Breaking new ground

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  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

Hidromek excavators from Onetrak are assisting Melbourne contractor Deconstruct Group to deliver brand new apartment developments in some of the city’s trendiest suburbs

Hidromek-HMK370LC-excavator
The 39.5-tonne HMK370LC is hard at work digging basements for an apartment development.

National heavy equipment dealer Onetrak launched the Turkish-made Hidromek brand of machinery into Australia about 12 months ago and the team has been hard at work familiarising Aussie operators with the brand ever since.

Earthmovers & Excavators magazine has spoken to a number of contractors in Victoria who rate Hidromek excavators as right up there among the top brands in terms of design, operation and reliability. One such contractor is Melbourne-based Deconstruct Group. Deconstruct was founded by Kevin Finnerty as a demolition contractor in 2002. Since then, the company has expanded to offer basement retention, earthworks, concrete cutting, asbestos removal and waste bins, as well as commercial and residential demolition. Today, the company employs 110 staff and has a fleet of 25 excavators. Deconstruct currently works on projects in Brunswick, Toorak, Bentleigh, Dandenong and Brighton.

We met Ashley Brown, site supervisor-foreman at the residential project site in Toorak. He says the excavator operators at Deconstruct (himself included) have really put the Hidromek excavators through their paces with early work digging earth to make way for a new apartment car park, as part of a new residential development in Toorak in Melbourne’s leafy inner-east and a basement dig in lively Fitzroy.

"We’ve had the HMK220LC moving earth and loading trucks and trailers flat out, and doing a bit of detailing in between, onsite here for the last month and it’s been fantastic. It’s really fast and responsive to operate, so we’re not keeping the truck drivers waiting around. We have trucks coming in and out all day, so that efficiency is really important and helps us stay on schedule," says Brown.

The team at Deconstruct are using Hidromek excavators across two new apartment development sites, one in Fitzroy (where they are using a 39.5-tonne HMK370LC) and the other is hard at work in Toorak. Both jobs required machines that can move large amounts of earth quickly, but that are also quick and manoeuvrable.

"The 220LC came here [Toorak] with only 150 hours on it and it’s been great. It feels bigger than it is and it has really good reach and it’s very stable on the stockpile while loading. It has a lot of power when needed as well. This is really nimble and the slew is pretty fast," Brown says.

Hidromek-HMK220LC-excavator
Quick and manoeuvrable, but can also move large amounts of earth.

There is a lot of earth that needs to be moved here in Toorak; it’s a two-step basement at the front and a one-step basement at the back of these new apartments.

Brown continues: "[We hadn’t] used a Hidromek before and my other excavator operator Dean is a big fan too. It’s pretty hard on the machines digging a basement car park, you encounter some pretty tough earth, but the Hidromeks are tackling it with no trouble. Over in Fitzroy we are digging down six levels and it’s tough material. We’ve had the 370 on that job for about three months now with no issues."

Deconstruct operations manager Matt Singh adds: "We have rented the Hidromek machines for a few months now and they’re well-priced, fuel efficient and overall great machines. I’m particularly impressed with the breakout power of the HMK370 and the fuel efficiency and balance of the HMK220. We’ll definitely keep using them."

Onetrak rental manager Rhodes Cousland says the feedback he has been getting on Hidromek excavators has been fantastic.

"Introducing a new brand into the market with high allegiances and expectations should be a real challenge but we have found a very quick acceptance by customers already," he says.

"The feedback we are getting is that the machines are quiet yet have great breakout force, easy to operate and very comfortable. These attributes are in line with European market expectations covering the mid-size range from 14-52 tonnes.

"The early positive feedback has given us the confidence to take these machines to a broad customer base and ask operators to compare head to head the Hidromek vs. excavators that they’re accustomed to, and we are not afraid to compare them to any other brands on the market."

Rhodes finished by saying: "Contractors are starting to really get a feel for them and really get a feel for Hidromek excavators and after trying them out, they’ve all been impressed."

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