Machinery focus: Kobelco SK500LC-9 excavator
Two Kobelco SK500LC-9 excavators fitted with Rammer hydraulic hammers are the latest additions to the heavy machinery fleet operated by brothers Lou and Micheal Bevilacqua of Pescatore Constructions, Victoria’s oldest sewer and drainage contractor.
Founded by their grandfather, Michele Pescatore, in 1961, the business has gone through quiet periods and times of unprecedented demand — and is currently in a stage of rapid expansion.
"Heading into 2015 things really started to pick up, providing us with the need to expand in order to meet demand," says Micheal, the construction and logistics manager of the company the brothers bought 30 years ago. "As a result we have recently purchased a number of new large machines."
A key feature in Micheal’s decision to introduce the new 48-tonne Kobelco SK500LC-9 excavator into the fleet was the machine’s new ECO mode, which has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by up to 21 per cent.
"After doing the sums on fuel consumption with the Kobelco SK500LC-9 compared with other machines, we discovered that our operating costs could be dramatically reduced," Micheal says. ""When combined with the reliability we have experienced with other Kobelco machines in our fleet, it made for a smart investment."
The SK500LC-9 also has a ROPS low-vibration cab with high suspension mounts filled with silicone oil that reduce heavy vibration when traveling and hammering.
"The ground we work with is about 60 per cent rock and 40 per cent clay," Micheal says. "The rock work is hard on the machines and we need strong gear that can withstand the vibration.
"You find that when doing lots of repetitive rock breaking over time, cracks can start to appear in the boom and other problems can arise," he says, adding that they are yet to see this after more than a decade of running Kobelco equipment.
Pescatore Constructions now has 10 Kobelco machines in its fleet and has recently bought another 35-tonne Kobelco 350LC-8 from Victorian Kobelco dealer Melbourne Tractors. Micheal says they will use it for trenching, rock breaking and backfilling.
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