Sydney contractor Andrew Irwin relies on his fleet of eight Kobelco excavators to saw and cart up to 600 tonnes of sandstone blocks per day.
Andy’s Earthworks covers the greater Sydney area. Andy trusts Kobelco excavators for their robustness and ability to deliver returns that make good economic sense. Emphasising the need for the excavators to be reliable in his line of work, Andy explains that Kobelcos are good on fuel and warranties, getting parts is easy and the excavators have a realistic price.
Andy’s Earthworks takes on a wide range of contracts, and Andrew’s fleet has a Kobelco for every sized job, including an SK17SR for tight access jobs, and an SK75SR with an offset boom.
Three 20-tonne SK200s representing the biggest machines in his fleet are usually based in his quarry, where they saw out blocks of sandstone for retainer walls. On a good day they move 600 tonnes, so machine strength and endurance are important.
According to Andrew, being a steel company, Kobelco makes a better machine with stronger steel that lasts longer. With Kobelco’s quick-hitch, Andy’s staff is able to constantly swap attachments such as mud buckets, trenchers, rippers, grabs, hammers and rock saws to best meet the job at hand.
Andrew believes the SK75 is good for rock sawing jobs as the offset allows the operator to get closer in – the short rear swing needs only a 3.0m working space. Three Kobelco SK135 excavators in Andrew’s fleet include two featuring long carriage with larger booms and one with an offset knuckle-boom for rock sawing.
One feature Andrew singles out in the larger models is the ability they give him to crank up the hydraulics when needed.
Additionally, Kobelco excavators also offer excellent operator comfort with various adjustable features and good air conditioning. Levers and controls in the cab utilise natural arm movements, and safety is enhanced with good visibility.
Andrew used to run a mix of excavators but is phasing out the other brands in favour of Kobelco. The last two will be replaced this year with a Kobelco SK200 and SK135SR long carriage. The Kobelco SK135SR is a handy machine for medium-sized jobs, bigger in the arm, with more reach and more stability for jobs such as loading crushers and trucks.
Maintenance of Andrew’s fleet of Kobelco excavators is mostly done by his dealer, Sydney Truck and Machinery.
Andrew buys new with a warranty of 6,000 hours or six years. He works them up to 10,000 hours before even thinking of trading them in, with most kept even longer.