In addition to growing crops on his home farm, John also carries out a planting and harvesting contracting service for a small number of local farmers. However John is not a typical farmer. He shares his time in the fields with the skies over the world as a long haul Boeing 777 pilot. For the most part, John’s role as a pilot compliments the time required to manage his crops. However the unpredictable Irish weather can sometimes pose challenges during the peak work load of sowing and harvesting crops.
As a man that uses technology to navigate through the skies, it is not surprising that John has found favour with machines from Fendt. Having admired and looked with interest at Fendt tractors for a number of years, John decided to purchase a Fendt 516 Profi Plus in 2017 for primary work like cultivations. A second older Fendt 716 with 16500 hours was added to the fleet in 2018 which is used for Spraying and grain carting during harvest.
John decided to update his combine for the 2019 season and although Fendt was not an established combine brand in Ireland, due to his experience of Fendt technology with his 516, he deemed the Fendt combine was worth investigating further. A demonstration of an L series 5 walker 5255 impressed in terms of output with minimal grain losses. The familiar feel of the operator controls and the overall compact nature of the machine were further reasons why John decided to purchase an L series 5255 for the 2019 season.
Having completed 3 seasons in sometimes varied conditions from lodged crops, tall oil seed rape and wet fields, John is very pleased with how his Fendt combine has performed. The L series combine has harvested approximately 500 acres per year, where output and fuel consumption have been ahead of John’s original expectations with fuel consumption averaging between 27-29 litres per hour. According to John, the combine is compact and manoeuvrable, which is especially useful when negotiating narrow field entrances and country lanes, the combine is also equipped with ParaLevel chassis levelling, providing chassis levelling up to 20%, which is a perfect match for the rolling fields of Co Meath. The support provided from local Fendt dealership ‘Farmworks Machinery’, in terms of combine set up and tweaking to improve performance, comes in for high praise from John.
As air travel gathers pace again, John will replace the cockpit of a Fendt L series combine for that of a Boeing 777 but for now to complete the 2021 harvest, John is helped by his sons Sean & Liam using machines built by Fendt.