About Us

The beginning...

WSB Distributors’ beginnings started on June 9, 1938, when young bank accountant, AJ ‘Johnny’ Walker, set up his own tax and land agency business in Clare known as, AJ Walker.

As World War II broke out, Johnny was called from his business and he moved to Tennant Creek as an Army paymaster.

A family tragedy in late 1943, led him to return to Clare where he re-opened his business, focusing on completing income tax returns, valuation, wills, and selling properties.

Just five years later, in 1948, and Johnny started selling fuel and took on the Morris car dealership - not knowing where this would lead him.

With sales and servicing in full swing, Johnny purchased a garage on Old Main North Road in 1952.

Just 18 months later this was replaced with new premises on Main North Road - the location of WSB Distributors headquarters today.

A partnership is born...

Johnny and Joyce Walker’s son Brian joined the business in 1952 and a three-way partnership was created - trading as AJ Walker & Co

Brian left the business in 1959 and was replaced by Brian Stanway, the son-in-law of Johnny and Joyce (he married their daughter Raelene).

The same year, AJ Walker & Co added agricultural machinery brand Massey Ferguson to its fleet and Mr Stanway became the main salesperson.

Mr Stanway’s passion and direction fitted with the philosophy of AJ Walker & Co and he was made director in July 1960.

This would be the beginning of a long-lasting partnership.

Becoming WSB Distributors...

While it’s widely known and referred to today as WSB Distributors, the business underwent several name changes into the 1960s.

In 1966 the business changed to Walker & Stanway but soon after, to acknowledge the involvement of Blyth-based Massey Ferguson dealers John and Elva Beckman, it became Walker Stanway and Beckman.

The trading name WSB Distributors was introduced in 1968.

Rapid growth...

Through the 70s and 80s, WSB Distributors consolidated its position as a leading machinery and vehicle dealer by adding Kubota and Silvan franchises as well as Subaru, Renault, Peugeot, and later Toyota.

With the rapid growth of the wine grape industry in the Clare Valley during this time, WSB Distributors also became a major supplier of viticulture equipment.

Retirement and succession planning...

John and Joyce Walker retired from the business they founded on June 30, 1985, selling their share in the business to Brian and Raelene’s second son Robert, who today remains a strong part of the business today.

Today, Robert remains as company director, accountant and economist, playing an integral part in the success of business.

In 1993, as Brian Stanway retired due to ill-health, long-time employee and sales manager Trevor Fairchild stepped up to the role of company manager.

It was at this time that Brian and Raelene’s youngest son Phil, came home to work in the family business as managing director & sales manager.

Future-proofing...

In 2011, the company opened a dealership in Jamestown, offering sales, parts and servicing to a vast and wide cross section of industries.

Such was the growth, in 2016 the company appointed service manager, Nigel Hillam, as the branch manager.

In 2014 Debra Wehrmann joined the team as the administration manager and quickly set about reviewing procedures and streamlining best practices. It was at this time Trevor expressed the need for the company to start the succession plan for his retirement and consequently started handing over the majority of his responsibilities to Debra.

While Trevor has retired from his manager’s role, he’s still an integral part of the business as a project manager. His position and understanding of the business has been a driving force to the success behind the purchase and set up of both Saddleworth and Karoonda branches.

On July 1, 2017 Debra was appointed business manager and together with Phil Stanway, leads the company to the next chapter of WSB Distributors.

Further growth...

Looking toward the future and growing on the company name, in 2017 WSB Distributors purchased R H Schulz Pty Ltd at Saddleworth, which continues to be managed by former owner of R H Schulz, Peter Schulz. The takeover has given WSB excellent leverage and convenience to its customers in the Gilbert Valley & Barossa Valley regions.

November 2018, as the company celebrated 80 years in business, a deal was met with GJ Clarke & Co in Karoonda and WSB Distributors took ownership, pushing the further growth of the name. Former GJ Clarke & Co company director, Luke Hocking, leads the Karoonda team as branch manager and wasted no time in extending the WSB reputation throughout the Murray Mallee and Riverland regions.

Today...

With machinery sales, service, parts and accessories, as well as a number of long-time employees, Johnny Walker’s legacy lives on.

The WSB Distributors family includes about 50 staff members, with a number of apprentices and a fleet of on-farm service vehicles. Sadly, in December 2018, the WSB Distributors family said goodbye to Raelene Stanway after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Despite this loss however, the Stanway name will always be a strong and driving force of the business.

WSB Distributors maintains a pro-active approach in an ever-changing market for agricultural products and has accrued a host of prestigious industry awards including AGCO Master Dealer, Manitou dealer of the year and Bourgault dealer of the year.