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farm machinery repairs and service? Transport?

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we use some old (antique) farm machinery such as horse drawn mowing machine, hay turning machine, hay baler etc.

Who does maintenance and servicing for those on Shetland? Anybody on Unst or Yell?

Or would it be better to get them all serviced and repairs done in Germany before we move? Spare parts for (German maker) Fella, Bautz and Fahr I should probably best bring with me?


Also some of our equipment like the hay cart still have old wheels made out of wood and iron, carriage shafts are mainly wood....

Is there a cartwright (business or experienced amateur)?


And about transport: As far as I have seen some (farming) equipment is extremely expensive in UK. So it might probably be the cheapest way to fill a lorry with my equipment instead of replacing it?

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You'd probably be best getting as much servicing and repairs as possible done before you leave Germany. Old machinery like that more or less vanished in Shetland by the 70's, and it was all generally British makes anyway, so spares will be virtually impossible to source here. Any maintenance/repairs/servicing of it, the best you could hope for in Shetland would be an enthusiastic and reasonably knowledgable amateur.


There are enthusiasts and clubs on the UK mainland who still keep old stuff like that for show purposes etc, and are generally very knowledgable about it, and its maintenance and repair, but the number of individuals and range of machines covered are both very small in Shetland.


If you bring you machinery with you, you are very probably looking at always having to source your spares from Germany, Fahr is a known make over here, but only really for more modern machines. That said any Fahr agent would probably be able obtain what you needed, but they'd very likely have to source it as a special order from Germany, with them taking their cut on it too, so you'd probably be quicker and cheaper ordering it up direct from Germany yourself. Fella and Bautz are makes that if not unheard of in the UK are extremely uncommon.


You're right, farm machinery can be absurdly expensive in the UK, mainly depending on what you're looking for and where and from whom you buy it, but if you're prepared to put in the time and leg work, bargains can be had too. If you want something specific and want it now, that's where you'll end up sigining a big cheque, but if you're prepared to bide your time, put the word out, and also check out sales and suppliers that are away from the mainstream, you may be surprised at the bargains to be had.


You're rather placing yourself between a rock and a hard place though, shipping your existing machinery over might well be the cheaper option in the short term, but in the longer term the difficulties in sourcing spare parts, and the additional cost of having them shipped here, plus the difficulties in finding anyone local to do work on the machines, especially if any use uniquely designed mechanisms etc, is liable to cancel out the gain.


Anything sourced in the UK, while possibly initially more expensive, the spare parts are relatively easily and quickly sourced, and more folk are experienced in doing work on them.


There is no cartwright here as far as I know. There are any number of very talented woodworkers though, so you shouldn't have a problem finding someone very competent at making whatever wooden parts you may need. The ironwork is a different matter though, as the only professional blacksmith retired and no-one has taken his place. Small ironwork probably wouldn't be too much of a problem for experienced amateurs, things like iron hoops for the rims and hubs though, or axles, I doubt anybody here is either set up to handle or has the experience to make. The former blacksmith still does occasional jobs last I heard, so as a short term thing that might be okay, but I would imagine those are of his own choosing and on his own timeline, and will only continue for a limited time in to the future.

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excellent tuskers

It's not very often that I have to look up an English word in the dictionary...

but what is a tusker?

The only definition I found was "elephant bull" but that can't be correct.

Think he probably means tushkar, which is the Shetland name of a particular implement for cutting peats. This is the first image I could find in a hurry:


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its a peat spade. i just know he makes a very good job of them and i bet he would fancy a challenge with other small iron jobs. if your going to be a crofter your going to get very acquainted with one. its not an english word. i would not recommend large male elephants for peat digging they may make a mess of it.

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