Roger Wenzel pioneered working remotely decades before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Roger, 72, worked for DEUTZ Australia out of Brisbane from 1983 until he retired in 2015, rising from area manager to National Sales Manager.
He says the team was close-knit, but he resisted the overtures of his then boss Peter Loosen to move to Melbourne.
“He tried to get me to relocate to Melbourne, but I would never do it,” Roger says.
When Roger joined the company, it had separate agricultural machinery and engine sections, located across the other side from each other in Moorabbin.
He fondly remembers many colleagues, including the late Werner Lohmar, a German apprentice who ended up working for DEUTZ for more than 50 years.
Others are still with the company, including Belinda Sum and David Howes.
The situation evolved over the years so that the business concentrated on quality engines, parts, and service. Our new generation Gensets arrived not long after Roger retired.
In around 2013, Roger, a trained A-grade mechanic, remembers visiting DEUTZ international HQ in Cologne, where they were already developing hybrid engines.
He says DEUTZ prided itself on producing the best engines. Initially this was mostly ultra-reliable air-cooled engines, then he watched the technology of liquid cooled engines develop as well.
“They are good engines,” Roger says of all DEUTZ products. “They’re good quality, long lasting engines.”
Roger started as an area manager in Brisbane and his responsibilities grew until he was National Sales Manager.
This involved plenty of travel, where he met his colleagues in Melbourne.
Since retiring Roger has enjoyed spending more time with his wife Anne, and his three adult children who work in speech pathology, engineering, and landscaping.
When he isn’t camping or caravanning, Roger is restoring an old Golf car, supervised by his trusty rottweiler and two German Shepherds.
He has plenty of room to tinker on his acreage property between Waterford and Tamborine Mountain.
Roger has many fond memories of his DEUTZ days and remains in contact with several colleagues and dealers such as LK Diesel Service and Diesel Parts & Service.
“Just about everyone got along really well together,” he says.