Ponsse UK Ltd opens a new facility
Ponsse UK Ltd, a subsidiary of Ponsse Plc, has opened its new facility in Annan, Scotland. “The new premises are specifically designed for servicing forestry equipment, and will enable a good customer service and growth in the future as well,” says Ponsse UK’s managing director Gary Glendinning.
In the new premises, four machines can be serviced at the same time. As well as spare part sales and warehousing, the service centre has training facilities for customer, driver and staff training. PONSSE UK’s machine fleet has been growing in recent years, making new facilities necessary. At the same time, work safety and working comfort have also developed in leaps and bounds.
In addition to the new premises, other changes will be made at the turn of the year. Gary Glendinning joins Ponsse as area director, responsible for the markets in Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia. In addition, Glendinning will continue as the managing director for Ponsse Ireland. The post of managing director at Ponsse UK will be taken up by Dean Robson, who transfers to the position from machine sales. Like Gary Glendinning, Dean Robson also has been a long-time Ponsse employee. He joined Ponsse in 2004, in spare parts sales.
Logging in the UK since 1994
The first PONSSE forest machine was seen in UK forests in 1994, and two years later the first PONSSE service centres were opened in the UK: one in Beattock, Scotland, and the other in Neath, Wales. Both operations were transferred to Lockerbie, Scotland at the turn of the millennium. The Ponsse facility in Annan currently has 24 staff. At the opening ceremony, the employees were rewarded for their 10- and 20-year careers with the company.
Ponsse’s first customer in the UK in 1994 was M.G. Harvesting Ltd, which is based in North Wales. The company was founded in 1980 by Michael Gillet. Gillet’s plans for a career in engineering changed to forestry after summer work experience in the latter industry. “Work was a lot freer in the forest, and you could work a longer day if needed. I bought my first forest tractor in 1980, and at the beginning we mainly gathered the timber by skylining. The terrain in Wales varies greatly, from steep slopes to flatland. So you really need a versatile machine. We’ve used Ponsse machines since 1994. We currently have 16 PONSSE machines, and a few harvester heads on excavator-based machines,” Michael Gillet explains.
Like Ponsse, Gillet’s is a family business. “The whole family is involved in our company, and the next generation has been closely involved for a long time. Both of our sons drive machines, and our daughter takes care of the office work. I don’t drive myself, but I do go to the work sites regularly. We have sites in England as well as Wales.”
“When I first came across Ponsse, I was very impressed with how must of a family-centred company it was. The company has grown and internationalised, and nowadays the customer support we get largely comes from Ponsse UK. One thing that really stands out about the services offered here is the technical support by phone, which has always worked brilliantly,” Gillet says.
About 18.5 million cubic metres of wood are harvested annually in the United Kingdom. The total market for forest machines in the UK is about 120 machines per year, and the active machine volume is over 1,300. In addition to forest machines, harvester heads are also sold for track-based machines.
Dean Robson, Managing Director, Ponsse UK (from Jan 1, 2018) tel. +44 780 186 8520
Gary Glendinning, Area Director, Ponsse Plc (from Jan 1, 2018), tel. +44 775 372 0906
Ponsse UK Ltd
4 Annan Business Park
DG12 6TZ, UK