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75-year partnership marked with delivery of branded Massey Ferguson MF 7726 tractor at Huntapac

Celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of vegetable producer and distributor Huntapac were marked with the delivery of a specially branded new tractor from Massey Ferguson, courtesy of Ormskirk-based dealer Clarke & Pulman.

The MF 7726, the largest in a new fleet of tractors for the family-owned business, also recognises a 75-year partnership with Massey Ferguson dating back to the company’s foundation in 1942.

Initially supplying the local fruit and vegetable markets in Lancashire and Yorkshire, Huntapac has evolved to be one of the largest and most successful root producers in the UK. Specialising in growing, packing and distributing a variety of root vegetables, brassicas and salads, Huntapac now farms some 1800 hectares of root crops across the UK, from Suffolk up to the Black Isle in the Scottish Highlands.

Headquartered in Preston, Lancashire, the firm’s 600-acre brassica and salad growing operation is still predominantly operated from Lancashire, with root crops grown across the country, harvested and then transported back to Huntapac to be washed, graded, packed and distributed.

Supplying major UK supermarkets, as well as independent retailers, wholesalers and caterers, Huntapac operates its own distribution fleet, consisting of 60 wagons, 66 refrigerated trailers and 40 bulk trailers.

But key to everything Huntapac does is its fleet of tractors, and its strong partnership with Massey Ferguson, ever since William Hunter established the business back in 1942, has been crucial to its development. Nestled in a small village in the fertile Lancashire plains in-between Preston and Southport, the business has relied on the versatility and reliability of the Massey Ferguson range to this day, ever since taking ownership of its first fleet of early models including the TE20, or ‘little grey Fergie’ as it is affectionally known.

Today the company uses some 30 new Massey Ferguson tractors every year for its farming operation, mainly using models from the MF 6700 and MF 7700 range from supplier Clarke & Pulman. The new branded MF 7726 is the largest of the new fleet and will be used for heavy workload jobs in Yorkshire.

The tractor was delivered to Clarke & Pulman before being sent to Clitheroe-based Grafx to apply the British branding and 75-year graphics on the bonnet and rear mud flaps.

Will Hunter, operations manager, and alongside brother Henry, representing the fourth generation of the family-run business, explains, “Ever since the business started we have used Massey Ferguson primarily due to reliability. They have never let us down. Certainly, over the last 6-10 years they have been the tractor of choice, particularly with the level of service we receive from Clarke & Pulman.”

Ged Clarke, managing director at agricultural, construction and ground-care machinery supplier Clarke & Pulman, adds, “We understand the time constraints that Huntapac customers place on getting produce from field to shelves. We service and maintain the whole fleet, no matter where the tractor is in the country, with our technicians regularly attending Lancashire, Yorkshire and Shropshire sites, with the odd visit to Scotland!”

Ged also has a long-standing relationship with Huntapac, supplying tractors as a travelling salesman some 30 years ago, before establishing Clarke & Pulman in 2003 and securing the Massey Ferguson franchise. Huntapac was well known for its fleet of Massey Ferguson tractors, and the trading relationship between the two organisations was set.

Mr Clarke continues, “Huntapac has grown and developed into one of the most well-respected and recognised companies in the UK. It has continued to strive for quality and efficiency and was one of the first farm-businesses in the area to embrace precision farming. The attention to detail is mirrored throughout the whole company.

“All of the staff at Clarke & Pulman are very proud to work with Huntapac and we look forward to the future.”

Huntapac’s latest fleet of 32 Massey Ferguson tractors consists of six different models ranging from 105hp to 235hp machines. The tractors will be spread around farms in the UK, 10 in Shropshire, 11 in Lancashire and a further 11 in Yorkshire.

They all have added specification such as front linkage, front PTO, GPS, air brakes, Vario, job specific tyres and suspension. They are also fitted with Thunderpole T-1000 CB radios, improving communication whilst working, making it a more efficient and safe working vehicle.

“All of the staff at Clarke & Pulman are very proud to work with Huntapac and we look forward to the future.”