I’m Conplant’s national product manager.
I sell machines, do product demos, support the sales & workshop teams, sort out warranties and spare parts… sometimes I even jump in the truck and fix issues here and there. We’ve usually encountered most of our customers’ scenarios from within our hire fleet. As you can see, the role’s not just what it says on the tin!
I started out in ‘88 as a heavy vehicle mechanic. Then I moved into a sales role at Shell, working with fuel and lubricants, which often comes in handy now with machine applications. It’s nice to have that technical background, because I can fix the machines myself or help a customer fix them in person or over the phone.
I only had a little experience with tandem rollers when I first joined Conplant. Conplant is the Ammann dealer for heavy compaction in Australia, so I’ve had the chance to get up-close and personal with the Ammann range. The technical know-how behind the compaction equipment really impressed me. If you haven’t got good compaction, nothing can go up. Skyscrapers, roads… if you want it to stay together, you can’t put it on uncompacted ground. So that makes being a specialist in compaction a very important role.
Big companies are now realising the value of good compaction. It was a bit of an afterthought in the past. But some of these major projects now have warranties up to 20 years, so they really have to get compaction right otherwise they’re liable. We’re starting to change minds – not just because we say so, because we’re proving that it’s so much more cost effective in the long term. More and more people are realising there’s better and safer ways to do compaction.
A lot of big companies – especially older ones – are slow to react to change. The attitude and knowledge of the people at Conplant means we can be on our toes, and as reactive as our customers need. You can see that in the innovations we’ve brought out. Everyone pitches in here – there’s a whole bunch of us that can jump in the truck or the forklift, or pull a drum out, or do whatever we need to do to help the customer, because that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.
Conplant is now the Australian distributor of Wacker Neuson compaction and construction equipment. We’re extremely excited to welcome WN to the Conplant family and to have the opportunity to offer our customers a larger range and more choice.
I’m also really excited about the launch of the ART280. It’s a new pneumatic tyred roller, which is well overdue as far as I’m concerned. Even if you don’t know rollers, you’ve definitely seen one of these before – they’re a mainstay of regional councils and government bodies. It’s a good machine but it’s been given a really user-friendly upgrade and it’s quickly becoming the new machine of choice in time.
We’ve also launched the second series of the ARX tandem rollers and ARS soil compactors, and some great new trench compactors – we can’t seem to keep any stock at the moment, they’re very popular!