Cover story: New Volvo machines at Juken

Juken New Zealand’s Kaitaia operation goes to the next level with new Volvo machines from TransDiesel

Juken New Zealand, a company that has been heavily involved with the local forestry and wood-processing industries for the past 25 years and is a key supplier of timber products to trade merchant chains throughout the country, is now using a fleet of new Volvo machines from TransDiesel at their Kaitaia operation.

Core to the company is the manufacturing of advanced and innovative wood products from selectively planted, managed, and harvested radiata pine for local and export markets. As such, they require similarly advanced and innovative machinery to help achieve this objective.

The EC220DL Manuka loads waste into the chipping plant

"Juken New Zealand Ltd is a vertically integrated forestry and timber processing company employing around 700 people," says Joe Bellass, log yard and log supply manager at Juken Kaitaia.

"We have sustainably managed and certified plantation forestry estates in Gisborne and Wairarapa regions and four modern, efficient, and environmentally clean wood-processing mills. Of these mills, one is in Gisborne, one in the Wairarapa, and two in Kaitaia.

"At our Gisborne and Wairarapa mills, we own or lease the log handling machinery and employ the operators directly.

"At Wairarapa there are three wheel loaders, a tele logger, and one tracked excavator, while at Gisborne, there are two wheel loaders and a tele logger.

"All of the five wheel loaders are Volvos, so we have had a lot of experience with the product and are familiar with the brand. It’s fair to say it’s proven itself over the years."

In 2019, Juken New Zealand undertook a major organisational review and challenged many aspects of how they operated their business.

"One of the many outcomes was a decision to bring the Kaitaia log yard operations in-house and employ the operators directly, rather than contract it out as had been done for many years," says Joe.

"We considered purchasing the existing fleet from the contractor, but it was a range of brands and some of them were starting to get a bit long in the tooth. So, for operational efficiency and to align with our own corporate values and objectives, including sustainability, integrity, pride, innovation, and quality, we elected to proceed with the purchase of a new fleet.

"We have a 20-plus years association with TransDiesel and Volvo equipment, so they were always going to be at the top of the list when it came to sourcing quotes for new machinery."

The interior of an L180H HL high-lift wheel loader

However, as with any large purchase, due diligence was required, and a thorough process of specification review and comparison was undertaken.

The procurement process was a long and vigorous one, with a number of suppliers and brands reviewed and evaluated on the way to a final decision.

There were a variety of considerations to factor in, as were specific ‘must-haves’, which were non-negotiables for the team at Juken.

Requirements relating to reliability and service were the biggest KPIs, closely followed by operator safety and comfort, with operational performance, fuel economy, and environmental impact all featuring strongly on the checklist.

"We looked at offerings from several suppliers and ultimately went with Volvo from TransDiesel. When all factors were considered, they came out on top," says Joe.

"We need our fleet operating and we know we can rely on TransDiesel to provide a prompt professional service to help keep the wheels in motion.

"We have every expectation that Volvo and TransDiesel are the right choice and have peace of mind knowing there will be less downtime and more time spent doing the job we’ve enlisted them to do.

"The addition of a variety of new Volvo machinery at the Juken New Zealand site in Kaitaia is set to propel the existing operation to the next level."

TransDiesel has Juken’s back

L180H HL Totara (right) delivers another stack of logs to Kanuka, the EW240E material handler

Juken’s Kaitaia operations are supported by a large number of sales, finance, service, and parts staff from TransDiesel, including Charles Malcolm, who is the company’s general manager for the Equipment Division.

One of the differentiators that helps stand TransDiesel apart from competitors is an understanding of customer requirements specific to their respective industries.

"It’s exciting to watch a business grow year after year and play a role in this development," says Charles.

"The Juken business in Kaitaia will undoubtedly benefit from the acquisition of this new Volvo machinery, supported with the backing of TransDiesel.

"Volvo has an enviable reputation as being one of the most trusted brands in the industry, thanks in no small part to exceptional quality, performance and safety.

"Sustainability initiatives are at front of mind for both brands and it’s interesting to note that Juken’s own corporate values are very similar to those held by Volvo, which makes this a great alignment."

In addition to a range of new ‘fit for purpose’ machines, further similarities are also realised between Juken and TransDiesel from a community perspective.

"One only needs to look at their website to understand the level of involvement they have with communities in which they operate," says Charles.

"From this standpoint, TransDiesel is proud to support Juken. We certainly have their back and it’s great to see they support others in a similar fashion."

New Volvo equipment at Juken Kaitaia

The L180H loader Rimu, alongside it’s high-lift L180H HL sibling Kauri

Among the new Volvo machinery working at the Kaitaia Mill is an EW240E MH Material Handler with grapple saw, EC220DL crawler excavator with grapple, an L180H wheel loader, and two L180H High-Lift wheel loaders.

"The material handler, capable of speeds up to 20km/h, makes it ideal for quick transitions moving from ‘A to B’ around the worksite," says Charles.

Key features and attributes of the other models include:

Volvo EC220DL crawler excavator

The excavator is designed for ultimate productivity, fitted with Volvo’s award-winning ECO mode and a premium Volvo D6 diesel engine to maximise fuel efficiency and reduce operating costs. It features a top-of-the-line comfort cab and helps keep operators efficient and in control all day long.

Volvo L180H wheel loader

This machine is ready to help operators do more work each day in a wide range of applications. With state-of-the-art technology including OptiShift—a unique system that reduces fuel consumption by up to 18% and increases machine performance—these productive machines will contribute towards increased profitability.

Volvo L180H high-lift wheel loader

Lift higher and reach further with the HL wheel loader. Designed for log handling, this purpose-built machine allows operators to stack higher and load faster, thus not only increasing productivity but also the bottom line.

Volvo machinery pecifications

Model kg/hp Description Function Name


Material handler with grapple saw Cuts and stacks Kanuka


Excavator with grapple Loads logs into chip plant Manuka


Wheel loader Loading/ unloading logs Rimu
L180H HL


High lift wheel loaders

Specialist stacking and
log lifting wheel loaders

Kauri, Totara

For more information, contact Marc Warr, marketing manager, TransDiesel on

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