Couplers and attachments: Olsen Commercial

By: Lyndsay Whittle, Photography by: Lyndsay Whittle

Olsen Commercial’s one-acre plant and showroom boasts an extensive stock of machinery attachments

It’s kind of like a big boy’s toys on steroids, with a stack of useful bits and pieces to complement your diggers, whether it be a 1.5 tonner or a 50-tonne excavator.

Not only are there more attachments than you can shake a dipper arm at, the prices are affordable.

Deals on Wheels went out and paid a visit to Olsen’s one-acre plant and showroom to catch up with owner Josh Olsen and his two right-hand men Kenny Stewart and Jim Coxhead.

Early success

Plenty of attachments to choose from here

Josh, a very tall character, explained that he didn’t start out in the machinery game; in fact, his early career path couldn’t have been much further removed from it.

In his early days, he studied at Waikato University, starting in Sports and Leisure, but he soon realised he could be unemployable with that degree, so he moved on to a Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) where he majored in Finance and Marketing.

While studying and playing rugby for Waikato, he decided to start a lawn mowing business, which evolved into tree removal and firewood.

Being one who had always had an eye out for a bargain, Josh began bidding at liquidation auctions to buy equipment for his business, which he found to be his niche and the most enjoyable.

There’s a welder for every application in Olsen’s Proweld welder range

By 2014, the business had grown to a point where it needed a larger premise, and the cheapest in Auckland at the time was in Papakura. It has been his place of trading ever since, and he has now taken over two neighbouring properties.

Josh is quick to point out that much of his early success in understanding the workings of construction machinery such as rollers, compactors, excavators, and the multiplicity of attachments that go with the territory can be attributed to the mentorship he’s received over the years from Derek Berry, workshop manager at Hirepool.

He says Derek’s in-depth knowledge of machines and their various applications is second to none and that his willingness to share his knowledge has been invaluable in establishing Olsen Commercial as a major player—not only as a supplier of second-hand equipment but more recently as an importer of new machinery and attachments both in New Zealand and in Australia.

An advocate of the importance of surrounding yourself with people like Sarah Forsyth, Olsen’s office manager—who you not only believe will do any job asked of them, but you will also enjoy working with—is always uppermost in Josh’s mind.

The post rammer on the extreme left easily converts to a rock breaker

Josh also puts down a lot of his success to his supportive wife Regan Olsen, as the business is demanding and requires a lot of Josh’s time.

Kenny, Olsen’s operation and sales manager, modestly says that being a farmer foremostly, he’s learned to be a jack of all trades and that the farming industry gives you an all-round appreciation of what machines should (and shouldn’t) be able to do—a trait that he reckons holds him in good stead for being a part of the Olsen operation.

Talk to Josh, however, and you find that his initial appeal to bringing Kenny onboard was because of his team player spirit, his enthusiasm for work, his keenness to learn and, of course, his bright personality.

About 15 minutes into the DOW interview, in walks Jim Coxhead.

Jim is well-known in the machinery industry due to his long association with BS Engineering and as a current co-owner of JCL Eng Ltd in Wiri.

Kenny says that a few months back, Jim had only come in to collect a trailer, however, the conversation strayed into the field of buckets and attachments and both he and Jim realised that they had many common thoughts on the industry and somehow knew that the two of them would work well together.

Kenny was so impressed with Jim that he introduced him to Josh, and it wasn’t very long before Jim became part of the Olsen Commercial team as well.

Diverse range of stock

At Fieldays (from left): Jim Coxhead, Josh Olsen, and Kenny Stewart

Having gained an overview of the company culture, it was time to head out into the warehouse to look at the wide range of hydraulic excavator attachments the Olsen team carries in stock.

Although the primary purpose of our visit was to take a look at the attachments, the temptation to stop off and take a look at some of the company’s range of ProRoll rollers and their CT brand forklifts was too great to avoid.

When finally arriving in the attachment section of the warehouse, it was easy to see that the company carries a decent-sized inventory of each size and configuration of attachment. There are so many attachments: construction rollers boasting Japanese Yanmar engines and CT-powered forklifts with Isuzu diesel engines as well.

The array of available attachments is quite the eye-opener. It would take some time to go through them individually but to give some idea of what’s on offer, there is, of course, the normal range of tilts, spade, rock, trench, and screen buckets.

Olsen Attach also boasts an extensive stock of pile driving, demolition grabs, rotating grabs, and plate compactors.

While with the boys, they showed me a video of a 20-tonne on Pile Driving Plate Compactor driving in a 300mm post—very impressive.

Olsen’s attachments boast an extensive stock of:

  • Tilt buckets
  • Grapple buckets
  • Post rammer/rock breakers
  • Rotating rock sieve buckets
  • Sieve bucket
  • 1.5T hydraulic grapples
  • Dig buckets
  • Spade buckets
  • Trench buckets
  • Plate compactors
  • Compaction wheels

For more info, call Jim 021 028 30540, Josh 027 299 5697, or Kenny 022 131 8375, or visit

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