NZ’s top operator part of family firm

NZ’s top operator part of family firm
Andrew Haulage specialises in earthmoving and subdivision work and can also plough in alkathene piping up to 300mm in diameter.

Balclutha-based company Andrew Haulage 2011 Ltd has proven itself to be much more than a heavyweight with a big reputation in earth works, civil contracting and drainage in the south.
One of the members of the family-owned business, Troy Calteaux, has such a deft touch he was named the country’s best excavator operator in March after an intense two-day competition.
Troy proved his advanced skills in all aspects of excavator operation during the Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ) National Excavator Operator Competition held at the Central Districts Field Days in Feilding.
As part of the competition he was able to demonstrate the ability to use his excavator to peel a watermelon and paint a number and was ultimately presented with the CablePrice NZ Number One Excavator award.
Competitors also had to respond to a realistic emergency situation involving first-aid skills, and brief and coach young children to operate a 1.7 tonne mini excavator.
Another task, for which just 60 minutes was allowed, was to build a loading ramp using a fivetonne machine after first scoping, designing and pricing the job. The work would normally take a full day.
Competition manager Tricia Logan said Troy was an outstanding operator, as the field was particularly strong this year and it was an extremely tight finish between the top winners.
“All the competitors demonstrated a very high level of skill, knowledge and excellence and are at the very top of their game.”
Troy has worked for Andrew Haulage for eight years and manages forestry roading for Rayonier in the Otago region.
He works alongside his father, Colin, and younger brother Kieran. It was only his second time in the hotly contested competition. Not surprisingly, Colin is extremely proud of Troy’s achievement.
“He did something that I couldn’t do. He’s developed even more since the competition, not just as a machine operator, but also in his work role.”
The family has owned Andrew Haulage since 2011, having bought the long-established business from Don Andrew who built the company up servicing the burgeoning forestry and agricultural industries in the lower south.
He believed in constantly reinvesting in machinery and this paved the way for a reliable fleet capable of tackling most jobs. This is a strategy that Colin continues and believes it is essential to provide an up-to-date range of plant and machinery.
Consequently work now undertaken includes earth moving, drainage, watermain upgrades, roading, supplying and placing concrete, bridge maintenance, forestry roading, chipping, sub-divisions and a range of farm works.
Andrew Haulage can also plough-in alkathene water piping up to 300mm diameter, to a depth of 1200mm, using a D7H bulldozer teamed up with two D8H’s for horsepower and traction.
While running modern, reliable machinery is important, Colin says having good staff who relate well with clients is especially crucial.
“It’s not just sitting on machines, it about being able to work with people and with other companies. We used to do a lot of sub-contractor work, now we are the main contractors; we’ve grown in that division.”
To cope with demand for these services the company’s staff has more than doubled since 2011. Andrew Haulage has significant operations in Central Otago where 12 to 14 staff are based.
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