Serving the Farming Industry across East Anglia for 35 Years
Two of the most recognisable names in UK agricultural drainage are celebrating 23 years of working together. The relationship began when DMJ Drainage managing... Drainage partnership celebrates anniversary

Two of the most recognisable names in UK agricultural drainage are celebrating 23 years of working together.

The relationship began when DMJ Drainage managing director Darren Howell bought his first Mastenbroek agricultural drainage trencher in 2001. The company has since grown into a multi-million-pound business employing 150 people.

Today, DMJ Drainage operates more than 35 trenchers, excavators, tractors, dumper trucks and gravel carts. With 12 Mastenbroek machines spanning drainage trenchers, gravel carts and ploughs, no other operator owns more of the Boston-made machines.

Established in the UK in 1965 to sell and service Dutch drainage trenchers, Mastenbroek began UK production in Boston in 1977. Now 47 years later, the company’s machines are used worldwide to deliver agricultural drainage installations and utility cabling projects.

Race course

As part of DMJ Drainage’s continued investment and reinvestment philosophy, the company recently purchased a Mastenbroek 10/12D trencher after installing drainage on the race track for the Jockey Club at Southwell race course.

“The ground conditions were not suited to our Mastenbroek 30/20, which weighs about 20 tonnes and is not as manoeuvrable as the smaller eight-tonne 10/12D,” says Mr Howell. “At the time, we didn’t have the orders to justify buying our own 10/12D, so we hired one.

“I was so impressed with its performance, the minimal contact area of the tracks, and how easy it was to move around the site that I saw an opportunity and bought one of our own. Since then, we’ve gone from strength to strength, completing several similar projects.”

A recent project at Market Rasen has seen DMJ install 4km of 80mm perforated land drainage pipe at a depth of 800mm at 10m apart. This was then backfilled with 20mm gravel within 100mm of the surface.

As well as leading to several racecourse projects, DMJ’s 10/12D has allowed it to win work in other new areas such as caravan and leisure parks. It comes with a sports field kit, allowing excavated spoil to be transferred to trailers or dumpers and taken off the field,

DMJ has also recently invested in a Mastenbroek 45/20 single-blade drainage plough in a somewhat unusual move. Described by one DMJ driver as a “monster”, the powerful plough has surprisingly low running costs.

The Mastenbroek 45/20 plow was last used at Heneage Farm, Hainton, in the Lincolnshire Wolds. Some 14km of 80mm perforated land drainage pipe were laid to a depth of 900mm with porous backfill within 300mm of the surface – much faster than an ordinary trencher.

“The Mastenbroek 45/20 plough features an EU stage 5 Volvo 13 litre, 462hp engine, which we calculate is using 35 litres of diesel an hour, which is amazing. As well as being incredibly fuel efficient, its wearing parts are much cheaper to replace than those on a trencher.”

The 45/20 plough unit, with its single link with slew and tilt control, features a replaceable cutting edge and point that can reach depths of up to 1.8m with six degrees of linkage slew either side of centre and 12 degrees of linkage side tilt.

Quality finish

Despite using a ripper leg to cut the ground, the Mastenbroek 45/20 plough has surprised DMJ in terms of the tidiness of the spoil it produces and the high-quality finish it leaves.

“The Mastenbroek 45/20 plow lifts the ground in formation, so all the spoil goes back in formation. We used the plow for one agricultural job and were amazed to see winter wheat thriving a few months after the plow had lifted the ground.”

As well as the quality finish and running costs, DMJ operators have also enjoyed working in a large cab, which is comfortable and convenient, with two doors allowing the operator to access the left and right walkways easily.

“We’ve worked with Mastenbroek from the very beginning as they make an excellent machine and are only just down the road from us, so it’s good to be able to support another Lincolnshire business,” says Mr Howell.