White's World


by T H WHITE on October 1, 2019

David Rapkins is T H WHITE’s new divisional director for Agriculture, having joined the company after 13 years with CNHi where he attained the position of Senior Director – Global Product Management. 

During his time at CNHi David worked on both New Holland and Case IH – key brands for T H WHITE –  although his agricultural experience stretches far beyond the corporate world and embraces a strong element of hands-on experience. 

From a young age David grew up around mixed farms, helping out on evenings and weekends when not at school. His formal agricultural education began at Wiltshire College, Lackham, and culminated in an honours degree from the Royal Agricultural University in Farm Mechanisation and Business Management. 

But to really come to grips with agriculture David believes you need to get involved at the sharp end. Right through his higher education he continued working on farms, developing his skills and moving on to work for agricultural contractors. For harvest 2005 he worked for Frank Dakin & Son in Shropshire, followed by a brief spell as a service engineer for local agricultural dealerships. Then, in 2006, he travelled to Austraila where he managed the harvest machinery on the huge McLean’s Farm. From there he visited 10 different countries in 12 months, broadening his agricultural experience as he went.

At T H WHITE, David now heads a restructured team comprising Operations Director Adrian Lovegrove, Sales Director Ray Bennett and Commercial Director James Ashworth. From CNHi he brings particular expertise in after-sales, technical support and customer care.

Fundamentally, David is a ‘people person’, his successes at CNHi having been driven by fostering a positive team culture, recognising effort and performance and celebrating success – strategies he plans to develop at T H WHITE. “The business already has a strong customer service profile largely due to the dedication, knowledge and long-term commitment of our staff. But in this business you can’t afford to stand still – we must continue to invest in understanding what our customers want and need, helping them get the best from their machinery, land and buildings over generations. With our great people and many terrific customer relationships we have all the tools in the tool box to further improve our best-in-class sales, service and parts service.”

These aren’t just hollow words either. While at CNHi David established customer focus groups, placed products on test with customers to monitor performance in real life settings and flew customers to factories to critique new concepts and developments. “Feeding back the voice of customers to suppliers is a vital part of delivering what farmers actually need and I fully intend to use my connections with CNHi to lobby for T H WHITE customer involvement in trials of machines and new technologies.”

David is based at Knockdown (Tetbury) but is responsible for all eight T H WHITE agricultural branches offering machinery sales, service and parts for our key franchises of New Holland, Case IH, Manitou, Kuhn, Väderstad, Pöttinger, McConnel and more…

With all that going on you might well think that David wouldn’t have much room for other interests in his personal life, but you would be wrong. He enjoys flying light aircraft and holds a Private Pilot’s Licence, he project-manages property renovations and also finds the time to be an active member of the Institute of Agricultural Engineers.

If you are a customer of our Agriculture Division you may well meet David Rapkins sometime soon, so please do tell him about your business and how T H WHITE could help you achieve your goals – he’s listening. You can email David david.rapkins@thwhite.co.uk, or call him on 07831 582731.

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