It’s June, activity in the rural sector has slowed with the colder temperatures and mother nature keeps on threatening to dump more rain. It must be time for National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
This year we thought we’d strike early. We were parked up by 8.30am and quickly through the gates. The last 12 months at Upper Hutt Hire have been pretty solid and we had a few pieces of equipment on the shopping list. Actually there were two shopping lists: List #1 had the “I’m really really interested in this” and List #2 containing the “Hugh Hefner /only in your wildest dreams” list.
Although Fieldays are very much dominated by the agricultural sector (Garry especially wore gumboots to blend in) it’s also a great chance to catch up with many of the manufacturers and importers of the equipment we prefer. We had a good chat with Martin and the team at Hansa (Hamilton-based manufacturers of chippers), a great catch-up with our trailer manufacturer Brent Smith from Feilding and a good meeting with Phil and the team at Youngman Richardson. The great thing about Fieldays is these guys all bring their big new equipment onto one site, where you can crawl over it, kick the tyres, ask the really difficult questions and wait for the entertaining response.
There were some nice innovations. Brent Smith Trailers have introduced a unique trailer coupling system on their 3.5MT trailers which will make handling much easier. (The bigger trailers are now a viable option with our Ford Ute). Garry was smitten by some of the Husqvarna concrete equipment at the Youngman Richardson stand and added one of the items to his ‘Hugh Hefner’ list.
Unfortunately at the other end of the scale there was some gear we just shook our head at. Manufacturers produce equipment based on design, quality or price: pick any two. We saw some gear that would be lucky to last a fortnight in the hire industry. It was tinny and light and you just knew it wouldn’t stand the test of time. The price was great, but the pamphlets went in the bin.
For someone who hasn’t had formal training in negotiation, Garry Bull is a master at getting a good deal! He adopts the atypical scowl while saying nothing (reminiesent of how Robert Muldoon used to handle the press gallery) and uses the sudden intake of breath when a salesman quotes a price. And he keeps a straight face. Don’t ever play poker with him.
So we placed a couple of orders, prioritised our wish list and went home with visions of nice shiny new equipment under the mid-year Christmas tree. And maybe, just maybe, Heather will buy him those Hugh Hefner satin pajamas for his birthday…