Celebrating 25 years of Double A

By Alistair April 27, 2021 07:16 Updated

The Double A Trading Company is celebrating 25 years in business. We speak to managing director Sandy Armit to find out more about this Fife-based company.

The Double A Trading Company, or as it is better known, Double A is owned by Sandy and Aileen Armit, who started their business working from home in 1996. Today they have depots in Cupar, Aberdeen and Glasgow and employ 40 staff. Double A is one of the largest turf dealerships in the UK and their three locations allow them to serve customers with a wide range of market leading turfcare equipment including John Deere, Timberwolf, Campey, Gianni Ferrari, Lastec, GreenTek, Ferris and Reform. Double A is also the UK distributor for Tru-Turf Greens Rollers and Sweep N Fill Brushes.

In 2011 Double A was awarded the title of UK Professional Turfcare Dealer of the Year, with the judges commenting: “The Double A Trading Company is a highly professional operation with excellent management and total commitment to after sales support.” This was followed up with a runner up position in the 2019 awards.

As a dedicated turf dealer, Double A has built up a complete portfolio of products and services for its customers covering all aspects of the business, including service contracts, contract hire, repair and maintenance plans, detailed estimates, overnight parts delivery and a range of finance options.

“Our professional customers are looking for a complete package from suppliers and we strive every day to make sure we are able to meet their demands,” says Sandy, who continues to drive the business forward from the company head office in Cupar.

“As we have grown, we have continued to look to source high quality machinery to give our customers the tools they require to improve their grounds along with the after sales service and training they need to make sure their machines are running at optimum performance. One of our most popular services is our fixed price service contracts which are tailored to suit individual customers’ needs. Whether customers are working their machines for 100 hours or for over 1,000 hours each year, we can tailor a service plan to suit and allow them to spread the cost over 12 monthly payments. This takes away the issue of large service bills, particularly large winter services at a time when income may be lower.”

Finance is also important and Double A uses John Deere Financial to provide the flexible finance customers require to spread the cost of operating equipment. “Many customers continue to operate old machinery, spending thousands of pounds keeping them running when they could use that money to finance either a new or good-used replacement,” says Sandy. “John Deere Financial has helped to save our customers money by offering low interest flexible finance on the acquisition of both new and used equipment. We have often found that the money saved by not repairing old equipment goes a long way to cover the monthly finance cost of a new or used more efficient and reliable machine.

“Our used equipment business continues to grow with customers who are unwilling or unable to afford the cost of new equipment now increasingly looking for good, refurbished equipment which meets their needs but without the high-ticket price of a new machine. This type of purchase can work for many customers when the machine is purchased along with a service contract ensuring the machine is serviced correctly during this ‘second life’.

“Recently John Deere have launched Expert Check, a multipoint machine check programme which we can carry out on all types of John Deere equipment, with this multi-point check customers can see that any used machine we sell has been fully serviced, checked and ready for work.”

Not content with success in the Scottish market, Double A has been distributing Tru-Turf rollers across the UK since 2007. “The Tru-Turf roller has been a great fit for our business,” say’s Sandy. “We started by looking after Tru-Turf in Scotland and when the opportunity came to expand into distribution it seemed to be the right move at the right time and it has worked well for us and for Tru-Turf.” Double A added the distribution of Sweep N Fill brushes in 2014 and again this has been a great success for the company.

2020 saw Double A and John Deere win the contract to supply Carnoustie Golf Links. “This was a fantastic contract for us to win and we look forward to being part of the John Deere / Carnoustie Golf Links partnership for many years to come,” says Sandy.

When speaking about the move and the technology available from John Deere, Carnoustie Links Superintendent Craig Boath said: “You cannot shy away from technology; you have to embrace it and use it to benefit you and the golf courses. GPS sprayers are a prime example where the most up to date technology can help your efficiency in terms of saving time and products whilst spraying precisely the area selected.”

During the second half of 2020 Double A delivered a full fleet of John Deere mowing equipment, tractors, utility vehicles and GPS sprayers to Carnoustie along with complimentary products from its other suppliers including Tru-Turf Greens Rollers, Dakota Top Dressers and GreenTek Dyna Seeders, Thatchaway Units and Trailed Brushes, and a Lastec Articulator.

Being in business for 25 years does not mean standing still for Double A. 2020 saw a major expansion of the business with the opening of a new purpose-built facility in Kintore, Aberdeenshire. “We had been renting premises in Aberdeen since 2012 and had been looking for the right site for a few years,” say’s Sandy. “We started construction in June 2019 and although Covid-19 slowed progress we opened our doors in September 2020.” The new premises allows Double A to stock more products on-site and gives customers a full range of services including parts, servicing, repairs, cylinder grinding, sales information and machine finance.

As if opening Kintore was not enough for the company, 2020 also saw Double A purchase fellow John Deere dealer Nairn Brown (Glasgow) Ltd. “We had been in discussions with Nairn Brown for a number of months and although the middle of the Covid-19 restrictions would not sound like the best time to be buying another company between ourselves, John Deere and Nairn Brown, we decided that we needed to look long term and do the right thing for Double A, Nairn Brown’s staff and John Deere customers in the west of Scotland. Since we took over on the 1st of October we have invested heavily in the business and are very pleased with the positive attitude from staff and from customers putting their faith and placing orders with the new Double A West team.”

Looking to the future Sandy believes that customers will be looking hard at the whole life cost of their equipment and what ‘lifetime support’ they can expect from their dealer. “When budgets are tight it makes sense for customers to look at where their long-term support is coming from, machines are expected to last longer and be continually reliable nowadays and whether that is new, used or refurbished equipment, customers want best value and minimum downtime. That is where reliable technically advanced equipment and timely supply of parts, on-site service and training become the most important factors when purchasing equipment and we look forward to continue growing our business and providing our customers with the products and services they demand from a professional turf dealer.

“To finish with, I must pay tribute to our existing staff who have played a major part in our success over the 25 years, many who have been with us for most of those years. That stability means that we know our customers and they know us, and we have built many, many great relationships with our customers and our suppliers over the years and look forward to continuing this as we look forward to the next 25 years.”

The Double A Trading Company has its head office in Eden Valley Business Park, Cupar, Fife and outlets in Kintore Business Park, Kintore, Aberdeenshire and Busby Station, Busby, Glasgow.

Telephone: 0808 196 2222

Website: www.doublea.co.uk


By Alistair April 27, 2021 07:16 Updated

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