ADVERTORIAL Reaching for the skies
Josh and Suzie Calder are the team behind Rural Air Work. They have over 20 years experience in agricultural aviation industry. Whilst the application of solid fertiliser makes up the majority of their workload, they also have the expertise for rural firefighting support. Rural Air Work’s distinctive pink Crescos and blue/yellow PAC 750XL aircraft are both capable of two tonne payloads along with the latest variable rate technology they can accommodate any aerial spreading needs in the greater Hawke’s Bay area. To assist the business on the ground, Rural Air Work has a close partnership with Stevenson & Taylor (SNT) Waipukurau having been loyal clients since 2015. In 2019 the two CHB companies worked closely building a purpose-built fertiliser loader truck, the project taking 10 months. This innovative machine has allowed Rural Air Work to upgrade their fleet, meet regulations and provide a safer loading cab for the drivers. Other projects they have worked together on include a waterproof bucket for filling the plane from ground equipment, essential when fighting fires from the air. Josh and Suzie both agree having the purpose-built machinery offers huge benefits for their company and clients. But when it comes to investing in the latest gear, there’s more to it than that. Josh says 99 per cent of the reason they use SNT is because of the service and support they provide. “They are always available to fix something for us, no matter what time of day or day of the week. We have to be able to keep working when the farmer needs us and if there is an issue with a machine it’s great to know Stevenson & Taylor are there.” The Waipukurau-based sales and service agents have come to the rescue a couple of times, says Josh, in one instance providing fixing equipment within just half an hour of the initial call. It’s a responsive service that Stevenson & Taylor general manager Robby Smith is justifiably proud of. But then, that’s the nature of the modern ag industry, he says. “The intensity has changed a lot. Previously ‘tomorrow’ was fine, that’s often not the case anymore. Our customers don’t ring us in anticipation of needing our help; when they call, they need assistance. So, we need to be straight onto solving the issue for them.” Stevenson & Taylor also promotes its engineering department’s capability and expertise — Robby believes one of the core strengths of the business is having staff with outstanding technical ability. He says between the workshop and the engineering department the company can offer results to their clients when it really matters. “We’re able to offer a largetown-shop experience, backed with small-town service,” he says. Rural Air Work is a progressive player in the Hawke’s Bay agricultural aviation industry. The support that Stevenson and Taylor offer makes their partnership destined for exciting things ahead.