Cover story: Gaddum Construction

By: Ed, Photography by: David Lott

Deals on Wheels finds out what makes a customer stay loyal to Porter Equipment and the machinery they supply

With equipment purchases, often buyers don’t take the whole life cycle of a machine into account, but for one of Porter Equipment’s long-term customers, this is a key reason they continue to partner with the well-known supplier in a relationship that dates back to 2009.
Based out of Rotorua, Gaddum Construction Ltd works across a number of different areas with a speciality in forestry roading and quarrying. On any given day, the company’s equipment can be seen working across a wide swath of Bay of Plenty and through to the East Coast.

The business has gone ahead in what some would call leaps and bounds since its establishment, with company director Guy Gaddum adamant that a business is only as good as its employees (35 at last count) and the quality of the tools that they use. "Basically, we’ll go wherever the work takes us. A key focus for us is forestry roading and setting up areas so they can be efficiently logged," says Guy. "Through our quarrying arm, we also provide a significant amount of aggregate for ourselves and customers."

Contrary to popular belief among those who’ve not worked forestry blocks, the requirement to put in safe roads that are easy to negotiate for the large logging trucks that ply our highways is a specialised area and one where inexperienced contractors can sometimes find themselves out of their depth.

"We’re not known as the cheapest out there, but we aim to provide the best value for money. We know what it takes to put in roads that will handle the heavy traffic. It’s not uncommon for forestry block owners to come to us and sort out issues," says Guy.

Equipment purchasing

Gaddum Construction have purchased more than 40 new and used machines from Porter Equipment

"I’ve met people who are focused on a particular brand and that is all they are concerned about," says Guy. "With us, we want to deal with a supplier that can provide us with the equipment we need and be there to support it when needed, and we have found that Porters is the ideal partner for us."

In the case of the diesel-fuelled hydraulic powered tools, we’re not talking about the small stuff here. Gaddum Construction are into the decent-sized gear and that is sourced from their primary supplier: Porter Equipment.

Guy tells us that at last count, he has purchased some 40-plus machines from Porter Equipment.

"We have around 15 diggers, six articulated dumpers, two bulldozers, the roller and grader, all of which have come from Porters. The exact number escapes me, but it would be around 40 machines we have purchased from them," he says.

When Gaddum Construction Ltd was first established, Guy says equipment was needed for the first forestry roading contract and Porter Equipment backed the business from day one.

"You don’t know how much it means to turn up for the first time and see all the machinery sitting there ready to get started," says Guy.

"We still have two of the first Hyundai excavators we purchased from them and they are running over 30,000 hours now. We haven’t touched them other than replacing the usual consumables, such as tracks, chains, and sprockets. Those motors just go and go and go."

Customer finance

Hyundai excavators for the backbone of the fleet

The proactiveness from Porter Equipment around equipment finance helps keep the Gaddum Construction business as a whole functioning effectively.

"Loyalty means a lot to us and we don’t like to jump around between suppliers if it can be helped. Porter Finance have stood by us and we appreciate that," says Guy.

"The finance department at Porters is good to deal with and being a long-term customer certainly helps when we need to upgrade gear, as they know us and can provide solutions, which allows us to keep our cashflow in order."

"It’s easy to go in there and buy something and come out with that and something else, which was the case with a telehandler we recently purchased. I didn’t know we wanted it until I saw it."

Back-up service and warranties

From left: Thomas Heremaia, Joedy Robinson, Guy Gaddum

When asked about back-up service his business receives from Porter Equipment, he offers this as an example:

"I really can’t say enough about the back-up service we receive from Porters. In the case of a large excavator we purchased, there was a slight issue with a hydraulic pump. Porters recognised that we needed the machine working 12 hours a day to meet the terms of the contract and they replaced that overnight for us. You do not hear about that sort of thing happening these days, do you?" he asks.

On the subject of warranties, Guy says: "I just find the people at Porter Equipment who I deal with, exceptional. We’ve only had one warranty situation and that was resolved quickly and without fuss.

Supply chain

Partridge Heavy Haulage is a sister company

The supply of spare parts for the brands the business represents is one area that Guy says Porter Equipment has under control.

"From my perspective, Porters have such size and scale now that supply of parts is less of an issue with them than say some of the smaller machinery suppliers, who might be bringing in one container a month compared to say 30 containers of spares."

Long-standing relationship

At last count, there were six articulated dumpers in the fleet

Guy says his long-standing relationship with Porter Equipment has been key to providing his business with a solid foundation from the first day of operations.

"I have found that when working alongside Porters, you don’t have to deal with nonsense; they know the equipment business and I cannot fault their back-up service. They are with us for the whole journey."

For more information, visit

Find new and used heavy machinery for sale in NZ

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