Hamish Campbell & Lukas Krkavec

ForestPro, Gisborne

Hamish Campbell and Lukas Krkavec joined forces two years ago to set up ground based harvesting company, ForestPro.

Since its inception, ForestPro has been working exclusively with Ernslaw One carrying out harvesting operations in the Gisborne region.

Hamish originated from Scotland and Lukas from Czech Republic and their rich international experience inspired them to introduce a European style of logging when they set up in NZ.

The fully mechanized operation, using forwarder and winch-assisting technology, was the first of its kind in the local forestry industry and has meant big gains in safety practices.

“With Gisborne’s steep terrain, using our tethered systems has meant that there is no need for men on the ground.  No breaker outs, no men with chain saws and everything is done using Bluetooth communication systems and remote-controlled machines.  This is a game changer,” says Hamish.

Tethered logging systems utilise cable winch systems on harvesters, feller bunchers, forwarders, loaders, and skidders to stabilise and assist equipment operations on steep slopes. The cable system allows the equipment to operate on slopes that would normally be considered unsafe for equipment.  The alternative would be to undertake major earthworks to get the machines onto slopes safely and this is environmentally unacceptable.

“Ernslaw are really at the top of their game with safety standards and practices and ForestPro shares this focus on health and safety.”

Hamish and Lukas have invested heavily in their state-of- the-art machinery with the average machine costing between $800,000 and $1million.  The latest addition to the fleet is a new John Deere Feller buncher with self-levelling cab, worth around $1.3million, which will significantly increase safety and production.

“We are investing a lot into machinery, replacing and updating, in order to operate to the highest safety standards and at capacity,” says Hamish.  We can do this because when times get hard and prices drop, Ernslaw just keeps pumping out the same production every day.  They are consistent and reliable which means we can be confident in investing in our business.

“While Ernslaw is a big company, they treat you like family, from the top down.”

Hamish and Lukas may be the bosses but every day they can be found on the ground operating the machines alongside their crew of four.

“We’re out there every day and work alongside the rest of the team to get the job done.  So we know what’s happening at all times and what needs to be tweaked or changed.”

Hamish Campbell & Lukas Krkavec
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