Two of the most recognisable names in UK agricultural drainage are celebrating 23 years of working together.
The relationship between Mastenbroek and DMJ Drainage started in 2001 when managing director Darren Howell bought his first agricultural drainage trencher.
DMJ Drainage's professional approach, honest advice, and planning expertise have seen the company grow into a multi-million-pound business, which employs 150 people and has the UK drainage industry's largest fleet of plant and machinery.
Today, DMJ Drainage operates more than 35 trenchers, excavators, tractors, dumper trucks and gravel carts. With twelve Mastenbroek machines spanning drainage trenchers, gravel carts and plows, no other operator owns more of the Boston-made machines.
Established in the UK in 1965 to sell and service Dutch drainage trenchers, Mastenbroek began UK production in Boston in 1977. Forty-seven years later, the company's machines are used worldwide to deliver agricultural drainage installations and utility cabling projects.
As part of DMJ Drainage's continued investment and reinvestment philosophy, the company recently added a Mastenbroek 10/12D trencher and Mastenbroek 45/20 plow to its fleet.
The decision to buy the 10/12D was made after DMJ undertook a project for The Jockey Club at Southwell race course and hired the same trencher to install a drainage within the fencing on the actual race track.
"The ground conditions were not suited to our Mastenbroek 30/20, which weighs about 20 tonnes and is not as manoeuvrable as the smaller eight-tonne 10/12D," says Darren. "At the time, we didn't have the orders to justify buying our own 10/12D, so we hired one. I was so impressed with its performance, the minimal contact area of the tracks, and how easy it was to move around the site that I saw an opportunity and bought one of our own. Since then, we've gone from strength to strength, completing several similar projects for the Jockey Club. Most recently, we've been at the Jockey Club at Market Rasen working on an overspill car park that is prone to flooding."
The Market Rasen project has seen DMJ install 4,000 metres of 80mm perforated land drainage pipe at a depth of 800mm at ten metres apart, which was backfilled with 20mm gravel within 100mm of the surface.
As well as leading to several racecourse projects, DMJ's 10/12D has allowed it to win work in other new areas such as caravan and leisure parks. And, as the DMJ 10/12D comes with a sports field kit, which allows the excavated spoil to be transferred to trailers or dumpers and taken off the field, Darren is confident that that market will open up soon.
DMJ has also recently invested in a Mastenbroek 45/20 single-blade drainage plow in a somewhat unusual move. Described by one DMJ driver as a 'monster', the Mastenbroek plow offers incredible power and surprisingly low running costs.
The Mastenbroek 45/20 plow was last used at Heneage Farm, Hainton, in the Lincolnshire Wolds, where DMJ buried 14,000 metres of 80mm perforated land drainage pipe to a depth of 900mm with porous backfill within 300mm of the surface. Cost analysis of the project revealed that the Mastenbroek plow was comfortably working at 2 1/2 km an hour - a trencher would be operating at 700 to 800 metres an hour.
"The Mastenbroek 45/20 plow features an EU stage 5 Volvo 13 litre, 462hp engine, which we calculate is using 35 litres of diesel an hour, which is amazing!" says Darren. "As well as being incredibly fuel efficient, its wearing parts are much cheaper to replace than those on a trencher."
The 45/20 plow unit, with its single link with slew and tilt control, features a replaceable cutting edge and point that can reach depths of up to 1.8m with six degrees of linkage slew either side of centre and 12 degrees of linkage side tilt.
Despite using a ripper leg to cut the ground, the Mastenbroek 45/20 plow has surprised DMJ in terms of the tidiness of the spoil it produces and the high-quality finish it leaves.
"The Mastenbroek 45/20 plow lifts the ground in formation, so all the spoil goes back in formation," says Darren. "We used the plow for one agricultural job and were amazed to see winter wheat thriving a few months after the plow had lifted the ground."
As well as the quality finish and running costs, DMJ’s operators have also enjoyed working in a large cab, which is comfortable and convenient, with two doors allowing the operator to access the left and right walkways easily.
"Mastenbroek has cornered the market with its plows. Nothing else compares, not that we've looked around at other manufacturers!" adds Darren. "We've worked with Mastenbroek from the very beginning as they make an excellent machine and are only just down the road from us, so it's good to be able to support another Lincolnshire business. I think it’s fair to say that our partnership with Mastenbroek has given us a great foundation on which to build a successful business, which will hopefully continue to grow over the next 23 years!"