The HanzonJobs app has been updated and is already in use for the 2023/24 season of rural contracting.

Its developer Richard Houston says while the core focus remains the work done on the land for rural contractors, the wider benefits of the app are starting to be realised. He points to comments from Mabey Contracting about how the use of the app last season by RCNZ Trainee of the Year Jessica Bills had impressed WorkSafe during a visit.

“The work records include activities linked to improving or ensuring health and safety performance and these are really useful in assessments and audits.”

He says the software is also not just limited to time spent in the operator’s seat. It records any agricultural-related job including maintenance and servicing of machinery, fencing, helping with calves or shearing.

“Some of those using the app over winter got into a bit of metal fabrication – that’s all captured along with greasing and diagnosing faults.”

That wide capture of tasks is why Richard is now promoting HanzonJobs outside rural contracting to anyone doing a job on a farm. Within rural contracting itself, raking by far remains the single biggest task recorded on the HanzonJobs app but time in the workshop is second.

Richard says all of this is useful information to employers. He regards them as mentors and the trainees as apprentices.

“At the end of the season we create reports which highlight the areas where they’ve gained experience. These demonstrate the time and energy in guiding the apprentices/trainees as well as the skills they’ve learned.”

Ultimately, he says, HanzonJobs is helping raise the skills of the rural contracting sector and the wider rural community.

Rural Contractors NZ CEO Andrew Olsen says his organisation is pleased to have supported HanzonJobs to the point that it’s become the basis of assessing candidates for RCNZ’s Trainee Contractor of the Year, which is supported by MPI.

“We are underway in our third season promoting the use of the app. It’s a brilliant tool both for trainees and our members. They get a ready record of what their trainees are doing and that can be the basis for feedback and encouragement as well as a whole range of other uses.” He’s encouraging those RCNZ members who have not yet signed up themselves or new workers to do so.

“This remains a free tool with a range of very real benefits to hard-pressed rural contractors.  For a few minutes a day by trainees, employers get a daily record of what they’ve been doing be it raking or repairing.”

This then provides the opportunity for mentoring the trainee and building skills which are included in the end of season report.

“And anything that helps your health & safety performance is a real bonus,” says Andrew.