James and Isobel Wright, TH Telehandler

August 2021

We’ve definitely not been wasting a moment and putting the TH6 through its paces. When we were interviewed by The Prince’s Countryside Fund and New Holland they asked us how many hours we thought we’d do throughout the year, and we said around 300, well it’s already done 66 and if continue at this pace we’ll well over 700 hours!

On the day we picked it up, Isobel and I drove over to the dealer. In my excitement to get going when leaving the dealer, I drove off with the car keys in my pocket! The chap had to chase me down on the road to get the keys from me so Isobel could get home. Thankfully I pulled over about 5 minutes out of the depo or else they’d have followed me all the way home.

Since it’s been here, we’ve cleared out our sheds, reorganised all last year's straw, helped my neighbour rewire his barn, brought in 210 bales of silage and 211 bales of hay. We’re just about to do a second cut so we’ll be on the road again for a couple of days when the weather brightens up.

We’ve been lucky to be able to snag a couple of secondhand bargains and we’ve now got a bucket and a bale grab to go with the machine. The quick release hydraulic couplings make changing around attachments incredibly easy.

The support from New Holland and our local dealer Oakes Bros has been first class. Any questions we’ve had have been answered incredibly quickly and it's been great to talk to them on the phone about how we can get the most of the machine.

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September 2021

One Sunday lunchtime having just sat down to order in our local pub we had a phone call that our barn was on fire. We had left the farm not 15 minutes earlier and there were 35 calves in the barn opposite it.
I was straight on the phone with my neighbour who thankfully was at home. I flew down to the farm and when I arrived was greeted by him and the barn which was fully alight. He told me firmly not to panic and that he had moved the calves and saved the Telehandler!

The fire engines arrived and made sure that the fire didn't spread, but it did burn for another 9 hours, and they were back out again at midnight and at 6am as it kept flaring up. We will never know for sure what caused the fire, and you can spend a lot of time second-guessing yourself. The New Holland TH 6 has made the clean-up much easier and was able to load most of the burnt hay into a muck spreader along with last year’s muck with ease.

We used the TH 6 to bring in the straw and it has made light work of it. We changed the hitch on our trailer so we're able to be completely self-sufficient in one unit. We've just started preparing the sheds for the winter and the TH6 is very manoeuvrable which means it's easily able to get into the corners of the shed without issue. Our new shed is due to be slightly larger which is great as theTH6 is always wanting to work!

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November 2021

We can’t stop raving about how great the New Holland TH6 is! It truly has made our farming lives so much easier - we moved 200 bales of silage that we sold to a neighbour in a day. It would have taken us a lot longer without the TH6! Its not just us enjoying the benefits, our neighbours who are also young farmers get the benefit to as I'm able to nip over and help them muck out their shed or push up their grain.

We (James) made the mistake of popping one of the tyres on a feed barrier last month whilst scraping the feed passage. It was followed by a pained call to the mechanic to hear that the tyres on the TH6 are top of the range! We’ll take a bit more care in the future, New Holland! As the days are getting shorter and colder the telehanlder has been running spot on and hasn't missed a beat when we're feeding or scraping out.

The Oakes Bros dealership in Horsham have been so supportive of us since winning the TH6. They’ve come to help when we’ve had questions and the telehandler was back up and running the next day after they replaced the tyre. We really couldn’t ask for more!

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​​December 2021​

​​We've gone from using the TH6 for long periods at regular intervals to now using it for much shorter periods but every day, and it drives just as well in either situation. For those not following the highs and lows at Bushovel Farm we had a barn fire earlier in the year, which means our Suckler cows are in the cheap seats along with their weaned calves as we wait for our barn replacement barn to be built in January.

Our daily routine at the moment is to arrive at the farm, turn the lights on, switch on the TH6 and leave it to warm up whilst we check the stock, by the time you get back to the machine 5-10 minutes later it is wonderfully warm and the radio has picked up the Today Program on Radio 4, so I am a happy man. In the evening, I am back again at 6 o'clock (so I can listen to the news) and I'm pushing up feed from the comfort of the cab, the lights are absolutely fantastic and let you see everything.

Isobel returned to her home town and had a tour of the New Holland Factory at Basildon and got to see the incredible amount of teamwork and professionalism that goes into every aspect of the tractors produced there. The arrival of our new shed is going to give us the opportunity to move the yard about, I am already planning on moving the feed silo, the diesel tank and the cattle handling pens to better fit around the larger shed, work that is made easy with the pallet forks that came with the tractor.

​ Whilst this year for many has been an exceptionally long and challenging one, I do take great pleasure in firing up the TH6 and getting to hear the latest goings in the world whilst I feed the cows from the comfort of the cab!

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January 2022

180 days on from our barn fire we have a new barn! This barn is steel, rather than wood and about 20% bigger in footprint but more importantly about 50% bigger in terms of height. This means we're going to have much-improved air flow around our cattle this summer and next week winter. We're really excited, for now at-least we are able to get all the machinery and implements undercover.

The Telehandler is in daily use, either feeding out, bedding up or scrapping up every morning. We have a 10ft feed passage and we run the bucket down it every day, I've only once had to use the crab steer to rescue me. I do keep on mentioning the light package but it's absolutely fantastic and the large amount of glass in the cab makes visibility at every hour excellent.

We are so much more efficient using the right tool for the job and the back-up from New Holland and the dealership has been excellent.

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February 2022

February is the last month we house the cows! This means it's the last month I get to make use of the heated seats in the TH6 every morning. It’s been a great machine, never failing to start (like our loader tractor) and the lights, which I keep on mentioning, are brilliant, the visibility makes feeding and scraping out easy.

We've had a chap who's recently left the army come and do a couple of hours a week at the farm, he's learning valuable skills as he wants to get a job as a herdsman, and we get some labour which is helping us out during calving. He has quickly got to grips with the TH6 and after a couple of hours of lessons has gone from being a novice to a steady safe pair of hands.

We're excited for spring and getting out to do some field work.

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March 2022

The cows are out, which means I get to use the TH6 to muck out and then load the muck spreaders and we spread a couple of hundred tons worth of nutrient rich cow poo onto our fields. Our sheds are not large and previously had to get a contractor in with a pivot steer, I've managed to do it all myself this year which is a huge saving on paying someone else to do it.

We aren't spreading any fertiliser this year but the TH6's next job is helping me re-fence about 40-50 acres worth of rented ground. It's pulling the bale trailer and then we use the headstock to nudge the posts in, the controls are so light it makes the job really easy.

Our diesel delivery was cancelled, and I had to go to the local power garage which has a red diesel pump, the cost of filling it was eye-watering but on the road and in the yard, it isn't thirsty so will last us at-least the next month. New Holland have offered us the opportunity to buy the TH6 which we are currently considering, as we're going to be a bit lost without it when it comes back in the summer.

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April 2022​

Spring is finally here, all the cows are out and I haven’t had to use the heated seat in the TH6 in a good few weeks. I miss feeding the cows with it every morning but I don’t miss having all the cows inside and it’s a great feeling seeing them out in the fields.

This weekend I mucked out the sheds, it’s a true family affair with Isobel on the fork whilst I drove the machine, for safety of course! The super high visibility and lights makes getting into the back of our dark sheds easy. Our first silage cut is round the corner and looking forward to getting out on the roads again hauling bales.

It is the penultimate month of having the TH6, it only feels like yesterday when we picked it up and it has been a great machine. We are approaching just about 300 hours and I’ve only filled the Ad Blue up 3-4 times since we got the machine, greasing it is easy and I’ve had no real reason to open the bonnet other than just to check the fluid levels.

It’s hard to justify the cost of a machine like this with the scale we are at but if we can find a bigger opportunity to take on, we’ll definitely be buying it because I’m not quite sure what we’ll do without it!

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