Demand drives firm’s huge growth
Harmer Earthmoving has grown dramatically over recent years and now incorporates a number of related companies including Harmer Logging and Mt Hutt Lime, meaning a onestop-shop for customers, says owner Jon Harmer.
“If a customer wants to do a dairy conversion, for example, we can do everything from design to laneways to GPS of services and fence layout, farm plans, water systems, shed pads and layout. It’s a full package service,” explains Jon.
Jon and wife Emma founded the company in 2008 after purchasing some diggers and trucks off Jon’s father Jack who had been running a small rural contracting business and wanted to downsize.
Emma and Jon started off completing roading and maintenance and general farm work for customers. Before long they expanded into logging and the company now has two dedicated crews working in Canterbury.
Harmer Earthmoving works Canterbury wide specialising in forestry work, land conversions, landfi ll, effluent ponds and systems, irrigation schemes and dams, subdivision and roading, mining, civil works and dairy tracks.
Because the company can complete the majority of the works for each project in-house Jon says this makes a real difference to maintaining control over quality and timing of projects.
Through Mt Hutt Lime, which Jon and Emma co-own with Jack and Jeanette Harmer, the company can even supply its own aggregate for projects.
Mt Hutt Lime supplies a wide range of Aglime and dairy track from three quarries in the Methven/Mt Somers area. Importantly all of this means that the client has one point of contact for their entire project.
“If there is any problem we take responsibility. There is no one else to pass the blame onto,” says Jon..
“This really takes the risk out of projects for our clients.” Because the company has a large team and workload this also means high levels of expertise.
“We do dairy tracks all year round and have a team dedicated to this so we get very good at it. We have a team dedicated to installation of irrigation pipes and another for the logging and earthmoving side of the business.”
Investing in plant and equipment is another priority to ensure a high level of quality on every project and cater to clients needs. For example Harmer Logging offers a fully mechanical setup so the whole process is done with technology.
The company completes logging projects for farmers who might want a shelter belt removed or have log plantations ready for harvesting on their farm.
Harmer Logging can take care of the whole job from processing the wood to organising a buyer for the wood. The company even employs its own mechanic and engineers in its team of around 45 staff to take care of plant maintenance in-house.
The installation of GPS guidance on the machines, for up to 10mm accuracy from the seat of the cab, in key fleet assets has delivered increased accuracy and efficiency.
It’s a real family run business. Jon takes on the day to day running of the company but still gets out on the machines when he can.
Emma assists with the administration side of the business along with Jon’s mum Jeanette. Emma’s father Phil is a workshop foreman and Jon’s dad Jack also works with the business.
“Dad is an extremely good operator and I put all the young people that come into the business under him to learn because his skill levels are exceptional.”
Jon says he thrives on pressure and has enjoyed the challenge of taking the company to its present size. The company is presently in consolidation mode after expanding and Jon and his team are looking forward to serving the needs of customers into the future.
“At Harmer we harness our local knowledge and expertise to deliver innovative solutions which get the job done.”
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