Porter Press Extra: 888 Abalone

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  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

[SPONSORED CONTENT] Peter Kestel shares how his long association with Hyundai led him to invest in another excavator from the brand for his aquaculture business, 888 Abalone.

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888 Abalone is the only commercial land-based abalone farm and hatchery in Western Australia

Eleven years ago, Peter Kestel purchased an abalone farm in Bremer Bay and there has been no looking back for him since. It was quite a change of pace and place for Kestel, who worked in the mining industry in Malaysia for several years before moving back home and venturing into abalone farming.

Kestel and his team’s hard work have seen 888 Abalone’s business grow significantly over the past decade. 888 Abalone is a family-run company managed by Kestel, who is the executive chairman, and his son Craig, who is the managing director. The company’s head office is based in Perth but the farm is located in Bremer Bay, 560km south-east of Perth in Western Australia’s Great Southern region.

888 Abalone is the only commercial land-based abalone farm and hatchery in Western Australia as well as being the largest employer in Bremer Bay. It grows approximately 130 tonnes of abalone per annum, which amounts to four million juveniles for farm, ocean, and reserve combined.

Kestel grins when asked how he got into abalone farming and how he finds running the business.

"We’ve owned the farm now for 11 years. It’s a good business. It’s steady. We’ve come a long way from where we started and our business is continuously growing.

"We employ five marine biologists and have a staff of 23 hard-working people, most of whom are locals who have been in the region for a long time.

"It’s a good community feeling," Kestel says.

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Peter Kestel recently added this 1.6 tonne R17Z-9A Hyundai excavator to his fleet

HYUNDAI EXCAVATOR

When it comes to farming and construction machines and equipment, Kestel’s team always turns to Porter Group. Its equipment division sells new and used construction equipment from some of the best brands in the world. Porter Group also has aftersales divisions for servicing and parts.

"All my machines with exception of the telehandler have come from Porter Group, and the service, support and backup we receive is also excellent," Kestel says.

Kestel recently added a 1.6-tonne R17Z- 9A Hyundai excavator to his fleet. It is not the first Hyundai model he has purchased or used. His love for Hyundai dates back almost 18 years to his mining days in Malaysia, where he bought a Hyundai loader.

"We mainly use excavators on our farms for trenching, maintenance and construction of the buildings. We have other machines as well but we find the Hyundai models very versatile and easy to maintain."

Porter Equipment stocks Hyundai tracked and wheeled excavators, wheel loaders and skid steer loaders, among other world-leading brands and equipment.

"Today, all the machines have good features. But what makes one machine stand out over the others, particularly in the six-tonne range, is you can see what you’re doing very easily – access to control panel and servicing is very easy. All our Hyundai machines fall into that category," Kestel says.

The R17Z-9A is a fast machine with easy manoeuvrability and control thanks to the use of Hyundai’s latest technologies. It is powered by a reliable, Tier 4-certified Kubota D902 engine, which offers efficient fuel combustion and reduced noise. Its long-life hydraulic oil, shims and bushings result in reduced operating costs.

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The Hyundai HSL650-7A skid steer loader, using the fork attachement, is designed to do ‘more for less’

SKID STEER

Kestel’s other trusted partner, the HSL650-7A skid steer loader, is built on the principle of loaders doing ‘more for less’. Designed with plenty of power for maximum loading capacity, the steer loader boasts impressive fuel efficiency. It is powered by Kubota’s V2403 engine that delivers durability and efficiency. Wide open access under the hood means reduced machine downtime when performing regular service.

"Not only the controls on these machines are very user-friendly, all our Hyundai excavators are very versatile and easy to maintain. Moreover, the cost of spare parts is not exorbitant, which makes it cost-effective in the long run," Kestel says.

"I rank Hyundai like I rank a good four-wheel drive. It is a very honest machine that is great value for money. Many other similar machines in the market today are at least 40 per cent higher in cost to buy and at least 40 per cent higher in maintenance costs. So when I compare that with the buying and servicing costs of the Hyundai excavator models, I give the latter 9.5 out of 10."

Kestel’s enthusiasm for his aquaculture business is palpable. Following a decade of hard work, investment and passion, 888 Abalone is certainly on a path to greater success with expansion plans to take the farm to 350 tonnes per annum.

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