THE arrival of a new player in the farm equipment sector is giving primary producers in the region reason to smile.
JJ Farm Equipment opened in early October and provides a range of shortline equipment, as well as the scope of tractors and products from CLAAS.
Shortline equipment are products from smaller manufacturers, used in conjunction with larger manufacturers’ mainline product, such as tractors and harvesters.
Following a model that has developed through the industry in the US, shortline dealers retail and service this additional equipment.
Managing director Justin James – for whom the business is named – said the establishment of JJ Farm Equipment was a direct reaction to the success of that model, with the addition of a major manufacturer.
“It came about from what I saw as a need for shortline equipment dealers,” Justin said. “We wanted to have products that serviced every segment of the market, and we want to be experts in those products.
“We were originally going full shortline. Then there were discussions with CLAAS and they were talking about expanding their dealer network, which included here in Griffith.
It has proven to be a valuable addition to the business, with a couple of tractors being sold already.
"We've had enquiries on combines and telehandlers as well so it is a good brand to have on board," Justin said.
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As a new business, Justin wanted a strong starting line-up of suppliers.
“We wanted to try and get brands that were already established, what we call ‘top-five’,” he said.
“We couldn’t afford, with us being a new business, to be carrying other businesses trying to get established.”
JJ Farm Equipment had an official opening on October 17, but was trading in the first week of October.
Not everything in the lead-up went according to plan, but has since settled. Justin had originally wanted to be open by the start of September at the latest, but the timeline got pushed further out.
“The other thing concerning us was the season; it was not looking good,” he said. “It was weighing on our mind, but we decided to push through it. The community has been supportive. They were glad to see us open. People are glad to see CLAAS back in Griffith and the team we've put together, and it’s paying dividends already.”