In 1954 Len Tuckwell established a company called ‘Worlingworth Contracts’. The company employed three people and used Fordson Major tractors to contract spray farms at 7s 6d per acre, a service that at the time had no competition. It was this foresight that started the ball rolling for the Tuckwell family and it was not long before expansion into machinery sales came along with sub dealerships for Ford and Ferguson. Soon after this the Allis Chalmers franchise was secured by Len and by 1964 he was farming at Bedingfield, trading machinery, fertiliser, agro-chemicals and his fleet of hire sprayers had reached 400.
It was in 1965 however that the major development came in Tuckwell's history, when Len was approached by John Deere to become one of the UK’s first four UK dealers. The company had heard of Tuckwell’s from their sales of Lundell drills, the previous importer of John Deere products and Len, regarding John Deere as an up and coming manufacturer, relinquished his Allis Chambers franchise and the rest as they say is history.
Since those days the relationship has gone from strength to strength, during 1978 L. E. Tuckwell ltd were proud to become the first UK dealer to sell over £1,000,000 worth of John Deere products.
By 1975 Tuckwell’s had expanded into North Essex with Len’s son Paul, at the tender age of 21, moving down to set up P Tuckwell Ltd at Ardleigh. This gave the company a new customer base to expand sales into and allowed the John Deere product to be sold into a part of the country where previously their representation had been poor. Paul brought his father’s service based approach to Essex and this dedication to after sales was exactly what the farming community wanted.
In 1986 Tuckwell’s entered the amenity market with the appointment as John Deere groundscare dealers for Essex.
Acquisition, Farming and Haulage
Paul’s son James returned from Wye College in 2001 and it was at this time that the farming landscape was changing. Farms were getting bigger and customers fewer and it was the Tuckwell family’s opinion that they needed to follow suit. In that year they acquired another well respected dealership Blyth and Pawsey, covering south and west Essex. And in 2012 the company expanded further into Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire with the acquisition of another longstanding business JE Buckle engineering. By incorporating these depots they have become one of the largest machinery dealership within the South East, all operating under the name P. Tuckwell Limited, selling the complete range of John Deere products.
The company are still very proud to be heavily involved in all aspects of the farming landscape. While P Tuckwell Ltd is concerned with machinery sales and service, Lens original company LE Tuckwell Ltd still farms over 2500 acres, sells liquid fertilizer and runs a substantial haulage fleet. Farming is in the Tuckwell blood and it is one of the many reasons why they are able to affiliate with their customers and understand their needs.
Today and the Future
The company continues to go from strength to strength, employing over 150 members of staff, across seven locations. Many of these are involved in after sales and over 60 are fully trained technicians in mobile workshops.
Investing in the future is key to Tuckwell’s success. We have over 20 young staff members in apprenticeship schemes and promotion from within and personnel development are two key areas close to the family’s heart.
Site development continues at all locations with workshop expansion at Worlingworth and Great Dunmow, a new 10,000 square ft purpose built turf showroom at Ardleigh and many further projects in the pipe line.
We are also very proud to be able to offer our customers leading products from the industries leading manufacturers. John Deere, JCB and Vadastad are but a few main line franchises you will find offered at Tuckwell’s. We do however only believe in selling top quality products and our partners are chosen very carefully and with customers needs in mind.
Paul and James both believe that the reasons for the company’s success are much the same as they were when Len began. These are:
• Offering good reliable products that offer value for money, and a solution that makes your business more profitable, more competitive, reduces risk and that make life easier.
• Offering service aware outlets able to provide customers with the after sales care and back up required in a world where minimizing downtime is vital with ever shortening windows for farm work.
• Building a team of staff that can connect with the agricultural and Turf community and that are prepared to go the extra mile for their customers.