A day in the life of ...

A day in the life of ...

Four families in Germany tell their story. Find out how farmers and contractors achieve more success with PÖTTINGER. The first family in this series runs a contractor business and a dairy farm in Northrhein Westfalia.

The Thelen Family

The Thelen Family

Contractor and dairy farmer, Kall | Germany

Hans-Willi Thelen (TPS Contractors). Together with his family, he operates a contractor business and a farm with 150 diary cattle under organic management. With PÖTTINGER machinery he creates quality time for other things, enjoys his work and offers the best forage quality and operational reliability.


The Thelen Family talk about their life running a successful organic dairy farm and contractor business and the role played by the right technology: Hans-Willi, the father, operates the contractor firm while his son Martin manages the organic dairy farm with 150 dairy cattle.

The farm is located at 150 metres above sea level on the edge of the northern Eifel and is entirely dedicated to permanent grassland. They have almost none of their own machines. The contractor TPS, in which Thelen has a one-third share, takes care of the grass forage harvest. With the help of two employees, they also provide contractor services to other customers to keep the business profitable. Three JUMBO COMBILINE loader wagons harvest around 1,000 loads of silage and transport 200 loads of harvested grass and maize. The TOP 1252 four-rotor rake handles 1700 hectares per year.

The high output of the machines and the very high base forage quality are especially important for the organic farm. "When all the parameters are right, we obtain around 10,000 litres of milk per day on average", explains Hans-Willi Thelen enthusiastically. You immediately notice that the animals are the most important factor for the dedicated organic farmer, because as Thelen says, it is the livestock that achieve the output to ensure success: "It is extremely satisfying to work with the animals and manage the herd", he says. Several awards and the positive business figures give him a good feeling and are the reward for his enthusiasm in what he does.

For Hans-Willi Thelen it is the chopping quality of the PÖTTINGER loader wagon that is the most important factor, especially for compaction in the clamp. "If silage is produced with a high energy content and lots of nutrients, then this makes a significant contribution to increasing quality and improving milk yield", explains the contractor confidently. This is also important for financial success, but not just on their own farm. In addition to the organic dairy farm, highly satisfactory contract services are also provided to other customers. "If you bring a PÖTTINGER loader wagon, then I don't need a harvester any more," is something that Thelen has often heard from customers who previously used a harvester to chop their forage. That pleases him even more. After all, the operational reliability of the machines and the excellent service gives the Thelens more time for what matters, which is time for the family.

Father and son look back on a successful working day and are satisfied with the result.

The machines are also very much appreciated by the customer. One customer who used to use forage harvesters said quite clearly: "If you bring a PÖTTINGER loader wagon, then I don't need a harvester any more."“

Hans-Willi Thelen

Photo gallery

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