Ahead of its upcoming demonstration day, J Riley Beet Harvesters (UK) Ltd has started its 30th anniversary celebrations.
Company founder Jeremy Riley was heavily involved in introducing six-row self-propelled beet sugar beet harvesters in the UK and established the business in 1994. He was joined by Peter Smith and David Oakley and started importing Vervaet products from the Netherlands.
The 17-tonne model was reportedly the company’s biggest success, being a go-to for over twenty years. It featured a four-wheel chassis, centrally-positioned tank and rear-mounted engine, setting the standard for most successful harvesters.
In 2001, Vervaet introduced its first nine-row machine, the Beet Eater and while several UK contractors took on the machine, it wasn’t until a six-row model was introduced that the range excelled in the UK. The Beet Eater 625 featured eight turbines, six wheels and a 600hp engine, and gained a reputation for its output, even in the worst conditions.
A key facet of the business has always been its refurbishing of used harvesters, as well as offering out-of-season overhauls for customers. Dedicated new premises were built in 2007, at Attlebridge, and included a new workshop and office facilities.
The launch of the Q-Series in 2017 saw Vervaet’s UK market share increase once again, and there was another increase when the rollerbed option was introduced in 2021.
2022 marked the end of an era for J Riley Beet Harvesters, as Jeremy decided to retire and sold the business, which is now co-owned by Vervaet and managing director Matt Carse. Since then, the company has significantly expanded its range of slurry handling and application technology.
“Having good people within the company has been key to its success over the past 30 years, and with a great team in place we are poised to continue the Riley story for the next three decades,” said Matt. “We very much appreciate the continued support from our loyal customers, with which we enjoy many long-lasting relationships, and we are keen to continue to offer the highest level of service in the industry.”
“The UK is a special market where our philosophy comes together perfectly,” added Jonathan Hoekman, commercial director at manufacturer Frans Vervaet BV. “We believe three elements are key to customer retention – excellent machines, perfect service/backup, and low cost of ownership. When two of these are achieved customers will return, but with the Riley team behind us in the UK often all three factors are present, and this is reflected in our market share. This success is now being duplicated in the slurry machinery sector too. With younger teams in place at both Vervaet and Rileys we have a secure future ahead of us to continue this ultra-successful story.”
For more information go to www.jrileyagri.com