Warwick to lead ag industry with one-of-a-kind site
WARWICK is set to host a combined farm machinery service centre and training site, the first of its kind in Southeast Queensland.
Southern Downs Ag has plans for a purpose-built sales, service and training centre in a paddock next to the Caltex truck-stop on the Cunningham Highway.
Co-owner Stuart Judd looked for a location with a few hectares of farmland attached to field-test and calibrate broad-acre farm machinery before delivery.
"We were running out to somebody's farm to calibrate equipment,” Mr Judd said.
"Some of that you can do on delivery, but it is better to have to do (that) before the machinery goes to the customer.”
There were whispers within the industry for a similar training centre in Gatton, but Warwick got in first.
"The industry reps come in from overseas to run service schools and they need to have a field site with real field applications,” Mr Judd said.
"They can't really do that in a shed in Brisbane.”
A bigger site means more staff and Mr Judd said he would look to employ an extra six technicians and sales staff in the new year.
Finding people skilled in these roles is its own challenge and Mr Judd hopes the training centre will benefit the whole industry.
"The equipment is so sophisticated,” he said
"Everything you touch today it uses electronics and laptops and software.
"You need the right balance between the old-school mechanics and the guys who are tech savvy to keep up with technology.”
The development has been in the works for two years. The public notification period would be held for 21 days and Mr Judd said construction would start as soon as possible.
He expects to have the site built some time next year.