Contractor profile: JG Earthworkx

By: Anjali Behl

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  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

Regional NSW-based operator Joel Griggs has managed a huge variety of projects in the short space of time since launching his business JG Earthworkx, writes Anjali Behl

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The fleet of machinery includes a Hitachi ZX200 excavator

Joel Griggs is the founder and director of residential and commercial earthmoving company JG Earthworx Pty Ltd. This family-run excavation specialist firm is based in Braidwood – a picturesque historic town nestled halfway between Canberra and Batemans Bay on the New South Wales coast.

Griggs started his career working for some of the local earthmoving and excavator companies to gain hands-on experience in this sector before starting out on his own.

"For as far as I can remember, I have been around machines," Griggs says.

"When I started my business I expected to be a one-man band but fortunately my business expanded quickly and I had family members who helped me with it."

Working with other businesses, Griggs had noticed that there were not many operators in the Braidwood area that were using mid-range excavators and he realised that he could tap into this gap.

Although he started out with a 20-ton excavator, it wasn’t long before Griggs invested in medium and small excavators with an aim to pan out his operations across a wide range of projects.

Four years on, JG Earthworx boasts a diverse portfolio of excavation work, with the knowledge, experience and equipment to manage a variety of different projects.

One of the things Griggs is most proud of about his business is his "awesome" team.

"I won’t be able to do what I do without them," he says. And this 25-year-old bloke doesn’t pull rank.

 "I don’t play the boss card. We are just a few mates working together, digging holes and kicking goals."

He chuckles as he talks about how his right-hand man, his cousin, Nath, literally carpeted the floor inside his excavator. Talk about loving your job.

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PROJECTS

JG Earthworx is currently working on a few projects for the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council. One of the projects is a land clearing job at the recreational grounds. It involves site preparation and putting culverts in a creek that will be backfilled and top-soiled to turn the football field and the tennis court into one big sporting complex. The new area will also house new cricket nets and a playground. The company is also handling a couple of other roadwork jobs for the council.

Joel’s team have recently finished some other private works; a job for the local golf club, which involved reconstructing golf tees, and another job clearing up an old pine plantation.

"There is a great variety of works around this area," Griggs says.

"We do everything from mini excavation prepping for concrete, to roadworks and driveways, rural farm dam construction and cleaning, wetlands and erosion control, and motocross and supercross tracks. The list goes on.

"Our reliable and dedicated earthmoving team have the expertise and diligence to quickly and efficiently complete any project, using the very latest earthmoving equipment."

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Griggs has invested in new, cutting-edge equipment that adds reliability and safety to operations

GEAR

For a relatively new business, JG Earthworx has an impressive fleet.

As business expanded, so did the gear. Today, Griggs owns seven machines, including five excavators – a Cat 320D excavator, Cat 314E excavator, Hitachi zx200 excavator, Cat 301.7 mini excavator and Cat 320 next gen excavator. He also has a Bobcat T595 tracked skid steer and a Cat D6N dozer.

One of the things Griggs has been conscious about is trying to keep ahead of the times when it comes to new technology. As a result, he has invested in new, cutting-edge equipment that adds reliability and safety to the operations. Four of his machines – three excavators and the dozer – are equipped with built-in GPS technology.

"Apart from having skilled staff, with investment in the latest and high-tech machinery, we feel like we are really future-proofing our position in the industry," Griggs says.

His most-recent purchase is the Next Generation 20-ton Caterpillar 320 excavator. The model uses integrated Cat Connect Technology to improve productivity gains. Cat’s cutting-edge technology combined with low fuel and maintenance costs mean the machine can deliver low-cost production in medium- to heavy-duty applications.

Nath, who regularly uses the machine, is particularly pleased with the visibility from the spacious cab, Griggs says.

"The automatic features of the machine are excellent and it has equally good height and depth perception. The safety cameras provide a drone’s view of the surrounding – something most machines can’t.

"Additionally, the machine uses considerably less fuel in similar applications, which means we can make big savings in our fuel costs."

Griggs says he is aware that many businesses do not invest in more expensive equipment, particularly in the beginning, but he feels that machines like the 20-ton and the 14-ton Cat excavators are well worth the price in terms of both productivity and fuel consumption.

Currently, JG Earthworx is managing projects in Braidwood and surrounding areas, however, Griggs says his business is well-equipped to handle projects farther away from home.

 

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