The early days – from farming to agricultural innovation
The company’s origins can be traced back to the dark days of WWII, when poultry farmer Percy Victor Dobson – known to all as ‘PV’ – was inspired to trade hatcheries for agricultural machinery following his wartime stint as an agricultural contractor and engineer. PV threw himself wholeheartedly into supporting the war effort by transporting the local Home Guard in his cattle truck as well as mowing grass in his specially adapted, bright red Morris Cowley!
PV was a talented engineer and inventor who could turn his hand to many tasks. He manufactured tractor wheel rims at Ivy House and worked on converting tractors to Perkins diesel engines – an important business at the time. As the war drew to a close, PV started trading used tractors as well as ex-military and ex ‘War Ag’ agricultural equipment across the country. New markets emerged for the now-redundant equipment as increased activity in forestry and quarries was stimulated by post-war demand.
The post-war years – pioneering new business opportunities
In the 1950s, Dobson family members Alan and Chris joined the business, representing the Nuffield from 1957. In 1959, the company also began to sell JCB products, while 1967 brought the advent of Massey Ferguson and major advance in the range of agricultural and industrial machinery on offer. To this day, Massey Ferguson continues to be one of our primary equipment brands, not only for tractors but also Tele Handlers, Groundscare equipment, Balers, Loaders and grass equipment.
Subsequent years saw the acquisition of more franchises, including Isuzu pickup trucks, Kubota excavators and TEREX compact equipment. In the late 1970s PV Dobson acquired Bridge End Garage, complete with its Austin Rover franchise. Today, we’re proud to represent Volvo, Mazda, Renault and Dacia from a purpose-built facility that has the space and expertise to showcase the unique character of each marque, drawing customers from a wide area for manufacturer-approved parts and servicing.
Into a new century – taking on fresh challenges
A major investment in 2004 saw the inauguration of a new branch at the Snaygill Industrial Estate, Skipton. This landmark development has given the company improved local coverage in North and West Yorkshire, and cemented its reputation for outstanding service and an impressive range of ex-stock parts. Massey Ferguson was joined by Fendt in 2005. In 2017 we opened a new preparation centre at Levens for new diggers and dumpers at the site of our unloading area. Who knows what the future holds?