Couplers and attachments: New opportunities

With a construction labour crunch highlighted in the Statistics NZ figures released in March, the shortage of skilled contractors for New Zealand’s growing infrastructure is expected to continue well beyond 2019.

This growth has seen new contracting businesses being formed, including Waikato-based Pulman Earthmoving Ltd.

Having been involved in the earthmoving industry for 23 years, Dan Pulman saw an opportunity to take on the growing contractor demand and set up business last year, specialising in high-accuracy GPS trimming and finishing works across the Waikato and wider Auckland area.

Untitled -1-Recovered -Recovered

"Most projects range from civil works though to farm drainage or development," Dan explains. "However, with the skills shortage, we’re currently working on an Auckland subdivision completing GPS road cuts through to topsoiling works around footpaths and berms."

Since he has worked in the industry, he’s seen large advancements in machine technology and productivity.

"There’s been a massive uptake in GPS technology and significant advancement in the design of machine attachments," Dan says. He has been currently using the Leica 3D GPS system.

In fact, it was the development in earthmoving attachments that saw him add the Doherty Snaplock+ Tilt coupler and their 1.8 wide cleaning bucket to his Hitachi ZX130LCN-5. With an impressive 140 degrees of tilt and no unwanted movement, the Snaplock+ Tilt provided the increased manoeuvrability and versatility he needed.

Untitled -1-Recovered -Recovered2

"The Snaplock+ Tilt allows me to tilt any attachment and undertake challenging projects without having to constantly manoeuvre the machine. The machine’s extra productivity naturally results in increased profits for my business," he says.

Dan has been using the Doherty attachments throughout his career as an employee and now in his own business. He puts this down to Doherty’s continued focus on innovation and attachment productivity, making their attachments ideal for infrastructure works.

"I’ve used almost every brand of attachment in this industry and Doherty has stood out from the rest with superior design, durability, and productivity. When I started the business, I already knew I was going to set up my machines with their attachments."

With positive feedback on the high-quality of work and finish he’s achieving with the Doherty attachments, Dan is already looking to purchase Doherty’s purpose-built three-metre-wide trimming bucket as well as another Hitachi excavator and Leica GPS system.

"Of course, more machines and attachments means more staff. Not surprisingly, the biggest hurdle here is the lack of skilled operators specialising in finishing/trimming works. The standard of operator I need is extremely hard to find," he says.

For more details on Doherty Couplers and Attachments, call +64 7 574 3000 or send an e-mail to

Keep up to date in the industry by signing up to Deals on Wheels' free newsletter or liking us on Facebook