shop, everything from manufacturer trained diagnostics to CNC precision engineering. It is a challenge to move at the speed that technology is pushing agriculture, but we have made it our mission to work with the best brands and give our customers the support they need,” he concludes.