Hire feature: Magnum Hire

Deals on Wheels met with Dave Parker to find out more about Auckland-based hire business Magnum Hire

Like many of us who got told we’d amount to nothing, Magnum Hire general manager Dave Parker, too, would like to reconnect with his primary school teacher who obviously couldn’t spot the entrepreneurial talent that lay within.

Into his second decade in the industry, Dave is a well-known personality within equipment hire circles and has his fingers across the pulse of virtually everything that’s happening across New Zealand’s biggest construction region.

Running a fleet of hundreds of pieces of plant is not for the faint-hearted, and Dave uses a combination of modern and old tech to keep across what’s happening to all the equipment out on hire and what’s ready to head out to customers.

"My key tool is the hardcopy spreadsheet, which we use to track machinery. It’s also electronic, but I’m quite visual, so prefer to see a big piece of paper sitting in front of me.

Magnum Hire general manager Dave Parker
Magnum Hire general manager Dave Parker

And it’s perfect for billing out from, as once I see something highlighted in green, we know the customer has been charged for the hire," says Dave.

Hire fleet

Magnum Hire’s substantial fleet consists of virtually everything civil contracting related from dozers, scoops, off-road dumpers, and rollers through to large and smaller excavators, along with ancillary equipment, such as lighting towers and powered hand tools such as concrete saws and laser levels.

"We’re set up to handle virtually everything, although we could currently do with smaller excavators at the moment; they’re a pretty popular item," says Dave.


Regionally, most of the Magnum Hire fleet is distributed between Mangawhai in the north and Pokeno in the south.

"We do have some gear working in Taupo, so we’ll look at pricing whatever comes our way," says Dave.

Magnum Hire is always a hive of activity
Magnum Hire is always a hive of activity

Hire industry beginnings

When it comes to equipment hire, Dave should know what he’s talking about, having spent almost 17 years in the industry.

"I served what you could call my apprenticeship with a large non-Auckland-based hire company and worked from a small sub-branch of theirs," he says.

"My little branch cracked it on one project where I was told we would only get one piece of plant onto the job, but thanks to the relationship

I built, we ended up with something like 58 machines on the long-term job. In fact, one month there, my little branch produced more income than their head hire depot," Dave says.


Moving across to Magnum Hire and taking on the role of general manager, Dave was able to put his skills to work and his talents, combined with that of founder and director Liam Field has made the business a significant player in the equipment hire market of the upper North Island.

"When I started with Magnum, there were something like five hire companies in the Auckland region, but last time I counted, we are up to 18 businesses, with a lot of them trying to cut each other’s lunch. It’s here that our relationships are key and that comes down to the service we provide and the quality of the gear we provide," says Dave.

"Relationships are key to any business and I’ve always taken an interest in my customers to where we often end up being good mates and just hanging out. You don’t have to talk about diggers all the time."

The Hidromek factor

One key aspect that even surprised a seasoned hire veteran like Dave was the introduction of the Hidromek brand to the fleet.

Going back to the original introduction of the brand was to fill the need for machinery that could stand up to the punishment thrown at it from being continually out on hire.

"I must admit, I was a bit skeptical when Liam said we were going to put Hidromek machines into our hire fleet, but my mind started to come around when I saw the first machine. They were solid and well put together," Dave says.

Today, almost 50 Hidromek excavators are in the hire fleet, soon to be followed by rollers and graders.

"They have proven to be very popular, and we regularly have customers specifying that we send them a Hidromek machine. Once they’ve had a taste of them, they want more; it’s a bit like comparing a Corolla to a Lexus," he says.

Another key aspect is the fuel efficiency of the Hidromek excavators over other brands in the Magnum Hire fleet.

"I don’t know how they’ve done it, but we see up to 25% less fuel burn with the Hidromek excavators, straight up," Dave says.

"It’s not uncommon to get a first-time Hidromek user phone us and say they’ve got a faulty fuel gauge. We have to tell them to run the excavator a bit longer and the needle will begin to move," he says with a laugh.

Most Hidromek excavators in the Magnum Hire fleet are fitted with auto-greasing and quick-attaching tilt buckets.

New rubber cleats fitted to a Hidromek excavator prior to a hire job
New rubber cleats fitted to a Hidromek excavator prior to a hire job

"The auto-greasing not only helps the customer but also gives us peace of mind that the machine is being maintained when out on-site. And we have quality tilt-hitches that have no hoses to connect and disconnect, so there’s no need for the operator to exit the machine when swapping over buckets," says Dave.

"I’ve seen first-hand how the Hidromeks stand up to the punishment from hire customers and the comfort they provide for those long stints behind the controls. I have to say I’m very impressed with their performance," he says.

Dave is no doubt proud of what has been built up from good, hard slog from a dedicated skilled team. It also proves that strong relationships along with quality equipment and robust back-up support is all that customers require from a company they want to do continued business with.

For more information, contact Dave Parker 021 443 381 or visit magnumequipment.co.nz.

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