Business profile: Loaders Wanganui

Business profile: Loaders Wanganui Business profile: Loaders Wanganui
Business profile: Loaders Wanganui Business profile: Loaders Wanganui
Business profile: Loaders Wanganui Justin Loader (left) and Keith Davis, the Hyundai R235LCR-9 operator. Business profile: Loaders Wanganui
Business profile: Loaders Wanganui Business profile: Loaders Wanganui
Business profile: Loaders Wanganui Business profile: Loaders Wanganui

A proud family firm with over 60 years’ civil construction experience in the Whanganui District look to Hyundai crawler excavator power and Porter Equipment back-up support to help tackle the tough stuff.

The scars from Sunday, 21 June this year still remain along the riverfront in Whanganui. That’s the day over a hundred homes were evacuated in the depths of night as the river breached its eastern bank and the city saw the worst inundation in almost 150 years.

"We had every available machine on duty helping clear debris in the aftermath of the floods," says Loaders Wanganui contracts manager Justin Loader.

"You had to see it to believe it. It’s certainly the worst the town has ever seen and while we’re primarily back doing our usual civil construction project work around the region now, there is still a lot of work to do in town."

As Justin takes me out to have a look at a road-widening project one of the company’s teams are working on, we drive down Anzac Parade where what was once the idyllic riverside Kowhai Park domain and playground is now essentially an expanse of boggy, unusable mudflats.

On the other side of the road, house after house remains abandoned. Justin shows me the high water mark still visible on a nearby board and batten fence, a dark, distinctive line well above the height of the cab roof of the ute we’re sitting in.

Life – and business – must go on, however, and I D Loader Ltd (trading as Loaders Wanganui) has been a part of Whanganui District business life since the company was founded in 1963 (although Ian Loader Senior had been working with his bulldozer as a one-man contractor since 1954).

Naturally, the business has evolved and expanded over the years and now specialises in a wide variety of civil tasks including state highway and local roading maintenance, forestry road maintenance, subdivision earthworks, water reticulation, site works, transportation work and landscape supply.

Loaders Wanganui1

Loaders also has a permanent team based in Christchurch completing lateral and main sewer line repair and construction for the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT). Meanwhile back home in the Whanganui District they operate two mobile crushers producing various kinds of aggregate.

The company has around 60 staff, including three full-time diesel mechanics operating from its large workshop. In Justin’s own words, Loaders runs "a fair chunk of gear". And a reliable part of its extensive fleet is made up of Hyundai machinery sourced from Porter Equipment.

"We’ve been buying Hyundai gear for about 10 years now and I think the single biggest benefit with the brand is the value for money it delivers," says Justin.

Four new excavators have joined the fleet in the past few weeks – two replacing older machines and two others adding to the ranks.

An outgoing Hyundai gave the team a good enough run to invest in more from the manufacturer, with Justin reporting the 13,000 hours the old machine gave them being virtually trouble-free. Another five-tonner already on the fleet has around 8500 hours on it and is still going strong, he says.

The Hyundai R235LCR-9 we check out today is working on a road widening project about 10km along State Highway 4 from central Whanganui. Justin says this sort of work is the company’s bread and butter, so the compact radius set-up is perfect for working alongside the busy road out of town.

"I’ll be honest, the machine is very well specified straight out of the yard, but in the end it really comes down to dollars.

"There’s a sizeable difference in the outlay between Hyundai gear and the competition and Porters have the ability to offer some very competitive finance deals."

Read the full cover story in the latest issue of Deals on Wheels (#265). Subscribe here.

Keep up to date in the industry by signing up to Deals on Wheels' free newsletter or liking us on Facebook