Richard Ballem is retiring after 45 years of civil contracting in Western Australia, 35 of them with CASE Construction Equipment .
The 61-year-old contractor and his wife Maureen have sold their Perth-based business, AR and MA Ballem Civil Contractors to their two sons, Scott and Chris.
While major expansion plans are on the anvil, one aspect that will not change in the business is their continued connection with Case construction equipment.
Richard says that the brothers eventually want to own the entire Case fleet of construction machines.
Richard bought his first Case backhoe, a 580B in 1975 and has had Case backhoes ever since.
He adds that his contracting work has involved digging holes and burying things for 45 years, ably helped by wheel loaders and loader backhoes from Case Construction.
The Ballems have a Case 580 Super M backhoe and a Case 621C wheel loader as part of their fleet. The machines are put to work on housing lot subdivision projects in and around Perth.
Some of the jobs handled by the Case machines involved blocks, sewers and stormwater drains, road works, water, gas and power mains, kerbing as well as general earthworks.
Richard says that their Case backhoe and wheel loader can handle a versatile range of jobs in the sandy Western Australian soil conditions as well as on hard ground. He also finds the machines reliable and easy to maintain.
Richard’s 580 Super M backhoe has clocked up 8,000 hours and is still going strong in spite of the hammering it gets at the worksite.
Richard lists out some of the advantages of the backhoe:
- Quick, responsive and accurate hydraulics
- Good visibility and great lifting capacity
- Doubles its deep digging capacity with the Case Extendahoe
Richard said he was just as impressed with the performance of the Case 621C wheel loader, which has clocked up 7,000 hours.
Some of the advantages include:
- Highly manoeuvrable, efficient and easy to operate
- Payback possible in just 12 months
- Superior mileage
- Excellent comfort, accuracy, visibility and hydraulics
- Handles backfilling of deep trenches
- Easy to maintain and offers high reliability
Today, the business employs eight people and boasts an impressive fleet of machinery including the Case 621C wheel loader, the Case 580 Super M loader backhoe, a skid steer loader, four excavators, six work vehicles, a 10-tonne truck and five sea containers full of tools.