ESSEX — A mist rolled across the lush landscape, languid tendrils that slithered between the hedgerows and drenched the morning in weariness.
Jock Bryce sipped his coffee as a pair of border collies danced underfoot and admired the landscape from the gently-lit farmhouse.
The Scotsman arrived at dawn after journeying across a lake where monsters dwelled.
“Perfect Scottish weather,” he said.
His host was exuberant. Sandy Lewis’ pale blue eyes shone as he verbally bounced from walkie talkie to mobile phone to landlines, speaking multiple languages and radiating an aura of quivering joy.
The cattle farmer had received confirmation that the Bryce Powershift HD180, a revolutionary new fencepost-driving machine, had just touched down on American soil.
Delivered by Sandro Galasso, a Québécois truck driver, the HD180 waited quietly in a dark shipping crate under a bruise-colored sky on Route 22.
“This is an offer to help farmers across the region,” said Lewis.
“It’s a technical innovation,” added Bryce, who ticked off a list of accolades nabbed by the unit, including several LAMMA Awards — that’s the jewel in the United Kingdom’s farm machinery crown — and top honors at the Royal Welsh, Europe’s largest agricultural show.
Necessity is the mother of invention, said the Edinburgh resident, who was clad in traditional attire, including a tartan kilt, flowing sporran and sharp black ghillie brogues paired with a violet polo shirt.
Laborers can put up twice as much fencing with the machine.
Most units are hinged to the back of tractors and require three men to drive posts:
One to drive the tractor, another to operate the device and a third to hand over the posts.
The HD180 saves time, labor and fuel, Bryce explained, three scarce commodities for the modern agricultural worker that are rare in the developed world.