In the past two years, Limerick-headquartered Samco have opened a new chapter in their history by taking on dealerships for the Case IH, Kverneland, Vicon, McConnel, Siloking and RedRock marques to complement their renowned Samco Agricultural Manufacturing products. We touched base with sales manager Ger Madigan to discuss the tremendous success to date of Samco Agri Sales.
With the genesis of Samco Agri Sales in September, 2020, the Shine family – who have been running Samco Agricultural Manufacturing since 1997 – moved with the times to add a vital new string to their already impressive bow.
The result is that, as they celebrate a quarter of a century in business, Samco are now both an agricultural machinery manufacturer and dealership of choice, providing farmers and contractors across Limerick, the South West and the Mid West with an unrivalled range of products and a back-up service to match.
Already vastly experienced in farming, contracting and machinery manufacturing, the Shines have broadened their horizons even further by opening up these high-regarded dealership channels.
Samco Agri Sales was born two years ago when the internationally-renowned Adare-based company – known globally for designing and manufacturing the 3-in-one maize drill, which sows seeds, sprays the soil and lays a thin layer of biodegradable film – was appointed main dealer for County Limerick for Kverneland Group Ireland.
Representing their first venture down the dealership road, the agreement incorporates the prestigious Kverneland, McConnel, Siloking and Vicon agencies. The departure represented a natural progression for Samco, who were able to dedicate a section of their recently-completed, state-of-the-art, new 35,000 sq ft facility in Adare to their new retail wing.
As well as being synonymous with manufacturing world-famous ploughs, Kverneland have diversified into a vast range of machinery and today produce everything from sprayers, mowers and rakes to tedders, sowers, cultivators, balers and much more besides while their dealership also encompasses McConnel hedge cutters, Vicon fertiliser spinners and SiloKing feeder wagons.
In December 2021, Samco Agri Sales were also officially appointed Case IH tractor dealers for Clare, Limerick and Kerry, now selling the full range of Case IH tractors, harvesting equipment and telehandlers and providing a comprehensive aftersales service to those who operate Case IH equipment. They also carry the full range of Case IH parts, accessories, lubricants and filters.
To ensure that they can provide their customers old and new with the best possible service, Samco opened a second branch on Listowel Road, Tralee in March of this year.
With agriculture rapidly changing, Samco have effectively rebranded and relaunched themselves to meet the demands of an ever-evolving marketplace. “Business is very good at the moment and we can’t complain,” reveals agri sales manager Ger Madigan. “We’re getting things off the ground with the new ventures and moving forward. While 2022 wasn’t the best year for the sector, we are in a good position now to look after all the needs of farmers and contractors.
“We’re getting more and more footfall in the garage, with people coming in again and looking around, and we’re finally starting to get more stuff in. Supply issues were a problem but things are improving gradually. At one point there, we were like a pub with no beer but we have a good supply of stock here now and wait times are moving in the right direction.”
Taking on the Kverneland dealership was in many ways a natural move for Samco as they have been using their components in their innovative 3-in-1 film laying machine for more than 20 years. “Sam Shine has a long association with Kverneland going back many years as he used their components in the Samco maize drill and also incorporated them into the Samco 3-in-1 systems,” Ger confirms.
“The dealership is starting to take shape and it’s an excellent dealership as it comes with a good array of other agencies – SiloKing, Vicon and McConnel. We were very happy to get that as it brings in such a vast array of machinery.
“We were eager to get a tractor brand as well and we tried a few different colours but Case spoke the loudest and we took on the agency for Kerry, Limerick and Clare towards the tail-end of 2021.”
The reaction to the new dealerships has been extremely positive thus far. “All the brands have been well received,” says Ger. “A lot of local farmers might not have used Kverneland mowers before but they have traded in all colours and the feedback could not be better. It’s a really nice experience to be involved in a project like this from the start and to see things taking shape.”
Back-up is of course critical and, with decades of experience of every aspect of agri machinery – including design, manufacture, service and repairs – Samco are perfectly positioned to offer unbeatable aftersales service to their new brands: “We’re lucky enough to have a wonderful team of technicians and mechanics who are very interested in their work and passionate about what they do.
“They are prepared to go on call-outs whenever they are needed and are completely dedicated to their job. They all have a tremendous interest and knowledge of machinery and are well up for the challenge. Good back-up is what it’s all about in agri machinery. It’s a huge deal to farmers and contractors to be able to get somebody over the phone who will call out if necessary and sort them out. Nobody needs downtime in farming, or in any walk of life for that matter.”
Between all aspects of the business, Samco generates direct full-time employment for a team of 55, with the original manufacturing arm of the operation still producing Samco’s own range of maize drills, three-leg subsoilers, the bespoke Samco Soilmaster Land leveller with unique design and special features, folding silage forks and disc harrows as well as two types of degradable film for export into the European and global markets, made from Oxo-Biodegradable resin and Compostable Bio-plastics.
The second generation of the Shine family is very much involved, founder Sam joined in the day-to-day running of Samco by sons Robert, Matthew, Gordon and Derrick alongside daughter Stephanie. Derrick has also resurrected the original contracting outfit, under the Samuel J Shine Agriculture Contracting banner.
All in all, Samco have the right people and right facilities in place to provide exceptional products and service across the board.
“We developed a new facility on a greenfield site in Adare and moved in at the end of 2019,” Ger recalls. “There’s plenty of space and a good service area for gear as well as large stores and offices, etc. With the second premises up and running in Tralee, we have all the space we need.
“Sam actually contracted himself for years and was running three silage outfits simultaneously at one stage and cutting maize in Kerry, Limerick and Clare,” the personable Cork man concludes. “He knew what it was like to be caught out and that’s why service is such a big deal to him.
“At the end of the day, we are here to look after farmers’ and contractors’ every need. With the business expanded and diversified, we are in a better position than ever to do that. Even if it’s just the handle of a shovel that needs to be fixed, we will never turn any man away. Whatever the problem is or whatever they need, we will get them going.”
Samco Agri Sales,
Tel: 061 396176 (Adare) / 066 71183331 (Tralee)
Mobile: 087 7873105
Email: [email protected]
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 11 No 1, January/February 2023