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Feature: The business of Strautmann Hopkins

In celebration of New Zealand business, Farm Trader takes a closer look at the Kiwi family-owned business of Strautmann Hopkins

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Merging teams from Te Aroha Tractors and Strautmann Hopkins for superior customer service

The business of agricultural machinery runs deep in the veins of the Hopkins family, a name that has long been synonymous with the ​​Strautmann brand in New Zealand. As the machinery brands profile has continued to grow in New Zealand, so too has the Hopkins family’s passion and commitment, with the third generation of Hopkins now beginning to be involved in the business. 

The relationship between Hopkins and Strautmann began back in 1983 when Manawatu farmer John Hopkins started researching for the best quality​​ loader wagon he could find before deciding on ​ ​Strautmann​​  wagons from Germany. He then proceeded to import the first machines for the Hopkins family group of farms in Manawatu and Horowhenua.

It wasn’t long before other farmers and contractors cottoned on to the many attributes of the Strautmann machinery range and before long, John was importing and representing the brand in New Zealand.

Those early beginnings have led to a successful and mutually respectful decades-long relationship between the Hopkins family and the giant global Strautmann brand, which 37 years later is still going strong. And now the next generation of Hopkins family is stepping up to the plate to continue this family tradition.

Third generation

Conor Hopkins is the grandson of John Hopkins and joins his uncle Andrew Hopkins as the newest face in the continuously evolving business.

In his third year of studying AgriCommerce at Massey University, Conor is looking forward to finishing his final papers and getting more hands-on with the array of machinery Strautmann Hopkins offers.

“Over the last few years, I’ve spent some time in the workshop learning about the machines from the ground up and the mechanical side of it really interests me to the extent that a diesel-mechanical apprenticeship may also be part of next year’s goals.”

With three seasons under his belt working for an agricultural contractor, Conor has also travelled to Australia and Europe where he spent some months driving and was delighted to find himself handling a Strautmann wagon.

“I do have a deep passion for the brand; it was a bit of a childhood dream really to find myself working for a contractor and driving a Strautmann wagon.

“There are a lot of opportunities to learn within the business, particularly from Andrew who has been involved since the beginning.”

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Conor Hopkins

Steady growth

Strautmann Hopkins has enjoyed steady growth over the years and under the leadership of Andrew has evolved to be the leading importer of Strautmann loader wagons throughout New Zealand.

The family business also imports Strautmann mixer wagons, muck spreaders, and tip trailers, and just as importantly have an expertly trained and experienced team to provide full back-up, repair, and refurbishment services throughout New Zealand.

Well-respected and known throughout New Zealand, Strautmann Hopkins’ also boast an in-depth market knowledge and technical expertise, with a passionate team invested in keeping Strautmann’s reputation as a superior product in the marketplace.

Family ties

Remaining a strongly focused family business providing exceptional, personalised service, head office for Strautmann Hopkins is in Palmerston North, with an agency in the South Island (with Daryl Brown of D&K Engineering in Waimate) and more recently a new branch in the Waikato, with Stan and Fiona Knight from Te Aroha Tractors & Machinery.

“With outstanding growth in the business, the time is right to establish a new regional partnership with Stan and Fiona,” says Director – Operations Andrew Hopkins.

“We have formed a 100% subsidiary company called Strautmann Hopkins Waikato Limited, which will specifically service the upper half of the North Island above Taupo. Also, part of this team is our dedicated salesman, John Pio, who will assist throughout the North Island to promote and sell our machinery. Daniel Coe recently transferred from Te Aroha Tractors to be Strautmann Hopkins Waikato’s lead mobile mechanic for field service work.

“Another mechanic is expected to be employed shortly as the business grows. We are sourcing land and buildings around Te Aroha to make a permanent base for the new company at the moment.”

Well known in Te Aroha and throughout Waikato, Stan and Fiona are delighted to cement their involvement with such a reputable brand.

“We’re part of a thriving rural community and as such it’s important we can have complete confidence in the quality, workmanship, and performance of the brands we sell,” says Stan.

“Strautmann ticks all the boxes and it’s an exciting opportunity to have a closer relationship with the brand and the people behind it.”

Andrew is equally confident in the relationship, saying that Stan, Fiona and their team are ‘as passionate about the Strautmann brand as we are and are ideal people to partner within our expanding Strautmann business in New Zealand’.

“We like their can-do attitude and know they will go the extra mile for our customers, just like we do,” says Andrew.

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John Pio, Daniel Coe, Stan and Fiona Knight, Conor Hopkins

Southern success

In the South Island, where Strautmann machinery also enjoys popularity, Daryl Brown and D&K Engineering specialise in servicing, fabrication, and repairs, as well as being South Island stockists for servicing and sales.

“Daryl is a very experienced and capable engineer and runs an excellent business at Ikawai where they are based,” says Director –Business Ian Hopkins.

“He has been supporting my brother Andrew for the last seven years throughout the South Island for our Strautmann machinery sales and service.”

During the early days of that relationship, Daryl and some of his staff spent time at Strautmann Hopkins Palmerston North base, becoming skilled in assembling, servicing and refurbishing the Strautmann machines so they could do the same down in the South Island.

“In addition, Andrew has travelled south to spend time assisting in further on the job training.”

Containers of Strautmann machines are shipped directly to the D&K workshop, where Daryl and his team unload and assemble the machines ready for sale. Once sold, they continue to provide a very high level of service and back-up to all Strautmann customers, even though at times they have huge distances to travel.

One of the largest customers is Daryl Thompson Contracting in Invercargill, which owns three Strautmann Terra Vitesse 4201 Loader Wagons, leases another and also employs other owner-driver operators.

Customers in the South Island tend to own larger Strautmann Loader Wagons to handle the larger workload on bigger farms there.

Another contractor, Andrew Quigley of Ashburton has a number of Strautmann Loader Wagons, including the larger Terra Vitesse 5201 triple axle machine.

Future thinking

With such a firmly committed team behind the brand, the future of Strautmann and Strautmann Hopkins in New Zealand looks bright.​

For more information, visit strautmann.co.nz.

Find new and used tractors for sale in NZ 

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