One for Dr Wazzock.

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
The problem with the lack of progress at Standen was not just their fault.
UK farmers demanded an even feed of beet to the factories.
I was shocked when I entered the industry late to find I was expected to deliver about 2 loads a week, tgus we did not want a machine capable of lifting hundreds of tonnes a day.
It was the way things were done according to the locals.
In Europe they cleared farms one at a time. Here you were expected to deliver your beet spread over the entire season.
And at the whim of the Factory...
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
And at the whim of the Factory...
Of course another reason was the factories organised and employed the lifting gangs. They wanted high output machinery , which only one or two of the largest farms in the UK could afford. No contractor here, or very few were interested in going out to lift a couple of loads a fortnight. Top saving was also much more important here, hence the horriblebtoppers which had a huge love of falling apart😂
 

traineefarmer

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Mid Norfolk
I've heard several stories and anecdotes about Standens over the years from "insiders" in the works and boardroom. Trying to separate fact from fiction, my understanding is that the company boomed from the 50s through to the early 80s being the UK market leader in beet equipment with the Rapide, the various demount self propelleds and the Turbo-Beets. By the mid 80s european multi-row tankers and early 6 row SPs were hitting their market share so several new designs were rushed into development.

The spectre and spectrum that came out didn't offer much more that the turbo-beet and were fragile. The similar Garford Victor was a better machine and took yet more sales from standen. The Challenger was typical old school British industrial thinking - telling the customer what they wanted, rather than actually asking them. A tiny tank, oppel wheels and a very basic cleaning system along with poor reliability killed the concept of a British 6row and nearly killed the company.

They were saved by a contract to build safety fencing for the refurbishment of Wembley stadium, supposedly gained by some contacts of a minor shareholder and the reverse takeover of Keyag, which bought fresh blood to the boardroom and marked the company's proper entrance into the potato market.

My favourite story about the Challenger is that when the first prototype was built in the assembly hall they realised that it was too tall to fit through the door so it and every machine that followed had to be driven out on flat tyres.
 

essexpete

Member
Location
Essex
I've heard several stories and anecdotes about Standens over the years from "insiders" in the works and boardroom. Trying to separate fact from fiction, my understanding is that the company boomed from the 50s through to the early 80s being the UK market leader in beet equipment with the Rapide, the various demount self propelleds and the Turbo-Beets. By the mid 80s european multi-row tankers and early 6 row SPs were hitting their market share so several new designs were rushed into development.

The spectre and spectrum that came out didn't offer much more that the turbo-beet and were fragile. The similar Garford Victor was a better machine and took yet more sales from standen. The Challenger was typical old school British industrial thinking - telling the customer what they wanted, rather than actually asking them. A tiny tank, oppel wheels and a very basic cleaning system along with poor reliability killed the concept of a British 6row and nearly killed the company.

They were saved by a contract to build safety fencing for the refurbishment of Wembley stadium, supposedly gained by some contacts of a minor shareholder and the reverse takeover of Keyag, which bought fresh blood to the boardroom and marked the company's proper entrance into the potato market.

My favourite story about the Challenger is that when the first prototype was built in the assembly hall they realised that it was too tall to fit through the door so it and every machine that followed had to be driven out on flat tyres.
I would guess that Standen were not alone in the post war period of UK manufactures where management was sadly lacking. Old board members not keen on new ideas, skimping on research and development and putting out a new product to the customer to effectively test.
Management would blame the government of the day and unions.
 

MF-ANDY

Member
Location
s.e cambs
In the late 50s early 60s the biggest farmer in the village bought a standen cadet.(the one that wrapped around a te20. Single row topper on front lifter behind). His men said they couldn't get it to work probably because they could see it putting them out of work having been lifting by hand previously. It spent the rest of the season in the yard. Dad brought it and used it before moving on to a junior then a tanker both behind a major. After that it was a solobeet with a 135 which he removed each year. Then came a cyclone. It was the year when standens changed to metric so it was a half and half model which made spare parts interesting. Things came full circle dad ended up driving half a standen 3 row lifter/loader.
Friday, in the next village I saw a 6 row holmer, fendt tractor and chaser bin, cleaner loader and a queue of lorries waiting on the road. The field was cleared in a day. What would dad thought of that.
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
In the late 50s early 60s the biggest farmer in the village bought a standen cadet.(the one that wrapped around a te20. Single row topper on front lifter behind). His men said they couldn't get it to work probably because they could see it putting them out of work having been lifting by hand previously. It spent the rest of the season in the yard. Dad brought it and used it before moving on to a junior then a tanker both behind a major. After that it was a solobeet with a 135 which he removed each year. Then came a cyclone. It was the year when standens changed to metric so it was a half and half model which made spare parts interesting. Things came full circle dad ended up driving half a standen 3 row lifter/loader.
Friday, in the next village I saw a 6 row holmer, fendt tractor and chaser bin, cleaner loader and a queue of lorries waiting on the road. The field was cleared in a day. What would dad thought of that.
when I started growing beet in 87 the first job of harvest was lifting the corners. Got to lunchtime looked in the trailer and we had not got enough to pay the wages. That was the end of the job . Neighbours looked down their noses a bit!
 

traineefarmer

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Mid Norfolk
when I started growing beet in 87 the first job of harvest was lifting the corners. Got to lunchtime looked in the trailer and we had not got enough to pay the wages. That was the end of the job . Neighbours looked down their noses a bit!

It was my entry to the farm in the late 90s that got hand corner digging stopped. Dad was paying piecework by the corner of something like £15. All for about 1/4 ton of beet. Even when pointing out the obvious maths, he was resistant "because that's the way you grow beet".
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
It was my entry to the farm in the late 90s that got hand corner digging stopped. Dad was paying piecework by the corner of something like £15. All for about 1/4 ton of beet. Even when pointing out the obvious maths, he was resistant "because that's the way you grow beet".
my neighbour told me something similar, I replied we had only stopped pulling the corners as the beet were too heavy to throw up in my big trailers.
shut him up as mine were 10 tanners his were only 3 tonne Fergie trailers :ROFLMAO:
 

MF-ANDY

Member
Location
s.e cambs
It was my entry to the farm in the late 90s that got hand corner digging stopped. Dad was paying piecework by the corner of something like £15. All for about 1/4 ton of beet. Even when pointing out the obvious maths, he was resistant "because that's the way you grow beet".
A bit like gleaning the field afterwards. I think the mentality was why spent 8 months growing them only to leave them in the ground regardless of cost.
 
Why were the headlands not grown with a crop of, say spring barley or corners left fallow? Legacy of war time grow ever sq ft?
in my limited years of growing fodder beet
the1st year everything was drilled=lot of waste in corners
2nd,3rd and 4th year the corners and a strip in middle were left=far better job
this year was a barley headland around the beet=i think i will carry on like this
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
We are still working on harvesting little and often with our small machine. I do about 2 days a week with the cyclone lifting 150 tons. Then load up over the next few days a load a day. The lorry is busy on clearing it en masse for a customer at a time with a 6 row machine, but he fits us in if finishes early etc.
Our system hasn’t really moved on but I reckon it leaves as much if not more margin than the big contractor clearing it in a day. If I had to pay somebody else £100 an acre for lifting carting and loading I wouldn’t consider it economically viable and our yard is too small and fields can lay too wet to accommodate batch lifting anyway. So our system kind of works small scale even if it’s frustrating at times. Ploughing one 8 acre field after beet this morning to get some wheat in. Not often the weather has been kind enough to allow us to do that.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
We don’t drill the corners now. Not enough staff to hand lift them and not worth it anyway. Does allow certain weeds to take a hold though through lack of competition unless you keep at them with a knapsack.
 

Is Red tractor detrimental to your mental health?

  • Yes, Red tractor increase my stress and anxiety

    Votes: 312 97.2%
  • No, Red tractor gives me peace of mind that the product I produce is safe to enter the food chain

    Votes: 9 2.8%

HSENI names new farm safety champions

  • 156
  • 0
Written by William Kellett from Agriland

Farm-safety-640x360.png
The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
Top