March 20th, 2024.

H Timmis Farms, located on the outskirts of Newport, Shropshire operates both arable and commercial poultry operations. Since the family began farming at Littlehales Farm in 1927, it has grown into a considerable operation, farming around 3,800 acres of arable land and managing 300,000 broiler chickens from the site.

We spoke with Rob Timmis, farm owner and John Herbert, poultry manager about the purchase of their Yamaha UMX in May 2021 and how it helps to make life easier for their poultry team.

The Poultry operation initially began in 2015, before this the farm had been solely an arable operation.

“With arable land prices getting higher and higher and even renting becoming an expensive option, we investigated how we could diversify the farm. Poultry looked like a good option that would fit in well especially as we can utilise renewable energy to assist with running costs.” Rob explains.

Carrying out most of the work themselves, they clean out the sheds which the arable team will assist with. Then an external team will come in and pressure wash the sheds and disinfect them. With the sheds ready, the team at H Timmis Farms will then get the sheds ready to be set back up for the chicks to comeback. The Yamaha UMX is used every day on the farm and assists in jobs such as laying down the ground paper and distributing the feed for the chicks. As well as mucking out and helping transport chickens around the units.

“We use the UMX every single day and we love it; it makes life a lot easier for a lot of reasons with the poultry operation. We like that it gives us a level platform for transporting chickens from one end of the unit to the other. It spends a lot of time on the Logic Snacker laying down the paper and feed. Then we also have a little trailer that goes behind it to distribute play bales down the units.” John says.

When purchasing a Yamaha UMX a popular option for farming operations is the Class 2 trailer hitch with 50 mm tow ball as this gives even more versatility.

“One of the stand-out features has been its towing capacity. We find that it copes with everything we throw at it, and we do feel that it is impressive in its capability. Even driving over wet muck, hard muck or even in the snow, it doesn’t show signs of struggle. It handles everything with ease and the driving experience remains smooth and responsive whether we are towing or not.” John states.

After previously using a quad bike to complete the day-to-day operations within the poultry unit, the team found that the UMX just seemed to work that bit better.

“You get in, put your foot down and it’s ready to go, no fumes and no noise. You can also have a passenger and room in the cargo bed for tools etc. It’s a more versatile choice for the operation we are running.” Rob goes on to say.

The Yamaha UMX is powered by a punchy 5.0 kW motor that allows the user a good range of power and when it comes to charging, it’s as simple as just plugging in.

As well as what’s under the ‘hood’ this vehicle also has two ergonomically designed individual seats and a variable rate suspension system to give a high standard of comfort to the rider(s).

“We can do a full week of jobs on one charge with the UMX, of course as soon as you start to work it a bit harder, say with the trailer, the charge will go down more but we certainly don’t feel like we are constantly charging it. When it comes to charging, we simply leave it overnight and then it is ready to go the next morning for another week.” John says.

The UMX can be used in a variety of situations, most commonly on golf courses, in resorts and at airports. But it is not to be underestimated when it comes to farm work.

“It’s working in a fairly harsh environment, not every day but every six weeks when we have a turnover, it is exposed to very mucky and dusty conditions, but you wouldn’t know that, once we wash it off, it still looks and performs like new!”

As well as generally being a great option within the utility range, the UMX also offers a more environmental choice for your business if that is something that you are looking to achieve.

Renewable energies play an important part in the running of the poultry division at H Timmis Farms, who currently have 250kW of PV panels (photovoltaics) to assist with power and all of the chicken sheds are heated with ground source heat pumps.

“The environmental side of things has become more important for agri-businesses on the arable and poultry side. Supermarkets and banks are demanding carbon audits so it is definitely something we must be mindful of. Making more environmental choices going forward is something we want to do, but we must ensure that it is working for us. We don’t want to lose sight of what we are predominantly here for which is food production. The Yamaha UMX certainly fits into the box for being more environmentally friendly and it works for our operation so we wouldn’t think twice about having more of these machines in the future. As well as its usability, it has proven to be good value for money in comparison to a petrol- or diesel-powered alternative.” Rob says.

After nearly three years of ownership with the current Yamaha UMX, H Timmis Farms wouldn’t think twice about welcoming an additional electric vehicle to their poultry operations.

Rob says “From an agricultural point of view, I cannot understand why every poultry unit doesn’t have one. I cannot see anything else on the market that would be better in this situation. Even in general on a large-scale farm, running around from place to place and being able to carry things with you, it’s a great cost effective, electric option.”
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