A Borders firm with roots deep in the agricultural machinery business has clinched a major deal with Europe’s top trailer maker.
Thomas Sherriff & Co Ltd, which has branches in Alnwick, Berwick, Dunbar, Haddington, Stow and Coldstream, has been appointed by Ifor Williams Trailers as its distributor in the Borders and north Northumberland.
The deal means two new jobs will be created at the firm’s Coldstream depot, located five miles north of the town near Leitholm on the main road to Greenlaw.
The firm was established almost 200 years ago in Dunbar to build and supply machinery for the farming community and has now expanded across both sides of the border.
According to Thomas Sherriff’s group sales director Colin Weatherhead, the company is excited about the new arrangement which he describes as a “very good fit”.
Colin said: “This agreement significantly enhances the product range we offer our customers and strengthens its position by becoming the region’s official distributor for Ifor Williams Trailers.
“Our company has been around almost 200 years and in all those years has obviously gone through a lot of peaks and troughs in the agricultural machinery business.
“I believe we are a very good fit for each other and as a result of the distribution arrangement we are looking forward to a very bright future together.”
The new arrangement will mean Thomas Sherriff will supply the full range of Ifor Williams Trailers from its six depots, at Alnwick, Berwick, Dunbar, Haddington, Stow and Coldstream.
Colin explained that the centre of these operations will be a new trailer centre which the company is setting up at its Coldstream depot.
He said: “We’re currently recruiting a manager and an additional technician for the new centre, which will include a spacious display area for the Ifor Williams Trailers range.
“The other five depots will all have dedicated trailer sales people.
“Our new trailer centre will be the springboard for the ambitious plans we have for the development of the trailer business. We recognise that the Ifor Williams Trailer range has a customer base which encompasses much more than only agricultural customers.”
Apart from the horsebox range, Ifor Williams products include a huge range of trailers for construction use including flat bed and tippers as well as many plant trailer options – widely used in the hire industry. In addition their car transporters and box vans further expand the customer base and sales opportunities.
He added: “We will do all that is necessary to develop the business as much as we can over the next 12 months and beyond and are looking forward very much to working closely with Ifor Williams Trailers.”
Colin said that Sherriff’s would debut the Ifor Williams Trailers range at two events over the next few months.
The first appearance will come at the Floors Castle Horse Trials in Kelso from May 16-18 and then at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh from June 19-22.
Established 1816 at Beltonford, Dunbar, the company that was to become Thomas Sherriff Ltd was owned and named by a man named Sherriff Robertson, who eventually relocated to a site where the Village Hall now stands in West Barns.
In 1865 new premises were built at the current site, designed to expand the manufacture of all types of seed sowing machinery and repair of the various machines used in farming at that time.
In the following 100 years the company changed and evolved several times as it continued to serve the needs of the farming community.
In the 1970s a period of expansion followed the appointment of the company to the John Deere dealership network, with the setting up of new premises in Haddington, Stow and Alnwick.