Earlier this year Hazell Bros expanded its fleet with a Hidromek HMK 500 LCHD from Onetrak. Tackling heavy ground as part of a hydro scheme upgrade in Tasmania, the 52-tonne excavator has impressed its operator with its comfort and power
Family-run construction and quarrying business Hazell Bros has been putting a Hidromek HMK 500 LCHD tracked excavator through its paces in difficult ground conditions on a tunnel project in Tasmania, with the 52-tonne machine taking it all in its stride.
The origins of Hazell Bros lie all the way back in 1944, when brothers Donald and Rowley Hazell set up a transport business in southern Tasmania. By the 1950s they had expanded out into earthmoving, with the development of a civil construction arm in the 1970s.
In 2010, with a portfolio of quarries, concrete plants, a commercial building business and a crane company as part of the Hazell Bros portfolio, the company expanded into Queensland with the acquisition of civil construction and plant hire operations. The company now also works in South Australia, delivering material handling and dust suppression services for Nyrstar Port Pirie.
Having joined the Hazell Bros fleet from distributor Onetrak earlier this year, the HMK 500 LCHD is currently working on a Hydro Tasmania project.
The project involves work on the Lake King William section of an upgrade to the Terraleah hydropower scheme, which involves the construction of a new intake structure and 1km of tunnel that will transport water to a new power station.
“The material and ground are very wet and boggy,” Hazell Bros general superintendent John Hogan says.
“On site we have seven excavators, including the 52-tonner [HMK500LCHD], a loader, three dozers and seven 40- and 30-tonne articulated dump trucks. The machines are loading out 120,000 cubic metres of very wet clay.”
Work will also soon begin on drilling and blasting rock, loading out hard dolerite. The project is expected to extend through to the end of summer 2024.
“It hasn’t been the easiest work and the HMK 500 LCHD has done a good job,” Hogan says.
“We also have a HMK 300 LC here as well and have had no issues with that either.”
Great price, great comfort
The Hidromek HMK 500 LCHD excavator is one of several Hidromek machines that have been purchased by Hazell Bros, with the pricing and machine specs being clear standouts for the business when it considered adding the model to its fleet.
“Hazell Bros are very thorough in their approach to buying new equipment, reviewing service manuals and ensuring all specs are in line with their business requirements,” Hogan says.
“We took into consideration the pricing, which was near $300,000 below some of the other options, and then looked at the breakout horsepower and compared cycle times.”
Although the cab design wasn’t a factor in the initial purchase of the machine, now that it is on site, the operator has been impressed with its comfort.
“He would have sat in just about every brand out there and he definitely likes this one, so that is worth noting,” Hogan adds.
“He’s happy with the way it digs, happy with the power and it has been performing very well since it has been here.”
On the maintenance side, he says the auto greaser has stood out to the team as well, with very little work needed to be done to the machine, despite the conditions it’s working in.
“I would recommend Hidromek – the operators like them and that makes a big difference,” Hogan says.
“They find it very comfortable and easy to operate. Hidromek do what they said they would do, and it is not down on power, with no breakdowns to speak of.”
Hogan also has nothing but positive comments about Onetrak aftersales support and working with territory account manager Rodney Onions.
“We know Rodney really well, and he and Onetrak have worked well with us here at Hazell Bros, but we wouldn’t expect anything else from Onetrak,” he says.
For more information on Hidromek and other brands supplied by Onetrak across Australia, visit: www.onetrak.com.au