ALAN Machin always wanted to be a mechanic.
After completing his apprenticeship, the 25-year-old from Manjimup wasted no time in turning vision into reality.
Combining knowledge and experience in both agriculture and machinery, Mr Machin started Burnbank Mechanical and Agriculture in 2019 on a whim.
From humble beginnings - and a social media post - the mobile agricultural mechanic business was fast to grow.
So much so, Mr Machin now trains his own apprentice, has secured work with four major fleets and most recently landed a pretty sweet deal with Knuckey Engineering.
Admittedly, he never planned for business to boom - let alone in just three years.
In fact, Mr Machin would label himself as more of a "see how it goes, take each day as it comes" kinda guy.
Growing up on a 120-hectare property between Bridgetown and Boyup Brook, he was always tied to agriculture.
It was the typical 'country kid' upbringing of driving tractors, visiting mates and lending a hand to help on farms in the area.
But despite enjoying farming, Mr Machin was unable to find a suitable path into the industry.
"I loved to fix things whether it was a bike or Dad's tractor," Mr Machin said.
"I always wanted to be a mechanic, but I just wasn't sure in what way.
"When you are eight years old you don't really know the difference between a tractor and harvester."
Studying at WA College of Agriculture - Denmark and completing a trade stream in year 12 helped Mr Machin discover a career in agricultural machinery.
But a spanner was thrown in the works when the global financial crisis hit and he was forced out of an apprenticeship even before it started.
A gap year onfarm at Tambellup provided an opportunity to for Mr Machin to rethink his plans and he walked into Ratten & Slater Machinery Equipment - now AFGRI Equipment - resume in hand.
"I asked them if they'd give me a job," Mr Machin said.
"A week later I got a phone call asking me if I could start the next week.
"I never thought about combining my trade with agriculture, but the tech side of things in John Deere equipment really got me interested."
Through Mr Machin's apprenticeship, he worked on bigger rigs mainly used for seeding, harvesting and spraying.
He admits he wasn't too keen on the smaller tractors, despite working with plenty of them now.
"Out there everything is 250 plus horsepower," Mr Machin said.
"I was learning about John Deere's active yield, automatic adjustment to harvesters, how to put a section control on a seeder bar - those kinds of things.
"I wasn't just changing filters, so it was a bit of a challenge."
Mr Machin completed the four-year apprenticeship, soaking up valuable skills and experience working on larger machinery.
He ventured back onfarm and worked under a farmer who was a "really good" ex-mechanic.
While he wasn't the boss, Mr Machin said he was very much his own boss - looking after staff, organising jobs and preparing equipment.
And so he thought - "why don't I start my own business?'
"I lined up a few job interviews in case my business idea flopped," Mr Machin said.
"I started on a whim with a few advertisements here and there and after six months I stopped because I had enough work."
The technical knowledge he gained through his apprenticeship - as well as his work ethic - was the foundation of his success.
"My one year goal was to secure enough work, so I'd only need to work six months of the year.
"That was so I could spend the other six months helping a mate out with his trucking business.
"So I'd cart lime in January to February and would do a week for him and week for myself over seeding.
"Then I would drive his truck at harvest - I made him a promise and I was going to honour it."
Juggling the two jobs left Mr Machin extremely busy and working six and seven days a week.
Much to his surprise, things only got busier.
"My two-year goal was to keep myself afloat - guaranteed - a minimum five days a week," he said.
"I thought if I can do that then happy days and I managed to in six months."
About 80 per cent of Burnbank Mechanical and Agriculture's work is based out of the Frankland River region.
The four major fleets Mr Machin works with are a variety of larger and progressive continuous cropping properties, large scale sheep properties, potato and lemon farm and a prominent vineyard in the Frankland River wine region.
All of their main tractors are John Deere and one property has as many as 16 LandCruiser utes.
"I started off with the utes and now I kind of do everything there," Mr Machin said.
"I also work at a winery and on a potato farm, which is different and keeps me busy.
"It used to just be seeding and harvest time - not anymore."
From January, Mr Machin is under the pump finishing harvest and starting potato harvest.
Then there's the vintage for wine, followed by seeding, spreading, post -mergent sprays and servicing headers.
Quiet time comes in September - but only if he's lucky.
In August last year, he started servicing airconditioner units and he has been doing so every week, ever since.
"It has been nuts," Mr Machin said.
"Then I've got swathing silage, hay, harvest and it all starts again.
"I actually don't think I ever have quiet time anymore - I'm always up to something."
To ease some of the pressure and create opportunity for others interested in the trade, Mr Machin hired a mature-aged apprentice and trainee.
It was never his intention as he wanted to be more of a "one man show", but business was booming.
And he wanted to give others the same fair go and foot in the door, he was given when starting out.
"I did work experience here, there and all round the place," Mr Machin said.
"I thought I may as well pay it back, especially because every employer says you need experience to get a job.
"But how do you get a job with experience if no one will give you a go?"
With extra hands on deck, Mr Machin mostly dedicates his time to breakdowns and maintenance for bigger clients, as well as more of the technical jobs, including error codes and diagnostics.
Mr Machin's experience and knowledge working on bigger equipment often helps him to identify a problem over the phone without having to go through the diagnostics to figure it out.
Additionally, he uses a subcontractor to help with basic routine work, replacing broken components and servicing utes.
Often the contractor also teaches the apprentice what sort of things to look out for when doing particular jobs.
Despite now overseeing a small team, Mr Machin has continued to maintain relationships with all of his clients - his priority in business.
"I don't want to be sitting in an office drinking cups of tea," he said.
"My clients are always at the forefront in my decision-making processes - even when hiring staff.
"So I want to make sure I am out there doing the jobs for them."
Striving to offer quality customer service, Mr Machin recently took the opportunity to become an agent for Knuckey Engineering.
Realising one his larger clients used Knuckey's pick-up fronts - but had to wait on parts from Victoria - he decided to step in as 'the middle-man'.
Previously, farmers would need to carry their own parts if they wanted to have part storage.
"Before they might have had $10,000 worth of parts sitting there, which they might not have ever used," Mr Machin said.
"Whereas now, I'll keep the stock - including genuine Knuckey parts - in my shed, so they aren't waiting around should they need them.
"I will be at Dowerin and Newdegate Field Days on behalf of Knuckey if anyone was interested in catching up."
So - with business growing incredibly in just three years - where does Mr Machin see it going from here?
"I have no idea," he admitted.
"But if I do my job right and to the best of my ability, put 100pc into it and make sure I look after my clients then I have nothing to lose."
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