FTMTA News th October 2020

Farm Machinery Industry and Level 5 Restrictions

The Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association has advised its members that farm machinery business will be allowed to continue in operation during the period of Level 5 restrictions announced by Government in reaction to the escalating COVID-19 and intended to remain in place until December 1st.

As was the situation during the nationwide lockdown from the end of March, retail and distribution businesses within the machinery industry are classed as essential. The specific provisions covering such businesses under Level 5 are:

Hardware outlets, builders’ merchants and outlets that provide, whether on a retail or wholesale basis –

– hardware products necessary for home and business maintenance or construction and development,

– sanitation and farm equipment, or

– supplies and tools essential for farming or agriculture purposes.

-outlets providing for the repair and maintenance of mechanically propelled vehicles or bicycles and any related facilities (including tyre sales and repairs).

The following services relating to the supply, repair and installation of machinery and equipment:

(a) the supply, repair and installation of machinery and equipment (including mechanically propelled vehicles, industrial machinery and equipment) for essential services;

(b) the repair of mechanically propelled vehicles or the repair of bicycles and related facilities.

The manufacturing aspect of the industry is also allowed to remain operational under the following provision:

The manufacture of electrical equipment, machinery and other equipment (including agricultural and forestry machinery).

In general it is expected that farm machinery businesses will operate in ways similar to what was in place during the earlier nationwide lockdown. Customers are encouraged to visit farm machinery businesses by appointment only in so far  possible and to phone in parts orders for collection or delivery where possible. The trade remains committed to serving its farming and contracting customer base while protecting the wellbeing of staff and customers to the greatest possible extent. Compliance with the public health guidelines in relation to hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing must be a given at this stage.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at              045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

 

 

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FTMTA News 9th October 2020

New Tractor Registrations Regain Ground in September

The latest figures issued by the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association in relation to registrations of tractors and other types of self-propelled machinery, covering the period to the end of September, show a continued improvement.

The registration of new tractors in particular saw a strong month with much of the ground lost in the earlier part of the year recovered. The number of new tractors registered during September, at 135 units, was more than double the 63 units registered in the same month of 2019. The total number of new tractors registered in the first nine month of the year stands at 1,761 units which is less than a 4% year on year decrease. Given that the year on year figure was down 12% at the end of June , the improvement during the third quarter is quite significant.

There are only three counties recording triple digit levels of registrations thus far in 2020. Cork continues to lead the field on 238 units with Tipperary and Wexford nearly tied on 124 and 123 units respectively.

The horsepower band with the highest level of registrations during the first three quarters of the year is the 101 to 120hp range with 563 units or nearly 32% of all registrations. Over 88% of all tractors registered in the period had over 100hp, 57% had over 120hp and nearly 30% had over 150hp.

Teleporter registrations, after a difficult number of months, had a much improved September with 50 new units registered. This was a considerable increase on the 31 units of September 2019 and brings the total for the year to the end of September to 349 units as against 437 units in the same period of 2019.  Cork and Meath together account for over one third of the registrations of such machines in 2020 with 64 units registered in each county to the end of September. Wexford has the next highest level of registrations with 33 units in the first nine months.

Registrations of wheeled loaders had a third consecutive strong month with 11 units registered in September, the same number as registered in August and up from only one machine in September 2019. There has been a total of 105 units registered in the first three quarters of the year, a 25% year on year increase.`

Registrations of backhoe loaders continue to be much reduced as they have been all year. There were two such machines registered during September, down from 3 units a year ago. A total of 27 backhoe loaders have been registered to the end of September, a year on year drop of more than 55%.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at              045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

 

 

 

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FTMTA News 15th September 2020

Continued recovery in tractor registrations in August

The latest figures issued by the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association in relation to registrations of tractors and other types of self-propelled machinery cover the period to the end of August and show a continuation of the recovery in registrations of new tractors seen in July.

The month of August saw the registration of 114 new tractors which was 6% increase on the same month in 2019. The total number of new tractors registered from January to August this year stands at 1,626, a year on year decrease of some 8%. Given the dramatic decreases seen during the second quarter, with year on year registrations down by as much as 13% at the end of May, the improving situation is to be welcomed and seems indicative of an underlying stability in the market.

Cork, Tipperary and Wexford remain the three counties with the highest levels of registrations for the year thus far with 225, 116 and 110 units registered respectively. These three counties represent 28% of all registrations so far this year. Monaghan with 12 units and Leitrim with 13 units are the counties with the lowest levels of registrations to date.

The horsepower band with the highest level of registrations during the first eight months of 2020 is the 101 to 120hp with 511 units or over 31% of all registrations. Over 88% of all tractors registered in the period under review had over 100hp, 57% had over 120hp and nearly 30% had over 150hp.

Teleporter registrations, after an improved July, fell back again in August with 28 units registered in comparison to 33 units last year. A total of 299 such machines have been registered from January to August a drop of over 26% on 2019 when 406 teleporters had been registered by the end of August. Cork, Meath and Tipperary with 56 units, 52 units and 31 units registered respectively are the three counties with the highest levels of teleporters registered during 2020.

Registrations of wheeled loaders had a second consecutive strong month with 11 units registered August, up from 5 units last year. There have been 94 units registered in the first eight months of the year, up by 11 units on 2019.

Registrations of backhoe loaders have been much reduced during 2020, heavily impacted no doubt by the Coronavirus related restrictions of the second quarter, during which time no new machines of this type were registered. A total of 25 backhoe loaders have been registered up to the end of August, a considerable contraction on the 58 units by the same time last year.

There was one further registration of a self-propelled forager during August, bringing the total for the year to the end of August to 33 units. Three further used imported machines were also registered during the month bringing that total to 6 units.

A further three new combine harvesters were registered during August, bringing the total for the year so far to 38 units as against 45 in the full year of 2019. An additional six used imported combines were also registered during August to bring the total of such machines to 20 units.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at              045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

 

 

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FTMTA News 13th August 2020

Tractor Registrations Recover During July  

The latest figures issued by the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association in relation to registrations of tractors and other types of self-propelled machinery cover the period to the end of July and show somewhat of a recovery in the level of new tractor registrations following a difficult second quarter. 

Since the introduction of the split registration year in 2013, July has become a significant month for the registration of new tractors and is regularly the month with the second highest level of registrations after January. That pattern has been repeated in 2020 with the registration of 304 new tractors during July, second only to January when there were 429 registrations. The July figure is an increase of 8% on the same month last year and brings the total for the first seven months of the year to 1,512 units which is a 9% year on year decrease. Given the much reduced levels of registration activity during the second quarter when registrations of new tractors fell by 35% on last year’s numbers, the July numbers provide a positive indicator in relation to underlying customer confidence.

Cork, as always, remains the county with the highest level of registrations with 215 units registered to the end of July, followed by Wexford and Tipperary with 103 and 101 units respectively. All counties have now reached double digit levels of new tractor registrations with Monaghan the lowest on 10 machines.

Registrations of new tractors with over 100hp continue at just under 90% for the first seven months and registrations of machines of over 120hp also remain constant at close to 59% with registrations of tractors with more than 150hp falling back marginally to slightly above 30%.

The resumption of registration activity through the NCTS centre network saw a substantial increase in the number of used imported tractors registered with 328 such machines registered during July, a 46% increase on the 224 units registered in July of 2019. The total number of used imports registered to the end of July is 1,216 units, a considerable reduction on the 1,913 machines registered by the same time last year; obviously the lengthy closure of the NCTS centres impacted heavily on these registrations.

Teleporter registrations, after many months in the doldrums, also saw their second highest level of monthly registrations in 2020 with 59 units registered, as against only 23 such machines registered in all of the second quarter. The July figure is a 9% increase on July of 2019 and brings the total for the first seven months of 2020 to 271 units, a 27% year on year reduction.

Registrations of wheeled loaders enjoyed a good July with 14 machines registered, a substantial increase on the 6 machines in July 2019. A total of 83 wheeled loaders have been registered to the end of July, a 6% year on year increase. After a second quarter that saw no backhoe loaders registered, July saw 4 registrations bringing the seven month total for these machines to 23 units, down from 52 registrations at the same point last year.

There were no additional registrations of self-propelled foragers during July, leaving the total for the year to the end of July at 32 units. One further used imported machine was registered in July bringing that number to three units.

Registrations of combine harvesters, as would be expected, ramped up significantly in July with an additional 28 machines registered during the month to bring the total for the year to end of July to 35 units as against 45 in the full year of 2019. It is expected that there are some further registrations still to come through the system. An additional 4 used imported combines were also registered during  July to bring the total of such machines to 14 units.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at              045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

 

 

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FTMTA News 14th July 2020

New FTMTA President Elected

At their recent July meeting, the FTMTA Executive Council elected Mr. Diarmuid Claridge  as the new President of the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA). Diarmuid has served as a member of the FTMTA Council since early 2016 and has been Vice President of the Association since January 2019.

Having grown up on a dairy and beef farm in south Kilkenny, Diarmuid had a passion for machinery from an early age. His career in the industry began as an agricultural mechanic, training with, well known dealer and FTMTA member, Murphy’s Motors Ltd. in Glenmore. Diarmuid always knew that he wanted to further his career in the machinery industry and after spending a couple of years working in Australia returned to Ireland to take up positions with major businesses in the sector such as AGCO and Lemken.  This saw Diarmuid develop his skills and experience within the industry and in recent years he was appointed as Managing Director of PÖTTINGER Ireland, a subsidiary of leading Austrian manufacturer PÖTTINGER Landtechnik GmbH, which in January of this year officially opened their impressive new Irish headquarters in Clonmel.

Looking back on the evolution of his career to this point, Diarmuid feels that “the farm machinery industry is an exciting and challenging environment to work within and I would highly recommend it to any school leaver with a passion for machinery”.

The new FTMTA President states that “the farm machinery industry is facing a difficult and challenging time but it’s important that we focus on the horizon ahead, remain positive and, most importantly, adapt to change. The FTMTA will play a vital role in ensuring that the industry continues to face those challenges and supporting its members throughout Ireland. I look forward to working closely with the team at the FTMTA and my colleagues on the Executive Council as we look to the future of a progressive and vibrant trade.”

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at              045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

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FTMTA News 17th June 2020

Tractor Registrations Continued To Fall In May 

The latest figures issued by the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association in relation to registrations of tractors and other types of self-propelled machinery cover the period to the end of May and show a continued decrease in registrations when compared to a year ago.                                                        The ongoing Coronavirus crisis and associated restrictions undoubtedly continued to exert a strong impact on registrations during May when 130 new tractors were registered which was a 38% decrease on May 2019; this was however somewhat less than the 43% decrease witnessed in the April registrations. A total of 1,145 new tractors have been registered during the first five months of the year, down 13% on 2019. While the farm machinery sector has been operational at all times through the restrictions, there is no doubt that reductions in manufacturing capacity due to factory shut downs on the continent and other impacts on the supply chain are reflected within the lower levels of registrations of new machines. As the situation returns to a more normal footing at these facilities, such issues should be less of a factor in June although this is typically a month of lower registration activity with the new July plate weighing heavily on behaviour.

Cork remains the county with the highest level of new tractor registrations, by far, with 164 units registered in that county so far during 2020. Tipperary and  Wexford swapped second and third positions in May with Tipperary ahead by one unit with 76 registrations to Wexford’s 75 registrations. Only two counties remain at single figure levels of registrations at the end of May with Leitrim and Monaghan each seeing 9 units registered so far this year.

Registrations of new tractors with over 100hp fell back slightly, from just over, to just under 91% in the first five months. Exactly 60% of all tractors registered in this period have in excess of 120hp as was also the case at the end of April. Nearly 32% of all registrations are of tractors with more than 150hp.

Registrations of used imports have been very heavily impacted by the restrictions imposed at the end of March. Such registrations are carried out through the NCTS centres which have been closed in this period. Only 26 used tractors were registered during March and April and these are likely to be units that were preinspected. A total of 816 used imports have been registered to the end of May which is a considerable drop of the 1,443 used machines registered in the same period of 2019. There is likely to be a large number of such machines to be registered when this becomes possible again; even though the NCTS is now reopening in a limited way this is only in relation to the National Car Test and there is no date for a resumption of VRT inspections as yet.

Teleporter registrations continue to be heavily impacted by the current situation with only 12 new units registered during May, a drop of over 70% on last year. A total of 208 such machines have now been registered during 2020 which is a 27% decrease on 2019. As mentioned previously, the closure of the registration facility at NCTS centres would be impacting heavily on the registration of such machines as many such registrations are done in that way.

Wheeled loader registrations dropped by 12 units in May, as against the same month last year, to record 10 units registered. Despite this drop, registrations of new wheeled loaders for the first five months of the year are only down 2 units on 2020 at 67 units.

For the second month in a row, there were no registrations of backhoe loaders during May, leaving the total for the year to date at 19 units, down from 39  at the end of May 2019.

A further 9 new self-propelled forage harvesters were registered during May bringing the total for such machines so far in 2020 to 31 units. While there may be a small number of additional units yet to be registered, it is likely that the vast majority of such machines are now registered. There have also been 2 second hand foragers registered.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at              045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

 

 

 

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FTMTA News 29th May 2020

Tractor Registrations Fell in April

The latest figures issued by the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association in relation to registrations of tractors and other types of self-propelled machinery cover the period to the end of April and, unsurprisingly, record a substantial fall off in activity when compared to a year ago.

The ongoing Coronavirus crisis and associated restrictions did not seem to have much impact on the registration of new tractors during March but the wider situation was certainly felt far more acutely in April when registrations of new tractors dropped by 43% during the month in comparison to April, 2019. Last month saw 119 units registered which brings the total for the first four months of the year to 1,015 units, a drop of nearly 8% on last year. The farm machinery trade continues to operate in relation to the supply of parts, service / repair and delivery / installation of machines as essential services in support of farming and while new machines can be delivered it was generally expected that this would be at lower than previously anticipated levels.

Cork, Wexford and Tipperary continue to be the three counties with the highest level of registrations in the first four months of the year; Cork has had 145 units registered and Wexford and Tipperary are separated by only one unit with 68 and 67 units registered respectively.

Slightly in excess of 91% of new tractor registrations during the first four months of the year were of machines with more than 100hp and 60% were of machines with more than 120hp.

Teleporter registrations probably continue to be more heavily impacted by the overall global context with the 50% year on year drop seen in March escalating even more in April when the level of monthly registrations fell to 7 units, a drop of 75% on April 2019. The total number of such machines registered during the January to April period is 196 units, a drop of some 20% on last year. While it is likely that an effectively suspended construction sector is impacting on these numbers, the fact that the NCTS centres have been closed since the end of March is another contributing factor. Most tractors are registered online but an element of teleporter registrations would be done physically at NCTS centres.

Wheeled loader registrations dropped by 5 units in April, as against the same month last year, to record 12 units registered. Despite this drop, such machines have seen total registrations in the first four months, underpinned by good numbers in January and February, increase by 21% on last year to 57 units.

There were no registrations of backhoe loaders during April, leaving the total for the year to date at 19 units, down from 35 in 2019.

As the start of the grass silage season looms, registrations of new self-propelled forage harvesters are gathering pace. A total of 22 such machines had been registered by the end of April. Last year was a bumper one for foragers with nearly 60 new machines registered and it is to be expected that numbers will fall this year. It is interesting to note however that the current level of registrations is the same as the total number for the full year of 2012 with more machines still to make their way through the system.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at              045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

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FTMTA News 11th May 2020

Cancellation of FTMTA Grass & Muck 2020.

Unfortunately, it has become inevitable in recent weeks that it would be necessary to cancel FTMTA Grass & Muck 2020 and the FTMTA has now formally made this decision. In reality, it is likely that this comes as no surprise at this stage.

In late March FTMTA took the step of postponing FTMTA Grass & Muck from the originally scheduled date of May 14th to a date in the second half of August. The decision announced by Government in recent weeks, effectively banning public gatherings of 5,000 and more people until at least September, has superseded that postponement.

The safety and health of all stakeholders, exhibitors and visitors and the wider implications for the national public health situation remain the paramount concern of the Association and, in that context, FTMTA was left with no option but to now cancel this year’s event.

Even as the Coronavirus / Covid-19 situation developed, the Association remained committed to delivering what would have been the largest ever FTMTA Grass & Muck event; unfortunately this was not to be this year.

The Association greatly appreciates the co-operation received from the management and team at Gurteen College in the past months as we worked together to prepare for the event. FTMTA remains fully committed to returning to Gurteen for FTMTA Grass & Muck in the future.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at              045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

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FTMTA News 1st April 2020

FTMTA Grass & Muck 2020 update. 

The FTMTA Grass & Muck 2020, schedulued for May 14th, has been postponed due to the current Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation.

The health and safety of all stakeholders, exhibitors, visitors and the general public is of paramount concern and the FTMTA urges everyone to stay safe and follow all official protocols during this time.

Working with Gurteen College and exhibitors the event is now anticipated to take place in mid to late August. All decisions around this event will be made based on official protocols and we will continue to update you on this.

We would also like to thank everybody currently working in frontline services helping those affected.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at              045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

 

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FTMTA News 30th March 2020

Farm Machinery Industry Operating As An Essential Service Under Government Guidelines

The various strands of the Irish farm machinery industry remain operational in support of our farming customers in line with Government guidelines on essential services.

Manufacturing

Based on the updated “List of essential service providers under new public health guidelines” issued by Government on Saturday evening agricultural machinery manufacturing can continue. The list of manufacturing activities that can continue includes the following wording:

  • the manufacture of products necessary for the supply chain of essential services; computer, electronic and optical products including semi-conductors; electrical equipment, machinery and other equipment (including agricultural and forestry machinery); medical devices; and medical and dental equipment and supplies.

Agricultural machinery manufacturing can continue due to its role in the supply chain for agriculture. Obviously all operations must be conducted in line with recommended physical distancing and public health guidelines.

Dealerships and distributors

The updated “List of essential service providers under new public health guidelines” released by Government to add detail to the announcement made by the Taoiseach on Friday evening does allow dealer and distribution businesses within our trade to maintain a level of operation in relation to supply of parts, service / repair operations and delivery of machinery.

The following section which relates to parts, service and installation / delivery of machines is included in the updated list:

Repair and installation of Machinery and Equipment 

  • the supply, repair and installation of machinery and equipment and industrial machinery and equipment for essential services.                                       

The agriculture sector (our customers) are categorised as an essential service in an earlier part of the same list so the supply of parts and service by us to them is now also an essential service

This is not carte blanche to open the whole business as normal – that is definitely not the case. The restrictions on us as a retail business remain in place and for that reason all businesses in the trade to be careful how we deal with any increased flexibility.

The wording in the updated list allows us some scope in relation to service, parts and delivery of machines but still in a behind closed doors fashion:

The business must remain closed to the public and the gates should be kept closed with a notice placed on them advising that while the supply of parts and service is possible it is subject to restrictions and giving a contact number to make arrangements – effectively a by appointment situation.

The supply of parts will still have to happen in a restricted fashion. Parts orders to be taken by phone or online where possible. In the situation where the customer is not sure what exact part is required that can be dealt at the counter by arrangement and within the social distancing and hygiene framework.

Delivery of parts should still be possible by courier but it will take longer than normal probably.

The farmer customer is less restricted than most sectors and are allowed to go about their farming business and that would include travelling to your premises for collections. Handle that in accordance with social distancing – give the customer a time to call and leave the parts out.

Service / repair on farm is not an issue and can continue. Some jobs will need to go to workshops – so be it but please do not allow the customer into the workshop. If it has not already been done, I suggest splitting the workshop into teams either in different and separated ends of the workshop or on opposite shifts. Take receipt of the machine in the yard and sanitise all surfaces that will be worked on. Return of the machine should be done in the same way. All service operation whether inhouse or at the customer location must be carried out within physical distancing parameters.

Never have two customers collecting at the same time – that is not social distancing. Customers should not leave their vehicle until instructed to do so and parts for collection can be left out.

It is a busy time of the year and there are machines in yards that are sold and due to go out. Delivery is allowed and the above scenario of the customer calling to collect under strict guidelines would also apply.

Most Irish parts suppliers and many Irish manufacturers will be continuing to ship, as will many international suppliers, and although deliveries may take a little longer the supply chain will continue to operate. Deliveries coming into the business either from domestic suppliers or from overseas can continue to be received within the best practise social distancing recommendations – interaction with driver should be at a distance and kept to a minimum, ideally they do not need to leave the cab.

In summary, the business is closed to the public and that needs to be obvious. The customer will give you little thanks for bending the rules for him if a future infection is later traced back to that interaction. We are in this together and people have to follow the restrictions, This is not a drill – this is a real emergency, the greatest that we will ever face hopefully!

FTMTA have issued a template of a letter for member staff to show to Gardai if stopped on the way to or from work This letter identifies that the staff member is working within an essential service as outlined in the Government list of such activities. This letter should be completed for all staff required to attend for work and given it to them as soon as possible.

Please keep yourselves, your families, your staff and your customers safe.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at              045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

 

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