For contractor Rasmus Larsen of Denmark, choosing MacDon was easy, given his experience with them and the level of support he knew he'd receive.
Consumers consider a lot of factors when investing in a new piece of machinery; cost, functionality, unique benefits, and quality; but it was ultimately practicality and familiarity that swayed Rasmus Larsen toward purchasing his first MacDon machines.
"I chose a MacDon because I know the machinery. I've worked with them before," he says. "Also, we have a dealership in Denmark who got those machines here, which means that if we need parts or service, anything we need help with, which is very important because it's a short season, so we need to have a backup if something happens."
Larsen runs a small contracting business in east Denmark on Zealand, the largest island in the country. His business primarily focuses on manure, but he has recently started swathing. He estimates 60 to 70 percent of what he cuts is grass seed, but Larsen's crops also include canola, peas, yellow mustard and flower seeds at the end of the season.
Though Larsen has driven a MacDon swather before, owning his own is a new experience. Larsen runs a MacDon D120X Draper Header, known for delivering outstanding harvesting performance regardless of the crop or the conditions. In addition, the D1X and D1XL Series headers allow for more precise positioning and customization via the One-Touch-Return buttons, which can be pre-programmed for specific header height, tilt, reel and draper operation.
Larsen's D120X is driven by a MacDon M1170 NT5 windrower, a Narrow Transport (NT) model specifically designed to comply with European transport rules that limit the width of farming machinery travelling on roads. Roads in Europe, especially in rural areas, can be very tight, which consequently makes driving a full-sized windrower from farm to farm very difficult, if not impossible. The NT5's can narrow to only 347 cm wide (137") in order to navigate those tight spaces easily, and can extend up to 440 cm (173") wide in just minutes in field mode; allowing it to reach 29 km/h in-field and 45 km/h road speeds.
"So, so much easier. That's what you want," Larsen says of driving the M1170 NT5 windrower.
"After I tried the NT version, it would be very hard to go back because it's so much easier to go from A to B. During our contract, transport is a very big thing in my business which means that the easier we can get from A to B, it just makes a whole world of difference. And we can also go a bit further now than we used to."
"Before, when we didn't have the NT version, we tried to move the machinery in the early morning and late at night or something like that because of the traffic, but now we just go whenever we feel like it." he says.
"Now it's easier to have a longer distance which means if you got longer distance you also got different types of crops and different times when they are ready. So if we go south, they are ready a bit earlier. When we go a bit more into the country, they are ready a bit later, which means we get a longer season."
Though the NT model is narrow, that term is true in road size only. Nothing has been sacrificed when it comes to comfort or other features customers such as Larsen would expect from MacDon. The cabin includes, high-back leather vented and heated seat, auto climate control, Bluetooth radio, and 360-degree night vision from eight LED work lights that extends cutting time into the evening after the sun goes down.
That added time, and the extra cabin amenities, are not lost on Larsen.
"It's a lot more comfortable with the new suspension and the cab when you drive on the road, it just makes it much more comfortable. And then, of course, when you drive on a roundabout or something like that when the machine is narrow, it's just a lot easier to corner with it. Also, people are not that scared of us anymore when they see this machine coming," says Larsen.
"The cab suspension makes a whole world of difference in the field too. It's a very, very comfortable machine to operate, and the cab is just bigger on it as well. Also the control on it; the computer, the new handle, everything has just been made a little bit smarter and easier for the operator. And also, if I gotta put a new operator on it, it's easier with the new machine. On long days, where you got a good cab, it just means it's a lot more comfortable to sit down for a long day.”
"It's a machine where you can easily do an hour more every night," he says.
And it's not just the physical comfort that has heightened Larsen's love of MacDon; that practical decision he made investing in a MacDon due to the proximity of a dealer also provides mental comfort if and when any issues arise. Larsen says his experience with local dealer Michael Buchtrup of Buchtrup Agro has been exceptional thus far.
"You can call him anytime, during the day, during the night if you want to. We try not to, of course, but he's always there. He's got some really good guys helping him on fixing up machinery. And he's very good to bring out parts, or if we ordered them by say, today, we can have them early in the morning, or we can almost have them that night. So it's really good service," Larsen says.
"That's very important, service is very important, especially when you do contract work like I do. We don't have that much time."
Larsen adds: "I had a meeting with Michael before I bought this machine here. And we agreed on that I should not buy a lot of parts with the machine, but buy the necessary parts that could break. It shouldn't break down as a new machine, but anything can happen. So all those basic things we should have so we don't have that much time off the field."
Larsen's customers, too, are impressed with the look and functionality of the M1170 NT5 and D120X.
"Actually, they give a good pat on the shoulder and say it's pretty good," says Larsen. "And they also like the, what's the word? Not the safety, but the chance of breaking down is less when you got new stuff. I think we will see more and more swathing all over the country and in Europe over the year."
And while the opinions of his customers are certainly part of the list of factors that influence his decision when purchasing new equipment, it's the reliability, quality and overall trust Larsen has in the brand that makes him a continued MacDon customer.
"I choose MacDon because it's a very good product. That's why I choose it. It's simple, it works and it does what it has to do."