Tinsley Contracts has been synonymous with agri contracting in and around Dromara, Co. Down for almost half a century.
Specialising in pit silage, whole crop silage, slurry spreading, lime spreading, dung spreading, ploughing and sowing, the family-run operation has earned a reputation for quality, reliability and value-for-money. Samuel Tinsley has been involved in the business since the 1970s when he helped his father to get it off the ground. With Samuel concentrating on the family’s dairy enterprise, his son Richard now fronts Tinsley Contracts which continues to go from strength to strength.
Samuel’s other son Keith – who is a mechanic by trade –also has a close association with the business. As well as running Tinsley Transport, which specialises in tipper work, he offers services such as round baling and hedge-cutting to local farmers. With a fleet of four Volvo articulated trucks, Keith draws the lime to Richard for spreading.
“We help each other out,” Richard explains.
“Keith provides the agri contracting services we don’t provide. Silage cutting and slurry spreading is what Tinsley Contracts is best known for.”
Committed to providing superior service and complete customer satisfaction, Tinsley Contracts has an array of machinery to carry out your work quickly and efficiently, providing you with the most competitive rates and an alternative to investing in your own expensive equipment. The firm’s success can be attributed to the knowledge, experience, skill and expertise of its staff as well as the quality of its machinery. Richard and his highly-skilled and highly-motivated crew deliver the value and quality farmers expect from their agricultural contracting partner.
Richard runs an impressive fleet of John Deere tractors. He has nine in total, including two 155s, three 145s, one 6930, one 55M, one 150M and a 6800 which is used around the farm. He also runs a pair of Fendt 724s. John Deere has been a firm favourite with the Tinsley’s since 1978 when they bought their first. Back then, they were as rare as hen’s teeth in Ireland and they have stuck with them ever since.
For silage making, Tinsley Contracts has a John Deere 99 forage harvester, three sets of Samasz butterfly mowers, one set of John Deere mowers, a JCB 435 loader, a Krone soft rake, a CLAAS 50ft rake, six Kane half pipe dump trailers and a Kane classic trailer.
In terms of slurry equipment, Richard operates three 4,000-gallon tankers (including two MCMs), a Herron 2,500-gallon tanker and a NC mixer. His can also count a Rolland dung spreader, Kverneland and Kongskilde four-furrow reversible ploughs, a Lemken Accord seed drill and a new Amazone seed drill among his other pieces of kit. For lime spreading, Richard has a Kane SpreadPoint.
Richard and Noel Kane of Kane Trailers in Downpatrick brought two SpreadPoint models to the market in 2019 – the SP400 and SP600. The SP400 is the more basic model and is fitted with a land drive belt control system. The SP400 comes on a 10-stud axle with hydraulic brakes only.
All Tinsley machines are maintained and serviced on a regular basis to avoid downtime, with most of this being carried out in-house. Machines under warranty are sent to the main dealer. Tinsley Contracts’ suppliers include Johnston Gilpin & Co (John Deere) in Lisburn, John McElderry M&T Ltd (Fendt) in Lisburn and Kane.
The Co. Down contractor has built up a large and loyal client-base within a 30-mile radius of Dromara.
“We’re lucky to have some great, long-time customers who have stuck with us through thick and thin. We’ll always go the extra mile for them. We pride ourselves on our efficient, reliable and top-class service. We get a lot of repeat business which is a sign that our customers are happy with us.
“While we stay close to home for silage and slurry spreading, we’d go further for lime spreading. The furthest we’ve gone recently was to Ballymoney.”
There is no such thing as a quiet time for this highly-regarded contractor who will work around the clock and take on extra staff at busy times to keep clients happy. Ploughing, sowing and slurry spreading take precedence in the early part of the year, followed by silage cutting during the summer months. After that comes more slurry spreading.
Richard was pleased with this year’s silage yields, saying: “The first cuts were very heavy. But they were drier once the weather improved. We were able to get a good run at it and our customers were happy enough with their crops.”
Samuel Tinsley milks 200 cows on a 420-acre mostly leased holding in the heart of Co. Down. Ironically, Dromara translates to ‘ridge of heifers’ in Irish. The cows are milked three times a day in an 18-unit Fullwood Packo parlour. The milk is supplied to Lakeland Dairies in Bailieborough, Co. Cavan.
Passionate about agri contracting, Richard would like to take this opportunity to thank his customers and suppliers for their continued support as well as his staff for their hard work, dedication and skill.
80 Dromore Road,
Tel: +44 7849 370428
Email: [email protected]
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 10 No 6, November/December 2022