Lifelong mechanical enthusiast Tyler Gilchrist puts his future in his own hands as a Hydraulink Owner Operator

New Hydraulink Owner Operator Tyler Gilchrist with his fully stocked Hydraulink truck, ready to provide reliable 24/7 hydraulic service to New Zealand’s Hororata, Darfield, and surrounding areas, about 60km west of Christchurch.

A man with extensive experience in farming, logging and mechanical engineering has taken the first steps to secure his family’s future and serve his local area, by becoming a Hydraulink Owner Operator. 

Tyler Gilchrist says he’s had a lifelong interest in mechanical engineering, and started picking up tools as early as thirteen, to find out how things worked. 

Now, after using his skills through a broad range of industries, he’s ready to give back to his local community in Hororata, New Zealand, about 60km west of Christchurch. 

Tyler joins more than 400 Hydraulink hydraulic service points across New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands, all dedicated to maximising uptime and providing efficient hose replacement services that ensure high quality products and reliable services. 

“I’d been working in forestry for many years, and I really wanted some additional flexibility and stability for my young family, so the self-employed nature of Hydraulink’s Owner Operator arrangement really appealed to me,” said Tyler, who runs GILK Mechanical with his wife Pam. The couple have a four-year-old and another child on the way, so financial freedom and flexibility were high on their priority list. 

Tyler Gilchrist with his son in front of the local Hororata sign. Flexibility for his young family was driving factor behind Tyler’s decision to become a Hydraulink Owner Operator.

“As one of the latest to join the Hydraulink family, GILK is set up to provide 24/7 mobile service to Hororata, Darfield and surrounding areas, so there’s a lot of farming, agriculture, logging, forklift, tractor and digger work out there for a hydraulic hose supplier, plus the breakdown and regular maintenance work,” he said. 

“Customers value reliable service, and knowledge of machinery and safety standards. Whether it’s a small forklift or a massive digger, they are looking to maximise uptime and get their machine producing profits again, so we aim to provide quick and knowledgeable service.” 

As a self-described “motorbike enthusiast”, Tyler’s other passion is fixing bikes and engines. “Tinkering with motorbikes from an early age gave me a foundation for the work I do today. Knowing the ins and outs of engines, plus the general mechanical skills have both been useful attributes when working with the larger machinery that has been my focus for the last several years,” he said. 

Hydraulink New Zealand Development Manager, Craig Sumpton, says Tyler is an ideal candidate for the expanding Owner Operator programme. “Tyler’s strong mechanical background, combined with his customer-first approach make him just what we’re looking for as an Owner Operator,” he said. 

“Tyler wanted to be in control of his own future, and Hydraulink was delighted to be able to help make that dream into a reality. We support all our Owner Operators, from exploring the option, to initial set-up, through to regular ongoing support – they are all considered part of the Hydraulink family,” says Craig.

Best Under Pressure 

Hydraulink’s “Best Under Pressure” customer service ethos aligns beautifully with the Kiwi Initiative, for which the country’s best and most versatile mechanical engineers are famed. 

Tyler describes the Kiwi Initiative as “a catchcry for jobs big and small, from the smallest but most vital hydraulic service to the huge and sophisticated projects such as winning the America’s Cup.” 

In the most recent America’s Cup, Hydraulink was the hydraulics suppler to defending champion, Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ), which exclusively used Hydraulink hoses and couplings, including those actuating the complex “Foil Cant System,” which was subject to a “One-Design” rule which meant all the challengers also used Hydraulink products for this system. 

“Watching ETNZ win that race really showed what performing ‘best under pressure’ looks like, as well as showing how valuable hydraulics are to all moving machinery. It’s that sort of ‘can-do’ attitude I strive to bring to my Hydraulink Owner Operator business every day,” said Tyler.