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Focus on professionalism brings ongoing rewards

Liki Udam Apr 4
BBL fells trees to make way for the road corridor, extracts the timber out to the newly formed skid site then begins construction of the road and landings.

A huge part of the success of Big Bark Loading (BBL) is its talented team, says company health and safety and administration officer Alan Payne.

“We have a very productive experienced team with highly skilled people who can get the job done,” he says.

To stress the point, two team members – Brian Deam and Matt Mackintosh – were recognised at the 2017 and 2019 Eastland Wood Council Forestry Awards with Brian taking out the Supreme and Roading Excellence awards in 2017.

Both are foremen on the company’s Log One team, which contracts to Aratu Forests.

Matt, who has worked for Big Bark Loading for nearly a decade, has won the Faller Excellence of the Year award twice.

He started off working in the roading construction team before an opportunity came for him to develop his skills and lead the logging team.

Brian leads the road construction operation and won the Construction Excellence of the Year award.

Alan says the wins were great recognition of the experience of Big Bark Loading and also gave other team members something to aspire to.

Big Bark Loading was started in 2000 by company director Tony Shanahan and Julie McCarthy, who had a background in working on roading for the civil contracting sector.

The company’s first contract was for Hikurangi Forest Farms (now called Aratu Forests after a change of ownership) completing roading lining projects in the Gisborne region.

The company’s other big client now is Logic Forest Solutions and Big Bark Loading has two crews – roading construction and logging – dedicated to each client.

Big Bark Loading fells trees to make way for the road corridor, extracts the timber out to the newly formed skid site then begins construction of the road and landings.

“It’s a highly detailed and organised operation and it’s no surprise that health and safety is paramount and something the company takes very seriously,” says Alan.

The company has Safetree Contractor Certification which provides an industry standardised assessment of a contractor’s suitability to work.

“The scheme was designed in consultation with WorkSafe and with extensive input from the industry,” says Alan. “Being safetree certified demonstrates our professionalism to clients and provides a benchmark that our health and safety systems reach very high standards.

“For forest owners and managers, using certified contractors means they can be confident that the companies they hire are competent to do the job productively and safely,” expains Alan.

“For our workers it leads to improved health and safety and employment conditions.”

He says it is this focus on professionalism and high standards that have resulted in the company’s ongoing success. “We have a very good track record for high quality roading and construction. We also do our own bulk metal cartage to keep both operations pumping along, giving us greater control over timing and quality,” he says.

Moving forward Big Bark Loading will keep on recruiting and upskilling new employees to meet the high standard required of Safetree, NES (National Environmental Standards) and Worksafe compliance as well as continuing to meet customer needs.

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