“Working on our livestock farm from the age of 10, followed by work experience on a farm in East Anglia was a good grounding to learn and experience the needs of the farming community. Throughout these years I witnessed the highs and lows of ‘Customer Service’ offered to farmers by many companies. This experience would be the basis on how one day I would run my own business”
Being a farmer’s son, from the age of 10 my first responsibility was to feed and water the animals after school, certainly more fun than homework albeit it still had to be done! The animal husbandry was to become my key job every winter and in the summer brought different tasks, one of which developed into a passion for sheep dog trials. Each evening after the chores and definitely prior to homework I would run my dog, Vic, who would do almost anything and a great asset to the farm. We participated in many trials winning a few trophies along the way.
In recognition of my hard work and constant nagging Mum purchased our first Honda second hand ATC110 (3-wheel) in 1981 from Rody Rees, the Honda Dealer in Lampeter. The 110, Vic and myself were a great team; the three of us entered a special class of sheep dog trials.
Like other farmers, we discovered many uses for an ATC and soon we were looking for a larger machine so off to Rody Rees and an ATC185 found its way to our farm. The 185 was a great working machine and remained on our farm for years. I managed to convince Mum the 185 should go with me to East Anglia for my 10 month work experience.
It was whilst working with irrigation systems in East Anglia that the seed was sown to start what we all now know was a revolution in farmyard waste disposal but the luxury of sitting in a tractor cab rolling the slurry pipes was just a ‘pipe dream’.
In 1988 I started with 500 meters of (cheap) ‘lay flat’ hose and a second hand water irrigator as to the possibilities of disposal of farm slurry. This was an increasingly serious problem on our farm as it was on other farms. As with many new ideas, I did not realise the potential and not helped by many who believed I was mad! The work was done by hand, laying the pipes, moving the gun and rolling up full pipes of liquid farmyard manure!! I soon realised that if I wanted to provide farmers with my services I needed serious help in the form of a new 4-wheel Honda TRX350D, my first new ATV!
What a revolution as within 12 months I had developed a system where we arrived on site with our TRX350D’s and specialist trailers enabling us to travel throughout Wales. The ATVs worked every day in most atrocious conditions and soon learned that a stitch in time saves nine as I could not afford to be without our ATVs so I set up a regular service plan with Rody Rees to ensure our down time was at a minimum.
Following years of outstanding service from Rody Rees Motors the opportunity came in 1999 to buy the business and as they say….. ”I was so impressed I bought the company”!
On the 1st October 1999 I purchased Rody Rees Motors, located in Bridge Street, Lampeter. The premises were situated on the main street with a shop window and door. On entering it was like Doctor Who’s Tardis and it certainly felt I was embarking on unknown travels! From the front door the depth of the shop went through to the street at the rear. Within the premises was a large 3 storey building divided into showroom, storeroom and workshop. Customers bringing ATVs to the premises had to either park on the pavement or go along the narrow back streets avoiding the neighbours’ cars, pets and sometimes neighbours! We rented garages from neighbours to store our second hand and our customers ATVs and quickly realised that to take this business forward new premises had to be found.
The business growth continued and after 3 years we had the opportunity to bid for a site set in 4 acres, formerly a Massey Fergusson Dealership. As an agricultural machinery business the premises were ideal, consisting of a showroom, ‘fully equipped’ workshop, 2 storerooms, telephone system and computers – just simply move in. After months of sorting out a deal, I finally, I received a telephone call of a lifetime confirming Daltons ATVs Ltd had been successful and I could now pursue my dream to have the best ATV Dealership. We gave the premises a ‘face lift’, by painting inside and out, reorganising the workshop and showroom. Daltons ATVs Ltd now had premises that were idea for an ATV Centre. In May 2003 Dalton’s ATVs Ltd moved 6 miles north east of Lampeter to Talsarn. Photos of the site and premises appear throughout our website.
My passion for farming is as strong as ever and keeps me fully occupied at weekends. During the week it is simply a case of farming by phone with the help of two reliable very hard working men overseen by my Mother…..Mrs “D”. We manage 100 suckler cows and thereafter take their calves on to 18 to 24 month store cattle. We run 450 Lleyn and Lleyn cross ewes and fatten their lambs off with roots and grass. This passion is a major benefit to both my customers and me as I am conscious of their needs through my farming experience resulting in mutual respect. As a farmer and ATV Dealer I am fully aware that when the pressure is on urgent action is necessary and my Team will respond accordingly.
In 2006 we took on the Yamaha ATV and Utility Vehicle Franchise; this included the small and powerful Rhino. This was another step to fulfil my vision of establishing a one-stop ATV, Utility Vehicle and Attachment Centre to supply our customers leading brands and products.
We, the Dalton’s Team, are very proud to work alongside all our Franchises and between us supply a range of industrial leading products for the best customer experience. The Dalton’s Team consist of 16 highly motivated and talented people, the majority having been with Dalton’s for many years. Our Team have enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of all the products we sell and we constantly strive to maintain and exceed customer expectation.
As I reflect on my journey from a schoolboy working on the farm to the work experience in East Anglia, developing a Slurry Disposal Business, buying Rody Rees Motors and more recently setting up Dalton’s ATV Centre, none of this could have happened without the help and guidance provided by Rody and all the people around me during each step and so to you all……. DIOLCH YN FAWR, THANK YOU!
Rody once said to me, “During my time as an ATV Dealer I have met many farmers who have become good friends – the same will happen to you”…….How right he was!
Now, my thoughts move on to the next phase of my journey………….