NZ Dairy Summer 2021

| 99 nzdairy RURAL SERVICES » Pearson Contracting Ltd Diverse ability vital for Pearson Contracting Installing a stock underpass (above). Steve’s father Ray Pearson (below). Karen Phelps Diversification, tight cost controls and maintaining good customer relationships have been the bedrock of success for Westport’s Pearson Contracting. “You have to be diversified around here, you can’t specialise in one thing,” says Managing Director Steve Pearson. “There’s not one thing that is full time all the time. But one of the reasons we’ve remained in business is prudent cost control, not getting carried away with spending money and being cautious with the market. It’s buying what you can afford. There’s also a lot of loyalty with our customer base. Being fair and reasonable plays a big part in that. Key personnel working for the business are also a major contributor to our successful operation.” The company’s rich history stretches back to 1957 when 24 year old RHP (Happy) Pearson bought a truck and a little loader and set himself up as a sole trader working around the Buller district. In ’69 Happy crossed the Tasman and brought the first hydraulic excavator back to the South Island. The business continued to expand with six diggers operating full time for Landcorp (now known as Pamu), forestry and the Ministry of Works. Machinery included loader, dozers, and a ready mix concrete plant. Then the ’87 stockmarket crash drained Happy of much of his energy and passion and the business stagnated until 2008 when Pearson Contracting bought the business and Happy’s son Steve became Managing Director. “It was right on the global financial crisis when I took the business over but while the rest of the country was in recession Westport was going very well, probably because the mines were going alright back then,” says Steve. Steve progressively rebuilt the family business, diversifying into three operations – Ready Mix Concrete, Contracting and Garden Supplies. Included in Pearson Contracting’s diverse list of machinery are five excavators ranging from 5-tonne to 35-tonne machines. A brand new 22-tonne Hitachi has just been added to the fleet. Three front-end loaders, a grader and bulldozer and two crushing plants, a screening plant and a line up of 14 trucks including six concrete trucks complement Pearson Contracting’s vehicles and plant. All concrete batching is done at the company’s Derby Street yard, though there is also a small concrete batching plant out in Karamea. “Our main customers are the builders and building companies and. We do bulldozing, bulk cartage, gravel supplies, demolition work, flood protection, and ready mix concrete. Pamu is still quite a big customer for our excavation work and we do a lot of work for other farmers throughout Buller. Our work is quite diverse and includes drainage, flipping, humping and hollowing, roading, tracks and races — any farm work really. And we sell garden supplies. We can’t keep up with the demand for garden supplies at the moment — it’s walking out the door as fast as you bring it in to repair damagecaused by the July floods.” RHP (Happy) Pearson passed away earlier this year in his 87th year after a long illness. Steve reckons his dad would have been very proud that the business he started as a young man has continued to thrive. SUTHERLAND T Y R E S L T D STOCKISTS OF CENTURY BATTERIES • WOFS ANDWOF REPAIRWORK • BRAKE PADS AND DISC BRAKE MACHINING SERVICING AND SUSPENSION • TIMING BELTS ANDWATER PUMPS • TYRES OF ALL SIZES SUTHERLAND TYRES LTD • 4 ADDERLEY STREET WESTPORT “You have to be diversified around here, you can’t specialise in one thing.” • Ready Mix Concrete • Earthworks • Aggregates • Coal and Garden Supplies SUPPLIERS OF Phone: (03) 789 8505 or Steven 027 438 0825 Email: