The spark behind a dynamic business

Few New Zealand farmers depend on electric fence energizers like Brian McLay. With no fewer than 50 electric fence energizers, Brian’s business McLay Enterprises is far from your typical livestock farming operation.

The former farm management consultant, valuer and orchardist, winters around 10,000 lambs on orchards, vineyards and lifestyle blocks in Hawke’s Bay. He and his team provide most of the fencing on each block and, with up to 50km of three-wire fence erected at any time, choosing the right energizer is an important business decision.

“Traditionally, units are just put in the shed and plugged in - ours see a lot of the country over the winter which means they need to be versatile and strong.”

Almost all the energizers he uses to secure the 10,000 lambs on blocks of between two and 100 hectares are Speedrite 1000 energizers.

“We’ll walk on to a block with no fences on it and expect the lambs to stay there, so versatility of power source and ruggedness are important. “When we go to a property we’re often not sure if we’ll be using a mains unit or a 12 volt adapter. The Speedrite 1000 gives us the necessary flexibility as it can be used as a mains, battery or even a solar unit (with solar panels).”

Batteries provide most of the power and Brian says being “economic on the batteries” is important. “It’s really about punch for buck, and the Speedrite energizer has that.”

Also important is the ability to “take the knocks”, given that most units are moved to several properties over a winter. “There have been virtually no maintenance issues which is very important in our business.”