Lots of lads are fascinated in their school days by big tough machines like tractors. But unlike many, Rod Green’s love for machinery has grown into a successful business – Wetherby-based Green’s Contractors Ltd.

His interest has created an agricultural contracting operation, offering everything from landscaping and groundworks to hedge cutting, ditch maintenance, excavations, lane and track repair and pond and lake construction.

Rod’s family had early connections with farming in Burton upon Trent which eventually led to him studying agriculture at Askham Bryan College for three years. He gained practical experience at a farm in Tadcaster, worked for a Ripon contractor and was later employed spraying and harvesting at a major carrot producer near Preston.

He said: “I have always wanted to be around machinery, that’s my love really.  And I had worked on farms that had a good bit of kit. I was concerned about the hours and the pay at the time so I went on to do a 180-degree backhoe loader course through JCB training at Ashbourne, Derby. It was the best thing I ever did.

“I didn’t use the certificate for a good year or two but then I saw an advert in the Wetherby News for a 180-degree backhoe loader operator for HACS Construction. I remember going for an interview with Mark Smith which turned into a full day’s work and being paid with fish and chips, then ending up with a full-time job. I was there for three years and learned an awful lot. I came on leaps and bounds.”

Rod left to work on 20-ton plus machines for Ross Plant Hire near York, gaining 12 years of further experience on various sites all over Yorkshire.  He was still doing farming work such as relief tractor driving at the weekends, before finally deciding to take the plunge and start his own business just over nine months ago. He now holds the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) card and operates all kinds of machines from dump trucks to excavators and dozers.

Rod has since picked up plenty of work such as a project for York Archaeological Trust, work on the local football club car park, large shed excavations for farmers, hedge cutting and flailing works and also tractor and operator hire for a major vegetable producer. He has been working on large and small excavations such as ponds, road and track repairs, farm building demolition and grain store excavation and most recently did a job in Tadcaster filling in a water-filled area in a farmer’s field.