Forestry may be New Zealand’s third-largest industry but it’s extraordinarily under-recognised and under-valued, says FICA president Ross Davis.
“Forestry is a massive employer and contributor to our national economy,” he says. “At FICA we are trying to raise the profile of it and advocate for contractors with the Government, forest owners and more. This is such a great industry to be a part of and one that provides solid opportunities for families in terms of employment, financial stability and independence.”
Ross has been involved with forestry for more than 35 years. He started working in Murupara and in 1997, after running a small ground base crew he became the key supplier to CHHF in the Hauraki/Coromandel region. At the peak of business, he had five hauler crews and two ground base crews.
It was during this time his passion for haulers started to evolve and in 2001 he imported his first hauler from the United States. “As our numbers of haulers grew, it was a natural progression to lease them out to other contractors,” says Ross. And that marked the start of his company Log Lease Ltd which leases haulers and logging gear to contractors around the North Island.
“We pride ourselves on supplying durable, well-maintained logging gear,” he says. “Our high quality equipment helps contractors meet productivity demands efficiently and on time.”
Ross is hugely passionate about forestry. “As an industry we demonstrate innovation and are paving the way for improved safety, increased production and better working conditions. It is an exciting industry to be a part of and I am passionate about supporting the next generations of contractors through leadership and guidance.”
Ross, who is also a member of the Forestry Industry Safety Council board, says contracting gives people opportunities they may not have had before. “It is an industry that people sometimes fall into, but when you get it right, it can be a really rewarding one to be a part of.”