Treescape, New Zealand's leading aboriculture company and which has recently expanded its operations into Australia has remained a committed customer of Komatsu since purchasing its first machines over 15 years ago.
Previously profiled in Deals on Wheels five years ago, the company still standardises its excavators around Komatsu machines, operating 11 excavators in New Zealand and four in its newly opened Australian branch, in Brisbane, Queensland.
The company, which has been in operation since 1981, carries out all types of treework, including land clearing, large tree transplanting, landscaping, grounds maintenance, utility line clearing, and bulk production of landscape mulch.
Its customers include government agencies and local authorities, civil engineering contractors, developers, utility companies and private individuals.
Today it has more than 300, including arborists, horticulturalist and machine operators. They are nationally and internationally trained to the highest standards using the latest techniques and equipment available.
Treescape specialises in undertaking difficult projects, such as removing dangerous trees in confined spaces and awkward locations, using specialised roping techniques, cranes and heavy lift helicopters.
Large tree landscape planting schemes are another part of Treescape's services; projects have included planting trees from 4 kg to 150 tonnes in weight and from one tree within a back yard to thousands along the side of a motorway or several large mature trees within a subdivision.
Another specialist service is land clearing, using such equipment as dozers, log skidders, excavators, logging trucks, excavator mounted stump grinders, groomers, mulching heads and high-capacity 480 hp whole tree chippers.
One of its most recent contracts is the vegetation contract for OnTrack's rail network throughout New Zealand. For this Treescape has recently converted a PC78UU-6 to Hi-Rail configuration, and is in the process of converting a PC138-2 to Hi-Rail as well.
Its most recent Komatsu excavators are three PC130-8 13 tonne machines, fitted with a full range of attachments, including hydraulic log grapples, mulching heads, stump grinders, vertical tree grabs, tilt buckets and stick rakes.
"These are our medium-sized commercial weaponry," said Brandon Whiddett, Treescape's co-founder and chief operating officer.
"We use them for a whole range of mid-sized projects, including land clearing, site preparation and roadside clearing."
The company has a policy of turning over all its equipment fairly quickly, so as to ensure it continues to use the latest technology. Thus all the Komatsu machines it owned when it was last profiled in Deals on Wheels has now been replaced.
"Our smaller machines are replaced every three years, while our larger excavators are turned over at around five years," Whiddett said.
Today its fleet ranges from PC18MR-2 mini excavators, up to a PC228USLC-3 short-tailswing 22 tonne machine.
Treescape's Australian fleet includes two PC50MR-3s, a PC120-7 and PC130-8.
"We stick with Komatsu equipment because it's so productive and reliable," said Whiddett.
"We're also very pleased to see that John Quayle who sold us our first Komatsu excavator 15 years ago is back with the company.
"We have a very good relationship with John; he knows the product well, and he looks after us. We were disappointed when he left Komatsu to work elsewhere, and we are delighted to see that he's back."
Whiddett said that support from Komatsu has been good, and is improving all the time.
"Because we operate throughout New Zealand, backup support is very important to us.
"It's been getting better and better all the time, and we've noticed that since Brent Hepple's appointment as Komatsu NZ's operations manager, there have been further improvements," he said.
"Our relationship with Komatsu NZ is vital to our success, both here and in Australia. We have an on-going machine upgrade process with them, and we are currently spending around $1 million a year on new Komatsu kit."