Shaun Cameron has only owned Mangawhai Hire for a year-and-a-half, but when the opportunity came up to buy Hire Works at Warkworth and Snells Beach, he leapt at the chance.
The machinery hire business represents something of a radical departure for Shaun, who formerly made a living as a saturation diver in the oil and gas industries.
But he’s glad he made the change.
“Living in a compression chamber for 28 days with eight other guys can get a bit tiresome,” he says.
Moreover, he’s relished the transition into the hire business, having both an interest in machinery and developing positive relationships with customers.
Shaun says former owners John and Christine Kyle ran the business very well and he’s not planning major changes, but he does anticipate gradually securing an even greater range of equipment and larger machines, such as elevated work platforms and earth moving equipment.
Having said that, Shaun says that Hire Works pretty much has nearly everything required for building and landscaping a home, including weed eaters, chainsaws, rotary hoes, portable toilets, front-end loaders, and trenching, boring and compacting equipment.
The bigger machines all come on trailers for easy transport.
Shaun says customers range from handymen doing odd jobs to major contractors involved in local motorway projects.
Given Warkworth’s rapid growth, Shaun’s expecting things will only get busier for the business and while things are brisk now, he’s bracing himself for a surge in demand as summer approaches.
He says dividing his time between three locations and managing a staff of 16 has its challenges, but he’s benefited greatly from the advice of his father, Neville, who is both a mentor and business partner.
He has no regrets about rapidly expanding his business.
“When you are offered a good opportunity, I think you should take it,” he says.