SERVICES » Murdoch Contracting/Williams Engineering
It’s all in the timing – contractor Kelly Deeks As dairy farmers themselves, Jim and Bronwyn Murdoch say they know timing and time are critical when it comes to groundwork and cultivation. “I know that when farmers want something done, they want it done yesterday,” says Jim Murdoch. “I used to leave my own work until last, but I even book that in now. It’s first in, first served, unless we are going a fair distance away. We’re not a big company, but we do a fair bit of work and we give a pretty good service.” The Murdochs estblished Murdoch Contracting in 1996 as a sideline to their dairy-farming business at Patea, in South Taranaki. The firm does groundwork and cultivation around South Taranaki - preparing paddocks for crops; direct drilling; harvesting hay, silage and balage. The work is absolutely weather dependent – too wet or too dry, and hold-ups are likely.
“When the paddocks are dry it affects our work in a big way,” Jim Murdoch says. “Then you get the flip side of the coin, as we had at the start of this season. It was so wet we couldn’t get anything done. But then it came away pretty quickly. It all depends on the weather – you can’t bale out wet grass, you’ve got to get the conditions right.” The business has three full-time staff as well and a couple of owner-drivers who help out. The Murdochs’ sons, Jarrod and Aaron, work with Jim – they each have own John Deere tractors, while Dad provides the implements. “They’ve helped me out for quite a few years,” he says. “I’ve had all three of my sons work for me at some stage, but my daughter wouldn’t know how to start a tractor.” Gear is a big factor in contracting, and Jim Murdoch generally replaces equipment after about four seasons to keep it running at maximum capacity.
I used to leave my own work until last, but I even book that in now. It’s first in, first served, unless we are going a fair distance away.
“I used to drive my tractors until they needed new tyres, but these days they are pretty good. “We run all John Deere tractors (I’ve got four) and John Deere balers, including the latest John Deere 990, which is now in its second season. We can get a lot of work done with it.” Murdoch Contracting also added the latest
McConnell hedge-mulcher to its fleet last season. Jim Murdoch describes it as an efficient and reliable machine offering the perfect balance of weight, power, and reach to achieve clean, tidy and straight results. This season the firm has invested in a new set of cultivating discs and a Väderstad direct drill job.
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Farm effluent `a resource’ • From page 24 The firm’s products are supplied directly to farmers or to other companies carrying out effluent system design and installation. Andrew is proud of Williams Engineering’s long history of more than 35 years. He joined the family firm in 2005 after six years working as an engineer for another company. In 2011 he purchased the business from his parents Neville and Angela who founded it in the early 1980s. “Unfortunately my father passed away at the start of last year, which was a big loss. I’ve carried on with what I learned from him, and have created relationships with people in some good companies who are great sounding boards.” He says the company’s 12 staff have always
been critical to the business. “We’ve got a good team. We couldn’t do without them.” In recent times Andrew has outsourced more of the repetitive work, to enable the company to continue to expand without taking on more staff. “It means I can focus more on design and innovation, and we can maintain accurate service and quality.” Looking ahead, Andrew plans to continue to develop the firm’s range of high quality, userfriendly farm machinery, and help farmers install the best, most cost effective effluent system for their situation. “I believe farm effluent should be considered a resource, and not a waste The returns gained through better utilisation of effluent together with a user friendly system can offset the initial time and financial investment required.”
0800 4 EFFLUENT (0800 433358) • www.williamsirrigation.co.nz
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