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Global Turf praises Porter Group

For specialist contractor Global Turf, a set of Hyundai excavators and NC tippers from Porter Group have helped it achieve the precision it needs when building racecourses, sports fields and golf courses across Australia

For specialist contractor Global Turf, a set of Hyundai excavators and NC tippers from Porter Group have helped it achieve the precision it needs when building racecourses, sports fields and golf courses across Australia.

If you were watching the Melbourne Cup in November, you may understandably have been far more interested in the horses racing over the turf rather than the turf itself. However, for specialist contractor Global Turf, ensuring the quality of the track is a key focus of its work.

Back in August, Global Turf managing director Garry Collins and his team were at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne reconstructing the sand track, working late into the night to get it prepared in under a week.

And this isn’t the only high-profile racecourse the Global Turf machinery has been seen on. Earlier in the year Collins took on his biggest project so far, with Ballarat Turf Club making significant upgrades to its indoors grass track, uphill racing track and building a new synthetic track. Expected to be completed early next year, the full project is valued at $1.3 million.

“The new synthetic track we worked on was the largest we’d undertaken to date,” Collins says.

“We had about 12 people on that job at one time, plus subcontractors, building around 60,000 square metres of track. They’ve been a great client.”

Global Turf has a collection of Hyundai HX145LCR and R35Z-9 excavators purchased from Porter Group.
Credit: Global Turf

Global Turf beginnings

Collins set up Global Turf around seven years ago, based out of Macedon in Victoria. He now undertakes work on racecourses, golf courses and sports fields across Victoria, Queensland and NSW, with offices in Brisbane and Sydney and a team of 40.

When asked how he first got into the world of turf, Collins says it was a family background in construction and an apprenticeship spent maintaining a golf course that set him on the track to become a business owner within this niche area of the industry.

“It’s the variety of projects that we get that really appeals to me with this job,” he says.

“We’re attached to the sports industry and there’s also a sense of achievement once it’s finished. Going from a bit of dirt to a beautiful grass track – it can look amazing.”

With four or five projects running at any given time, the breadth of work that is being undertaken is extensive, with an oval replacement requiring the existing turf to be stripped, earthworks undertaken, drainage, electrical services and irrigation systems placed and then layers of microdrainage aggregate, sand and the top turf layer all laid back on top.

Global Turf therefore runs an extensive fleet of around 60 pieces of machinery, with excavators up to 20 tonnes, D6 dozers, 30-tonne dump trucks and a range of finishing gear such as pozi tracks and scoops. Collins then uses Universal Total Stations to achieve precision on his projects.

“It’s a large and varied fleet that we have,” Collins says.

“We just bought a three and a half tonner from Porter Group with a tilt hitch, which we use to shape our golf course bunkers. That’s a very good piece of gear.”

The 14-tonne HX145LCRs suit Global Turf’s work so well that a fifth has recently joined the fleet. Credit: Global Turf

Expanding the fleet

Of the fleet of 60 machines, 10 of those have been sourced from Porter Group’s Melbourne branch in Dandenong.

The first machine purchased by Collins from Porter Group was a 14.6-tonne Hyundai HX145LCR crawler excavator around six years ago, which he says stood out for himself and his team after looking to refresh his fleet.

“We were looking to upgrade from another brand and did some research and trials of machines. We found that Hyundai was the best fit for our work, with great fuel use and a high level of comfort for operators,” Collins says.

With zero tail swing, the HX145LCR comes with a Tier 3 Cummins QSB4.5 engine that produces 95kW (127 horsepower) at 2,000rpm. The upgraded HX series includes a larger touchscreen and variable power control to improve fuel efficiency. Porter Group fits as standard Hyundai’s Advanced Around View Monitoring system, which provides all-round vision through nine camera feeds, while the Intelligent Moving Object Detection system detects people or objects in close proximity to the excavator.

“Since purchasing the first Hyundai, we’ve bought several 14-tonners, four 3.5-tonne R35Z-9 mini excavators and two NC front tippers,” Collins says.

“The most recent machine we received was our fifth HX145LCR in October that’s now working on a private golf course up in Longwood in northern Victoria.”

Collins says he keeps buying more HX145LCRs because of the reliability of the brand.

Strong aftersales service from Porter Group has supported Global Turf in its expansion into different states. Credit: Global Turf

“We find the 14-tonne excavator is a good size for us because we can still do bulk earthworks as well as detailed digging,” he says.

“With the three and a half tonners, we use these mainly for our bunker construction on golf courses, as well digging, installing electrical and drainage services, etc.”

The Hyundai R35Z-9 mini excavator sports a Tier 4 27 horsepower (20kW) Yanmar 3TNV88F engine and a new 9 Series cabin with foldable pedals and an adjustable suspension seat. Upgrades include a boom swing function for confined areas, a cabin built with slimmer tubing for improved visibility and an improved hydraulics system to improve fine control of the excavator.

In addition to Hyundai excavators, two NC Engineering front tippers have also been reliable and flexible for work on both Global Turf’s smaller projects as well as major works.

“We like the dumpers a lot – they are easy to transport around,” Collins says.

“On a golf course we’d use them for bringing in sand for the bunkers, or maybe a bit of gravel. So they’re just handy and easy to get into tight spots.”

A set of four TR35Z-9 mini excavators are used for smaller-scale detailed work such as digging bunkers for golf courses. Credit: Global Turf

Porter Group

For Global Turf, with a large and expanding fleet based across several states, having Porter Group’s aftersales availability on hand across different areas has been invaluable, says Collins.

“We keep buying more machines because we’ve had such a good run out of them over the years. The reliability has been helpful in supporting our business to grow. Porter Group’s aftermarket support has been really good as well. It’s been a good relationship that’s been running well over the last six years. The aftersales team has always been reliable. If we call up if they’re quick to find a solution to any problem.

“Aftermarket support really is the most important thing in this business. Anyone can sell you a machine, but if there’s a problem three months down the line, you want a relationship there where you can get back to them and they will solve the problem. And we have that with Porter Group.”

For more details on equipment available from Porter Group visit www.porterce.com.au

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