Jason Paterson of PatAsh & Civil recently purchased a CX80 eight-tonne excavator and a Case 440 skid steer loader from Case Construction, and is hoping to add a 30-tonne excavator to his portfolio of construction machinery.

Jason says the key to a successful business is to always be on the lookout for the next opportunity. He practises what he preaches and has seen his business, PatAsh & Civil, grow from a one-man operation just six years ago to a business that employs about 30 people today.

Jason started out as a fitter/diesel mechanic working as a subcontractor on civil construction and roads projects. After watching other entrepreneurs get their own businesses up and running, he started to ask “why not me” and in 2005 he established PatAsh & Civil, initially doing patching jobs around Melbourne’s western suburbs. Soon he was completing driveways and car parks, and before he realised it, he was running a thriving business.

“One minute you’re walking, then you’re running, then you stop and look around and realise, this is actually becoming a big thing,” he said.

More than 20 of 30 staff members are permanently employed, and when working on bushfire clean-up projects last year, his staff swelled to more than 100 people. Jason attributes his business growth to his willingness to take risks.

“I’m the sort of bloke that never says no. Nothing’s too hard, there’s always a way around things. If we need more people, we get them, if we need more equipment, we buy it, if the work is in another state, that’s where we go. Once you’ve got the gear, you’ve got to keep it working,” he said.

According to Jason, diversification is another essential element of his success. As well as his road services, which include asphalting, civil construction, emergency repairs and kerbing, the business also operates in plant hire, trucks and transport, floats and heavy haulage.

The fleet consists of up to 74 units which are maintained primarily by in-house technicians. Jason explains that, for him, choosing equipment is all about relationships. “I look for a good bloke. We’re striking up a very good relationship with Case Construction,” he said.

The Case CX80 eight-tonne excavator and a Case 440 skid steer loader were recently purchased by Jason, and he is hoping to add a 30-tonne excavator to his range of construction equipment.

“The Case 440 skid steer is incredibly powerful. With a clean-burning, turbocharged, engine delivering 90 Hp and 288 Lbs of torque, you have the muscle and control to get the job done quickly,” said Case Product Manager, Kevin Pritchard. “Most other companies don’t offer the same heavy duty reliability in a mid-size skid steer. These machines are solid steel and built tough.”

Each Case 440 model features a single-location service point at the back of the machine, making maintenance and daily checks fast and easy. The service point includes access to the engine oil dipstick, air filter and hydraulic and coolant level sight gauges. Case's exclusive easy-tilt ROPS gives fast, easy access to major components when maintenance or service is required. The remote oil drain helps avoid spills and speeds up oil changes.  A no-maintenance fan belt also helps to save time and money. 

Visibility is an important element in operator safety and the Case 440 skid steer loader provides exceptional visibility thanks to a reduced tower height and extra perforations in the cab screen, which provide all-around visibility, particularly to the bucket edge. 

“Even though we look after our equipment in-house, you want to know that if there’s a problem the dealership is going to get someone out there. If you’ve got the backing, you’re good to go. The guys at Case Victoria are doing a tremendous job,” said Jason.

Jason says subcontractors thinking about taking the plunge and starting their own company should be prepared to work hard.

“If they’ve got it in them, my advice is to stick with it. People will try to write you off, but you have to keep at it. Live and look outside the square. I wouldn’t be where I am now if I had just stuck to small asphalt jobs. I’ve grown from nothing. Everything I achieve, I pump back into the business.”

More information on the range of construction machinery offered is available from Case Construction.