A day with Chris Bufton - Demonstration & AMS Specialist, Leominster Branch

Chris Bufton is one of the longest serving members of the TAG team, starting with Alexander & Duncan over 38 years ago as a service apprentice and working through the ranks within the workshop, moving into the role of AMS specialist for Precision Ag tech One of Chris’ main responsibilities is to support the sales team by leading demonstrations of new equipment, we decided to follow him for a day in early October to see what the role involved.

“Today we’re going to take a 6215R Tractor out on demonstration to a potential customer, he is currently running a JCB FastTrack, our job is to demonstrate the features which set the John Deere apart from the competition” say Chris.

“A good demonstration always starts with good preparation, you want to make sure that the tyre pressures and ballasting is right for the job in hand, and that the correct control boxes and hydraulic fittings are installed to connect to the customer’s implement”.

We make a phone call to the customer to arrange times and find out what he wanted to do with the tractor, in this case he wanted to try it on his 3m Flatlift cultivator in the morning and then a large tanker in the afternoon.

Before heading out we adjust the tyre pressures to suit the wet field conditions and set off with the Sales Rep to the customer. Once on farm Chris swings into action, starting off with a walk around of the tractor highlighting some of the key features and familiarising the customer with the machine. “I am always keen to get the customer into the seat as soon as possible, there are so many great points about a John Deere that I could go on for hours, but I think that it’s best to let the customer experience this first hand”.

Once the walk around is done Chris we get the cultivator hooked up and we head to the field. In the field Chris goes through the set up of the ITEC Hedland Management System, CommandPro joystick and explains how to adjust the transmission settings for the job in hand before activating AutoTrac guidance.

“It’s features such as ITEC and CommandPro which make the operator’s life easier so I always set that up correctly, transmission settings have huge potential to save fuel so that’s also important. I always save AutoTrac until last, customers never fail to be impressed, It really is the best system on the market”

After leaving the customer for a couple of hours on the Flatlift, we move it onto a tanker, doing a lot of road work I’m interested to see how the 6215R with its 50k transmission compares to the FastTrac’s 60k.

On the road the 6215R pulled the tanker faster over a journey, effortlessly keeping to 50k whilst the FastTrac sometimes struggled to get to 50k, let alone 60k and the 6215R used less fuel for each journey.

“I never doubted it” said Chris smiling, “There will always be features which the competition have which we don’t, but I’m confident in the strengths of our product and backup, that’s why I wouldn’t want to be demonstrating anything else”.

After the demo Chris spent time reviewing the JDLink telematics data with the customer, this backed up how the machine had performed, and included details of fuel consumption allowing the customer to see the savings vs his current tractor. We then discussed John Deere’s Fuel Guarantee scheme talked about some of the in house benefits which come from dealing with TAG, such as our Tractor FarmSight support packages, designed to help customers get the best out of their machines every day.

Leaving the customer and returning to Leominster Chris called the sales rep to update him on the demo. “I can’t do anymore, it’s over to you now to close the deal!”

‘‘I can still remember my first job as an apprentice was helping to fit a Duncan cab onto a 2130 John Deere”