Seeking another income stream for his Vermeer machinery led Stefan Karlsson to set up Brisbane Tree Equipment Hire (BTEH), a successful wet and dry hire business that services Brisbane and the wider region.
Stefan started working with Vermeer machines back in 1989, trimming fallen trees out of powerlines. In 1995, he started Hi-Tech Tree Services, which was primarily a tree lopping business, but after running that for five years, he was looking for other ways to use the machines he had invested in for the business.
“If we’d lose out on contracts, our machines would have too much downtime, so we started to wet and dry hire them out to see how that would go for us, and it turned out to be quite successful,” Stefan says.
“Then in 2017, I decided to solely focus on equipment hire and sold the tree services side of the business, and it’s been going strong ever since.”
BTEH is based out of Deception Bay in Queensland, but service areas from Toowoomba all the way up to Hervey Bay and down to Lismore in NSW. Stefan hires his machines out to mostly private sectors and local councils. “People will travel that far to hire our machines and workers, as they know we offer a good service with good machinery.”
Stefan says currently about 95% of his work is dry hire, but he can see the market is shifting to more appetite for wet hire, as businesses shift to outsource more work.
“At the moment, we just don’t have the labour for more wet hire work, but it’s definitely something I want to look into over the next year or so and expand more in the wet hire space. The demand is there, and the time is right,” Stefan says. “I think if we work on that part of the business, I could turn it into a more 60/40 split with dry/wet hire.”
Stefan started with five Vermeer chippers, and now he runs 12 chippers, along with stump grinders, cherry pickers, spider lifts and tip trucks, all for wet and dry hire.
“The tree industry can be difficult to work in, and hiring out machines is even harder, but we’ve made it work, which has a lot to do with the quality Vermeer machinery we work with.
“Vermeer has always been well-renowned and the most popular in the industry, and they have definitely lived up to their reputation with us for all these years.
“The team we work with there is very knowledgeable and you can tell they know the industry. They’ve taught me a lot about the machines over the years, and I’ve brought that knowledge back to help me build and grow my business.”
To find out more about Vermeer Australia and their range of tree equipment machinery, head to www.vermeeraustralia.com.au