25 years of Central West Mowers and Heating
“I bought two brush cutters one ride-on and I had a little thing about this big with my spare parts in it, and I went from there,” says Colin Miller, recalling the early days of Central West Mowers and Chainsaws 25 years ago.
It was 1994 and Col, after more than a decade working in the industry, decided it was time to strike out on his own.
“I decided I'd had enough of working for somebody else and thought I could make a go of it on my own,” said Col, who originally started his business in the old Ford building in Peisley Street before moving a few months later to their familiar showroom and workshop in Endsleigh Avenue.
Those early years took a lot of hard work and Col spent many long days and evenings in the workshop.
“When I first started, I didn't have money naturally, and I had three children and a wife and so as I sold one mower, I'd buy something else and just kept going until I got bigger and bigger.”
But with a reputation for good service and workmanship, the business grew and expanded.
People kept coming and I started employing people,” said Col. “But one of the biggest things for us was when I got the Toro Mowers dealership, that was a big step for us… In the first year, I sold 63! I broke the record for the most Toros ever sold in the first year for a dealership.”
The next big step for Col, was when he expanded out into wood heaters and gas log fires, changing the business name to the now recognisable Central West Mowers and Heating.
It was a bit of a gamble as Col admits not knowing much about the heaters initially other than where the wood goes! But it was a move that has paid off as heating sales now make up as much as a third of their business.
“We got into heating maybe 12 years ago,” said Col. “We needed something else for the wintertime and heaters slotted straight in. So, I just went and bought about eight wood heaters and put them on my floor. I didn't know much then, but I learnt. Now heating is a big part of our business.”
Central West Mowers and Heating is truly a family business with Col’s wife Katariena working alongside him, as well as his son Ben, who has taken over the management side of things.
In a competitive business like theirs, Central West Mower and Heaters pride themselves on selling only quality products and offering friendly, professional service.
“I feel that has got us as far as we have,” said Col. “There is a lot more competition out there, so you've got to be on your game otherwise you won’t survive.”
“We are not discounters, we are not trying to be the cheapest, we operate on service,” said Ben. “We try and provide the best service we can and we keep our customer base that way… everything we sell is serviced and assembled and run-checked before it leaves the store, all our warranty and servicing is done here on site and that is the sort of thing that makes us different.”
121 Endsleigh Avenue Orange NSW