Business Feature, Earthmoving Industry Insight, Excavators, Machinery News

Porter Equipment and Titan Pre-Mix Concrete

The team at Titan Pre-Mix Concrete has years of experience under its belt, both with concrete slabs and with using Hyundai’s range of civil construction equipment. With the latest Hyundai HX220L excavator recently added to the range, the company is looking forward to new horizons in 2022

The new HX220L excavator is currently being used to break up old slabs

In Ancient Greek mythology, the Titans were a race of giants that dominated the globe – descended from the sky and the earth.

So, with a name like that, it is only fitting that Titan Pre-Mix Concrete has some pretty big plans for growth, from its base at Riddells Creek in Melbourne’s Macedon Ranges.

Company manager Lucas Trovatello explains that while it is a relative newcomer to the region, Titan has more than 30 years of experience to fall back on.

“This company has been running since about March last year… but it has got generations of experience, I would say,” he says.

“It all goes back to my dad, his brother and their dad together used to have a company called Central Premix, which they sold a few years ago. They had companies before that too… so this company is only two-years-old, but it has a wealth of experience.”

The pre-mix concrete Titan provides from its base in Riddell’s Creek and a newer facility in Bacchus Marsh can be used for typical building slabs or, as Trovatello explains, decorative concretes for pools and outdoor entertaining areas.

“Some bigger companies just purely focus on making plain concrete and targeting bigger jobs; some companies are more niche, and they just stick to decorative concrete – we like to try and find balance as best we can between them both.”

The Titan team is maintaining that balance between Melbourne’s two major growth corridors, the twin bases putting it in prime position for ongoing urban sprawl.

“From Riddell’s Creek we will go as far as the northern growth corridor – Mickleham and Kalkallo… and from Bacchus Marsh we will travel to the western corridor as well, so Truganina, Tarneit… that is probably the furthest we will go,” says Trovatello.

“That is where a lot of slabs of the bigger projects are… from Riddells Creek and Bacchus Marsh we also do the local regional areas as well, so we cater for both, really.”

Titan Pre-Mix Concrete manager Lucas Trovatello

Over the past two years a consideration for the Hyundai brand was never far away, with the company making sure it had two new HL760-9 wheel loaders as it set up the new enterprise.

“We had the same Hyundai loader in all our businesses at Central – and that is the reason we have got it now with Titan Pre-Mix, because of the features,” says Trovatello.

“If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, so we decided to keep using that model with the update and it just seems to be a winner.”

For Trovatello, what stands out about the new loaders is their manoeuvrability in difficult environments.

“Hyundais tend to be very cost effective, and they also tend to be a very good size – I’ve said this before, they are very nifty,” he says.

“In something like a concrete plant, it is not like other operations where it is slower… In these two plants, we have tighter spaces, so you need something that can get around quickly. Concrete is a very quick, fast-moving industry.”

Much of this is due to a series of advances made in the design of the HL760-9 wheel loader, in particular a new load-sensing hydraulic system with a variable axial piston pump and a two-spool control valve that Hyundai says helps save additional energy.

A standout feature on the new HX220L is the 360-degree camera

The loaders’ enhanced axles help improve driving on uneven ground conditions, while their self-adjusting brakes automatically compensate for disc wear – improving performance and reducing service intervals.

The operator can customise the power of the loader’s 215 horsepower (160kW) engine, with three engine power modes, three clutch cut-off modes and four transmission shift modes – able to vary between slopes and between light and heavy duties.

The 9 series wheel loader is also equipped with a ride control system, with a shock absorbing accumulator that cushions the boom cylinders to help improve operator comfort.

Trovatello says that with all the stockpiles that loaders at the Riddells Creek site need to navigate, it’s plain to see why that transmission feature is a benefit.

“And it tends to be user friendly, which is good for when we’re training people on them or even if it’s your first time on the loader… they just seem to be very easy to navigate,” he adds.

The stockpiles of aggregate typically come from Titan’s Barfold Quarry, a basalt quarry situated about 20km north of Kyneton that the company uses as a vital component of its concrete offer.

That quarry is to be the home of Titan’s newest acquisition, a brand-new Hyundai HX220L excavator, which Trovatello says is the first one bought by the company.

While it was purchased for the hard work of mining the quarry, the excavator is, at present, carrying out a series of odd jobs at the concrete plant – breaking up old slabs and similar – before it makes the permanent move to its new home in early 2022.

The 160hp (119kW) excavator has a series of new design features that help improve durability and fuel efficiency, including a variable power control system and a redesigned and more ergonomic cabin.

But for Trovatello, there’s one feature that impresses the most – its 360-degree camera.

“That is probably its coolest feature. Especially in those sorts of environments… your vision is limited, so to have something like that is ahead of its time,” he says.

The camera is one part of the HX Series’ Advanced Around View Monitoring video camera system optional package, which helps secure field of vision in all directions including a 3D bird’s eye view and 2D/4CH view.

The ease of use of Hyundai’s wheel loaders has been a benefit to the company

This, along with the unit’s intelligent moving object detection system, which informs the operator when objects or people are detected within 5m of the machine, are the latest in safety innovations from Hyundai.

“One thing you could say, working in such a dangerous environment – quarries and plants – it is good to have that safety feature in place. It has made our job a lot easier,” says Trovatello.

He adds that the team at Porter Equipment has also helped when it comes to maintenance – though Trovatello notes the machines have always been good to maintain.

“I must admit I’ve been very impressed with them considering they are based in Dandenong [on the other side of Melbourne],” he says.

“Considering how far away it is, they always come out if we ever ask, booking services is never a drama.

“They always check up on us at all times of the year, not just when we are buying equipment, so it is a consistent sort of service, so that really makes you feel good two know that they are constantly keeping in touch with us.

“We’ve already got two loaders, an excavator and counting, and that is probably a credit to them for being a reliable provider,” he adds.

It also bodes well for Titan’s future plans, says Trovatello, with the family business looking to open a “super plant” in Melbourne’s north later in the year.

“It will definitely be a brand new facility built, and it will really increase our capacity, and we will really be able to take on more work,” he says.

“That is expected to be fully operational by next year, so we will need more equipment and more everything for when that  opens as well.”

The HL760-9 wheel loader has a new load-sensing hydraulic system

For more details about the equipment available through Porter Group, visit porterce.com.au

Photography: Cameron Murray

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