BOURGAULT PUTS BRITISH FARMERS FIRST
British farmers will be primary beneficiaries of Bourgault Tillage Tools’ (BTT) decision to open a new subsidiary company in the UK.
The Canadian company has become well established in the UK for many, initially working via distributors. But its’s new subsidiary – Bourgault Tillage Tools UK Ltd (BTTUK), based at Thorney, Cambridgeshire – will improve the company’s offer to its loyal and expanding client base, says Ian Clayton-Bailey, managing director: “We will be able to hold a much more comprehensive range of parts in the UK, which will enable us to offer customers a faster despatch of a wider range of parts. “They will come from BTT’s factory straight to our customers. That is essential to meet their demands during busy working seasons”
BTT’s range of ground engaging parts and tools has already built an appreciative audience among British OEMs and farmers over the 30 years since the company was founded. And the new UK company will also offer British farmers Forge de Niaux range of disc blades and Extreme® Carbide products. Later this year it will introduce the company’s new MAXLIFETM carbide technology, which infuses tungsten carbide onto wearing parts, giving them a greatly extended working life.
The company has built a significant global customer base thanks to its continual drive for innovation, having introduced a range of market-leading innovations over the years.
BTT celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and is still owned by its founder Joseph Bourgault. Over the years it has built an impressive business, which can boast some impressive numbers. It now has some 500 dealers covering all the major farming areas of the planet, and has expanded its range from around a dozen parts to over 500. And from a 10,000 square feet factory employing 16 people, it now runs a 76,000 square feet factory with 74 employees. In a typical year it turns 200 tonnes of steel; 7.8 million feet of welding wire and 14,000 lbs of crushed carbide into the tillage, fertiliser and seeding tools to meet its customers’ requirements. The original Bourgault company was founded by his father Frank in 1969, initially to make a four-row multipurpose cultivator, but soon expanding into air drills as well.
When the company found it increasing difficulty securing wearing parts that met its quality standards, it set up Bourgault Tillage Tools (BTT) in 1988. Founded a parts producing division, it became a separate, wholly-owned, subsidiary in 1991. As well as establishing a reputation for top quality, BTT quickly became recognised for innovative ideas and designs. Among these was the Parallel Wing Cultivator Sweep, which offered users far greater working life than competitor’s versions:
“As competitors’ wings wore down so they narrowed, which meant they did less work”, says Patrick Yeager, Managing Director of Sales and Marketing. “BTT’s Parallel Wing Sweep overcame this problem and maintained the full width throughout its working life. “The fact that they also offered significantly longer working life than those offered by competitors also attracted customers. “In Canada the standard practice for changing worn sweeps was to use a blow torch to cut through the old bolts and then replace the worn parts with fresh ones”. The company’s Speed-LocTM system changed that, says Joseph, enabling farmers to remove the worn part easily and knock a new part into place: “It saves thousands of farmers many of hours downtime every year – and during the busiest season of the year”
A key part of that system is the range of adapters that the company offers which can be bolted to the bottom of any machine’s cultivating legs, allowing any suitable BTT part to be fitted thereafter.
The company’s product range has changed as the industry has developed, and its range of drilling boots are finding fresh customers as more farmers consider strip till and direct drilling techniques.
With direct drilling becoming widely adopted across Europe, the company’s VOS (Versatile Opener System) is in great demand and is being widely used by OEMs and retro-fitted by farmers. These feature a slim profile that cuts a neat slot in the ground to place the seed, while being able to ‘band sow’ a crop so that it covers 75% of the soil surface. This maximises the amount of light and fertiliser it intercepts, while crowding and shading out weed competition. One important aspect of its business is direct contact with its customers, which means it received any feedback on performance direct, says Ryan Olson, the company’s General Manager:
“We have 60,000 farmers in our back yard who effectively field test our products and tell us which ideas work well and which do not”.
BTT (UK) Ltd is exhibiting at several leading shows this autumn and winter, including:
Midland Machinery Show – 24th & 25th November, Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire.
CropTec – 24th & 25th November, East of England Showground, Peterborough.
LAMMA – NEC, Birmingham, 11th & 12th January 2022.