Categories: Articles, MechanisationPublished On: 6th November 2019

JDI still going strong after 60 years of serving John Deere

By 5 min read


JDI is the oldest John Deere agent in the country, founded in 1960. They distribute a wide range of products and services to make the life of the farmer easier and more profitable.

The popular John Deere Implemente (JDI) exhibit was a major hit at NAMPO Cape. The managing director, Emilius Tomlinson, tells something about the company: “It is the oldest John Deere agency in the country owned by the same family. We’ve been in existence since 1960 when my father and my uncle Simon founded the company in Swellendam with Lindenberg Tomlinson.”

JDI grew from the one branch in Swellendam to the present six branches. In 1983 the JDI branch was opened in Bredasdorp, and Hankey followed in 2003, Cradock in 208, Addo in 2010 and George in 2016. The firm is looking forward to open their seventh branch in Kirkwood next year. The company, which was founded as a family business, grew to such a major undertaking and it was decided in 2012 to sell 50% of the equity to Senwes. This gives JDI a further competitive advantage, enabling them to stock a bigger product range ensuring better service to farmers.

During the NAMPO Cape show JDI launched the new series of John Deere M4000 self-propelled sprayers.

Jason Tomlinson, precision farming manager, and Driaan Schwartz, sales manager of JDI, are proud of the efficient implements they market and which were there to be inspected by farmers during NAMPO Cape in Bredasdorp.

Driaan Schwartz, sales manager, says there are three sprayers in the M4000 series:

• The M4025 is the smallest in the range with a tank of 2 500 litres and an engine with an output of 149 kW.

• The tank of the M4030 holds 3 000 litres and the engine output is 183 kW.

• The biggest model is the M4040, which has a 4 000 litre tank and a four valve diesel engine delivering 205 kW. With the turbo booster this can be increased to 215 kW.

All four wheels of all the models in the range are driven hydrostatically. The farmer can choose between a 30 metre steel boom and one of 36 metres with carbon fibre arms.

The John Deere M4040 self-propelled sprayer is the main showpiece of the M4000 series.

All models in the M4000 series carry the latest technology which prevents overlaps and omitting sections. This ensures that all plants will be sprayed, protects plants against too high application, and helps the farmer to lower input costs. The combination of John Deere ExactApply™ and the smart turn adjustment system control the application over the total length of the sprayer arms, thus ensuring the most effective application of spray during all movements of the sprayer.

Die ExactApply™ system adjusts the application according to the speed of the machine and the farmer can change sprayer heads from the cabin to ensure that he applies a constantly correct drop size.

Apart from John Deere products, JDI also distributes products from JCB and Stihl to farmers in their operating area.

The fourth generation integrated control system is user-friendly and makes it easy to control the sprayer. Farmers often has a short window period in which they have to complete the spraying activity. The pneumatic suspension of the M4000 sprayer range ensures an easy ride and makes it possible to spray at a higher speed. The sprayer boom has been designed to ensure minimum deviation in movement. This ensures a more even application with less wear and tear on the moving parts of the sprayer. The higher ground clearance of the sprayer and boom reduces the risk of damaging either boom or plants.

Jason Tomlinson, manager of JDI’s precision farming department, says the technology of the sprayer, combined with the advanced JD Link program, also facilitates the task of the farmer. All sprayers are accompanied by 5 years’ membership of the JD Link program. This allows continuous communication between the sprayer and the JDI control centre in Swellendam. The sprayer relays codes to the control centre, where personnel receive and process it.

The impressive JDI exhibit at NAMPO Cape in Bredasdorp was a popular venue for farmers to listen and learn.

Should anything go wrong with the sprayer, one of three colour codes is transmitted to the machine cabin:

Blue indicates that something has to be checked, but it is not urgent;

Orange indicates that something requires urgent attention; and

Red indicates danger.

As soon as the control room receives the red code, the system transmits the location of the sprayer, as well as what the problem is, to the nearest mechanic and he hurries to the scene to solve the problem. The whole process has been automated relieving the farmer of having to do anything or make any calls.

Not merely toys! These exact replicas of the real thing in miniature will definitely inspire a boy to take his first steps in becoming a fully-fledged farmer one day.

The JDI motto is: “Always ready to serve.”

For this reason their after-sales service is part of the pride of the company. Every branch is fully staffed with a sales team to provide clients with only the best advice and service. The mechanics go to the farm to service and maintain equipment on the farm. With the aid of the smart JD Link system there have been instances where the mechanical section knew of problems even before the farmer realised it.

“There is always somebody available and willing to help,” says Driaan. “It is so that farming does not wait for weekends or holidays to pass. This comprehensive service is part of the success recipe responsible for where JDI stands today.”

The JDI people are pleased with the support that was experienced at NAMPO Cape. Apart from a number of tractors and other implements sold there, they simply enjoy the hob-nob with the farmers, finding out their needs, and to show what JDI can offer them. Apart from John Deere, JDI is also area agents for Stihl, LEMKEN, JCB and Strautman.

Contact the JDI head office in Swellendam on 028-514-2700, or send an email message to To find information about the other five JDI branches, visit the website

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