The owner of Bendigo Excavators is local business man Rod Martin.
Rod has had a passion for vehicles all his life. Beginning with tricking up BMX bikes and customising motorbikes in his youth, to working on cranes, trucks, cars, hot rods, Earthmoving Machinery and classic cars.
Rod has been in business, in Bendigo for 22 years.
He learnt his trade as an Auto Electrician in Melbourne, growing up in Reservoir, he began his apprenticeship at Davies Electrical in the centre of Melbourne. Once finished his apprenticeship he travelled Australia, finding work in mines up North.
On Rods return to Melbourne he began working for Lewis Construction Company, maintaining vehicles on their many Building sites. Working on top of Melbourne’s high-rise buildings, on the jib of a crane became second nature to Rod, and gave him a solid understanding of heavy machinery, large worksites and safety procedures.
In 1990 Rod began building a house in Bendigo – he would travel up on his weekends and as an owner builder, spend his Saturdays and Sundays building his first home. It is here in Bendigo he met his future wife Anna, and before too long, moved up, began working for a local Auto Electrical Company, married Anna and began a new life.
At the age of 32 Rod decided to build a business for himself. Bendigo Auto Electrical began in a small shed in Kangaroo Flat- family all did there best to convert the space into a clean, well-functioning workshop and before too long Rod was employing his first apprentice. Over the years the business grew, moved to allow for more space and employed many locals including young and mature age apprentices also family in the office and workshop.
By 2000, Rod began selling earthmoving machinery and in 2003 became Bendigo’s 1st Kobelco Dealer. This was a great business opportunity; a valuable clientele base was established and soon Rod was able to focus all his energy and time on Earth Moving Machinery.
Due to changes in management at Kobelco and the offer of new business opportunities, including a larger product range and no geographical limitations on sales areas, Rod increased his business again and became Central Victoria’s first Waker Neuson Dealer. It was with great relief to Rod that customers followed him, and soon enough he was breaking new ground, servicing more local and interstate businesses and setting new sales records for the International Company Waker Neuson.
For the last 5 years Bendigo Excavators has been in the top 3 for sales and service of Waker Neuson Earthmoving equipment across Australia and New Zealand. Supplying quality machinery and service has become Rods passion.
Bendigo has been good to us as a business and as a family. We have raised and educated a Son and Daughter who over the years have worked and contributed to the business in many ways. They are now perusing their education at Latrobe and Deakin Universities. They both also share Rods passion for vehicles and enjoy working on their project cars, an S Series Valiant and 75 Toyota Celica as well as tweaking their daily rides. When time allows, they both still contribute to the business.
Paying it forward is most important for our business and family.
On completion of her VCE our daughter funded her own trip to Borneo. Here she took part in a community building project with a volunteer group, building public amenities in a small but most appreciative village.When not at Bendigo Excavators, Anna Represents the city of Greater Bendigo as a volunteer guide for Bendigo Art Gallery. The opportunity to showcase our beautiful city and be involved in Bendigo’s dynamic art community is its own reward.
Over the years the business has given to many locals raising funds for causes close to the heart such as children in need and medical research.
We have also sponsored events such as car shows, and donated to many local charities.
Rod has volunteered his time to teaching the basics of Auto Electrical to job seekers through the Salvation Army and over the past 4 years has initiated and sponsored an annual award for Automotive students at Bendigo’s Senior Secondary College.
Rod still finds great joy in driving, riding, restoring and customising cars and bikes.Over the last year he has been fervently searching for his 1st project car, a 1961 Ford Mark 2 Zephyr which he sold many years ago to help fund his 1st house in Bendigo. Although he has advertised Australia wide, had published interviews with the Herald Sun, Just Cars and featured in an interview on 3aw regarding his search- he is still unable to track down the car that he rebuilt with his Dad many years ago……. he remains hopeful.