Special feature: Magnum Equipment new general manager

By: Steve Atkinson, Photography by: Steve Atkinson

Magnum Equipment recently appointed a new general manager of sales, so Deals on Wheels went to find out more

Most readers will now be familiar with Magnum Equipment, more so since they took the step up from selling used machinery to becoming an outright distributor of new Hidromek and Morooka equipment in New Zealand.

Since the first tentative foray in 2017, it has been ‘power on’ for the business as
it started to chip away at the new equipment market, bringing us to late 2020, where uptake from buyers has necessitated Magnum to, once again, move into a new phase of growth; this time with the appointment of Paul Gorrie as general manager of sales.

Heavier roller models will soon be arriving in New Zealand
Heavier roller models will soon be arriving in New Zealand

Four-decade-long journey

If that name sounds familiar, then chances are he may have been encountered during
his 40-year industry career with companies such as Winstone Group, Lucas, Gough
Cat, Hornsby Earthmovers, AB Equipment, Cabella Construction, and AC Blackmore. However, it’s likely many may have seen

Paul at his most recent previous employer Porter Equipment, where he spent 17

"Winstone’s was the first company I worked for and started with them in January 1980, as their first heavy-diesel mechanic apprentice," Paul says.

"Prior to this, trade mechanics—or techs as they call them these days—did their time on cars and then transitioned across to heavy equipment."

Paul finished with Winstone’s and completed the last six months of his apprenticeship with Lucas, where he specialised in fuel-injection systems.

From there, it was onto Gough Cat where he stayed until not long after the October 1987 stock market crash.

Paul Gorrie, general manager of sales
Paul Gorrie, general manager of sales

"Things were pretty tight for everyone around then. Our hours were reduced to just the standard 40 and the economy wasn’t looking too good, so I joined up with some other guys from Gough’s and we headed across to Papua New Guinea to a gold and copper mine," says Paul.

Situated in the Star Mountains in western Papua New Guinea, Paul was assigned as a heavy plant mechanic for the civil construction side of the business, which provided the housing and infrastructure for the 8000-strong population.

Paul returned to New Zealand and Gough Cat a couple of years later, where his position in the spec bay saw him working on engine rebuilds, fuel injection, and remanufacturing of components.

A short stint with Hornsby Earthmovers and a couple of forklift companies preceded a four-year slot as service manager with AB Equipment in Albany, which is where he first met his now-boss Magnum Equipment founder and director Liam Field.

"You could say our bromance began in 1994 at AB Equipment," says a smiling Paul.

In 2000, Paul took his now-considerable skill set to Cabella Construction for a bit over three years, but it was during his employment with AC Blackmore in late 2003 that the universe intervened while Paul was purchasing parts at Porter-owned Eagle Spares.

"I was collecting some parts at Eagle Spares, and in those days, the Porter Equipment’s sales rep offices were alongside the parts shop. Well, I got talking to Doug Ball and next thing you know, I had moved from fixing and servicing gear to selling it," says Paul.

So, in January 2004, a new phase of life had begun and the ex-heavy equipment mechanic learned the ropes from experienced sales staff as he began to build up a client list of his own, and by the time 2008 rolled around, Paul was based out of Porter Equipment’s new Albany branch.

"Porters was a very good company to work for and I loved being part of a big organisation," says Paul.

"One of the most satisfying things is selling a new contractor their first machine, and then all of a sudden they are buying their 20th machine, and it’s a good feeling that you’re part of their success by advising them on the purchase, helping to arrange finance, setting up accounts—just working to make the whole process easy for them.

"Most of those people you end up being good mates with, knowing their families and stuff like that. It’s nice to be acknowledged and part of the inner circle of some great businesses."

Magnum HQ

But, as they say, you can’t be afraid of change and that’s what happened recently with Paul’s appointment as general manager of sales with Magnum Equipment.

"I had been admiring the Hidromek brand from afar and could see what Liam was doing with the business and his vision for the future. It was something I felt my varied skill-set could contribute to," says Paul.

With the impending appointment of Paul, Liam and his team put their plan of action in place, with builders preparing a new customer experience and sales centre or ‘Club Hidromek’ as it’s unofficially referred to.

Paul’s recent arrival at Magnum HQ has meant he’s currently residing in the boardroom until the new digs are ready, but he should be well and truly ensconced once the next issue of Deals on Wheels rolls around.

Hidromek graders will soon be arriving in New Zealand
Hidromek graders will soon be arriving in New Zealand

"I’m really enjoying the new company and it has been full-on since day one, ordering new machines and moving into a new phase by bringing in different types of gear," says Paul.
With some 24 machines now on their way to New Zealand, consisting of rollers, graders, a light wheel loader, along with a complement of 20- and 30-tonne excavators, it looks like Paul and his team will not be getting much rest.

"This is really just building on the momentum. In mid to late 2021, we have a whole new range of Hidromek machines being released here, ranging from heavy rollers down to six-tonne excavators and a couple of short-tailed models as well," says Paul.

"With our Japanese-made Morookas and the European Hidromeks, our bases are well-covered, I reckon. Change is good; never be afraid of change."

For more information, contact Paul Gorrie on 021 338 159 or visit magnumequipment.co.nz.

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