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Vervaet buys 50% share of J Riley Beet Harvesters (UK) Ltd

April 2018

Leading Dutch agricultural machinery manufacturer Vervaet has purchased a 50% share of UK-importer J Riley Beet Harvesters (UK) Ltd. This strengthens the existing strong relationship between the two family-run companies, which now extends back over 25 years.

With no members of the Riley family currently in a position to continue the business, the move is deemed by both companies as the logical course of action in preparation for the future.

Headed by managing director Jeremy Riley, J Riley Beet Harvesters (UK) Ltd was established in 1994. Highly successful, the company currently has 14 employees based at its purpose-built premises at Attlebridge in Norfolk. Rileys have been the sole importer of Vervaet beet harvesters and Hydro-Trike self-propelled applicators since day one and it didn’t take long for the harvesters to become market-leader, which they still are to this day. Customers are provided with extensive backup throughout the UK, and the Riley name has earned an enviable reputation for first class service. Second hand machines are usually fully refurbished at Attlebridge before being delivered to their new owner with a warranty.

“We want to underline our continuing commitment to both our customers and the UK beet industry,” explains Jeremy Riley. “I’m certainly not packing up or retiring, and this agreement means that there are more options open for the future. My belief has always been that you have to look after customers and over the years we’ve built not just business relationships but friendships too. This goes for both customers and the Vervaet family as well. I have every faith in both their company and the
people involved, so involving Vervaet was the right thing to do going forward.”

Today Frans Vervaet B.V. is run by Robin and Edwin Vervaet and the brothers reciprocate Jeremy’s thoughts about his own company and emphasise how essential the UK is to their business.

“The UK is our most important export market, together with France,” explains Robin Vervaet. “It is often the biggest market for harvesters, and the Hydro Trike has a bright future here too, so we wanted to safeguard our position in the country but also allow the opportunity for Jeremy’s own family succession if and when the time is right. We have a great history of working together and Jeremy is a true gentleman. During all this time we’ve never ever had a contract – we both know that our word is our word and everything is done on 100% trust.”

“We’ve known Jeremy since the late 1980s and we have also become close friends,” adds Edwin Vervaet. “The reason we are so successful in the UK is that together we can offer the best package. Both companies try to help the customer as much as possible, and place ourselves in their position if there is a problem. Like this the customer always has the best deal on the market.”
Increased capacity from contractor's new harvester

February 2018

A new Vervaet Q-616 sugar beet harvester has been producing impressive results for Norfolk-based contractor Jeremy Green, who took delivery of the new machine at the beginning of this campaign from UK importers J Riley Beet Harvesters (UK) Ltd.

Jeremy, who trades as Jeremy Green Agricultural Contractor Ltd from Bressingham in south Norfolk, originally started his contracting business 26 years ago with a year-old Massey Ferguson 3125 tractor and Landquip 3000-litre 24m trailed sprayer. This outfit successfully covered a considerable area of contract spraying, and it wasn’t long before baling was also offered thanks to customer demand. The business continued to expand and stubble to stubble agreements naturally followed. Today the company employs six full-time staff and expects to perform around 1500 acres of whole farm contracting as well as offering individual services from beet drilling with RTK through to baling and even bulk haulage.

Sugar beet harvesting was first offered in 2010 when a round was taken on from local contractor David Scarfe, who had sadly passed away the previous autumn.

“I had often worked with David,” explains Jeremy. “I took on the harvester as well as Owen who had driven it for David, and together we went to see all of the customers. He was running a 2004 Vervaet 17T which we ran for two years before replacing it with a younger version. We then moved over to a very low-hour Beet Eater 617 with steel depth control wheels and long share legs which Jeremy Riley had suggested would be the ideal machine for us. It was a very good harvester and we used that for four years.”

“We have a very good working relationship with Rileys,” notes Jeremy. “Their service is fantastic and they will work with you. Last season we had an unfortunate accident at 10pm one evening resulting in a twisted unloading elevator. I rang Harry at Rileys and explained the problem, and we decided it needed a new elevator. They didn’t have one in stock, but there was one at the Vervaet factory which they could build up to fit my harvester. So I set off with a trailer and drove through the night to be at the factory the following morning, whilst they got the elevator ready. In the meantime Rileys sent two service engineers to help my men to change over the elevators, and they worked late that night. By lunch time the next day the harvester was ready for work thanks to the combined effort of Rileys, Vervaet and my own team.

With Vervaet harvesters consistently proving to be the right machines for Jeremy’s business and the knowledge that he could rely on Rileys for backup, it was only logical that he looked closely at the newly launched Q-series when the time came to purchase a new harvester.

“We went to the demo last year and were impressed with the new models, and then had them on demo here too,” explains Jeremy. “A number of my customers had signed up to a three year beet contract so I thought it was the most secure time to invest, and I placed an order for a new Q-616. We then went over to the factory and saw our new harvester being built.”

“The harvester has worked very well. I’m pleased with the extra output of the machine – we’re lifting somewhere around 2000 acres and doing it comfortably now. It’s gone a dream on sticky land – we’ve working faster than we expected and customers have also commented that it’s an impressive harvester. They also like how level it leaves the field after lifting.”

The new Q-616 is usually supported in the field by a 20-tonne Bailey Beeteaper trailer which was also new for this beet campaign and is perfectly matched to the harvester, reports operator Owen Page.

“The Q-616 holds more than our previous harvester and works well with the trailers, especially with a decent crop,” notes Owen. “It has more capacity so that you can harvest between 1 and 1.5kph faster, even on our heaviest land. Everything on the machine is very well thought out, the new lifter has better visibility and beet flow. It’s also kinder on the beet, you can clean it just enough to take all of the soil out. The manoeuvrability is impressive, you can turn back on yourself and work up and down without shunting on the ends which is handy when doing short work. It’s comfortable to drive and quieter, quite a few people have commented about that, and the lights are also better. It’s also capable of 40k on the road, which takes a bit of getting used to!”

Demonstrations available soon

December 2017

Bookings are now being taken for on-farm demonstrations of the new Vervaet Q-Series beet harvesters, report UK importers J Riley Beet Harvesters (UK) Ltd. The models were shown for the first time in the UK at J Riley’s popular biennial working demonstration in January.

Notable new features include close-coupled rear wheels for a ‘one wheel per track’ layout with the machine’s weight spread over the full working width for minimal soil impact. This new rear axle also provides extreme manoeuvrability with a very tight turning circle.

A new lifter frame is used, followed by improved cleaning with new turbine options which can be run slowly and are extremely gentle on the beet. The tank design is also new, with the ring trace mounted crossways and a longer elevator moved to the front of the tank.

“We will be bringing a demonstration machine into the UK to visit existing customers as well as potential new clients all over the country,” explains Vervaet sales specialist Henry Baker. “New machines already supplied for this year are performing very well, proving to be very kind on the crop, and it’s been a good campaign so far with excellent lifting conditions and a bumper crop. If you would like to try the new Q-Series for yourself please get in touch to arrange a demonstration.”

J Riley Beet Harvesters (UK) Ltd can be contacted on 01603 262526.

50th beet harvester for G.A. Liddle & Son

November 2017

North Yorkshire contractors and farmers G.A. Liddle & Son took delivery of their 50th sugar beet harvester last month – a brand new Vervaet Q-616. Based at Cawood, near Selby, the company has over 60 years harvesting experience and currently lifts a large area of sugar and fodder beet every season over a wide variety of soil types using two Vervaet harvesters.

Geoff Liddle begun lifting sugar beet in the 1950s and over the years has run a long list of harvesters, including Standen Junior, Beet Master, Challenger, Rapide, Multibeet, Turbobeet and Sceptre models, plus TIM, Armer-Salmon and Rational trailed machines. Self-propelled single-row machines arrived during the 1970s in the form of two Standen Cyclone machines fitted with Ford 3000 power-units.

The Liddle family purchased their first six-row self-propelled harvester, a Moreau GR2, in 1985 which also constituted their first deal with Jeremy Riley – the beginning of a long-lasting business relationship. More Moreau harvesters followed, with an AT64 and two more GR2s which later gave way to two Lectra machines – by now two harvesters were being operated to cope with an ever increasing contracting acreage.

The Liddle’s first tanker harvester, a Riecam RBM-300, was bought in 1995, and was followed by a further three Riecam machines. But a few years later in 2002 their first Vervaet harvester arrived, as Graham Liddle explains.

“We went to Holland with Jeremy Riley to look at a second hand Riecam,” recalls Graham. “But we came back with a new Vervaet 17-T! We already knew Jeremy Riley from Moreau days, and service manager Harry Skeet used to look after our Riecams. Plus the product looked very good with excellent build quality and new electronic controls.”

Following that first machine G.A. Liddle & Son have had a new Vervaet harvester almost every year since. Last year they chose to replace a Beet Eater 617 with the all-new Q-616, again from J Riley Beet Harvesters, thus continuing the long association between the two family businesses. In addition, another Vervaet Beet Eater 617 is run alongside the new machine to provide additional capacity.

“The Vervaets have always been very good harvesters, very reliable and they’ll lift in all conditions,” notes Graham. “We also have a very good relationship with Rileys – we’ve known Jeremy Riley a long time now and we’ve always had good backup and parts availability from the company.”

“We had the prototype Q-616 on demonstration last year and liked it,” he explains. “The new machine has now done 500 acres and been no trouble at all. Despite the smaller number on the side it actually holds more beet than a 617 and the wider and longer unloading elevator is very good, especially when creating a Maus heap or emptying into larger trailers. It’s an extremely manoeuvrable harvester, the steering lock is unbelievable, and it’s light too. We’re also running new open ended turbines which seem very good so far as you can run them slower on heavy land which is kinder on the beet whilst still getting rid of the soil and trash.”

J Riley at Grassland & Muck 2017

April 2017

 Two of the latest Vervaet Hydro Trike multipurpose applicators will be shown at Grassland & Muck by UK importers J Riley – one fitted with a manure spreader body and the other equipped for injecting slurry.

Well-proven, the Hydro Trike is a long established machine and was first introduced for 1991. Extensive market research resulted in some unique design features key to its unrivalled success, and there are currently over 600 examples out in the fields across Europe.

The latest machine is powered by an economical 510hp DAF engine. Drive is hydro-mechanical and provides an indispensible 40kph top speed. Large tyres spread the weight evenly over a 4.50m width when in work thanks to extending mid-axles which also provide stability when working on slopes. The five wheel layout with a single front steering wheel also provides fantastic manoeuvrability.

The Panien manure spreader body is built specifically to Vervaet’s requirements and has a generous 18 cubic metre capacity. Two heavy-duty floor traces are driven from both sides, and can be reversed to quickly and easily clear blockages. Two beaters finely shred even the most straw-rich manure and large-diameter discs evenly spread to 24m.

A 19,000 litre slurry tank is offered with an extremely high-output slurry handling system produced in-house by Vervaet. A variety of rear tools can be fitted on the Category 3 rear linkage to suit the desired application, from disc injectors and dribble bars for working in grassland and growing crops to cultivator injectors for working in stubble.

Accuracy of all applications is particularly impressive, with the rate controlled automatically by Vervaet’s own Tri-Control colour touch screen computer which also looks after the machine’s main functions. Unique to Vervaet, the John Deere NIR sensor can also be fitted ensuring full compliance with NVZ regulations.

Q-Series successful debut at J Riley demonstration

January 2017

 J Riley report massive interest in the all-new Vervaet Q-Series beet harvesters which received their UK debut at the company’s latest biennial demonstration. This was held on 5 January by kind permission of H Jones (Farms) Ltd at Great Witchingham in Norfolk.

“We had a great turnout of customers old and new from all over the UK including Ireland,” comments Vervaet sales specialist Henry Baker. “We are particularly pleased with the response we had to the new Q-Series harvesters which ran really well and were very well received. We were very fortunate with the weather, and the hog roast was enjoyed by all. We would like to thank everyone who attended for their support.”

Both of the new models share the same ‘one wheel per track’ layout with close-coupled rear wheels enabling the machine to spread its weight over the full working width for minimal soil impact. This also gives the machines extreme manoeuvrability and a very tight turning circle.

The new Q-Series harvesters feature a new lifter frame, improved cleaning and new turbine options, wider ring trace mounted crossways and a longer elevator now sited at the front of the tank. The engine is mounted crossways behind the rear axle for better weight distribution and easier access. The option of a 40kph top road speed will appeal to customers required to travel long distances.

 The lighter Q-616 with a 16-tonne capacity tank and 465hp engine is the replacement for the legendary market-leading Beet Eater 617 which has become the industry standard for many farmers and contractors with over 140 examples currently at work in the UK. The Q-621 boasts a 21-tonne holding bunker and a more powerful 510hp DAF engine.

The latest generation Beet Eater 625 was also shown working alongside the new harvesters. It’s powered by a 15.6-litre 623hp Mercedes-Benz Tier 4F engine and remains the firm favourite amongst large contractors working on medium and heavy soils, with an unrivalled ability to harvest in any conditions whilst maintaining full capacity.

Rileys announce working demo and Q-Series debut

November 2016

 The new Vervaet Q-Series sugar beet harvesters will be making their UK debut on 5 January 2017.

FGS Agri invest in Vervaet technology

November 2016

 Kent-based FGS Agri has recently taken delivery of two new Vervaet Hydro Trike self-propelled spreaders from UK-importers J Riley. FGS Agri has just successfully renewed their five year Contract for spreading around 350,000 tonnes of biosolids per year using five self-propelled machines on behalf of Thames Water, so they know what they’re talking about when it comes to spreading.

The new Vervaet machines are powered by 510hp DAF engines and are fitted with specially designed integral 18-tonne Panien spreader bodies. Large tyres spread the weight evenly over a 4.50m width when in work thanks to extending mid-axles.

Biosolids contract manager Bert Essink explains why the company has chosen to invest in the Vervaet machines.

“We believe in the product. It’s an evolution rather than a revolution, the concept hasn’t been changed but thoroughly developed, so it has only got better and been improved. Consequently it’s a very reliable machine. We were impressed right from the start, as when they were delivered you could turn the key and drive away without any problems, getting straight into work – with most new machines there are things which are not quite right.”

“The spread pattern is very good,” Bert continues. “It’s even better than we expected. Although it’s too early to comment on wear and tear our initial thoughts are very positive. Good features like an automatically tightened bed chain are also important, we think that’s a very good system. Fuel consumption also seems good, although we need to do a couple more tests, but she’s not thirsty, put it that way.

“The five wheel layout works well,” he explains. “We spread some land which had been deep cultivated and it didn’t make a mess. We also work on some very steep hills, and with the extending axle the Vervaet is very stable – the driver says he feels very safe, and that’s important.”

“The machine’s layout is great for maintenance. With the engine on one side in the front and the cooling pack the other there are very few components underneath the spreader body. You can carry out maintenance after a week’s spreading without getting covered in muck. Dealer backup is also important, and having a dealer in England with parts in stock can save us a day, so that’s also worth a lot to us.”


All-new beet harvester for 2017 coming soon...

August 2016

 A brand new sugar beet harvester with a completely new design is on the way.



Keep a close eye out for more information and images, coming soon...

The new 2016 Hydro Trike in the UK

January 2016

 The striking new 2016 Vervaet Hydro Trike will soon be making its UK debut...



Demonstrations will be available beginning in February. To find out more about the new model and to book your personalised demonstration please contact the office.

Hydro Trike slurry injector demos continue

July 2015

Vervaet Hydro Trike demonstrations continue with both the injector and spreader out at work. Please contact Henry Baker on 07825 631377 for more details or to book a demo.

Seen working in Norfolk, the 14,000l capacity Hydro Trike is applying 25m3/ha of digestate to wholecrop rye stubble through a Schuitemaker disc injector at a forward speed of 12.5kph for a very high output. When working on grassland this has been even higher still.

The Hydro Trike is the effortless way to apply digestate whilst being kind on the soil with low-pressure tyres and one wheel per track, as shown in this video: