Fleet Focus

One-Stop logging shop

Story by Dave McLeod , Photos by Gerald Shacklock

There’s a couple of business philosophies that you often hear people going on about: Being agile – able to change direction whenever necessary (or whenever an opportunity present itself), for one….


And another: Operating a business that is all things to all people in its line of work. No BS – a true one-stop-shop.

In its own quiet way, Dargaville’s Douglas Logging has gradually, progressively and creatively taken its chances – one opportunity at a time…..


To turn what started out as a small earthmoving contracting business into what is now an impressively-diverse specialist logging operation – involved in harvesting logs, forwarding them, processing them, loading them onto on-highway logtrucks (on super-skids it’s created), and carting them to the port or the sawmill.


The company’s distinctive orange logtrucks even run on forest roads built and maintained by its fleet of tippers and bottom-dumpers.


Ah…and by the way, once upon a time Douglas Logging even loaded logs onto ships at the old Whangarei port. That’s one piece of the logging biz that the Douglases have actually got out of.


Nowadays, with a fleet of 14 trucks (and growing), over 120 machines of varying size and substance, a cast of over 80 people and a head office base that’s set on 25 acres of land in Dargaville, Peter Douglas and son Brad’s family business services the forestry industry at quite literally, each and every level.


But, of course, things weren’t always this way. The story of this business effectively started back in 1966, when the Douglas family relocated from the lower South Island to Dargaville.


Says Peter: “My father had a farm and I worked a bit on that, so my brother and I started up contracting. It was more hay-baling at first, and then bulldozing.


“We bought our first secondhand bulldozer in 1970 (an Allis Chalmers HD6) and moved on from there. Back then, there was development work everywhere: Clearing ti-tree, building dams….stuff like that.”


In 1980 the brothers decided to split the business up – Peter taking the bulldozers, while his brother took the diggers.


Peter parlayed his three bulldozers – an Allis Chalmers HD16 and two Komatsu D65s – into a good living over the next 10 years, servicing strong growth in the Dargaville area...




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