In the first full year following their appointment as distributor in Ireland for the Komatsu Forest range of timber harvesters and forwarders, McHale Plant Sales has reported 2018 unit sales beyond the double-digit threshold with forward orders on hand that indicate even higher levels are possible this year.
Since entering the forestry sector in 2017, McHale claims to have raised the position of Komatsu to ‘a whole new level’, not least through what a spokesman termed ‘our capacity to handle trade-ins and provide ‘root and branch’ technical support’.
Doing the business for the Birdhill and Rathcoole-based distributor is the 901, 931 and 951 harvester series, machines said to be popular with ‘tonnage-conscious, high-output’ contractors, and their hard wearing 835, 845 and 855 forwarders whose ability to work in difficult forest floor conditions has been noted.
Praising the work being done by Coillte, Teagasc and others to encourage its development, the company’s director, Michael McHale predicts a future of sustained growth and job creation, seeing forestry as having the potential to outpace many others in terms of the overall contribution it can make to Ireland’s economic progress, north and south’.
Knowing how favourable growing conditions are in Ireland for the production of timber, McHale is recommending that land owners study the economics of forest planting as an alternative and reliable source of income, especially for those with holdings not wholly suitable for farming, food or dairy production.
“With more land going to forestry each year, and increasing evidence of growth and productivity in planting, harvesting and downstream processing through sawmills and end-user product manufacturing, the outlook for forestry and timber production is positive” he said.