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Chris Radford

Chris Radford

Technical Specialist - JAGUAR and LEXION — Landpower, Christchurch

How and when did you start your career in agriculture?

My career in agriculture first begun when I moved to New Zealand to work for Landpower. Growing up my father owned a contracting company, which just happened to run CLAAS machinery, so that aspect of agricultural machinery definitely isn’t new to me. But as far as my career in agriculture this begun with Landpower six years ago.


What drew you to this role?

When I first saw the position being advertised, one of my main reasons for applying was the opportunities it presented but also right time and right place as I had been looking at moving to New Zealand prior to my application. So, when I was offered the position it just all came together quite nicely as I had a genuine interest in the role itself.


What roles and experiences have led you to where you are now?

At the beginning of my career, I completed my apprenticeship with Caterpillar focusing on mining and earth movement back in Australia. After completing my apprenticeship with Caterpillar, I stayed there for a few years where I worked as the companies Third Service Mechanic. I joined Landpower in 2015, and although my role as a Technical Specialist hasn’t changed as such, the products that I look after have. The machinery that I have looked after is constantly evolving, which requires me to continue learning so I can provide best advice to our Service Technicians.


What do you love about our industry?

Coming from the mining industry to the agriculture industry the customers and the environment are a lot more enjoyable. We have really great customers who on occasions will invite you in for a cup of tea while trying to fix the issue on their machine, and another aspect that I enjoy is the pressure we face at times.


What advice would you give to someone thinking of working in our industry?

For us the summer period is our busiest time of the year during harvest. Being prepared that there will be times during summer where you may have to work a weekend or sacrifice personal time is important to know. It’s also important to understand the pressure our customers are under during this time because this is where the pressure to work extra hours will come from. Because it is seasonal, when a machine is down it needs to be up and going as soon as possible.


What do you think the future looks like for Landpower and CLAAS Harvest Centre?

Expansion. With machinery continuing to develop it's not just nuts and bolts any more it’s a lot more technical and machines are starting to separate more. It's no longer as simple as saying a tractor’s a tractor because even these are starting to vary from one another. I also think that the technology side of things is going to continue to grow, meaning current training will play a key role in ensuring our customers are being serviced by the best.


How have you seen the company develop over your time with us?

It's been a long road but the development with training has come a long way. Back when I started there wasn’t a Learning and Development Advisor in the company, so if we wanted to attend a training, we had to ask our administration team members to help organise it. Since then, there has been a positive change in the training area now having someone who owns the training aspect of it. They come to us for advice when they need it, but they are also there to give the advice, which is great. I definitely think that the positive developments that I have seen during my time is definitely the training being taken over by the one person and same with the warranty as it allows us to focus on helping the mechanics as much as we can.


What training and development have you undertaken with us?

When I first started with Landpower it was quite the learning curve for me because even though every machine has nuts and bolts, I had to adapt quickly to our CLAAS products. At the very start it involved sitting in on the product managers’ training courses and then running the training courses myself. Additionally, I have travelled and continue to travel to Europe to be trained on the CLAAS machines by the dedicated CLAAS trainer. I am then required to bring that material back and adapt the training to suit the needs of our technicians in our environment.


What do you feel are the key reasons you have stayed with the Landpower and CLAAS Harvest Centre team?

I enjoy the flexibility of my role and having to keep up to date with the new and updated products as this keeps me focused. Also, because my role is for both New Zealand and Australia, I get a lot of opportunities to go home and see the family in Tasmania, as well travel to the dealerships within the network.  

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58 West Coast Road, Yaldhurst
Christchurch 8042, New Zealand
PO Box 16130, Christchurch 8441

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