By Appointment to HM The Queen, Mark Westaway & Son

By Appointment to HM The Queen, Mark Westaway & Son

Posted by: Category:Agriculture & Forestry Sector, Case Studies

When its local supplier couldn’t provide the hydraulic part Mark Westaway & Son needed for its hay baling machine, it turned to Hydraulics Online for help – and sourced a more robust and suitable part for the job.

Mark Westaway & Son has produced HorseHage, the original dust-free horse forage, from its farmland in Devon since the late 1970s.  The innovative horse feed product was created to solve the problem of dust in hay which can result in respiratory problems for some horses.

The company was awarded the Royal Warrant in 1983 after Her Majesty the Queen’s horse, Burmese, was fed HorseHage when suffering from a respiratory problem. It now supplies HorseHage to the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace and, since the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, has been the official supplier of dust-free forage to The British Equestrian Team.

Seasonal Operations

Since agricultural production is highly seasonal, the company’s maintenance of equipment takes place out of season to maximise productivity.  During the summer months, whenever the weather is good, the company’s harvesting and baling machinery will be operating throughout the daylight hours.

“Hydraulics Online impressed with their speed of service and helpful attitude.” Chris Tar, General Manager, Mark Westway & Son

With performance being critical to its prestigious customers, a high-quality product and secure, uninterrupted supply is vital. “You’ve got to get everything ready; you can’t wait ‘til you start work,” explains Chris Tar,  Manager and son-in-law of the company’s Founder, Mark Westaway.

It was during an annual maintenance check in 2018 that Chris’s team identified a hydraulic control panel on one of the baling machines that required replacing.  Chris’s first response was to reach out to his local supplier, but they weren’t able to help.

“Normally we’d deal with the local supplier but they didn’t have this particular part and they weren’t particularly helpful, so we set about finding it ourselves,” explains Chris.

“One of my team began searching for possible hydraulic suppliers on the internet and we found Hydraulics Online.  It was our first time ordering with them and the service was very good.”

Good Supplier Relationships

Hydraulics Online was able to quickly source a suitable replacement part for Mark Westaway & Son. Thanks to its extensive knowledge and experience of hydraulics in agricultural applications, Hydraulics Online was also able to suggest a more robust model that would have a longer life in the field.

Chris was impressed by both the helpfulness and speed of the service:  “Agriculture is a fairly tough environment.  In the field, there  is a lot of vibration, lots of dust, and electronic components don’t last that long.”

“Hydraulics Online helped us get a heavier duty bit of kit.” Chris Tar, General Manager, Mark Westaway & Son

“Hydraulics Online helped us to get a heavier duty bit of kit this time,” says Chris.

The extra longevity built into the equipment will help Chris and his team maximise production hours – and ensure that the company’s high-quality product can reach its customers.

Chris was happy with the delivery. The part arrived in good time and the baling machine is now back to full working order ready for when the busy summer harvesting season starts from May until September.  Chris says: “I  will be very happy to use Hydraulics Online again.”