A look at Casey Agri as part of the partnership with New Holland

Taking on a tractor dealership can be a big step forward for any small business like Casey Agri, especially when the manufacturer involved is one of the big three brands.

Yet that is exactly what Denise and Bob Casey of Portarlington, Co. Laois have done with the announcement that they will become New Holland’s agents in the area.

Slowly slowly

It was not a decision that was taken lightly; in fact, it wasn’t something the company had planned at all, so when approached by New Holland, it took some time before they agreed to go ahead.

It was February, when Denise and Bob Casey were working on plans to modernize the premises and improve the services they were already providing, in order to better focus on the core business of selling and supporting used tractors. good quality.

The parts department and retail area had already been upgraded with more upgrades and expansion of the premises to come

Not that the family business was new to owning a dealership. Bob’s father, Eamon, had started importing tractors from the UK in the 1990s and had worked with Ursus, Zetor and Landini-McCormick agencies over the years.

Four years ago he handed over the business to his son and daughter-in-law and set out to refurbish and restore tractors for himself on the farm just opposite the main building.

Tractors in the blood

Bob has always had an interest in the business, although he has worked outside the trade for a number of years while Denise has a background in hotel management and happily admits she is still learning about tractors.

She doesn’t see this as some sort of hindrance, but rather as a great advantage in many ways as it brings to the company a set of skills that can often be lacking in other companies.

Family business staff
Bob and Denise Casey (center) with staff and the next generation of tractor enthusiasts

Business management, marketing and just talking to customers are facets of running any business, whether it’s a hotel or a tractor retailer, and the cross-fertilization of ideas and practices should never be discouraged if businesses are to move forward.

As for being a woman in what was traditionally thought of as a man’s world, it never occurred to her as a problem, although there have been occasions when clients expect that. a man serves them, but gladly accepts that times have changed.

Casey Tractors insists on quality

It can be fairly said that the majority of tractor dealers in Ireland have similar origins in that the original owner started bringing equipment over the water, but not all continued in business or had no family members interested in pursuing them.

tractor stock refurbishment
Bob’s father Eamon continues in his own right, refurbishing classics to a high standard

Where Casey Tractors thinks it has an edge to fall back on is its insistence on quality, it will only sell machines it trusts and is happy to back up afterwards.

He didn’t specialize in any particular brand, that’s not the main concern when buying a tractor for stock. What is most important is that it is a sound machine.

An eye for a tractor

Bob has known tractors since day one and will know in two minutes or less if a particular example is worth buying or if he should steer clear of it.

Auctions have always been a major source, but he notes that he has to stand next to a machine in real life before even considering a bid.

eye for tractors
Bob has a small collection of classics that got a lot of attention from those heading to this year’s plowing.

It’s one of the reasons he avoids online auctions, the other is that bidders tend to get carried away and pay more than the odds for the machines, which is why they’re so popular with auctioneers, he said.

All tractors sold are thoroughly serviced before leaving the site and can even be repainted if necessary; the idea is to bring them back to as perfect a state as possible.

Serve the community

Denise and Bob believe it was this overall attention to detail and service that were the main factors that brought New Holland in their court. Yet they don’t see taking over the dealership as requiring immediate changes.

Denise notes that they will continue much as before, with new tractors slowly being integrated into the Casey Agri business.

Casey Agri new holland tractor community
The familiar premises will be further improved and expanded as part of Casey’s long term plans

There is no question of abandoning the old business model and filling the yard with shiny blue metal; for starters, New Holland simply doesn’t have the stock available to do so.

That’s not to say they’re halfway there, both are fully committed to the change, as are the staff who have been busy getting to grips with the new software and systems that come with taking over the agency. .

Small and wide

The company is based in a mixed farming area with a healthy mix of dairy farms and tillage making up its existing and potential customer base.

Just weeks after the announcement of the new agency, there have been a number of inquiries for new tractors, with a focus on larger models, a reflection of this year’s industry trends.

Tillage of the dairy farm area Casey Agri
The sale of slurry equipment of all kinds is currently booming

There is, however, still a bottleneck in supply, with the desired large tractors not being available until May or June next year, which is an improvement over the past two years. Yet that still means buying decisions need to be made now for next season, if it’s not already too late.

It also meant that when Agriland visited there are no new models in the yard. Those that had already arrived were either sold off and on farms or left with loaders fitted by Rossmore Engineering of Tipperary.

Silver liner for Casey Agri

One of the benefits of this delay is that the company will have time to adjust to selling New Holland tractors as an agency. There is no intention to rush, it is a gradual integration of an added dimension to the company.

New Holland is far from just a tractor company, and the deal has also boosted implement sales.

Abbey Bob Tractors
Tankers are hard to come by right now and these two from Abbey and NC have already found new homes

Currently Casey Tractors is the agent for NC and Abbey and with space to be extended behind the current premises there will be room for a greater range of machinery to be stored including New Holland equipment.

But none of this will happen overnight; Bob and Denise are taking it slow, an approach that New Holland fully supports, as it is in everyone’s interest that this family business maintain its position as a reliable and trusted supplier of machinery to the local farming community.

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