Our Vocational Visit to Lyndoch Motors
Our Vocational committee organised a club visit to Lyndoch Motors to see how a car and agricultural machinery business operates. The picture shows the members enjoying a
hamburger and fellowship after the tour.
Our hosts were Darren Bitter, Steve Ahrens and Graham Ahrens  The business was started by Steve and Graham's father in 1951 when he bought a blacksmiths workshop at the back of the family home. Since then, the business has expanded to cover a large area, has multiple shedding and now includes a Mitsubishi dealership and a Case Agricultural Machinery dealership. The property still surrounds the family home.
Our tour took us through the Mitsubishi car sales, parts and maintenance departments with Steve explaining the business drivers that determined the quantity and range of parts that are needed to be on hand to ensure the prompt service of the cars and machines they sell.
The current pandemic has affected the vehicle industry significantly. New car sales are down, but the availability of a new car has been greatly reduced due to problems with the production of new cars. One example Steve gave was the extensive use of computer chips in the modern car. Currently, there is a worldwide shortage of computer chips so cars can not be produced. The computer chips are part of the car construction process, so the car can not be made and then have the chips installed later. This alone has put severe restrictions on the availability of new cars so that there are very few cars in stock. Any cars they do get in are already sold. Another effect of the new car shortage is the value of used cars has risen.
The washdown shed was an enlightening experience. The water used is rainwater collected from the sheds. When in use, the muck, dirt and grease on the machines are washed into a gutter which then goes to a treatment plant that separates the water from the crud so that the water returned from the process is clean and the crud is disposed of through an environmentally accredited process.
The Case dealership in agricultural machinery was also an interesting experience. The equipment there ranged from a 1939 Case Tractor, which is in working order, to a $1,100,000 harvesting machine. The picture shows PP Keith Adams, who is over 6 feet tall, with Sandie Simons and Peggy Brookes who barely make 5 feet tall, alongside one of the wheels on the harvester.
The problems with supply, and therefore sales, described in the car department also exist in the agricultural machinery business. The Farm machinery, 80% of the business according to Graham, is not a high turnover area, but the maintenance and repair of the machines are fully catered for at Lyndoch Motors, which explains the number of huge sheds on the property.
After the tour, the club put on a BBQ dinner, followed by informal questions to Steve, Graham and Darren. PP Mark Graetz thanked Lyndoch Motors for opening their business to us and providing so much information about their operation.
We had time for fellowship and time to look at the old tractors in the workshop while we waited for the rain to stop.