Kidd Machinery has been manufacturing farm equipment for some 40 years, with a reputation for making quality machinery for UK and worldwide farmers. Machines are made in Devizes, Wiltshire, combining the knowledge gained from years of experience with the latest technology and materials. From initial innovative designs, through careful construction and finished with a long-lasting quality paint, Kidd`s philosophy is to provide effective, durable machines which give years of good service. Spare parts, also made in the factory, are available for at least 10 years after models are changed.
Once renowned for its 'Double-chop' forage-harvesters, 'Clipper' mowers, straw-choppers and toppers, Kidd slipped into anonymity when it was absorbed into the giant Kverneland group in 1993.
Before that it had been one of the best-known names to serve the livestock sector since it was started in 1959 by Devizes-based engineer Archie Kidd.
He started out making heavy flat rolls and soon progressed from pasture preparation kit into forage harvesting and feeding. But times changed and Mr Kidd decided the days of trailed foragers and other low-tech kit were numbered. He sold out to Wolseley Hughes – the firm that now encompasses Build Center and Plumb Center - which, at the time, was buying up agricultural equipment makers including Parmiter and McConnel.
Fifteen years later the agricultural arm of this giant conglomerate was disbanded and Kidd caught the eye of progressive Danish firm Taarup. The company saw Kidd's dedication to the drum mower concept and liked the way the small-town British firm had managed to get such a strong hold on the domestic dealer network.
The Danes recognised that the product range needed updating and were prepared to bolster it with their own line-up, generating extra sales for themselves while helping to maintain Kidd's position in the market. Kidd machinery was soon rebranded as Taarup-Kidd with its less distinctive red colour-scheme.
But just two years later Taarup was bought by Kverneland and soon the Devizes factory was building feeders and straw-choppers for nearly every brand in the European giant's portfolio - Vicon,Taarup, and Kverneland itself.
Then in 2003 the decision was taken to sell off the Wiltshire plant and shift production to Denmark and Italy. A management buy-out took place under the banner of KFM. The plan was that the old product range would be resurrected and those dealers that had once shifted so much Kidd tackle would once more see hundreds of Devizes-built machines flooding out of their gates. The reality was different. The
market had moved on - self-propelled, precision-chop foragers were now the norm and the industry was going through turmoil with low prices and the BSE crisis to contend with. However, after suffering production quality problems overseas, Kverneland soon reappointed Kidd to turn out its horizontal-auger diet feeders under contract - as it still does. But the volume just wasn't enough and in June 2006 the company ceased trading.
Within a month, however, there was interest from a local buyer. On an industrial estate just around the corner in Devizes, Omitec - the firm that makes automotive testing equipment - was looking for someone to produce the steel cabinets that its diagnostic equipment is packaged up in. The laser-cutting machines and steel presses in the KFM plant fitted the bill perfectly, so a deal was done that saw the old Kidd factory join the Omitec fold.
The management were wise enough to see that the agricultural products still had great potential and also bought the Kidd name back from Kverneland. New Kidd on the block... Kidd machinery is back. For now the company is concentrating its efforts on toppers and straw-choppers, but plans are in place to widen the product range.
• Formed in 1959 Archie Kidd
• Made in the UK in Devizes in Wiltshire
• 1959 Archie Kidd starts out building flat rolls in the village of Seend, near Devizes, Wiltshire
• 1967 Double-chop forager introduced
• 1974 Straw-chopper launched
• 1977 Kidd is acquired by the Wolseley group along with Parmiter and McConnel. Clipper drum-mower enters production
• 1991 Kidd is sold to Danish firm - Taarup
• 1993 Kverneland acquires Taarup, including Taarup-Kidd
• 2006 Automotive testing specialist Omitec buys KFM and Devizes plant. Also acquires rights to manufacture Kidd machinery from Kverneland
• 2007 Trading as Kidd Machinery the plant produces straw choppers and toppers plus 200 diet-feeders under contract to Kverneland
• 2011 Kidd Farm Machinery formed to sell Kidd products and Twyman