Third-party endorsement of a brand’s products and services can add greater credibility to its content marketing mix. In a B2B environment, customer testimonials ‘from people like me and people I want to be’ can help validate a prospective customer’s purchasing decision during the consideration or evaluation phase.
In this story, we caught up with Kui, Griffin & Co. to learn about how its new Mercedes-Benz Atego was supporting its bottom line.
This testimonial is published on keithandrews.co.nz/mercedes-benz and in Keith Andrews’ customer magazine PAYLOAD.
Deliverables: Feature article, photography.
New Zealand’s Central Plateau is a land of fire and ice – and root vegetables. In an environment of extremes, where work is seasonal, adaptability is vital to a business’ success. That’s why Kui, Griffin & Co. has just taken delivery of a new multipurpose 4x4 Mercedes-Benz Atego 1630.
Based in Raetihi, a stone’s throw from the official ‘carrot capital of New Zealand’, Kui, Griffin & Co. has managed to navigate the twists and turns of seasonal trade as successfully as the skiers who visit nearby Mt Ruapehu in winter.
The key is adapting their groundspreading trucks to provide gritter and rescue services through winter. The 300hp Atego is the latest addition to a fleet of four spreaders – and is the jewel in the crown.
“Our other spreaders are a little under-powered now, plus most of them don’t have cross-locks, which the Atego has,” explains Dave Griffin, one of the company’s directors.
“We also wanted it to be as light as possible,” adds his son (and fellow director) Darren.
“We’re often so deep into the soil, the diffs push into the dirt; so we need the cross locks to give us enough traction to get through it.”
The Atego’s low tare weight of 8.3T, and 300hp /1200Nm OM936 engine, make an ideal combination.
“That’s a lot more horsepower than our other trucks, and it’s perfect for what we want. With more power, we can move more easily through tricky paddocks.”
When working on root crops, the Atego can spread up to 7T of lime per hectare from its stainless steel ACE hopper; although if the ground is wet, they won’t carry more than 3T.
Driver Keegan Griffin (pictured right; son of Darren) has only been in the industry for two years, but says he already prefers the Atego over the other trucks.
“The Merc is more stable; it’s better on the roads and takes the bumps better. There’s
a lot more power and I don’t have to change gears down as much, because I get more torque through the hills.
“Even though it’s higher off the ground and a bit wider, it still handles the corners well.”
But that’s only half of the job, as Darren Griffin, who runs the spreading side of the business, explains.
“In winter, the tractor tyres come off and we’ll put on road tyres. We use the same body to spread no. 6 grade chip anywhere from Raetihi to Lake Rotoaira, Mangaweka or the Desert Road and the Paraparas if requested. In a night, each truck might do up to 300km.”
Dave was running gritters for the Ministry of Works nearly 50 years ago, so it’s something the company knows a bit about.
While making the roads safer for all users by applying grit is its main role through winter, sometimes Kui, Griffin & Co will get called out on a rescue job.
“Fairly regularly, we’re asked to tow trucks or truck and trailer units that are stuck in the ice or snow. We can pull up to 58T, sometimes using two trucks.”
To make night work safer and easier, Leo Bell Auto Electrical equipped the Atego with extra lights and storage boxes to hold towing gear and other important tools of the job, and also installed a Precision GPS system.
“Leo said the Atego was easy to work on, because all the internal electrics are well positioned,” says Darren.
The truck was bought from Keith Andrews and Darren says that the company’s local Mercedes-Benz sales specialist John O’Sullivan made the whole process easy.
“I basically told John what we needed, and here we are!”
With support from Keith Andrews, Ace Equipment and Leo Bell Auto Electrical, Darren and Dave have taken their multipurpose spreading fleet to the next level.
“Mercedes-Benz has a reputation as a premium brand and we expect this will be a 20-year truck for us, working year-round.”
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