Cover story: Magnum Equipment at Fieldays 2021

By: Steve Atkinson, Photography by: Justin Bennett

A closer look at Magnum Equipment’s journey in NZ

New Zealand Hidromek and Morooka machinery distributor Magnum Equipment Ltd used its presence at the latest New Zealand Agricultural Fieldays® event to celebrate what they are calling their maturing as a business in the new equipment supply industry.

It was a little over five years ago that the well-known secondhand machinery dealer stepped things up a notch and entered the crowded new equipment marketplace. The European-made Hidromek excavator brand followed shortly thereafter by distributorship of the Japanese-made Morooka tool carriers.

"A lot of people were naysayers when we decided to have a crack with these brands in New Zealand," says Magnum Equipment founder and director Liam Field.

"What they didn’t consider and what we had learnt from our Magnum Hire fleet was that robustness and operator friendliness are key to keeping R&M costs to a minimum and customers happy."

Liam explains that he was looking for brands that would take the punishment thrown at the Magnum Hire fleet, which he found with Hidromek and Morooka.

"We knew that these machines would find an appreciative market once people had been given the opportunity to look closer at them and used them out on job sites," he says.

A case of colour-blindness

Two sizes of Hidromek drum compactor are currently available in NZ

In the case of the Hidromek machines, the biggest hurdle to cross was the colour of the machines themselves.

"If you head to Europe, they’re all over the place, but here in New Zealand, everyone was used to orange or a close version of that, so we had to overcome the colour blindness first," says Liam.

To gain acceptance, a steady marketing campaign was launched and before long, the machine colour had no bearing with prospective buyers. As time passed and hours started clocking up, Hidromek owners were willing to tell their positive stories about their machines and dealings with Magnum Equipment.

Tiger by the tail

Hidromek HMK230MG grader

While the customer positivity is great, it led to increased buyer enquiries, which in turn necessitated that the infrastructure behind everything could support the additional sales. This is where the business stepped up another gear, with the appointment of Paul Gorrie to the position of general manager of sales.

"I think Liam found he had a tiger by the tail, and so I came across to help take that pressure off and assist with a strategy of exactly where we take things," says Paul.

"There has been a bit of an exponential feeling from when I first started last year." 

New territory managers

Hidromek HMK102S Supra

The East Coast of the North Island and Waikato regions have been areas where Magnum Equipment has been making good progress, so new additions have been recently made to the sales team.

Byren Ware is now on-board as territory manager for South Auckland and Waikato, alongside Phil Means, territory manager for the East Coast, Hawke’s Bay through to Manawatu.

"I was very happy to come and work for Liam. I love the way he speaks; everything is positive, and it [Hidromek] would be one of the best made excavators I’ve seen. If Kiwis were building an excavator, it would look a lot like a Hidromek," says Phil.

Byren agrees: "I think we’ve got a good product in Hidromek. They’re built well

and have good running components. With Morooka, I’ve got a little to learn about those, but think there’s a good market out there," he says.

"Getting out of the corporate vibe and working for a family-owned business was key for me. I’m keen to get out there and build the brand."

Fieldays experience

Morooka MST1000VDR

The Magnum Equipment stand at Fieldays has grown considerably since the first tentative outing in 2018. This year, the stand was expanded to encompass two sites, allowing the accommodation of additional Hidromek models, which now includes grader, tractor loader, and drum compactors.

"Attending Fieldays is an experience in itself, especially for the new sales staff, as it helps them understand the impression these brands are making out there in the industry. When people who use them every day come up and speak so enthusiastically about their Hidromek and Morooka machines, it isn’t a sales pitch but genuine feedback from owners and operators," says Liam.

"Our Fieldays outing this year was a celebration of where we’re from and where we are going—a statement of sorts," says Liam.

"It highlights to the public and industry that we’re a business that has matured and are following a planned focused strategy, not just throwing a bunch of ideas out there to see what will happen. It gives us the confidence to know we’re making the right decisions."

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