Episode 98


From an apprentice himself, Ken Smyth is to today general service manager at leading dealership Ernest Doe Ltd, overseeing the service departments and transport fleet at Doe's 19 branches with 180 technicians and over 160 vehicles.

He has overall responsibility for the company’s service provision for agricultural machinery, construction equipment, professional turfcare machinery, garden machinery and viticulture, small tractors and machinery for fruit growers and vineyards.

Ken talks about his early days as an apprentice, his work overseas and of then joining a manufacturer before returning to the dealer trade. He describes the recruitment into Doe’s Apprenticeship scheme and how ‘it is never too young’ to start 'planting the seeds' amongst school pupils about the exciting opportunities offered by the land-based engineering industry – once they understand what is meant by the term.

He says “No other industry provides you with such a wide range of skill-sets. It will teach you more than you will ever learn doing anything else”

Ernest Doe Ltd

We Are Land-based Engineering  

About the Podcast

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The farm and grass machinery business

About your host

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Chris Biddle

Chris is an experienced journalist specialising in the farm and grass machinery market. He has worked for a major tractor manufacturer and been a managing director of a farm and grass machinery dealership in the West Country.
In 1988, he launched trade magazine, Service Dealer followed by TurfPro in 1998, selling both titles to Land Power Publications in 2015.
He was editor of Landwards, the professional journal of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) from 2008 until 2019 and is the recipient of the 2020 IAgrE Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Land-Based industry.
Chris lives in Salisbury with his wife Trish, and is an avid cricket fan and member of the MCC for over 55 years.