new tech ON A NEW SCALE

Porter Group’s brand new global cor­po­rate head­quar­ters fea­tures some big ideas within a (very) big op­er­a­tional site. It has been several years in the plan­ning and all eyes are now on Te Rapa, Hamil­ton, New Zealand

Earthmovers & Excavators - - Press Extra - Words and images: Cameron Of­fi­cer

Right now, I’m think­ing the most im­por­tant piece of ma­chin­ery on the site of Porter Group’s new 20-hectare global head­quar­ters would be a golf cart. At least it would mit­i­gate the need to walk for what seems like miles, from one end of this vast com­plex along­side the Waikato Ex­press­way to the other.

Ac­tu­ally, like most things, when it comes to cus­tomer ser­vice, the Porter Group has al­ready thought ahead. Vis­i­tors of­ten need golf carts to get around the com­plex, de­pend­ing on how far from the im­pos­ing, ar­chi­tec­turally de­signed cor­po­rate of­fice cen­tre­piece they need to go.

And be­lieve me, there have been plenty of vis­i­tors since the many fin­ish­ing touches have been ap­plied to this im­pres­sive new site at the north­ern edge of Porter Group’s home town, Hamil­ton.

While the scale seems im­mense (the ground con­crete pour alone com­prised 8,300 cu­bic me­tres of ma­te­rial and 1,200 in­di­vid­ual truck pours), the en­tire project has been de­signed from the out­set to fu­ture-proof Porter Group’s var­i­ous business di­vi­sions’ abil­i­ties to ca­pa­bly look af­ter a grow­ing and di­ver­si­fy­ing cus­tomer base.

At its most sim­ple, the 200,000 square me­tre site is well-prepped to hold a large num­ber of ma­chines—from diminu­tive ASV tracked load­ers and skid steers right up to gi­ant 45-tonne Madill log load­ers and ev­ery­thing in be­tween—as well as Porter Haulage’s fa­mil­iar fleet of low-load­ers that fetch and de­liver Porter-dis­trib­uted mo­bile plant for cus­tomers all over the coun­try and over­seas.

At its most com­plex, Porter Group’s head­quar­ters pushes the bound­aries of tech­nol­ogy and sus­tain­abil­ity. From re­cy­cled wa­ter, ex­ten­sive green belt and sculp­tured lake ar­eas, and sen­sor-con­trolled power and lights in­side the head of­fice build­ing, through to the pro­vi­sion for so­lar panels, im­proved waste oil-col­lec­tion meth­ods, the plant­ing of veg­e­ta­tion, and the util­i­sa­tion of en­er­gy­ef­fi­cient prod­ucts in cor­po­rate of­fices and work­shop bays alike, the com­bined green­tech ef­fort has seen the Porter Group site

Porter Group’s head­quar­ters pushes the bound­aries of tech­nol­ogy and sus­tain­abil­ity.

achieve a Green Star sus­tain­abil­ity rating of four stars.

Speak­ing of the work­shop bays, Porter Me­chan­i­cal gen­eral man­ager, Reece Brown, is ab­so­lutely de­lighted with the new premises his me­chan­i­cal and prod­uct sup­port teams are now work­ing within.

“Over­all, the work­shop area is big­ger and bet­ter able to han­dle the more di­verse range of ma­chin­ery we might see on-site for ser­vice or re­pair,” he says.

“We’ve also now got the en­tire team un­der one roof that will help with co­he­sive com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween ev­ery­one, which has an ob­vi­ous flow-on ef­fect for cus­tomers. We also have an in­te­grated train­ing room for our prod­uct sup­port spe­cial­ists now. The move to the new site has re­ally pushed us to up our game in a num­ber of ar­eas.”

For ex­am­ple, sand­blast­ing used to be con­tracted out, but Porter Me­chan­i­cal now has fa­cil­i­ties to com­plete this work in-house,

en­sur­ing bet­ter in­te­gra­tion into the panel and paint depart­ment.

“The tech­nol­ogy within the panel and paint operation is im­pres­sive,” Reece says. “Whereas a ma­chine get­ting ready to go onto our used fleet of­fer­ing might have needed one-and-a-half days to dry fol­low­ing paint­ing, de­pend­ing on the pro­ce­dure, that same paint might be ready in a mat­ter of hours now, thanks to our dry­ing tech­nol­ogy.”

Reece says that ev­ery ma­chine ar­riv­ing at the yard for re­me­dial or ser­vice work is thor­oughly washed in spe­cialised wash bays be­fore Porter Me­chan­i­cal staff start work­ing on it. The dirty wa­ter is sluiced away in clever drain pools to mit­i­gate haz­ardous sur­face wa­ter spread­ing across the yard.

The new site also in­cor­po­rates New Zealand’s largest parts ware­house ded­i­cated to con­struc­tion equip­ment parts. This mas­sive build­ing cov­ers ap­prox­i­mately 8,000 square me­tres and will house more than

$40 mil­lion in parts, ready for dis­tri­bu­tion through­out Aus­trala­sia and the South Pa­cific.

Oh, and, if you’re trav­el­ling down the Waikato Ex­press­way, keep a note of that large, spa­cious glass atrium at the front of the Porter Group head of­fice build­ing. Apart from see­ing some of the lat­est and great­est prod­ucts on dis­play from re­spected brands such as Hyundai, Bo­mag, and Terex, our con­tact at the com­pany prom­ises the odd sur­prise of a more vin­tage con­struc­tion equip­ment na­ture, too.

Golf carts? No, they don’t fea­ture un­der the atrium’s bright spot­lights. But I’m sure they’ll re­main in­te­gral to the run­ning of the new site re­gard­less.

The work­shop area is big­ger and bet­ter able to han­dle the more di­verse range of ma­chin­ery we might see for ser­vice or re­pair.

Far left: The Porter Group site has achieved a Green Star sus­tain­abil­ity rating of four starsLeft: The mas­sive parts ware­house is ap­prox­i­mately 8,000sqm and will house more than$40 mil­lion in parts

Far Left: En­er­gy­ef­fi­cient prod­ucts are used in the cor­po­rate of­fices and work­shop bays alikeLeft: The new 200,000sqm site is well-prepped to hold a large num­ber of ma­chines

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