Allan Equipment designs and manufactures potato harvesting equipment in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, and has a storied history of over 60 years in business.
Don Allan built the first potato harvester himself for his own farm in the early 1960’s. At the time, there was no simple and reliable harvesting option available to purchase, so he decided to build his own.
From then on, Allan Equipment has been designing its equipment based on the same need.
“We listen to customers and base our designs on what the market is asking for,” says Trent Cousins, active partner in Allan Equipment Manufacturing Ltd. “We strive to be simple, efficient and reliable with all of our equipment.”
Cousins was born and raised on a potato, beef and grain farm. His farm grows potatoes for the fresh pack and processing markets.
From early on, “I always enjoyed operating and working on the equipment in all aspects of the operation,” he says.
Then in 2013, a few years after graduation from university, Cousins was still helping on the farm part time while operating a couple small businesses. He heard there was an opportunity to purchase Allan Equipment as the original owner was looking to retire.
While interested in the opportunity, Cousins still wanted to be involved in the farm along with his other business interests. He felt he needed a partner to tackle such a large endeavor.
“I thought of my friend, Daniel van Schalkwyk, who had recently moved to PEI. We saw great potential in the company and its products, moved forward with the purchase, and in late 2013, took ownership of the company from Don Allan,” Cousins reminisces.
Cousins looks after the financial and sales management, and van Schalkwyk handles the manufacturing and general operations.
Staking its claim as “Canada’s largest designer and manufacturer of potato harvesting equipment,” Allan Equipment also builds blueberry harvesters and mowers.
Its 120,000-square-foot Prince Edward Island facility includes a large parts inventory and full-service machine shop.
Allan Equipment manufactures a full line up of 2-, 3-, 4- and 6-row harvesters, 2-, 4- and 6-row windrowers, live-bottom bulk bodies, trailer inserts, pilers, hillers, crop carts, conveyers and numerous types of grading equipment.
The company also manufactures a planter press wheel kit for increasing potato planting speeds and accuracy, and it is currently developing a new potato planter.
“We sell all these products worldwide and have exported as far as South Africa and Eastern Europe,” says Cousins.
“The harvesters and windrowers boast the cheapest cost of operation and maintenance on the market,” he adds. “We use almost all common parts, which you can purchase at any machine shop or parts supply store. This is why our customers keep coming back—they know they can get parts anytime, anywhere and for a reasonable price.”
Cousins says he and van Schalkwyk both are farmers, so they know the importance of keeping equipment rolling when it matters most.
“We treat all of our customer farms as if they were our own,” he says. “We know potatoes and take pride in designing equipment that solves problems for farmers and makes growing their crops easier.”