The companies who sell, service and repair this equipment form a major part of our industry and require a vast team of people to ensure it functions efficiently. From the sales and parts department through to the workshop and field technicians, opportunities abound.
Sales and Service in agricultural, garden, amenity and construction machinery
Agricultural, forestry, horticultural, garden machinery, amenity, sports turf and construction equipment is distributed through machinery dealerships who also maintain and supply parts for the machinery throughout its working life. Over 6000 companies in the UK sell and service this equipment. 3000 of these companies employ less than 10 people and 130 employ more than 50. About 40,000 individuals work in the sector, some 30% are service engineers. Employment in a dealership is usually in five areas:
- Service *
- Parts *
- Management *
- Administration (including accounts)
- * Service engineers are usually trained through an apprenticeship in conjunction with part-time college and manufacturers' courses. They are required to work on a range of machines depending on the season. Some of the work will be in the workshop at the dealership but much time will be spent repairing machines in the field. Some service engineers specialise in the installation of fixed equipment on farms such as grain storage buildings, air conditioning systems and milking equipment. The construction industry is more specialised and usually concentrated around specific manufacturers.
- * Parts specialists are normally trained within the company with the help of external and manufacturers courses. They are responsible for the ordering and sale of parts to ensure that these are readily available when required. Normally, stock control systems are computerised but the parts-specialist has an important role to play in customer relations and needs a very good knowledge of how the machines function.
- Sales representatives need to be familiar with the range of machinery handled by the dealership and have a good knowledge of local markets. They also need to understand the financial aspects of machinery purchase. Many sales representatives progress to their jobs through the service-engineering route.
- * Managers within a dealership usually progress through the sales or service departments and are responsible for the profitable operation of a branch or a department. They are normally selected on a combination of their ability to lead and their technical experience.
- Administrators and accountants are normally recruited from outside the industry and their skills adapted to the trade.
* There is a Landbased Technician Accreditation scheme (LTA) covering technicians and aftermarket managers for our sector which covers two specific areas:
- Fixed and mobile agricultural, horticultural and groundscare equipment
- Milking equipment