Our History


Founded in 1951 by Bryant and his brother Bill McIntosh, McIntosh Brothers has grown to be one of the country’s top farm machinery manufacturers and the Manawatu’s largest crane hire company.With Bryant trained as a fitter and turner, the pair saw an opening for jobbing engineers. They set up in a Palmerston North back section working in a shed they agreed to renovate as their side of a rent free deal for 6 months. They then moved to Grey Street. During this time they were mainly doing repairs; you name it, they repaired it.


The Crane Division was started in 1961 after it was decided to design and build their own crane to help lift stock crates they were manufacturing. The 5- ton capacity crane was non-slewing with a manual pin-jib boom. This was followed shortly after by a similar crane but this time with a hydraulic extension on the boom and the ability to slew thanks to a slew ring formerly fitted to a bren gun carrier. These cranes were used onsite in the engineering plant and hired out locally around the region.

1960 - 1980

Two other brothers joined the company in the 60’s and 70’s. Gary McIntosh ran a newly formed Engineering branch in Hastings, and Peter as a Crane Operator in Palmerston North. Peter went on to being the Crane Dispatcher, while Garry moved back to Palmerston North when it was decided to close the Hastings Branch and focus on Palmerston North. Crane and engineering work developed and it was in 1974 when Bill and Bryant purchased a 20 ton Kato Crane (their first hydraulic unit) and put it onto a crane carrier they had built themselves. To keep up with the servicing of the Manawatu regions needs they quickly added another 20 Tonne Kato and 11 Tonne unit.  1975 saw Bills involvement in the foundation of the Crane Association of New Zealand begin. He was elected on to the first council, was President for the Association from 1981-1983 and was elected a life member in 1989. In total he spent 18 years with the association and is seen as a stalwart within the association.


A 50 tonne PH Crane was added in 1982, with the focus now on buying complete Crane units.The second generation entered the company in 1987 with both of Bills sons, Craig and Brett, joining the business after gaining experience in the engineering and financial fields.


1994 saw Bryant brought out of the business due to health issues. His dedication and commitment to the partnership with Bill had been instrumental to the company’s success.Over the next decade the father and sons team continue to build the Crane fleet diversifying into truck mounted cranes and truck and trailer units. Additions to the fleet have continued as workloads have demands for larger cranes.The company now have complete lifting and transporting solutions for all their client needs.


In 2005 the company purchased a 140-tonne-capacity Terex Demag hydraulic all–terrain crane which was seen as an investment in the future for both the company and industry in the region. This enabled them to provide the surrounding Wind Farms with a larger capacity crane needed for ongoing maintenance requirements for the turbines.


In 2008 the company had expanded its Farm Machinery Division to such an extent that it was decided to move to a larger site in Armstrong Street. Both sides of the company would now work from this new site.



The celebration of 60 years in business occurred in November 2011 with many long term clients attending the event. A framed original 1951 handwritten charge out sheet was presented to Bill.In 2011, Brett’s son Scott joined the business being involved in marketing (BCOM Otago) and is also fully trained as a Hiab and Crane Operator.

Scott, Brett, Bill


The company added a 350-tonne-capacity Terex Demag hydraulic all–terrain crane unit to its fleet. It has come from the mining region in Australia along with the nickname "Big Bill" which the company has decided to keep in recognition of it's founding director, Bill McIntosh."Big Bill" completed it's first lift on 30th February at The Foxton Beach Boat Ramp launching the "Guru" a 30 metre purpose built boat by Profab Engineering.

Big Bill


Craig McIntosh retired from the company after serving the company for 33 years.



2021 saw the end of an era with the sad passing of Bill at age 90. Bill’s influence will live on in the company and the celebration of 70 years in business as McIntosh Brothers is still a family owned and manged business.

Bill McIntosh


McIntosh now manage a fleet of 12 Cranes, 7 Hiabs and 12 Truck and Trailer Units with additional soon to arrive. A key to the success of the company is attention to providing customers with a premium quality service.