About us

Ag-Tech

Ag-Tech Industries is a New Zealand family business with activity dating back to before WWII. With very humble beginnings, S R Suckling began the family legacy. S R Suckling was very good with his hands and the story goes that he could make a horse cover while drinking a cup of tea! He worked most of his life in the canvas trade, including helping out with New Zealand’s war effort during WWII.

His son, Vernon Suckling, purchased the leather, saddlery, and canvas business off him. Vernon has always liked the manufacturing trade and was inspired to start Ag-Tech Industries as a business that would produce unique products to supply a demand where the product was not readily available. The company name, Ag-Tech Industries, was decided on as one that gave some scope to make and sell and wide range of products in relation to the agricultural sector.

Ranchware

Ag-Tech Industries originally started out as ‘Ranchware’ manufacturing leather stock horse saddlery.

This was a successful mail order business until horses were being replaced by the ATV. This called for a change of direction and in true innovative style, the ‘Quad Pod’ was invented. This was the beginning of the ‘TRAX Equipment’ brand and a new line of products including windscreen, roof and side door cover for ATV (quad) and UTV (side by side) bikes.

Following on from past experience in the outdoor shade trade, Ag-Tech Industries went on to develop outdoor canopies under the ‘Solar Shield’ brand, specialising in custom made canopies to help provide solutions for better weather protection in schools, residential and industrial areas. These were, and still are, designed and manufactured in the Ag-Tech Industries factory, with each Solar Shield made completely unique to suit the location, customer preferences and local regulations.

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A major milestone in the life of Ag-Tech Industries was the development of the ‘ATV LifeGuard’, the world’s first flexible roll bar for quads. The LifeGuard went on to win the NZ Health and Safety Award, the Golden Standard Fieldays Award, and the National Safety Award of Excellence.

One of the first units sold saved a young man’s life within months of it being fitted to his quad bike, and there has been many more reports since then about how the LifeGuard has saved riders from death or serious injury.

This revolutionary product is sold all around the world through multiple distributors: NZ, Australia, UK, Canada, South America, Ireland and Europe.

Years later, continuing on from the LifeGuard and seeing the need to offer an alternative, the QuadGuard was developed. This is a similar idea to the LifeGuard in offering a flexible crush protection device, but instead is made from moulded plastic.

Ag-Tech Industries prides itself on innovation, keeping up with industry trends and being able to diversify to cater to consumer demands. The team is passionate about delivering quality, fit-for-purpose products, and has plenty of technical knowledge to satisfy customer needs.

Ag-Tech Industries is committed to filling product gaps in the market, designing and manufacturing most of their products on their local premises. This allows unique products to be brought to the market, offering customers a quality, high-performing, alternative product.

Ag-Tech Industries

Now in the 4th generation of the family, Ag-Tech Industries is an agricultural industry leader, based in Northland, New Zealand

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide good products delivered on time.

Our Values

Our values are the guiding principles that dictate our behaviour and actions. They create an unchanging guide, along with helping us to determine if we are on the right path and fulfilling our goals.

  • Accountability:responsible and accountable
  • Gratitude:appreciation and thankfulness
  • Teamwork & Trust: cooperative and reliable
  • Enthusiasm:eagerness and passion
  • Cheerfulness & Consistency:happy and predictable
  • Honesty:the quality of being honest

Q&A with Ag-Tech Industries Founder – Vernon Suckling:

What are some major turning points in your company’s life?

Switching from leather belts and embossed leather handbags to purchasing my father’s business was the first major turning point. This was a start to my present business of agricultural accessories. Then switching again to Quad and UTV aftermarket accessories was another major turning point.

Amusing and inspirational events that have occurred along the way?

I took a Quad Pod with me in the boot of my car on a sales trip and sold one to virtually every dealer between Auckland and Invercargill. I am not even a salesman!

Competition from genuine manufacturers has always been a challenge. 5 things have helped:
  1. Making glass windscreens instead of plastic.
  2. Keeping the price more competitive.
  3. Not relying on imported product, so don’t run out of stock can always supply on demand quickly.
  4. Providing a cab kit for new models as vehicle manufacturers release them.
  5. Keeping up with the digital age,  employing someone that could do this was a great help.
What are your outside interests?

I enjoy museums and looking at old farm gear and how it has developed over the years. I also enjoy looking after our small block and section around the house. When all the jobs are done, I like to head for a quiet spot at the beach.

Who are your role models?

My Father was someone I always looked up to because he had skilled hands and new how to crank stuff out.

Which one thing do you wish you’d done differently?

I am sure I would have benefitted if I had studied accountancy more when I was starting out in business.

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