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How to Join - The Concept

The idea of a machinery ring was first brought over to Scotland in the late seventies, but did not gain favour until 1987 when Scotland's first ring was set up in the Borders. Like all good ideas, the ring concept is simple. Work required to be carried out for a demander is organised by the ring, who contacts the most appropriate and nearest supplier, and charges a modest commission to cover its overheads. The prices charged between demander and supplier is open to negotiation, however most rings produce an annual price guide for members’ information.

The development of machinery rings, with their ability to provide farmers with labour and equipment to meet their seasonal demands has helped improve their financial well being by considerably reducing the capital tied up in the business. From the supplier’s standpoint, better utilisation of existing machinery over more acres or hours spreads the financial burden as well as providing a degree of extra income.

The name "Machinery Ring" is in itself somewhat restrictive. Although the core business will always be centred around the improved utilisation of farm machinery, there is no end to the possibilities open to a forward thinking machinery ring, and some examples currently on offer range from the provision of skilled labour and holiday relief to whole farm management.

This opportunity for co-operation in agriculture was not missed by SAOS and through their considerable efforts, Scotland is now served by a network of machinery rings. The first step to improving your financial future is only a phone call away, so make the commitment and reap the rewards.


A Machinery Ring matches a shortage of machinery and labour capacity on some farms with a surplus on other farms. For a supplier, this form of "Contracting" reduces the major costs of machinery ownership - interest and depreciation- on a per acre or per hour basis. Conversely the Demander does not need to own the entire range of machinery required on his farm, thereby reducing his fixed costs. Most members are suppliers of some operations and Demanders of others, allowing them to more fully utilise the machinery they own.

Recent expansion into certain commodities has allowed members to benefit from being able to source inputs through the Ring at highly competitive prices.

Farmers, contractors, self employed labour and companies supplying the agricultural industry are all eligible to join the Ring.


* Access to a vast pool of machinery and labour.

* Peak seasonal demand can be met, allowing minimum machinery ownership.

* More efficient utilisation of the machinery you own.

* New technology can be brought in without the associated massive capital expenditure.

* The Demander has a choice of Supplier, enabling established contracts to be maintained.

* A back-up will be available if a major breakdown or delay occurs with the original Supplier.

* A service list and guide price is published by most Machinery Rings on an annual basis, allowing accurate forward budgeting.

* Rings discounts on many commodities e.g. fuels, lime, and fencing materials - we use our buying power to help our members reduce their costs.

* Farmers machinery can be kept beyond its normal replacement time as in the event of a major breakdown a replacement can be brought in at short notice.


The Ring Office is the member's point of contact for all requests. Staff are there to match the requests with services available. With such a large number of members and machines, requirements are almost always met, especially when booked well in advance.

The Demander telephones the office with the service he requires; when he requires it; and if he has a preference for who undertakes the work. The office staff have all the necessary information on computer, and can therefore quickly find which members have this service available and how far they are away from the Demander. If no preference has been expressed as to who will do the work, the nearest Supplier will be tried: if he is not available or not contactable, the next nearest will be tried and so on until a Supplier can be found to do the job. Suppliers would not normally be asked to travel more than 15 miles, if they are, they would be expected to charge travelling time.


* Annual Subscription: £150 + VAT (for Full Membership as of 1st August 2017)

* Share capital upon joining: £50

* Commission: rate varies from 0% - 2% depending on service.


Machinery Ring guide prices are not fixed, but are considered, by that Ring's Board of Directors, to be a fair rate for an average job, and as such are generally adhered to. Any alteration in the price charged for a job must be agreed between the Supplier and Demander prior to commencement of the work.

On completion of a job, the Supplier fills in a work sheet in the Work Schedule book provided. After obtaining agreement on the details from the Demander the white copy is sent to the Ring Office for processing. Both parties retain the remaining copies for their information.

On receipt of the worksheet the Ring administrator invoices the job: an invoice is sent to the Demander and a self-billing invoice to the Supplier.

Payment from the Demander is collected by direct debit 21 days from the date of invoice.

Payment to the supplier is by credit transfer 28 days from the date of invoice.


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