The biggest barrier to growth for Sole Logging Ltd is finding enough qualified staff. It was this that has led the company to put a big emphasis on in-house training, says company harvest manager Allan Sole.
Now the company’s efforts have been recognised with employee Gage O’Carroll winning the forestry trainee of the year title at the 2019 Southern North Island Wood Council awards.
Another staff member Te Rapai Barbarich-Love was a finalist in the same award and Mike O’Carroll was a finalist in the Contribution to the Forest Industry category.“The award recognises an individual’s commitment to self-development and skill achievement through industry training.
“We are very proud of how well our people did in the awards,” says Allan.He says the strength of Sole Logging has always been its team: “Without our staff we couldn’t do what we do.
“We have a lot of experience in our team who are committed to and passionate about the industry. “Winning awards such as these honours and recognises the quality of our people.”
He says the awards also help to raise the profile and promote the career opportunities and path-ways available in the industry, which is beneficial to attracting more people to the industry.
Around 90% of Sole Logging’s training is on job with staff paired up with or under the supervision of experienced crew members. They are then assessed for task by internal and external assessors in conjunction with service training provider Competenz.
Based in Bell Block, New Plymouth, G J Sole was started by Allan’s father Graeme in 1965 with a bulldozer and transporter, developing land for farmers and Land Survey blocks in the Taranaki, King Country areas. He was also involved with the first shipment of export logs from Westgate in 1967.
In 1992 Allan started the logging side of G J Sole Transport (now Sole Logging Ltd) with a small logging crew purchasing and harvesting woodlots.
In 2002 the first hauler was bought to harvest logs in the Te Wera forest. At its peak five haulers were working within Taranaki and lower King Country areas employing around 50 people.
Sole Logging can take care of the entire process of forest harvesting – harvest planning, log marketing, forest roading, ground based and cable harvesting.The company also has a transport division offering general transport and heavy haulage services.
Since 2004 the company has been heavily involved with carting drilling equipment, casing pipe and the other paraphernalia of drilling rigs, which includes moving complete drilling rigs from location to location.
Transportation for the logging industry is an important part of business and G J Sole offers some 30 logging trucks in its plant. Allan says that having a transport side to the business gives Sole Logging greater control over quality and timing of projects.
Allan says that because Sole Logging is family owned company this means a more personal service for clients. “At Sole Logging we are constantly striving to deliver the best value and service to our customers we can.”
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