FEATURED: Ararat Auto & Ag Services on a mission

By: Anna Game-Lopata

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Kerry Hammond and Terry Peatt have grown their farm machinery dealership Ararat Auto & Ag Services by keeping their options open in business.

FEATURED: Ararat Auto & Ag Services on a mission
Ararat Auto and Ag founders Terry Peat and Kerry Hammond.

When Kerry Hammond first met her partner Terry Peatt, he was working as a mechanic in his father’s business Caltex Mid City Service Centre opposite the local picture theatre in the main street of Ararat.

At the time it was a service station and a mechanical repair business.

Born locally, Hammond went to Ararat High School, while Peatt grew up in Buangor on a small rural property.

They went to the same school and travelled on the same school bus, but life being the way it is, they didn’t really have much to do with each other until later in life.

Hammond’s parents and grandparents were all farmers, and she spent all her childhood and teenage years on the farm, apart from when studying in Ballarat to become a teacher in her late teens.

Meanwhile Peatt grew up around machines and trucks, with a keen interest in anything mechanical.

Completing his apprenticeship at the local General Motors Holden dealer, he worked on trucks and cars and later as a mechanical fitter and welder on construction sites in Gippsland and Newcastle.

Soon after Hammond and Peatt met in 2004, Peatt’s father Bill passed away unexpectedly, but not before passing on some valuable business tips. He also showed Kerry how to do the bookwork by hand.

"Bill Peatt was a very astute business man, and was the driving force behind the innovations surrounding the local Ararat RSL complex in his day," Hammond says.

"He is well known in Ararat for his contribution to the RSL."

Hammond asserts both she and Peatt are completely driven.

"I think that’s why we work well together as a team," she says. "We both work hard on what we are trying to achieve."

When an opportunity came along to lease, and finally buy, a commercial site previously owned by the local Toyota Dealer on the busy Western Highway, they jumped at the opportunity.

 "We felt owning our own site was important to give us flexibility," Hammond says.

The farm machinery sales and service side of the business has evolved from Hammond and Peatt’s automotive repair and maintenance business which specialised in LPG conversions and roadworthy inspections.

Read the full story about how they did it in the June issue of NewFarmMachinery Magazine on sale 16 June. sSubscribe to the magazine to have it delivered to your doorstep.

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