Dependability above all

Hermann Schreibmaier in Kraubath, Austria has run a very successful contract services company for 27 years now. His credo is absolute dependability in customer service.


“The Ultrafex is just the right size for my jobs, and is also a good fit with my smaller 150 hp tractors. It also lets us do special orders, like on level browsing fields for game.”

Hermann Schreibmaier

In 1989 Schreibmaier started operations with a single round bale press. He added to his machine park every three to four years to keep pace with growth. By 2005 he could no longer run the company as a sideline to his farm, so he became a professional service provider. “But I still have 20 milk cows and 40 steers in the stall.” He likes having a backup plan.

Out to pasture

Nowadays Schreibmaier has three permanent employees, and adds temporary workers during busy periods. “We do 70 percent of our work on pastureland,” he says of his major source of business. He handles it with four round bale presses, two loading trailers and a new self-propelled shredder. “The rest of the time we work on fields.” For maize he offers almost the full range of services from planting to harvesting, with sowing, ploughing, spreading and shredding. The only thing he leaves to somebody else is threshing. He has six tractors from 150 to 250 hp, and works only within a day’s travel. “70 percent of our work is in the Loeben area, not more than 30 to 40 kilometres away,” he says of his local area focus. Exceptions include maize planting in Ennstal, which can take him up to 80 kilometres away.


Always reliable

“The most important thing in this business is punctuality. You can’t keep customers waiting.” Schreibmaier leaves no doubt about that. And: “If I say I’m going to show up, I show up.” That is most certainly a major reason he has been so successful. “For ensilage in the summer the time of day is critical. You can’t be late.” Customers also like the fact that he is available at short notice and almost around the clock. “Customers do in fact call me from 6 AM to 9 PM” he says of his long working day. “If I’m not able to take the call, I call back as quickly as I can.” Schreibmaier is also flexible about repairs. “We do over 90 percent of the work ourselves, and have our own workshop and spare parts stock. That way our machines are ready to go to work again quickly if something happens.”


New ideas

While he’s busy with all this, Hermann Schreibmaier also finds time to work on his brand. All his vehicles are in company colours and bear the company logo. “It’s very important to me that customers recognize my machines,” he says of his reason for making the extra effort. For two years now he’s also been paying attention to his online presence. His website stays updated, and he and his employees are always posting new videos of their work on his Facebook page. “The young generation of farmers order services almost exclusively online these days. Last year I offered the new machine only on Facebook and quickly had three orders in hand,” said Schreibmaier of this increasingly vital communications channel.


A new machine

Hermann Schreibmaier also has plenty of experience with Farmtech. Ten years ago he used a Megafex temporarily for spreading manure. Through his good relationship with Farmtech dealer Steinkellner Landmaschinentechnik in Obdach, the company’s machines came back up in discussion. “They met me halfway and lent me a Megafex for testing. But it was really too big for what I need,” he says. However, that led to the idea of using the smaller Ultrafex 1600, which he was also able to test thoroughly. “The Ultrafex is just the right size for my jobs, and is also a good fit with my smaller 150 hp tractors. It also lets us do special orders, like on level browsing fields for game,” he says in praise of the new machine. “The spreading unit and spread pattern are flawless, and the machine pulls very easily,” he continues, but not without adding an idea for an improvement. “They might want to come up with a way to address the nose weight for use on steeper slopes. Otherwise the weight distribution can cause problems with the rear axle loading.” He pauses, and then continues: “A smaller spreader, maybe a Superfex 700 or 800, would also be nice.” Farmtech Sales Director and development head Thomas Fössl takes careful notes.

A look ahead

In future Hermann Schreibmaier aims to maintain the level of service he currently provides, since it would be hard to improve on it. “Right now we can ensilage 50 hectares in 24 hours. We couldn’t really do much more.” He’s basically satisfied with the status quo. “My market share in the region is very high, so expansion isn’t really possible at this point.” He has some worries though. The low price of milk is a big one. “90 percent of my customers are dairy farmers. Right now nobody’s having problems, but who knows how things are going to develop. Luckily most of the farms here do mixed agriculture and also forestry.” He’s happy about the flexibility this offers. “It lets me be optimistic about the future.”