MANY of you will have seen last month’s magazine, with B Price Mus-Max Specialist in pole position on the cover. A smaller news item inside the magazine explained that the company was now the UK agent for Mus-Max machines. So, just who is ‘B Price Mus-Max Specialist’? Read on and all will be revealed.

Ben Price, 29, grew up on a family farm and, as a young lad, worked for an agricultural contractor, so he has always been around machinery. He found quite early on that he particularly enjoyed the challenges that came with keeping the machines running.

With a firm grounding in machinery, in 2011 Ben started working at DOW as a welder and fabricator. He took a short break, travelling to Canada for three months to gain some work experience in a different country. When Ben returned home, he once again went to work for DOW. As Ben explains, “This was at a time when the biomass industry had just started to gain momentum.

Mus-Max had become one of the leading manufactures of woodchippers in Europe. I was appointed to the role of workshop manager very quickly and I became the main mechanic on all our machines in this country and Northern Ireland.”

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, DOW ceased trading in the latter part of 2018. Following this, and as a result of Ben’s extensive knowledge of the whole range of Mux-Max machines, Mus-Max Austria offered him the sole UK agency to further develop the strong reputation that machines already have in the UK.

With some very good customer relationships already built up, Ben had no qualms about accepting the agency, and began in earnest in January 2019. “I was extremely happy to be given this opportunity. It will enable me to show how much I have to offer to the industry, and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead of me.”

Ben has a very good relationship with Mus-Max Austria, both on a personal and professional level. “We are committed to providing the best service that we can offer and work very well alongside one another in order to achieve this.”

The UK agency covers the whole of the UK, including Northern Ireland, with machines located right across this area. Ben says he is always looking for companies or individuals who are in need of top-quality, reliable, machines. “I know I can provide the right machine to assist their business to grow in this competitive industry.”

Ben has made several sales since taking over the UK agency, which have included new and second-hand machines. “My hunt for the second-hand machines has taken me all over the UK as well as to France and Germany, not to mention, of course, Mus-Max’s homeland of Austria. 

“The client base for the Mus-Max chipper is vast and varies from a private estate with a boiler wanting to produce their own quality chip to companies supplying course chip to paper mills and gasification plants. The biomass industry is growing fast and I intend to make sure that all my customers are able to keep up with demand.”

In order to get up and running initially, Ben purchased a long-wheelbase Renault Master to use as his service van. This has a fully equipped workshop on board, including most parts required to get a customer up and running quickly in the event of a breakdown. Ben can provide an express delivery of parts within 24 hrs.

Ben has also taken on a workshop as a base to work from, in Ludlow, Shropshire, so that customers can visit him if the need arises.  However, he does tend to find that for most of his work he generally travels to the machine, rather than the other way round. “This saves downtime for the customer and gets the machine back up and running much quicker,” he explains.

The biggest change for Ben since taking on the sole UK agency is that he has gone from being the main mechanic, with an element of servicing and support, to becoming the main sales contact too. “I have had to adapt quite quickly to take on the sales aspect for all the available machines. But I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I love this part of the job because I really enjoy meeting with customers. I can listen to their needs and then put together some ideas of what I believe would be the best machine for them. I know how important it is to listen to customers, to fully understand exactly what it is that they want and put together a deal that not only fulfils their criteria but that is also the best for their business.

“I have to admit it can be something of a juggling act to make sure that I am available for support on machines while I am out making sales. That said, my priority is to make sure that I am always available when any customer is in need, no matter what. I love the challenge and enjoy the work and it is important to me that I am available to support my customers with anything.”

To suddenly be in the spotlight, ‘the man in charge’, must be quite daunting.  “I think I am adapting well to it,” explained Ben. “Mainly because I love being busy, and it is very important to me to get the job done no matter what it takes. I am willing to work through the night if I need to. Knowing that I have found a solution – whether it is fixing a problem or selling the right machine to the right customer – gives me great satisfaction and that’s what it’s all about.

Ben’s biggest achievement so far, since taking on the agency, is the sale of the first W11 Hack Truck in England which he is extremely proud of. “I am confident that it will provide the customer with exactly what he’s been looking for.”

Mus-Max offer a good variety of machines, running from a WT7 to a WT12. Machines can either be tractor PTO driven, fitted with their own diesel engine or driven off a special type of truck. A list of optional extras is available, including hydraulic-driven blowers, auto-lube systems and chipper controls blended into the crane controls to name but a few. A different choice of blade type helps the customer to produce exactly the size and quality of chip they want. 

Ben will be attending several different forestry shows over the coming months to make sure that he introduces as many new customers as possible to the Mus-Max brand. He aims to show people exactly what Mus-Max machines are capable of, such as the top-grade chip quality and high-performance output and how diverse the machines are. From the WT7 to the WT12 Hack truck there really is a machine for every job!

The final word goes to Ben. “With the biomass industry growing as it is, and the reliability of Mus-Max machines, I see a good future for my company. Working together with Mus Max Austria and both existing and new customers, we will strive to move forwards, accepting the challenges we may face in what is a very competitive industry. By working together, I am confident we can meet those challenges head-on, helped by the fact that I believe we have one of the leading, innovative, high-tech woodchippers in Europe.”