There’s a knack to gauging what the next big thing in machinery will be, and Jacks Machinery has it.
“When we started stocking ride-on lawnmowers no one had them, and there was an attitude of ‘who would want one of those?’” says Jacks Machinery owner Steve Jacks.
“The same thing happened with side-by-sides, and now they’re considered pretty much essential for farming in New Zealand. We’re always looking at the market to figure out what is next.”
One machine, many uses
Perhaps Jacks Machinery’s biggest fortune-telling success story is MultiOne. The compact loader has 170 available attachments that can be added on.
Its versatility makes MultiOne ideal for a wide range of uses, from general-use attachments like buckets and forks, to very specialised equipment like a solar panel washer to a tree shaker and collector for olives and nuts. “MultiOne is a great option for agriculturalists, tree surgeons, builders…the list goes on.
“It’s an economic solution to a variety of problems.”
MultiOne’s clever design is highlighted when comparing it to a standard skid steer. “The MultiOne machine is relatively simple – it’s a computer-less, diesel machine. But, their design makes them top of the line,” says Steve.
“Its simplicity is an advantage because it means a diesel mechanic can easily service them, so we can send them to customers throughout the country without issue.”
Thanks to its articulated frame, MultiOne can navigate tight spaces much more accurately than a skid steer, while not ruining the ground.
“They’re very popular in the UK where they work inside more, as MultiOne can navigate tricky spaces and have considerably better visibility.
“All of our MultiOnes have extendable booms that hydraulic out, meaning they can reach further and lift higher than a skid steer.”
That’s despite MultiOne being much lighter than a skid steer – they can be towed by a standard car or ute.
Jacks Machinery stumbled upon MultiOne while seeking a machinery solution for local beekeepers. “We had customers in the honey industry wanting a machine to shift their beehives.
“Locally there wasn’t many suitable options, so we looked around the world and found MultiOne – it has a specific attachment for moving beehives.”
Jacks Machinery is a direct importer of MultiOne, and can supply the machine, and its 170 variations, throughout New Zealand. “It’s been an absolute business win.”
MultiOne isn’t the only high quality Italian brand imported directly by Jacks Machinery. Faresin provides a variety of mixer wagons and telehandlers ideal for farmers and industrial projects, and Seppi is a brand purely dedicated to mulchers, both PTO for tractors and hydraulic for diggers.
In addition, Jacks Machinery are dealers for almost 20 more brands, including Trimax mowing systems, Hustler ride-on mowers, McIntosh trailers, Polaris UTVs, and Silvan sprayers.
“Our large range means we really take the time out to help our customers buy the machine that best serves the job they need doing.
“We have a paddock out the back for customers to take the machines for a spin, and our sales team are always on the road getting familiar with our customer’s environment and specific needs.
“Machinery is a big investment, so we want to ensure customers are happy with the product they choose – whether it’s a $250 chainsaw or $250,000 tractor.”
Several brands have come and gone from the Jacks’ sales line-up, but the business still has parts and service equipment for brands they don’t stock.
And it’s fair to say the products Jacks Machinery stock today look a bit different to what they sold 50 years ago. “Agriculture machinery and tractor technology has advanced tremendously,” says Steve.
“To service products before, you really only needed a mechanic and a sparky. Now, our workshop staff have to know how to do both roles and be computer savvy as well.
“You still have basic tractors, but there are sophisticated options kitted with GPS systems, complex interfaces, radars to get true ground speed and all sorts.”
Electric machinery is a technological advancement that’s starting to gain traction, with brands like MultiOne and Faresin now selling electric-powered options. “The technology is certainly getting there, but electric machinery is still significantly more expensive –you can buy a petrol ride-on lawnmower for $5500 and an electric one is $13,000.
“The option’s there for customers looking to invest in environmentally-friendly machinery, which of course costs significantly less to run. However, battery life and the price point both have a way to go before petrol and diesel machines go anywhere.”