Alas, another year has passed and boy what a year it has been as 2020 will live long in the memories of everyone. While a number of businesses have suffered greatly due to the current pandemic, the likes of the agricultural industry and all associated with it have kept going and indeed in some cases are thriving.
Farming both north and south of the border is in a healthy state at the moment as dairy, beef and lamb have all seen worse days. Farmers are growing all the time and if they are to get the best out of their land, they need the best machinery to carry out their duties.
Northern Ireland is blessed to have a leading farm machinery dealer which is a family run business based in Ballycastle, Co Antrim.
Hunter Kane has been in the sales business for over 50 years and he has developed a reputation for providing top quality machinery and parts to an ever-increasing customer base under the business name Hunter Kane & Son.
Now semi-retired, Hunter leaves the day to day running of the business to his son Samuel (Uel as he is more commonly known) and his daughter Heather Henderson, while Uel’s son Joshua is an integral part of the business also.
Indeed, it was Joshua that took time out of his busy schedule to speak to Irish Tractor about what sets them apart from their competitors, while he also spoke about their future hopes for the business.
Located in Ballintoy, just outside Ballycastle, Hunter Kane & Son specialise in the import and export of farm machinery and tractors. They are main dealers for the likes of Pottinger, Bunning, Deutz Fahr, Same, HiSpec, Bauer, Quicke, Herron Trailers and many, many more.
They stock both new and used tractors and machinery which allows them to cater for everyone’s budget, while their after sales service is second to none.
“We would supply all farm machinery and tractors, the only area we don’t focus on in the agricultural sector is potato equipment, but we can source anything else,” stated Joshua.
“In recent times, we have become main dealers for Kawasaki and Suzuki quads and mules, which have proven to be very popular amongst our customers.”
“Some of the dealerships that we have would stretch back to the eighties when we became the main Same dealer in 1986 and we have steadily added dealerships ever since.”
Their main catchment area is the counties of Antrim, Down and Londonderry, but they have been known to sell throughout the province on a regular basis.
“The customer base has grown a lot over the years and to be fair, we would have a lot of repeat custom. Most of the new machinery would be sold in Antrim and surrounding counties, but our second hand stock can go anywhere in the country.”
With a satellite workshop in Crumlin, just outside Belfast which is ran by Heather’s husband David, all maintenance and servicing is carried out there to ensure that the customer’s purchase is kept in pristine condition.
“We would also stock a full range of parts for all the machinery that we have and if the customer has an issue, we can get the part to them as quickly as possible.”
Through a multitude of contacts across the world, which they have built up through their many years in business, Hunter Kane & Son can source just about any piece of machinery that you may need.
“There would be a huge number of contacts that my Grandfather would have sourced over the years, which allow us to buy anything that a customer may be looking for. We would also have exported a lot of machinery and tractors down through the years. We would have exported combine harvesters to Pakistan in the past.”
The business located in a rural setting kept their doors open during the lockdowns this year as they provided an essential service to the farming community.
“We had to invest in signage and hand sanitizers to implement the Covid protocols that were necessary to operate, but we managed to keep going and we have a rigid truck for a lot of our deliveries.”
AS the latest generation of the family to be involved in the business, unsurprisingly Joshua revealed that he is keen to push the social media side of the business and open up their brand to a whole new community.
“Yeah I have been working on promoting the business more on social media. I think that especially during the current times, it is important to be able to show our machinery online. We have a website there already, but there are so many platforms that we can use and we have seen the benefits of using them.”
Joshua added that the aim is to drive the business forward and increase their market share by attracting new customers to their products.
“We are happy with the direction of the business. We are trying to grow, while looking to save money where we can. That is not to say, we will not be looking to improve on our service. We appreciate the support of our customers and the focus is on giving them an excellent standard of service. Our customers are the most important part of our business. The sales are just one aspect; the back up service is equally as important and I think that is appreciated by our customers.”
Hunter Kane & Son
31 Lagavara Road,
Uel – 07860 621461
Wesley – 07889 546114
Hunter – 07860 573577
Tel: 028 2076 2613 (4 lines)
Fax: 028 2076 2027
Email: [email protected]
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 9 No 2, March/April 2021