Bins business big success
Warren Auger Bins deals in big business so it’s only fitting they have a big warehouse to go with it. The local Matamata business, located on Waihou St, was established in 2012 and has gone from strength to strength. The company is a venture between Scott Garland of Garland Engineering and Bradley Scott.
Garland said Garland Engineering initially did a few auger bin fit-outs for Swaps, who originally got the bins directly from America as a built bin.
‘‘We did about three builds for them and then we decided the freight was too much to get the bins into New Zealand. It was big, big money for the freight so we went over to America to see if we could bring them over as a kit set packed into a container four, five or six at a time . . .’’
This saw a saving on freight and meant Warren Auger Bins could put the bins together for a cheaper price.
Garland said there were 35 or 40 of these bins already in New Zealand, so he believed there was room for an agency in the country.
Garland, Scott, John Moore and Lewis Swap travelled to America to meet with Warren’s about the possibility of being a wholesaler of their product in New Zealand.
Bradley Scott originally worked for Garland Engineering but has gone into partnership with Garland with this business, which is a breakaway company from the engineering side of things.
‘‘He went away truck driving for two years and came back in 2011.’’ He worked for a year before getting involved with Garland and the new venture. Garland said the partnership is going well.
‘‘I can’t really do it without him, Bradley is keen and experienced
and it’s a great opportunity for a young guy to get involved in owning a business. I know when the time comes for me to step down, the business will be in very capable hands.’’
Garland said expectations for the business have been well exceeded.
‘‘We thought we might build three to four bins a year. To date we have built 18 and we’re booked out until next July.’’
The bins, which are used largely in the stock food industry, cart bulk loads of stock food to dairy and chicken farmers that have silo storage for their feeding systems.
The company isn’t involved in the construction of the truck cab or chassis – that side of things comes from the trucking manufacturer. Clients bring the cab and chassis in. The bin is already built by that stage and then it is fitted to the truck and given a test run, Garland said.
There are two parts to the job, building the bin and then fitting it.
Local business Swaps are still a large part of the business, Garland said. Laurie Urlich was one of the first to bring these bins into New Zealand.
‘‘He used to cart all the Ingham’s meal feed and when the palm kernel started getting more popular and expensive, farmers switched to in-feed shed systems because it cuts down on labour, and they can put the feed straight into the silo.’’
‘‘We always knew that the South Island were a year or so behind us so they’re just starting to get into it now, with all the
dairy conversions down there. Quite a lot of our clients are from the South Island, not only in stock food but in chicken feed as well, it’s probably 50/50 really.’’
Warren Auger Bins services the entire country. ‘‘Basically everyone with a Warren Auger Bin knows we’re doing them here now so we’re getting a lot of existing clients that would’ve originally had a handful of parts from America themselves in the garage but they’re now buying off us. We have all the parts in stock.’’
Customers really appreciate the service, Garland said.
‘‘I believe if you build and sell something, you’ve got to be able to service it.
‘‘We’re in a position where we’ve got bin kits in stock so if we haven’t got a part in stock we can rob it off a kit get it with the next load. Our freight is our biggest challenge in costings.’’
Garland said he was happy to have a name behind the product.
Each bin can cost around $100,000. A complete trailer with axles can be around $250,000.
About 200-220 hours of labour is involved in a bin build and about the same again to fit them.
‘‘You’re looking at two guys, two weeks to build the bin itself. It’s all a lot of fidgety stuff that takes time.’’
Garland said meeting new people is the best part about being involved in the relatively new business.
‘‘It’s quite a challenge importing products out of America. We like to have a product that is proven and you’re proud to put your name on. It’s a very basic but proven product.’’
Garland said the hard part about the business is the fact they’re dealing with a limited market.
‘‘We’re not dealing with every transport operator in New Zealand. You’re probably dealing with a group of no more than 20 transport operators.’’
But Garland said a number of local businesses have supported them when they can.
‘‘It’s only a certain group of people that are wanting our products, Waharoa Transport have been great supports and bought a few units off us.’’
Garland found it difficult to answer when the Chronicle asked him ‘‘what should everyone in Matamata know about us?’’.
‘‘I guess the fact that we’re good hard working buggers,’’ he said.
STAFF MEMBERS: Warren Auger Bins staff, from left, Scott Garland, Reuben Mair, Sean Matthew and Bradley Scott.
NEWWAREHOUSE: The new Warren Auger Bins warehouse.
TRUCKS: At least a couple of trucks can fit in the warehouse.