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Driving your growth

Kirkland UK, a family company established over 20 years ago, has a history that can be traced back to the 1800s.  The company provides specialist machinery and equipment for vineyard and orchard management. Vineyard finds out how the company prides itself on providing growers with machinery solutions – using the team’s experience, knowledge, and problem-solving tenacity. 

Kirkland UK, a family company established over 20 years ago, has a history that can be traced back to the 1800s. The company provides specialist machinery and equipment for vineyard and orchard management. Vineyard finds out how the company prides itself on providing growers with machinery solutions – using the team’s experience, knowledge, and problem-solving tenacity. 

The Kirkland UK story began in the mid 1800’s when the current business owner Scott Worsley’s great, great, great grandfather Nathaniel Worsley set up the Worsley Carriage Builders, in Yalding, Kent, and started adding carriages for farming and fruit growing to their range. As well as the Worsley family’s own fruit farm, Scott’s father Philip started a company providing specialist machinery hire and repair, which led to the Kirkland brand emerging in 2005 becoming a company in 2012 – retaining specialist machinery as its core business. Kirkland UK has now grown to become one of the country’s leading suppliers of machinery and equipment for vineyards and orchards, to satisfy every application and budget requirement – along with gaining an excellent reputation for servicing and customer support. 

Keeping a step ahead

The current team at Kirkland UK, is led by Scott. “We aim to provide our customers with products and services that enable them to keep one step ahead and ‘grow’ in an ever-challenging environment – or in other words we make fruit growing easier,” commented Scott. “We listen to our customers and have the knowledge and experience to understand their requirements and challenges – we will not be defeated and are always determined to find a solution to every problem,” Scott added. 

“We have built the business by responding to our customers’ needs – and by filling in gaps,” explained Ben Devine, Sales Manager and Kirkland UK’s viticulture specialist. “We pride ourselves on our excellent reputation – and we supply some of the largest vineyards in the country. We will spend many hours with a customer, understanding what they want to achieve and finding a way to succeed,” Ben added.

Kirkland UK’s range includes the Italian-made Antonio Carraro compact vineyard tractors, “The Antonio Carraro tractor range includes specialised, multifunctional, and reversible tractors, the quad track Mach 4, and the new specialist Tony 8700V – which was launched at the Vineyard & Winery Show,” Scott added. 

Unveiling the new AC Tony 8700V tractor 

The brand new Antonio Carraro Tony 8700V tractor was on display at Kirkland UK’s stand at the Vineyard & Winery Show 2021. It is a specialist vineyard tractor and a finalist in the prestigious Tractor of the Year 2021.

“All the Antonio Carraro range of vineyard tractors are super specialised for vineyard tasks, and not scaled down from larger models,” explained Ben. “The Tony 8700 V is the first in the range to have a more conventional chassis, with a swinging axle providing an excellent steering angle, as well as the unique hydrostatic Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT), and a powerful 74 horsepower engine,” Ben added.

“The Tony 8700 V has been designed to have all the functionality and features of other tractors and more,” Scott smiled. “The low centre of gravity spreads the weight more evenly across all four wheels to reduce compaction and improve stability. It has a large clear area for tools to mid-mount on the tractor and the narrowest of the Tony 8700 V is just under 1m wide,” Scott added.

The Tony 8700 V is perfect for narrow-row vineyards, it is versatile, practical, and precise, with a compact transmission. “The well-designed cab allows for ultimate driver comfort. Automatic functions from the Tractor Management Control (TMC) allow parameters to be set for all types of work. Speed is independent to revs and can be programmed separately; constant work velocity is managed by the cruise control system – all these settings allow for optimal work ensuring efficiency and productivity,” said Ben. 

“One of the many features of the AC tractors for vineyards, is the low centre of gravity and good stability, making them suitable for steep ground. They are also very narrow, one model available is only 985mm wide and can be fitted with a Cat 4 pressurised spray cab. 

“Even the compact tractors have good traction with four-wheel drive. Many models are articulated, including the 1.06m model, with superb hydraulic options. Manual or auto transmission options are available, using the CVT system. With the Reverse Guide System (RGS) models, the operator can quickly flip the pedals and spin round to be facing the implement. There is also an option to have tracks rather than tyres – perfect for very steep sites,” Ben added.

Sustainable and cost saving Friuli sprayers 

 Kirkland UK are excited to announce that they have been awarded the UK agency for Friuli Sprayers. The Italian company Agricolmeccanica, (founded in 1960 and still led by the Tosoratti family) design and manufacture the brand Friuli Sprayers. “As vineyard owners themselves the Tosoratti family are aware of the environmental impact of spray drift and have designed a unique sprayer fitted with a recovery system. The two-row sprayers recirculate unused product which reduces waste – creating a more sustainable, and efficient, sprayer,” commented Scott.

 “From the beginning there was a mutual understanding between us and Kirkland regarding the urgent need for sustainable sprayers in UK vineyards,” explained Sonia Ortali, head of Agricolmeccanica export department. “We’re excited about our partnership with Kirkland who are a young and dynamic company, receptive to the technology applied to our machines and have a strong ability to promote them to the UK market,” added Sonia.

 “Kirkland UK also supply the Orizzonti range of soil cultivation, weed management, pre-pruning, trimming and leaf removal equipment,” added Ben.

Choosing Kirkland

“We are a young team, passionate, dedicated and highly engaged in all the machinery and equipment. We never sell an item that won’t work – and we do everything we can to find the right solution. We carry out demonstrations and have a wide range of stock for customers to try. We understand that equipment and machinery is expensive – and a big decision – so we aim to get it right. We have the knowledge and experience to provide the customer with confidence to make the right decision,” explained Scott. “We like to see ourselves as a machinery solutions provider, able to source appropriate equipment for our customers,” added Ben. 

“We also have the mantra that any piece of equipment or machinery is only as good as its back up service – and we will be there to support customers when needed. Our service engineers are always on hand, so customers do not feel abandoned,” said Ben.

The future

Kirkland UK is a forward-thinking company keen to embrace new technologies. “We never stand still, we are always travelling to expos around Europe and keeping in touch with the latest developments,” commented Scott. “I expect we will see, in the not-too-distant future, the exciting transition to hybrid and electric tractors,” he added.

“With the pressure on access to labour, we are always striving to find ways to help our customers, so we will be expanding our range of labour-saving equipment, such as pre-pruners and leaf removers,” said Ben. “We are also hoping to add machine harvesters to our range soon– and we have been looking at a super self-propelled model.”

“We like to build long term relationships and want to continue to provide for all our customers’ needs going forward; Kirkland UK are growing too, and we are always looking for the right people to join our team,” added Scott. 

Save the date for the annual open day!

Kirkland UK will be hosting their annual open days on Thursday 16 December and Friday 17 December from 11am to 4pm, at their site in Kent, where visitors can try out the new machinery. There will be exclusive machinery discounts throughout the two days – along with complimentary food and drink. “It’s a great time to catch up with existing customers, as well as check out what innovative machines are new on the market!” Said Scott. 

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