Unlike most car buyers, who often prioritise aesthetics and buy into the ‘lifestyle’ associated with certain brands, farmers need something different from their vehicles. They’re not so fussed about the fluffier stuff. They need something practical - something that gets the job done.
That’s why Grenadiers, brand new off-road vehicles developed specifically with the agricultural sector in mind, are about to take the market by storm. Marketed as ‘a serious off-roader from the ground up’, they’re strong, sturdy, spacious, and supremely suited to unforgiving terrain. Basically, they’re everything a farmer needs from a working vehicle.
The problem, of course, is that Grenadiers are relatively new. Therefore, few specialist agricultural insurers actually cover them. But luckily we do. After all, we deliver what famers need as surely as Grenadiers deliver materials to their bottom field via a particularly muddy track. We’ve also written the below guide to explain why many farmers will be chomping at the bit to get their hands on a Grenadier in the near future…
The inside track on Grenadiers
Grenadiers are the brainchild of one of the UK’s wealthiest men, Sir Jim Ratcliffe. And they’re somewhat similar in appearance and approach to the famous Land Rover Defenders, which are very popular with the farming community. In fact, when Land Rover temporarily paused production of the Defender a few years ago, Sir Jim actually offered to buy the brand. Sadly, however, he was unsuccessful; therefore he established his own company instead. He named it ‘Grenadier’ after his favourite pub.
Grenadiers are marketed as ‘rugged 4X4s, stripped back, and no-nonsense workhorses, built for the world’. This isn’t an SUV designed for supermarket car parks; it’s built to get people and materials from A to B whatever the weather. As a result, Grenadiers come with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo BMX-sourced engine, an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and permanent all-wheel drive. There’s absolutely zero messing around.
There are two different versions to choose from (both of which are certified as commercial vehicles): the Station Wagon has five seats fitted with a cargo barrier to balance payload and passenger carrying capability, whilst the Utility Wagon has two seats and then a length flat floor capable of transporting a standard Euro Pallet (1,200mm x 800mm). Basically, they’re as strong and a powerful as an ox.
Why farmers dig them
Grenadiers are popular with farmers because they’re bona fide 4X4s made from high-quality materials. They also come with a class-leading warranty. Whatever their load, farmers will be able to tow it, drag it, recover it, strap it to the roof, and then strap themselves in for a comfortable ride. In fact, it’s Grenadiers’ 3.5t towing capacity and 1t payload that appeals to the agricultural niche most.
Although Grenadiers aren’t inexpensive - prices start at £55,000 - farmers will inevitably get what they pay for. And, without meaning to sound like Jeremy Clarkson describing one of his tractors in Clarkson’s Farm, these off-roaders really are “engineered to keep going year after year after year.” There’s diddly-squat that they can’t do in a working environment.
Peace of mind
Farmers will also be reassured to know that Grenadiers’ design has been tested to an inch of its life. Their website makes a big deal of the various challenges that the vehicles overcame before being offered to market - a strategy which should convince buyers reluctant to invest in a new brand with fewer miles on the clock.
One of these challenges involved transporting three Grenadier owners to Morocco. They then had to drive home, off-road of course, whilst weathering flash floods, blizzards, and numerous other tests. In fact, the rigorous testing and development programme took the vehicles to 15 countries in total, covering 1.8 million kilometres.
Although the vast majority of farmers won’t be attempting journeys quite as severe, they’ll be pleased to know that each vehicle comes with a five-year warranty and will be supported by around 185 service sites and workshops. This makes life simple when it comes to annual servicing.
What the critics say
Positive reviews should also help Grenadiers to sell. Auto Express concluded that “scored against Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s brief as the ultimate 4x4 in the mould of the original Defender, the Grenadier gets close to the full five stars”. They also praised its no nonsense approach: “there’s little of the fancy electronic trickery that rivals employ… it’s just good old-fashioned, no-nonsense mechanicals that should stand the test of time.”
GC’s expert was also impressed: “the INEOS Grenadier delivers on exactly what it set out to do, backed by an individual who didn’t want to conquer the world so much as be able to drive across it.” There has also been a positive response from the farming community, with insiders describing the vehicles as “durable and reliable enough, and built to go the distance, Grenadiers will take even the roughest terrain in its stride.”
Get on board
Although the off-road vehicle market can seem saturated at times, with Jeep and Renegade providing competition, Grenadiers stand out because they’re beefier and built specifically with farmers in mind. They’re not about cosmetics; they’re all about the practicalities that appeal to the agricultural niche.
Grenadier are also building relationships with farmers: they supported Farmers Weekly to help UK farmers recruit 80,000 harvesters - dubbed the ‘Farmers Army - after the pandemic. They also have a partnership with The Halo Trust, a charity that removes landmines from some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet.
Consequently, we believe that Grenadiers could become incredibly popular with agricultural customers in the near future. And this means that they’ll need the relevant insurance - which is exactly where we come in. We have over 20 years’ experience supporting agricultural clients and have both the expertise and service levels that brokers crave.
What’s more, you can arrange comprehensive and competitively priced fleet Insurance online at the click of a button. Like Grenadiers themselves, we rather enjoy making light work of jobs that can sometimes be heavy going.