Machinery legend calls it a day

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 06:53 06/06/2014
Hermann
LAIRD HARPER/Fairfax NZ
NUTS AND BOLTS: Agricultural Machinery Taranaki's John Hermann is calling it quits.

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After decades of helping farmers get the right machine for the job, John Hermann is calling it quits.

It will bring an end to 34 years as the face of Agricultural Machinery Taranaki and herald a new era for the Hawera resident.

Hermann said it was the right time to pull the plug on a career forged in the rural sector.

"Sometimes an opportunity comes along and you have to take it. There's no point waiting until both feet are in the grave."

He will spend his semi- retirement helping wife Cheryl, his congregation and his community.

"I see a need there and I want to do what I can."

But leaving a business he helped to turn into a farmers' favourite wasn't a decision he made lightly.

Hermann said the most enjoyable moments had been helping his customers and making sure they were being looked after.

"I have met a lot of very nice, salt of the earth type of people, including third generations.

"I will miss chewing the fat with them. I have to say farmers backed us pretty well."

Hermann said his customers, suppliers and staff would be left in safe hands, with Palmerston North firm Transag Centre (2014) Ltd taking the helm.

He said the biggest change during his time with the business had been the growth in the number of rural contractors, as farmers concentrated on bigger farms and increasing stock numbers. "It never ceases to amaze me, the number of contractors we have in Taranaki."

Like all businesses connected to the dairy sector, AMT's fortunes have ebbed and flowed as dairy payouts fluctuate.

"But because we are covering the repairs and parts, there was always something to keep the business ticking along," Hermann said.

"If the farmer isn't buying a new tractor, they need to spend a little more on the old one."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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