Variety spice of life for Bruce’s team
Next time you sprinkle salt on your fish and chips, spare a thought for Bruce Langford, managing director of Blenheim based haulage and agricultural contracting company, Harvest Haulage Ltd.
Each year Bruce and his team of drivers cart on average 80,000 tonne of unwashed salt from the Lake Grassmere Saltworks ponds 8 kilometres down the track to be crushed and washed ready for processing.
Bruce’s fleet of 11 trucks make thirty 8km round trips each day, shifting 3500 tonne of salt for about 33 days each year over the March/April salt harvesting period.
At about the same time of year, Harvest Haulage is engaged by Peter Yealands Winery and Growco to cart 7000 tonne of grape marc from around the Marlborough region to a storage facility for processing into either stock food or compost.
Agriculture is the third string to Harvest Haulage’s diverse contracting bow, which has been in development phase since 2008 when Bruce teamed up with another contractor with a silage chopper.
Bruce bought the chopper three years ago and now operates the agricultural operation in his own right.
It’s an area of the business that he’s keen to extend, ensuring a more even flow of work throughout the seasons.
“In spring time there is silage and hay going on and most other things are quiet.
Where-as come the autumn time we have the salt and grape season so you are busy then,” says Bruce.
With a farming background, a passion for farming and enjoying working with rural folk who he says have a more laid back approach to life, Bruce says he feels right at home as he mows paddocks, turns grass into round bales or silage or carts the hay. Bruce’s trade qualification in mechanics complement his skillset.
“My motto is that we like to provide a good reliable service in everything that we do.
We try to do what the customer wants done and do it reliably. The fact that I have some reasonable mechanical skills and can make sure the gear is reliable makes a huge difference.”
In addition to the haymaking and silage gear, Harvest Haulage’s fleet of trucks along with a 6 tonne digger offers farmers in the Nelson/ Marlborough district valuable contracting versatility.
“When we go to do a job for a farmer it’s his livelihood at stake. We have it clearly in mind that we are dealing with peoples livelihoods,” Bruce says.
“We don’t just go there to do a job—we go there to make sure the farmer gets the best out of what we are doing.
“If we are doing silage and have to work the extra hours to get the job done before a rain, that is what we will do.”