Out­side THE BOX

Earthmovers & Excavators - - New Equipment Test - Words and im­ages by Fabian Cot­ter

Qual­ity equip­ment and high ser­vice stan­dards may be cru­cial to suc­cess in the earthmoving and con­struc­tion game, but these days are they enough? Ethics, loy­alty and a will­ing­ness to ad­dress the client’s needs are key, ac­cord­ing to MESO So­lu­tions, and Porter passes the test.

It’s not of­ten in busi­ness you find peo­ple or com­pa­nies that don’t just meet your tough de­mands but ex­ceed them, and when you do you’d best keep them close.

Yet when the ben­e­fit of such a re­la­tion­ship goes both ways be­tween mul­ti­ple clients and sup­pli­ers, a busi­ness strat­egy of un­tapped po­ten­tial is cre­ated.

MESO So­lu­tions is a dis­cern­ing player in the earth­works and con­struc­tion mix and Porter Equip­ment is one of its lead­ing sup­pli­ers and sup­port­ers. Porter serves the quarry, min­ing, con­struc­tion, re­cy­cling, land­fill, in­dus­trial, agri­cul­tural and forestry in­dus­tries, and sup­plies a range of qual­ity new or used ve­hi­cles and parts for pur­chase or hire. These in­clude site dumpers, dump trucks, ex­ca­va­tors, graders and load­ers.

Porter’s Hyundai ex­ca­va­tors range from

1.5 tonnes to 125 tonnes and there’s a range of at­tach­ments avail­able, such as var­i­ous sized rock break­ers, hy­draulic grabs, augers, rip­pers, com­paction wheels and screen­ing buck­ets.

In terms of con­struc­tion, Porter Equip­ment de­liv­ers suc­cess­ful global brands to suit all ap­pli­ca­tions, such as Hyundai, Fu­rukawa, Madill and NC, to “re­solve the ma­chi­ne­op­er­a­tor-ap­pli­ca­tion prob­lem”.

And it’s all backed up by solid af­ter-sales ser­vice and highly-trained tech­ni­cians, the com­pany says.

The Porter Group, which was es­tab­lished in 1945, op­er­ates in four coun­tries:

Aus­tralia, New Zealand, Pa­pua New Guinea and the United States.

MESO So­lu­tions of­fers more than ground works, adding de­sign and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, sheet pil­ing, an­chor­ing, shotcret­ing and de­wa­ter­ing to its list of ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

It backs this up through col­lab­o­ra­tion with a net­work of con­sul­tants and com­pa­nies with com­ple­men­tary ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

It works with these com­pa­nies on the ba­sis of both their ex­per­tise in their fields and the fact they share MESO’s core prin­ci­ple ‘to of­fer the very best out­comes for a fair price’.

“Have you ever come across the term ‘orches­tra­tor model’?” MESO So­lu­tions

CEO Tim Orr asks. “Imag­ine there is ex­pert knowl­edge in all sorts of pock­ets all over the place, but it sits in and is re­tained by those is­lands and peo­ple just tap in to the bits and pieces as to what they re­quire.

“Imag­ine you could or­ches­trate a far greater in­te­gra­tion of that spe­cial­ist ex­per­tise, where the fo­cus is the achieve­ment of out­comes. Now that is be­yond a so­lu­tion, a prod­ucts so­lu­tion. Our com­pany is an over­all re­sult.”

Orr says he be­lieves in the power of or­ches­trat­ing these re­la­tion­ships, al­low­ing peo­ple to share their ex­per­tise in a col­lab­o­ra­tion of other ex­perts who have com­ple­men­tary ex­per­tise.

“It im­plies a part­ner­ship, but not nec­es­sar­ily a fi­nan­cial one,” he says.

“Suc­cess­ful part­ner­ships typ­i­cally work best when the par­ties are con­cerned [as much] about the suc­cess of their part­ners as they are about their own.”

So he seeks out com­pa­nies whose prod­ucts are good but, more im­por­tantly, have an ethos.

He tries to find hon­est and eth­i­cal com­pa­nies that try to abide by what they un­der­take and that also do the very best for their clients, cus­tomers, counter-par­ties and sup­pli­ers.

In terms of choos­ing ma­chin­ery, Orr says that when he set this com­pany up he spoke to a num­ber of sup­pli­ers but it was Porter Equip­ment in Queens­land which was open, hon­est and will­ing to en­gage with what Orr was try­ing to achieve.

“They were very re­spon­sive,” Orr says. “They were keen to pro­vide ex­per­tise and

to work with me and my peo­ple to try to de­velop the ca­pa­bil­i­ties and to tune that ma­chin­ery to what we do rather than what they are gen­er­ally used for.

“An ex­ca­va­tor typ­i­cally is used to dig dirt, it is like a gen­eral work­horse ma­chine – but it is ca­pa­ble of far more than that. If you think about an ex­ca­va­tor, it’s all about hy­draulics and hy­draulics are a won­der­ful thing.

“In ef­fect it is a mobile hy­draulic power pack,” he says.

“It’s got two big pumps in it and it pumps hy­draulic oil and that drives ev­ery­thing within the ma­chine, ba­si­cally, and all these at­tach­ments that you can con­nect with.

“It is ex­tremely sta­ble, it can track on all sorts of ter­rain, it can go al­most any­where – so imag­ine what you could do with these things?” Orr asks

That’s what he has been work­ing on with Porter Equip­ment.

“So we do the sheet pil­ing with an­chor­ing and a whole bunch of other things we are devel­op­ing and I’m en­gag­ing in­creas­ingly deeply with Porter – and through Porter with Hyundai – to work out how to tune, if you like, how to ad­just these ma­chines for these out­comes,” Orr says.

“They are very en­gaged with that. They are com­pletely un­stint­ing with their time and their ef­fort and they have re­la­tion­ship peo­ple who re­ally are com­mit­ted to those re­la­tion­ships and they are al­ways avail­able.”

At the mo­ment, Orr says, he is us­ing 32-tonne, 14-tonne and 6-tonne ex­ca­va­tors bought from Porter.

“I may go larger,” he says, “but I’m find­ing there’s a lot of things you can do with 6-tonne and 14-tonne ex­ca­va­tors that have tra­di­tion­ally been done with 32-ton­ners sim­ply by way of how you change plac­ing ground an­chors, for ex­am­ple.

“And it’s just fun think­ing about them and ask­ing ‘Well, what can I do with these?’ ”

Orr says he prides him­self on push­ing back on com­pa­nies so that those com­pa­nies learn more about the equip­ment they are sell­ing and how best to fine-tune them for clients to get the best out of them.

“I found Porter has never taken it the wrong way – and some­times we do push a bit hard,” he says. “But we are play­ing the game and not the per­son and just try­ing to see what we can do with this equip­ment.”

As land val­ues in­crease and devel­op­ment den­sity in­ten­si­fies there is a strong drive to gain greater value from de­vel­oped land via deeper ex­ca­va­tions in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions – closer to bound­aries and other struc­tures – so these are in­deed in­ter­est­ing times.

Far left: 33-tonne Hyundai 320LC-9 ex­ca­va­tor Left: 14.6-tonne Hyundai 145CR-9 ex­ca­va­tor

MESO So­lu­tions CEO Tim Orr sees his ex­ca­va­tors as mobile hy­draulic power packs ca­pa­ble of far more than dig­ging holes

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