There is an interesting statistic that only 1 per cent of businesses last more than thirty years. It proves that running a business is as much about survival as it is about selling products and employing people.

William Adams recently celebrated operating from their current facilities in Berriedale, Tasmania for fifty years, with a cocktail party for past and present employees, customers and friends at the Berriedale plant.

The company was founded in 1884, and first registered for trading in Tasmania in 1920. William Adams was appointed the Caterpillar dealer for Tasmania in 1934.

A Caterpillar dealership, William Adams is one of the major companies operated by Dale Elphinstone, with three branches in Tasmania and ten in Victoria, employing around 600 people.

Mr Elphinstone said over the years William Adams sold and serviced the Caterpillar machines that literally built Tasmania.

“Over the past fifty years we have worked hand in hand with customers in the mining, forestry, construction and infrastructure industries to build the state.

“Without Caterpillar earthmoving equipment and William Adams staff selling and supporting them, the state simply would not have the standard of living it has now.

“Over the years we have employed generations of Tasmanians and trained hundreds of apprentices, making a huge contribution to the state’s skills base.

“In fact many of our former employees have taken the skills and experience gained at William Adams to develop other successful Tasmanian businesses.

“Tasmania has some of greatest scenery in the world, but also some of the most challenging working environments, and Caterpillar earth moving equipment was up to the job of building our roads, Hydro Electricity schemes and cities. Caterpillar quality and reliability was backed up by the William Adams commitment to service, and fifty years on, nothing has changed.” Mr Elphinstone said.

He added that in the early 1970s the company started exploring supplying and modifying Caterpillar machines for the Australian Antarctic Division. Since then William Adams Berriedale has become one of the world’s specialist hubs to support the scientific efforts on the frozen continent.

“Our customer focus and research and development efforts have made us world leaders, supplying equipment to almost all of the countries with operations in Antarctica.

“We have proven that Tasmanians are up to the task of competing with the best,” Mr Elphinstone added.

By Richard Gerathy