This is the 80th episode of Inside Agri-Turf published on 27 October 2022, the 80th birthday of podcast host and producer Chris Biddle.
Birth of a Brand features Harry Handkammer, whose company manufactured attachments exclusively for a garden tractor manufacturer. In 1989, the supply arrangement was cancelled overnight. Faced with losing virtually all his business and having just moved into a new factory, Harry decided to build his own tractor which was designed, tooled and ready for production in just over three months.
His newly created brand, Countax, went on to claim market leadership within three years and was subsequently acquired by Ariens, a leading US lawn and garden manufacturer.
Harry’s story spanning 1989 to 2010 is told in two parts, Part One focuses on the formative years, and the events leading up to the birth of the Countax brand.
Part Two (next episode) tells how Harry’s tenacity won him the BBC Business Survivor of the Year Award, the story behind a special Countax model designed in association with a Formula One team, the involvement of Stirling Moss -and breaking the world land speed record for a lawnmower.