Mark Haughton

Mark smiling with his hands in his pockets and forestry equipment behind him

Meet Mark Haughton

As he shares what it means to be the 2021 New Zealand Construction and Forestry Technician of the Year Winner.

Working on John Deere construction and forestry equipment sounds less like a job and more like a calling for Mark Haughton.

The technician, who works at Drummond & Etheridge Rolleston, was clearly captivated from an early age, recalling how we would run up to the fence at his childhood home whenever he saw the distinctive yellow wheels and green cab roll into view.

Years on, that enthusiasm has led to him being named best in his field, securing the title of 2021 New Zealand John Deere Construction & Forestry Service Technician of the Year at the inaugural John Deere Technician Awards.

"It meant a great deal to me to win Technician of the Year, as it was recognition for all the hard work and training I have dedicated myself to and getting to where I am today," Mr Haughton said.

"But the most rewarding part of being a technician, for me, is the satisfaction gained from optimising the performance of a machine for a customer when they have a big workload." 

A typical day for is often supporting some of New Zealand's most remote and highly productive forestry businesses.

However, while he enjoys getting on site and working hands on with industry-leading forestry equipment, often his backup support is provided remotely through John Deere's suite of digital tools, Connected Support, which utilise JDLink™ and allow him to directly dial into machines.

"Basically, this allows me to see what a machine is doing in real time before I have even left the dealership yard. It's so valuable for the customer, as I can troubleshoot and resolve issues immediately, or ensure when I attend the job, I have the exact parts and tools required," Mr Haughton said.

Mr Haughton gained machinery experience through completing an automotive apprenticeship before heading to Australia where he worked in the workshop for a large-scale mining company.

After spending time abroad, he came back home to New Zealand to work with John Deere.

"Over the years through my role, I have become a part of our customers' businesses and it means a great deal to me when I see their operations working at full capacity and achieving high productivity and efficiency from their machinery," Mr Haughton said.