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Job description
Field Engineer - Agricultural Machinery Tester (NSTS Examiner)

Limited posts available to start Jan 2024.
Seasonal work Jan – end of April annually.

About SCS – Spreader and Sprayer Testing Ltd

SCS is owned and run by the Foxall family with its headquarters based on the family farm in Staffordshire. SCS offers the only nationwide NSTS (National Sprayer Testing Scheme/ National Spreader Testing Scheme) testing service in the UK with field engineers qualified to test spreaders, sprayers, slug pelleters and granular applicators. As a national company our name and reputation is well known and recognised throughout the UK. SCS has a highly skilled team of City & Guilds and NSTS qualified field engineers based right across the UK with over 250 years combined experience testing over 4500 machines annually throughout the UK.

We use bespoke testing methods and kit which exceed the requirements of the NSTS, our methods are built on 30+ years of working with machinery, fertiliser and pesticide manufacturers and importers which ensures our field engineers are the most up to date in their field. SCS not only wrote the qualifications for fertiliser spreader and slug pelleter testing in the UK, which the NSTS have adopted, but also devised the most accurate spread pattern testing methods for in field conditions, as opposed to test halls.


As the nation’s favourite NSTS testing company, SCS has an excellent working relationship with all the major machinery and agricultural chemical manufacturers and importers. Regular contact with these companies keeps SCS and its field engineers up to date with industry developments, new products and machinery improvement as and when they occur. Many machinery and agrochemical manufacturers and importers use SCS services in the development of new machinery and products, proving confidence in the service we offer.

SCS has approval from DEFRA for spreader testing in the NVZ closed periods and works closely with Natural England and many water companies through the Catchment Sensitive Farming Initiative.

SCS is the preferred supplier for many farm machinery rings and farming groups such as Woldmarsh, Anglia Farmers, Fram Farmers etc. There is no other testing company in the UK that has such successful working relationships within the agricultural and amenities industries as SCS does.

Our company has seen natural growth of approx. 10% year on year for the last 10+ years, hence the need for new field engineers.

We provide full training for all our field engineers in a supportive, flexible and friendly environment. Many of our field engineers have been with us for years and work with us in between other farming or agricultural jobs for additional income. Our field engineers say that working with SCS is a great way to earn more whilst also learning more – a win-win all round.

About the role
Field Engineer – Agricultural Machinery Tester (NSTS Examiner)

To maintain the high standard of service given to our customers, all SCS field engineers receive intensive training before they go out into the field, followed by continuous back up from our team at head office and 24/7 support from other engineers when in the field.

Key requirements of the role:

  • Able to commit to testing January - end of April each year - the bulk of testing is carried out Feb & March

  • Mechanical experience

  • An understanding of agriculture

  • Use of a suitable vehicle (4x4 preferred)- not provided by SCS

  • Mobile phone and internet access

  • Good organisation skills - can manage own diary and thinks logically

  • Supports the SCS brand ethos and values to deliver a high quality service and outcomes for all our customers in a friendly and supportive manner

  • Tray testing involves a lot of bending and lifting so good mobility is also essential

Our current field engineers are self-employed and get paid a percentage of the invoice value for work carried out. SCS covers all invoicing and money chasing. We guarantee that our field engineers are paid for the work they have completed at the end of the following month, even if the customer has not yet settled their invoice.

Field engineers can secure average earnings of circa £4,000 a month during the season, with our most experienced and established field engineers able to earn even more.

 

The testing work is seasonal and weather dependent which means we need to carry out as many tests as possible in a very short window of time.

From January to the end of April (depending on the season), if it's not windy or raining, and farmers are ready, then field engineer’s trays should be out. Testing does not fit into a 9-5 Monday - Friday schedule; SCS testers must be flexible and work with the weather & customers to ensure we get round everybody quickly and efficiently. As the testing is weather dependent and the testing window is so condensed, we often have to travel to different areas to avoid the rain/ wind. Most of our team cover areas that may include travelling a couple of hours to the jobs; this is then balanced by the jobs that are on their doorstep.

Annual Training

Once qualified and part of the team, you will be expected to attend a 1-2 day refresher training session at Rookery Farm, Staffordshire annually; this is usually held in the first week of December. HQ is always open to anyone who wants more in depth training, the kettle is always on and an engineer/ member of the office team is always available to help. We pride ourselves on offering the highest level of support possible.

Typical day for an SCS Field Engineer

In most cases a typical day for a field engineer would involve:

  • Checking the weather… No use turning up to a job if it is windy or raining as we can’t test.

  • Refresh your iPad to retrieve booking info.

  • Check the weather again (!)

  • Contact the customers to confirm booking details and the time of arrival using the SCS app to schedule in your jobs.

  • Load truck/ van with kit (most field engineers have trucks as four wheel drive is sometimes required on site and there is a fair amount of kit to carry. Some of our team have vans, and some have small trailers).
    Please note- a vehicle is NOT supplied by SCS, this is your
    responsibility

  • Travel to the job/s.

  • Carry out the test: MOT check on machine using SCS app checklist & guidance, analyse fertiliser (using crush strength tester, grader box and measuring equipment), in a field- set trays out to desired width, operator drives through spreading, collect fert from trays & visually assess in tubes. If required- make alterations to machine set-up/ settings (using advice from our app or other field engineers). Repeat drive over trays & fert collection until material is spreading evenly across whole width.

  • Where the initial spread pattern is not acceptable/ could be improved, you will have access to our extensive database of spreader settings, where you can find all the settings our team have previously had success with, so you can quickly refine and improve the spread pattern.

  • You will be paired up with a senior field engineer who will be able to support and guide you while you learn on the job. We also have an active WhatsApp group to ask for advice giving you  the whole SCS team at the end of the phone

  • Fill in details on iPad: all parts of the test are recorded on our app. This is used to generate the report for the customer, and calculate your pay at the end of the month, so attention to detail is crucial. You will receive training on our app, it’s user friendly and we have 24/7 support for when you’re using it.

We pride ourselves in providing all of our team with the most up-to-date spread settings and tools to access help quickly. This sets us apart from competitors and ensures our field engineers can work efficiently and quickly - paramount when we have so many machines to test in a short window!

It costs SCS over £5000 to train a new field engineer by putting them through the necessary qualifications and providing them with the full NSTS approved kit. There are no start-up costs or any hidden fees to joining SCS, just your time and commitment to learning the role and our reporting system.


If you would like an informal chat over the phone or to come and speak to us in person and meet any of our existing field engineers, we are happy to arrange a suitable date and time.

Our field engineer roles are a fantastic opportunity for the right people to become part of our friendly and rewarding team.

 

If you are interested, please forward your CV and any other useful details (work experience/qualifications) to Charlotte.Foxall@spreadcheck.com 

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