Captains of Industry: Danny Jones

By: Editor, Photography by: David Lott

IMG 8799 Doherty Engineered Attachments Ltd group general manager Mark Walker (left) with Danny Jones IMG 8799
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P1220485 Danny’s family were on hand to celebrate the special occasion P1220485
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The Ed headed off to the Bay of Plenty to attend a retirement function for a well-known industry icon

Early December 2023 saw a good number of industry associates and family gather at the Tauranga branch of Doherty Engineered Attachments Ltd to celebrate the retirement of Auckland-North sales representative Danny Jones.

Many of those close to heavy equipment sales and servicing, in particular construction machine attachments, will know Danny who spent a long career in the industry, from operating equipment through to his eventual focus at the other end of machines selling attachments, more recently for, Doherty.

As Danny tells us, his first foray with machinery was growing up in Helensville (North Auckland) on his parent’s dairy farm and says he still has the Fergie 35 that his dad purchased in 1957.

Into his teens and school holidays were often spent working for Bruce Short of BA Engineering and JB Attachments fame.

"I started with Bruce Short who back then was based in Rewiti, south of Helensville. Before he made a name for himself in the attachment game, he was a decent-sized contractor and I learnt to drive machinery with him; eventually on motor scrapers, big dozers with massive cable blades on them – all sorts of gear."

"As time went on I became a qualified trade engineer and eventually found myself in the attachment sales game, first with Digga NZ. They were a great company to work with and good people," says Danny. Long friendships were forged at Digga, as is evidenced by those attending the retirement event.

Moving on from Digga, Danny did a 12-month stint in the mines in Australia, working as a technical writer.

"There were about 60 or 70 of us and we had to put together from scratch all the procedures and instructions on how the mine smelter would operate," says Danny.

Back in New Zealand, Danny then spent around 12 months with Porter Hire, with a focus on screening and crushing, before moving across to AdvanceQuip.

Readers may recall Danny as a front person for Earthworm Attachments, which is distributed by AdvanceQuip.

It was here that Danny resided until a bit over three years ago, when he took on a sales role with Doherty Attachments, who on the day of our visit had undertaken to provide an appropriate function that recognised Danny’s long-term commitment to the construction equipment industry.

"You know, it’s Danny," says Doherty founder and director Jeremy Doherty. "It’s not like we can give him a set of steak knives and couple of movie vouchers. His contribution to the industry is massive – what he doesn’t know about attachments isn’t worth knowing."

In answer to a question about his thoughts on the industry, Danny says: "It’s been a fantastic time working in this industry. I love the equipment, the people and clients I’ve worked with – it’s just been a wonderful experience.

"The thing is, I’ve always made sure what I’ve sold are top quality products and this has allowed me to have the confidence to know that the customer is getting equipment that will meet their needs and have a good long-life span," he says.

"By doing this, the product speaks for itself, and I am simply there to be the link between the customer and the business that employs me."

At this stage the retirement lifestyle for Danny is looking a little hazy and a shrug of the shoulders seems to be about as far as planning has gone, although a quick glance towards his family may be an indication of other ideas hovering just below the surface.

"We’re saying that we give it three weeks before he’s back," laughs Jeremy. "I’m pretty sure he’ll be back to help us out at Fieldays in June – I don’t think he’d want to miss out that."

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