Getting around ‘Machinery Hire’ yards on PTs

Owners of two New Zealand machinery hire yards use Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) to get around their worksites.


Nevada Equipment is a hire and sales company in Pukekohe (south of Auckland) that uses a Segway x2 to zip around the yard. Proprietor Nevene Chhiba says the Segway x2 speeds up how quickly he can conduct routine site checks, and is especially invaluable when performing maintenance on machines in the yard. The Segway x2 enables him to rapidly make trips back and forth between the device he is working on and his fully-equiped workshop. He remarks that when adding up all the walking, it was easy to lose half an hour’s productivity per day when he used to walk back and forth. For a small business that equates to a lot of foregone turnover….and lost profit. The Segway x2 reduces a day’s total trip time to just minutes, and carries not just Nevene but also tools and parts.

The Segway x2 offers sure-footed traction over the shingle surface of the yard. The low pressure, quad-bike type ATV tyres and intuitive self-balancing capabilities make for quick, safe, comfortable journeys across loose gravel in both wet and dry conditions.


Green Hire in Tauranga uses a Segway XT to get around their large site next to State Highway 27. The main equipment sheds and storage areas for cranes, scissor lifts and other mobile machinery is located next to the road frontage, but one of the workshops is some distance away – up a driveway that runs uphill. It is a long way to walk on a busy day – especially when time is money. These days, proprietor Doug Murdock and his staff cross that distance in a flash on their Segway XT. If you ask, they might even hire it to you.

Other locations where Segway PTs are used to carry ‘maintenance crew’ and their parts and tools are the Locksmith at Canterbury University and the Properties Manager at Forest Hill Primary School.


Beach patrols on Segway Personal Transporters

Police are patrolling the hot sands of Queensland’s beautiful beaches on Segway Personal Transporters (PTs).

Last year we looked at “How the Segway Patroller is transforming community policing programs” on the lakefront beaches of Lake Ontario, and at “Beachfront patrols in Bali.”

A photo from Daily Mail UK) newspaper article.
A photo from Daily Mail UK) newspaper article.

Perhaps as some kind of an antidote to the cold, wet English winter, the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper recently published a great set of photos of a policeman on a Segway x2 SE Patroller cruising a hot, sunny Noosa beach. The associated story details how Queensland Police have found the Segway PT to be the best way to do their job at the seaside.

Police began trials a year ago on the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Southbank, and by the time these were concluded in June 2013 some 75 officers had been trained to use them. The trial concluded “…that Segway PTs were an ideal alternative way of transport in areas that are normally only accessible by foot.”

A photo from Daily Mail UK) newspaper article.
A photo from Daily Mail UK) newspaper article.

Segway PTs have been deployed in many locations since, from busy downtown areas to community patrols in urban areas, at parks and along riversides, and of course on those famous golden stretches of beachfront. According to the Daily Mail article, Senior Sergant Mcreight said Segway PTs were often used to patrol beaches and boardwalks in his area:

‘It’s a quick way to move around and research from other law enforcement agency’s show they are relatively quick and have a beneficial height factor of about 15-30 cm that allows better vision,’ Mr Mcreight said.

‘It’s a new technology for new police and the guy enjoys using it and finds it quite convenient.’

‘It’s good fun on the beach, especially when it’s busy and you can’t really drive or walk – the Segway is pretty good to get around and get between people,’ Mr Senekal said.

Advanced traction-control and anti-skid algorithms enable the Segway Personal Transporters to glide safely and quietly through the sand. They emit zero emissions, and leave only the lightest of tracks behind. We’ve shown how a person’s footprints on Auckland’s famous Karekare beach leave much, much deeper impressions in the sand than the low-pressure, balloon tyres of the Segway x2 SE. And in any case, the next tide or a bit of wind soon erases all traces – be they left by man or machine.

Doin’ a hard day’s yakka

Kiwi farmers have always been quick to pick up a useful new tool. If there’s a machine out there that will speed up getting a job done then they’re going to be interested in taking a good look at it.

Increasingly, Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) are finding a home on every size and kind of rural property in New Zealand. Check out this snapshot of a corner in one 21st Century Kiwi farm implement shed:

"Yeah yeah, nah, that's an old Segway x2 cross-terrain machine you can see in front. Sure, it's been around the bush a bit, mate, but then haven't we all 'round here. Yeah man, I slapped some Turf tyres. Did it to keep the Missus happy - you know, for when the kids tear it up on the back lawn. When I first got it, it had ATV tyres, bit like the old quady behind it. If the bloody milk solids price lifts a bit this season I might get one of those brand new Segway x2 SE's that just came out. That lucky bastard up the road's just got one, says they're s'posed to be even more rugged in the mud."
“Yeah, nah, that’s an old Segway x2 cross-terrain machine you can see up front. Sure mate, it’s been around the bush a bit – but then haven’t we all ’round here? I use it pretty much every day, for somethin’ or other. I nip up to the milking shed on it all the time. It’s quicker to jump on the PT and just go, than to climb onto the quad bike, back ‘er out and turn ‘er around. Plus the PT always starts up instantly – you don’t have to crank it in the cold. Yep, you can see I slapped on some Turf tyres. Did that to keep the Missus happy, coz you know what it’s like when the kids want to tear around the lawn. When I first got it, it had ATV tyres – a bit like the old quady has – but it’s still got shitloads of grip. And it’s safer for the little tackers and for the farm workers than the quad bikes. Bloody obvious, really. Plus I can throw it on the back of the Hilux and take it with me up the road to the top block. Now if the milk solids price comes up a bit this season I might even get one of those brand new Segway x2 SE’s. Gotta keep up with whatshisname, that lucky bastard next door who’s already gone out and got himself one. He was sayin’ the other day that the SE’s are s’posed to be even more rugged in the mud, which ya might-a noticed we get a bit of ’round here in the ‘Naki.”  (see note below)

To really get an idea of just how broadly Segway PTs are being used on the land, here are a few local examples:

DAIRY and SHEEP: a 200 hectare (500 acre) dairy and equine farm in Karaka uses a Segway x2 SE; an even-larger dairy farm in Te Awamutu uses two Segway x2’s; and a High Country Sheep Station in the Southern Alps of the South Island uses a whole fleet.

KIWIFRUIT: Award-winning “Grower of the Year” 6 hectare (15 acre) orchard in Te Puna (Tauranga) and a 50 hectare (120 acre) orchard in Te Puke use Segway PTs to move staff and equipment about – quietly and efficiently.

Waikato vineyard; Bay of Plenty Kiwifruit orchard; Canadian berry farm; Spanish plant nursery and garden centre.
Waikato vineyard; Bay of Plenty Kiwifruit orchard; Canadian berry farm; Spanish plant nursery and garden centre.

WINERY: a Waikato vineyard uses Segway x2’s for jobs such as collecting leaf samples for pest management.

FORESTRY: a forestry contractor uses two Segway PTs on large worksites.

SMALL HOLDINGS/LIFESTYLE BLOCKS: the owner of a 10 acre property in Coatesville (Auckland) uses a Segway x2 for property maintenance, including knapsack spot spraying. His kids use it for fun on the weekends.

Auckland lifestyle block (small holding); Karaka dairy and equine farm.
Auckland lifestyle block (small holding); Karaka dairy and equine farm.

We’ve featured several overseas farming case studies recently, including a plant nursery and garden centre that has boosted productivity “tremendously” with a fleet of Segway i2’s, and a Canadian berry farm that has deployed the Segway x2.

Our July 2013 article “Over hills, over plains, through the mud and in the rain…” goes into specific detail about why the two-wheeled, self-balancing, zero-emission Segway PT is pretty darn good at putting in a hard day’s yakka down on the farm.

annex2semuddy1 9.32.31 am


Note: the quote below the first photograph in the article includes many examples of “Kiwi farmer” vernacular and idiomatic phrases that are commonly used in both rural and urban conversational English. Many of these may be mystifying to people living outside New Zealand or Australia. If you can’t work out what the farmer is saying, just ask us for an explanation in the Comments section.


Trophy for ‘The Segway Challenge’ Champions

The Segway Challenge is our popular group entertainment activity.

This is the time of year small businesses and corporates book us for their Christmas Parties and staff team building functions. Families and groups book us to be part of the festivities at their BBQs and birthday parties.

We bring along our Segway Personal Transporters (PTs), our decade of experience in running fun, safe and enormously entertaining sessions, and our boisterous enthusiasm to have a really great time.

Read more about our activities here then book us today.

Will your team get to take home The Segway Challenge Champion Trophy?
Will your team get to take home The Segway Challenge Champion Trophy?


Renewables now 79% of NZ electricity generation

New Zealand generates a very high percentage of its electricity from renewable sources. This means Kiwis who choose zero-emission vehicles can make a real contribution to reducing their carbon footprint.

For example, the Segway Personal Transporter (PT) is a great ‘last mile’ commuting solution and it also offers an exceptional way of increasing efficiency in the workplace. All while keeping emissions at zero.

For longer distances, vehicles like the just-arrived-here Tesla Model S, along with other electric and low-emission hybrid cars have become a very practical option for daily use. Vehicles like the Teslsa are also enormous fun to drive!

In the year to November 2014 generation from renewable sources hit 79%, and the government is targeting to see that rise to 90% by 2025. What is interesting about this new record is that geothermal power has eclipsed natural gas for the first time, to become the second most significant generator, after hydroelectric.

79% of New Zealand's electricity generation now comes from renewable sources (hydro, geothermal, wind, wood).
79% of New Zealand’s electricity generation now comes from renewable sources (hydro, geothermal, wind, wood). Graphic by PM Bendall, data from NZ Herald.

New Zealand is a pioneer and a leader in geothermal power technology. The world’s second large-scale plant was opened in Wairakei in 1958 (the first was in Italy in 1911). Much research and development was performed there over the decades that followed, and today New Zealand has four additional plants operating of similar size to Wairakei (100-160MW), plus half a dozen more in the 25-80 MW range. Together these contributed 16.3% of the electricity generated during the past 12 months.

According to NZ Herald this week, Energy Minister Simon Bridges says:

“I’m very excited about geothermal It’s the single area where New Zealand has most expertise in the world and I have the view that companies with some help from government should be doing more to leverage [that],” he said.

According to Wikipedia, New Zealand is one of only a small number of countries with numerous geothermal fields that could be developed. Most fields are located in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, but there are also fields in Northland, Hauraki Plains, Bay of Plenty, and in the South Island along fault lines. By the 1980s, some 129 fields had been mapped, and it is possible more will be located that do not have surface expression. Wikipedia also says:

Many applications of geothermal energy in New Zealand reinject the cooled steam/fluid back into the underground fields, to extend or infinitely use the fields as power sources.

While geothermal power is thus considered a renewable energy source, it is not a zero-emission source. This is because some greenhouse gases are released during the process of extracting the fluids and extracting the heat to generate electricity, so geothermal is considered a low-emission energy source. Primarily, these gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), with lesser amounts of (stinky) hydrogen sulphide and methane.

Comparing geothermal with other methods of generation using here, according to NZ Geothermal Association the average grams of CO2 released per kiloWatt hour of electricity generated by the seven major plants is 100 g/kWh. Compare this with combined cycle natural gas plants emitting 400 g/kWh, and with coal and oil plants emitting 900-1,000 g/kWh. In summary, geothermal emits one quarter of gas, and just one tenth of coal.

For Segway PT owners who want to charge their machines as greenly as possible, plugging it in for recharging overnight (after 11pm or so) is the time of the day when almost all electricity is being generated from renewable sources.

The electric garage: Tesla Model S, Segway PT, and a pair of Nissan Leafs.
The electric garage: Tesla Model S, Segway PT, and a pair of Nissan Leafs.

Christchurch Segway Tours hits #2 on TripAdvisor

Christchurch Segway Tours has hit #2 on TripAdvisor this week, up from #7 just five months ago in July 2014. Earlier this year they also received a Certificate of Excellence.

Our congratulations go out to Graeme Gordon for achieving this incredible ranking in New Zealand’s second largest city.

Christchurch Segway Tours were the first in the country to begin upgrading their fleet to the new SE models earlier this year. They’ve featured in numerous articles where the writers have praised their tour, including USA Today and NZ Herald.


10 Segway PTs in Santa Parade [giant Buzzy Bees on PTs]

UPDATED: 30 November 2014

Auckland’s Santa Parade will feature ten Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) this year – more than any other year.

Five are being used by Crackerjack Promotions, organisers of the annual parade. Crackerjack have been hiring Segway PTs from Segway New Zealand for their staff to use in event management roles for many years (search our archives for previous stories).

Five more will be buzzing around with the floats with their riders dressed in giant Buzzy Bee suits (thanks to Mansons). Buzzy Bee is an iconic Kiwi toy, enjoyed by generations of kids.


According to Wikipedia:

The Buzzy Bee is a popular toy in New Zealand. It resembles a bee with rotating wings that move and make a clicking noise while the toy is pulled along the ground. Possibly based on an earlier American concept,[1] it was designed and first produced in New Zealand in the 1930s, by Maurice Schlesinger.[2] It became popular during the post-war baby boom. Its bright colours and clicking sound call are familiar to many New Zealanders, making it one of the most well-recognised items of Kiwiana. Since this time however, the Buzzy Bee has branched out into various merchandise including books, jigsaws and clothing.

It received a good deal of free promotion with the visit of The Prince and Princess of Wales in 1983 with their infant son, Prince William of Wales, who played with a Buzzy Bee.

UPDATE: Here is a screen shot of coverage by TV3 News (30 Nov 2014) of the giant Buzzy Bee float and one of five Buzzy Bee-suited riders on a Segway PT (plus a glimpse of a second bee, if you look carefully).


Leading the charge: NZ’s first Tesla Model S

The electric garage: Tesla Model S, Segway PT, and a pair of Nissan Leafs.
The electric garage: Tesla Model S, Segway PT, and a pair of Nissan Leafs.

Auckland software entrepreneur Steve West has imported the first Tesla Model S electric sports saloon into New Zealand. In fact, his is the first privately owned Model S in all of Australasia, and it arrived direct from a European showroom – purchased as soon as the right-hand-drive version was released to the UK market.

Steve hosted a “Leading the Charge” launch party at his home last weekend, inviting leaders and influencers in the electric vehicle field. TV3 News covered the story in prime time.

Amongst the ~50 attendees were internet entrepreneur and Segway Polo player Seeby Woodhouse, technology and economics writer Rod Oram (another enthusiast of the Segway PT), and Philip Bendall from Segway New Zealand (who visited the Tesla head office and factory in San Carlos, California in 2008, and attended the Sydney unveiling of two not-for-sale Model S’s in August earlier this year – the first Australian customers hope to receive their Model S’s next month).

A lucky few got to be some of the first people in New Zealand to ride in the luxury, all-electric Model S. Afterwards, a ‘fishbowl discussion’ followed, centred around what can be done to speed the adoption of electric cars in this country.

Other electric cars on display included Steve’s other Tesla – the original Roadster, two Nissan Leafs (or is that Leaves?), and a red MX-5 (known as the Miata in USA) that had been converted to EV. Segway Personal Transporters were also available for attendees to ride.

The electrified nose of an EV-converted Mazda MX-5 (known as a Miata in USA)
The electrified nose of an EV-converted Mazda MX-5 (known as a Miata in USA)

Steve exhibited his pride and joy at MIT in Auckland today, displaying the Tesla alongside the Killacycle and Killajoule before they all head off to Christchurch for Evolocity on Sunday 30th at Mike Pero Motorsport Park.

Steve co-founded Serato, the world’s leading DJ software.

Tesla S launch NZ


“Finding a new way” using a Segway PT with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Dylan Schneider is a young man with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy who uses a Segway Personal Transporter (PT) to get between classrooms at school, around the sports fields with his friends, and down to the beach with his family on weekends.

In our previous article Dylan uses Segway PT to overcome Muscular Dystrophy mobility impairment we excerpted from a newspaper story about just how useful his Segway PT has turned out to be.

This month Dylan is the cover story in InTouch, the magazine of the New Zealand Muscular Dystrophy Association. The editor talks about how Dylan’s family raised money to buy a Segway PT, noting how “…funding was found and the vehicle has and will continue to make a huge difference to Dylan and the Schneider family’s lives.”

Inside, the full article goes on to discuss the support received from CCS Disability Action (one of whom’s staff also uses a Segway PT, who was well aware of just how useful a Segway PT is for people who are mobility impaired) and from Segway NZ. Additional comments include how his occupational therapist and his physiotherapist are “…very impressed with how well Dylan is doing…” now that he has the Segway PT. Dylan has a Segway XT model with off-road tyres, and in the article his mother Debbie remarks “…even the very wet and muddy conditions this winter haven’t stopped them from getting out.” The entire article is available to read for free using the link in the paragraph above.

MDA cover


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