‘Bargain’ decisions costing contractors thousands

Every business aims to keep costs down, but for some, a decision that initially may save money can end up costing thousands – or worse. The adoption of technology in the construction and earthwork industry is accelerating fast and, let’s face it, it isn’t a cheap exercise, especially for small to mid-sized operators.

But some are finding out the hard way that buying this technology from non-authorised sources can lead to disaster. From second-hand equipment that gives up the ghost to pirated software that crashes and takes vital data with it, operators are taking huge risks with their business’ future - just ask Trimble’s Matt Rhyne, Regional Sales Manager – Australasia for Trimble Civil Engineering & Construction.

“It’s a big worry for us because we want Trimble users to experience the very best,” he said.

“And by getting gear from non-authorised sources, you run the real risk of costing your business tens of thousands of dollars, by damaging your reputation in the industry, losing clients and work.”

“Sad to say, we have many examples of things going very wrong for businesses when they don’t go with our authorised Trimble dealer SITECH.” On that list are businesses who had unwittingly bought stolen equipment, Matt said. If gear is reported stolen, Trimble has an online database for dealers to report the item as stolen on behalf of the customer.

“If that equipment is presented at any Trimble service centre the serial number is checked and if it is stolen, it’s the responsibility of the dealer to report it to the police,” Matt explained. “So the new owner is left with nothing - most of the time whoever they bought it from is long gone, giving them no recourse.”

There are also examples of operators buying hardware and software from online market places and the like, then when it arrives it is either not functioning or not working to its full potential. Because they have bought from a disreputable source they have no warranty so have to bear the full cost of repairs. Gear bought from overseas can be a whole other issue, including voided warranties and voltage issues.

“Hardware is specific to the market and location it is sold to in many cases,” Matt said.

“Buying from overseas means there’s no guarantee it will work where you are – unfortunately there are operators who’ve lost out because of localised compatibility issues.”

And, perhaps surprisingly to some, buying elsewhere doesn’t always mean cheaper.

“So while purchasing something that then needs repairing is going to cost you more, we’ve also examples of operators buying equipment thinking they have got it cheaper and it was in fact more expensive than through the authorised Trimble distributor, a SITECH dealer” Matt said.

The bottom line is that if you invest in technology from an unauthorised source you are taking a gamble - and it’s a gamble you don’t need to take. SITECH has a variety of options for operators including authorised and guaranteed second-hand equipment, including ex-rental gear as well as hardware clients have traded in. In both cases SITECH guarantees their operation and will correct any problems.

“We also offer a ‘hire to buy’ option which means you can be using the technology right now, reaping its benefits while not having to outlay the cost in one go,” Matt said.

“That’s proving popular with smaller and mid-sized operators as they can budget the savings they’ll make through machine control, for example, towards the monthly hire-to-buy cost.”

SITECH and Trimble want customers to get the very best out of their technology, and dealing with their local SITECH means just that.

Working with SITECH also brings its own rewards, including training, installation and support that can be relied on.  “At Trimble we require the dealers’ technical support team to undergo continual training,” Matt said. “Trimble provides huge investment in dealer training, running local ‘boot camps’ that give the dealer’s staff access to Trimble product experts, new technology and time on machines, ensuring the customer gets the best experience from their investment.”

To find out more about SITECH’s range of services and solutions, call 0800 4 748 324 or visit www.sitechnz.co.nz

SITECH puts Trimble experience in operators’ hands

Technology that is changing the face of construction went on show and customers got their feet dirty at a special open day near Adelaide.

SITECH Construction Systems, the official distributor for Trimble products, teamed with earthmoving ‘giants’ Kobelco, Komatsu and Hitachi to demonstrate the next generation of machine control at the Trimble Experience open day, which was held at Waterloo Corner on September 12.

The open day included demonstrations and the opportunity get hands-on with the latest Trimble technology.

On the machines, operators were able to experience Earthworks, a software and hardware combination that is revolutionising earthmoving with cutting-edge technology providing semi-automation of excavator controls.

Still on machines, live demonstrations were held showcasing how an operator can create their own infield designs and use payload to improve efficiency.

Off the machines, everyone got hands on with Trimble SiteWorks, the next progression in 3D visualisation for site set-out and measurement.

Throughout out the day, workshops demonstrated how drone technology coupled with Trimble Stratus can easily provide volumetric measurements for earthworks progress and claims.

Experts were also on hand to demonstrate Trimble WorksManager, a new data management tool taking care of design revisions, remote support and IBSS networks.

The day was capped off with Trimble SiteVision – the new augmented reality tool coming soon that can be run on a mobile phone so you can visualise works before you even start.

Thanks to our OEM partners, we were able to fit a Hitachi ZX360LC-5B excavator with the works -  Trimble Earthworks Autos, Payload Scales and a Blaxtair Pedestrian Detection Camera.

Also at the day was a Komatsu PC360 Excavator from T&J Construction, a Kobelco SK260LC-10 Excavator and a John Deere GP622 Motor Grader, all equipped with Trimble Earthworks Auto.

Big Chief Hire provided the site for the event and also supplied a grader, water cart, loader, electronic signs and three operators. It was the perfect site with plenty of room to spread out and no objection to digging plenty of holes!

UPG and BuildingPoint were also on hand to show the latest in scanning technology and building layout tools including Trimble’s SX10 Robotic Total Station and RPT600 Layout Station.

Over 120 customers attended the day, including operators, business owners, foremen, surveyors and local government representatives, as well as 15 staff on site.

The reaction from those who took part was very positive, with many commenting on how good it was to spend real quality time in a machine with the latest technology.

Among the most popular features on show were the automatics on the diggers, which really showed how this breakthrough translates into supreme accuracy and big savings in time and money.

While this was the first such day staged – specifically for operators – it won’t be the last thanks to the interest and response it generated.

“Our industry continues to excite - there’s always a new solution that’s helping our clients in the way they tender, win and deliver their projects,” SITECH’s Brent Daniel said.

“To put the entire Trimble construction system on show for a day was a great achievement and a reflection of SITECH’s capability.

“Our success is measured by our customers’ success.”

West Gate Tunnel Project to deliver alternative to West Gate Bridge

One of Victoria’s major infrastructure projects has added a new level of accuracy to its operations thanks to Trimble and SITECH.

SITECH Construction Systems recently installed four Hitachi ZX490LCH-5 excavators with the Trimble LOADRITE X2350 Payload System, to be utilised on the West Gate Tunnel Project currently under way in Melbourne.

SITECH was approached to provide a solution to enable the project team to accurately manage the amount of material loaded on to trucks leaving the site to ensure that they were not overweight and were safe to use the public road network.

Using covered conveyors, the rock and soil from the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) will be moved to the spoil management facility, where the four excavators will load the material onto trucks to be transported offsite to suitable fill sites.

All the load data will be sent via Trimble InsightHQ back to the project team for daily reports that will detail every bucket loaded and how many tonnes of material have been loaded.

The TBMs will excavate over 1.5 million cubic metres of rock and soil. Depending on the ground conditions, the machines will typically bore an average distance of 9m per day.

The West Gate Tunnel Project will deliver a vital alternative to the West Gate Bridge, providing the city with a much-needed second river crossing, quicker and safer journeys, and remove thousands of trucks from residential streets.

The project is a partnership between the Victorian Government and Transurban and will be built by construction contractors CPB Contractors and John Holland (CPBJH JV).

Construction is under way, with the new road to be opened in 2022.

If you want to know how SITECH Construstion Systems can help with your next project, give us a call 0800 4 SITECH

United Civil Becomes Faster, Smarter and More Accurate with Trimble

United Civil Construction Ltd (United Civil) was established over 40 years ago in New Zealand with the forming of United Carriers Group. When the group separated its construction operation in mid-2006, United Civil was formed. The civil construction company has over 120 trained and experienced staff who deliver outstanding work on projects from Auckland up to Cape Reinga. With a focus on benefiting its people and the communities in which it serves, United Civil puts health and safety at the core of its operations. It is also committed to building all of its projects in a sustainable manner that does not harm the environment.

Kobelco, Trimble partnership a clear winner

One of the world’s largest manufacturers of earthmoving equipment last year teamed up with Trimble to take its machinery to the next level with the introduction of a Trimble Ready option.

You can learn for yourself how that partnership can benefit your operations with this video created by Kobelco and SITECH Solutions.

The option is available for select Tier 4 Final Kobelco excavator models in Australia and New Zealand.

With a machine control system using automatic, the machine automatically controls the position of the bucket and the boom when operating in a semi-autonomous mode.

All that the operator needs to do is position the machine and simply pull back on the arm control stick where he wants to cut the grade.

The system will stay on grade automatically controlling the boom and the bucket to keep the cutting edge perfectly on grade according to the site plan. It even works with tilting buckets and tilt hitches.

Trimble's SITECH global distribution network provides installation services, personalised training and local technical support for the Trimble Earthworks Grade Control Platform installed on Kobelco excavators.

SITECH dealers understand how to apply Trimble Connected Site solutions across the construction site's operations to effectively improve on- and off-machine productivity.

Select Trimble Ready Kobelco Tier 4 Final excavators are now available in Australia and in New Zealand through Kobelco’s extensive dealer network. The Trimble Earthworks Grade Control Platform for excavators is available in Australia and in New Zealand through the SITECH dealer channel.

To learn more, contact Kobelco at Kobelco.com.au and SITECH at sitechnz.co.nz or call 0800 4 SITECH.