The first Woodsman Pro tree harvester was manufactured as a joint venture project by Electrical and Machinery Services (EMS) and Engineering Services Rotorua Ltd (ESR) in 2005. Both Rotorua-based companies were heavily involved in producing equipment and preparing purpose-built machines for the forestry industry, meaning they were well-placed to develop new harvesting and processing heads.
Chris Hancock, the owner of EMS, was convinced they could produce an improved and competitive product and approached ESR owner, David Cox, to begin what proved to be a very successful collaboration.
A mutual forestry customer, who was producing stems in the Kaiangaroa Forest, requested a large, purpose-built, robust harvesting head so David and Chris produced their first prototype – the Woodsman Pro 900.
Changes to harvesting practices in New Zealand and growing demand from existing customers then accelerated the introduction of an alternative brand to the local market.
Improvements were made before the first Woodsman Pro 800 model was rolled out in late 2006. Word soon spread that a new harvesting head made in New Zealand was available and orders began pouring in.
“Customers liked the fact Woodsman Pro was local, easy to deal with and went the extra mile to provide after sales service and support.“
Woodsman Pro also offered superior speed, reliability and was designed specifically to handle New Zealand’s large radiata pine.
In June 2016 EMS sold their share of Woodsman Pro to ESR who now own the brand outright. The company also owns and manufactures the renowned Ensign brand of forestry and materials handling attachments.
David brings over 30 years manufacturing experience to Woodsman Pro, and understands the pressure New Zealand forestry companies and contractors are under to operate efficiently. Keeping customers happy is his number one priority.
Their central North Island location means many customers are only one to two hours’ drive away, allowing Woodsman Pro’s dedicated team to be on site quickly whenever help is needed.
Woodsman Pro continues to invest heavily in research and development to further enhance their products’ performance and reliability, ensuring they are ideally suited to New Zealand forestry conditions and forest managers and contractors’ requirements.