Running like clockwork – at 80
You might call him the ‘machine whisperer’ – the man who keeps the 52 tonne (loaded) Wabco scraper going day in, day out.
John ‘Rosie’ Rose has been attached to the giant earthmoving scraper since before it even came off the production line. He worked for the company that built it, joined the company that bought it, and at 80 is still its sole operator – for Penrose civil contracting company Dempsey Wood. Trained by Wabco in Oz, Rosie has operated all over NZ.
Rosie’s work ethic, quick wit and ready smile have lit up the yard and worksite for many a year, and you’d never guess he’s now an ‘octogenarian’.
Rosie says, ‘‘It’s all about the camaraderie, teaching the younger guys, not just about the big machines but giving them some life lessons along the way too.’’
Having the responsibility of one of the most gigantic machines in the company at the age of 80 may faze some men – and plenty of companies – but Dempsey Wood is not your ordinary workplace.
‘‘We look at people who are loyal, smart, who have a willingness to learn and commit,’’ says managing director Conal Dempsey. ‘‘In exchange we’ll commit to them for the long term.
‘‘We hire on attitude and train for ability. We’re committed to growing our employees through education, training and support, plus planned career advancement,’’ Conal says.
‘‘Rosie proves that age is no barrier to capability or contribution to a company. You could call it a ‘bromance’ between man and machine, but what impresses us most is the commitment to doing the job well.’’
It’s a family friendly company that began in a garage 23 years ago and has grown to a team of 270 employees. Its capabilities include earthmoving, roading, subdivision, data cabling, water reticulation and drainage.
Drug testing is mandatory for all staff, and the company has a proud record of compliant and incident free outcomes on the diverse projects they undertake.
Auckland is about to embark on the most ambitious growth path in its history – and Dempsey Wood is looking for the best people to help grow it. If you have the right attitude, drop them a line on firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Rosie’ Rose still commands the giant Wabco scraper for Dempsey Wood Civil, long after most people have retired.