Mon, May 6, 2024 5:00 AM

Endurance the key to logging success


Eloise Martyn

The logging industry is full of challenges as Hayden Barnes, Endurance Logging owner and operator, says ‘there’s always something.’

That ‘always something’ is the reason he named his operation Endurance.
“It’s not just a name, it’s a good way to sum up what logging is all about.  You have to have a certain amount of endurance,” Hayden says.

Hayden must have a decent amount of endurance as he’s about to step into the 32nd year of his logging career.

Born in Invercargill and raised in Blenheim, Hayden says he’s always been keen on the outdoors and pig hunting which were attractions to the logging industry.
“I tried silviculture work for a bit, but it wasn’t for me. I then started the Richmond-based forestry Polytech course and thought this is what I want to do,” he explains.

“In the course, you spend time in a silviculture crew and then two logging crews. It was a great pathway to employment in the sector and it’s a shame it’s not still around,” Hayden reflects. He says things have certainly changed during his time in the industry, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the like-minded people he enjoys working with.

“It’s the people that make it without a doubt. When you’re working in a team and it’s all flowing it’s like a game of rugby and having a win at the end,” Hayden smiles.

However, going from a forestry worker to running five crews, and employing around 50 loggers, hasn’t all been games of flowing rugby and Hayden is honest that it’s been challenging.

“It’s a big beast to run on my own, there’s a lot of pressure with the market and not knowing what it’s going to do,” Hayden says seriously.

Fortunately, Hayden and his team have successfully secured stable long-term corporate work. “It was a real turning point to secure work from a corporate forestry company with a large estate which is much more resilient to the market, as opposed to private tree owners at the whim of the log prices,” he explains.

Regarding the beast he is running, he’s ready to take a back seat from the long days and the need to be available at all hours.

“I never had any preconceived ideas about running my own operation, someone offered me the opportunity years ago and I jumped at it.  But maybe now it’s time for me to do the same as well as share the load,” Hayden says.
Whilst sharing the load, in some shape or form, is on the horizon, Hayden says he still really enjoys being part of the industry and can’t see that changing any time soon.

A real highlight for Hayden is having his two sons, Logan and Kees, actively involved in the business. Logan, Hayden’s youngest son, is a crew manager for one of Hayden’s swing crews working in OneFortyOne’s estate, and Kees is a keen and capable logger.

“Both the boys are such good workers, it’s great to have them involved,” Hayden says.

“I’ve got a competitive nature which gives me a lot of drive when it comes to challenges.  I enjoy being outdoors and working with great people and I’m looking forward to what the next chapter brings,” he says while smiling.

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