Machinery shed farming behemoth

Jo FulwoodCountryman
Anthony Ryan, manager Wongan Hills, and Devon Gilmour, manager Katanning, with the recently unveiled integrated Harrington Seed Destructor.
Camera IconAnthony Ryan, manager Wongan Hills, and Devon Gilmour, manager Katanning, with the recently unveiled integrated Harrington Seed Destructor. Credit: Countryman

At 130m long and 35m wide, the new McIntosh & Sons dealership in Wongan Hills is a monster of a machinery shed — possibly the biggest to be built in WA’s grainbelt.

Officially opened to a 400-strong crowd on Friday, the new premises on the outskirts of the central Wheatbelt town is hard to miss, and a monument to the 61-year-old family-owned company.

The new structure has been in the planning for several years, and has been built on a 7.5ha site just south of the town.

Wongan Hills Shire president Peter McNamara, who officially opened the new building, said the investment by McIntosh & Sons into a facility of this magnitude was a clear show of confidence, not only in agriculture in the Wongan Hills district, but right throughout the Wheatbelt.

Those who came to the official opening last week were given a rare glimpse of the newly unveiled integrated Harrington Seed Destructor, built by South Australian engineering company de Bruin Engineering and sold exclusively by McIntosh & Sons. With only 12 units retrofitted into harvesters ready for this coming harvest, growers will be watching closely to see the effectiveness of the much talked about invention, particularly given its $165,000 price tag.

According to a McIntosh representative, another 44 will be offered to growers for the 2017 season, 15 of which are already allocated.

Wongan Hills manager Anthony Ryan said the new premises would be a hub for machinery sales and service right throughout the central Wheatbelt.

Mr Ryan, who has been with McIntosh & Sons for 10 years, said the company had simply run out of room in its smaller premises down the road.

He said the new facility was world-class, having been custom-built using the knowledge and experience of the people who worked for McIntosh & Sons.

“I can safely and proudly say that I have never seen a better dealership in all my travels not only through Australia, but globally,” he said.

“Yes, it’s a big investment, but we’ve taken the approach that we are building it now to secure the company for the future.”

The new purpose-built premises includes a retail front, a parts division, a machinery display area and a service and maintenance area.

The dealership sells brands such as New Holland, LuiGong, MacDon and Miller.

McIntosh and Sons has nine dealerships in WA and one in Queensland, and a staff of 240.

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