As Tauranga and the greater Bay of Plenty construction ramps up, with the council issuing over 198 consents for residential and 13 commercial projects worth $34.6 million in May alone. This has seen an increase in contractors to fill that demand.
Any company that wanted to get ahead of the pack needed to be organised, have the right people and the right equipment. Which is exactly what the 25-year-old residential and commercial drainage and plumbing company Plumbing Works did with the purchase of a brand new fleet of Kubota excavators in July.
Plumbing Works services residential and commercial customers from Pokeno to Gisborne focusing on the Waikato and Bay Of Plenty regions. The firm handles everything from drainage and gas to maintenance plumbing with large-scale commercial and industrial systems making up 70% of the company's contracts.
Over the last eight years the company completed contracts for Bay Of Plenty secondary schools, the Tauranga Hospital's North Wing and Podium and drainage for the new North Island Mussel Processor facility which company director Craig Coxhead says motivated them to look into getting their own fleet. "We were better off owning the plant rather than leasing it.”
Craig says the company had been looking for some time, and saw an opportunity at the National Fieldays. "Several of the manufacturers had indicated they would be offering a Fieldays special so we held off till then.”
Three months ago the company invested in Kubota which included two 1.7 tonne U17-3 excavators on trailers, one 5.5 Tonne U55-4 excavator and a KX080-3 8.0 tonne tight tail swing excavator; which company operations manager, Paul Knight describes as being the company’s largest investment in plant and machinery.
While a lot of consideration went into exactly what excavators to choose Paul says running long term hires over the last 24 years worked in the company's favour as it gave them a good idea of what was available. "In the past we've used everything, including all the major brands, you name it – we’ve hired it”.
Paul says the machine operators were thrilled when they learnt they would be working with Kubota. "The guys were beaming when they saw the new excavators turn up. The entire fleet was delivered at once making for a seamless transition and they were put to work the very next day”.
"Kubota excavators are very easy to use; they are very smooth and versatile and are well priced for a good reliable machine”. The U55-4 and KX080-3 are fitted with hydraulic quick hitches and Paul says it takes nothing for one operator to switch buckets multiple times in one job. "In any given job the operator can be switching between different buckets and attachments multiple times, so this improves our efficiency while the load sensing hydraulic system increases productivity.
Paul says procuring a fleet of excavators was the last piece in the puzzle and he expects the company to flourish with the capital invested in the fleet being fully returned within the next five years. "We've got the right machinery and the right staff in the right positions with the right attitudes.”
"I've been around long enough to know when you've got that winning combination. We will always be in the best position to win the work because the quality we deliver will always be top notch.”
Paul was impressed with how smooth the experience has been for the company. "We've had no teething issues.” "It's been a seamless introduction to the fleet with Kubota.”
Kubota is imported in New Zealand by C B Norwood Distributors Ltd.