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OPERATOR PROFILE

According to Kerry, the business mostly does commercial

and large area work, particularly in places such as retirement

villages. Only 20 to 30 per cent of their work remains domestic.

WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY

Peta and Kerry said that it has been both challenging and

rewarding to be women in a male dominated industry, but have

found the industry to be friendly and supportive.

“Mostly, it’s a very friendly industry, but it can be a hard

industry for women. Because most of the men are by themselves

on a daily basis, most of them don’t get that social connection.

When I started to be able to talk machinery with them, I just

became one of the boys,” Kerry said.

“We just had a vow renewal and we invited our mates in the

business, who respect both of us,” she said.

Physically, Kerry said that she is up to the challenge.

“I’m now 61, and I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve

built up a lot of body strength. Unfortunately Peta now, being

transgender, has lost a lot of body strength. She has realised that

what I’ve been doing is really hard work!” Kerry said.

“I always respected Kerry before, but now I really do,” Peta agreed.

Peta said that above all, it’s about being professional and

getting the job done to a high standard.

“Being two women, as independent contractors, we are

always professional, make sure we look nice and make sure we

give a hundred and ten per cent,” she said.

Without the advertising budget that big franchises have,

Peta also commented that a job well done is the best self-promo-

tion that she and Kerry have. They rely heavily on equipment

and their own skills to complete work to a high standard.

“We need to have equipment that isn’t constantly breaking

down – we don’t just want to look like girls who can’t pull-start a

mower,” she said.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

Peta and Kerry plan to continue running their contracting business

with a focus on reliability and results. They said that it has been

interesting to watch the industry change over many years, and have

seen a definite shift in products that are used and brands that are

respected. Peta said that she believes the industry’s next big change

will see service and maintenance playing less of a role in the life of

power equipment.

“I think with servicing and small repairers dropping out, the

industry is really moving towards disposable. Gone are the days

where Honda was all the go – parts of the industry are moving away

from reliable brands, but there are still a few. The Shindaiwa chain-

saws, for example, have got a great reputation. I think there will be a

shift, moving towards disposable equipment which isn’t serviced as

much. It is basically use it until it is dead and then replace it.”

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POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA

| AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2016