The Australian Mining Review - - MINING & CONSTRUCTI­ON SERVICES - RAY CHAN

Typ­i­cally, it be­gins with a phone call or email early in the morn­ing, even be­fore Tony Feren­cakovic has time to open up shop.

Such is the pop­u­lar­ity and rep­u­ta­tion of his cus­tom fab­ri­ca­tion com­pany, Tony’s En­gi­neer­ing, that he has be­come first port of call for firms look­ing for that ur­gent or nec­es­sary mod­i­fi­ca­tion.

Aus­tralian Min­ing Re­view spoke to Tony about his WA-based busi­ness, which pro­vides prod­uct de­vel­op­ment, fab­ri­ca­tion and re­pair ser­vices to the min­ing and con­struc­tion in­dus­tries in Perth and across Aus­tralia & over­seas.


While Tony’s En­gi­neer­ing spe­cialises in pro­duc­ing, re­build­ing and re­pair­ing items such as loader blades, ex­ca­va­tor buck­ets, face shovel buck­ets, dozer blades, and ex­ca­va­tor booms, the de­mand is par­tic­u­larly strong for cus­tomised water tanks and at­tach­ments, which are of course used widely on mine and con­struc­tion sites for dust sup­pres­sion and potable ap­pli­ca­tions.

“Yes, the calls come early and fast, es­pe­cially for water tanks,” Tony said.

“We will get queries ask­ing if we can fab­ri­cate a water tank to suit var­i­ous types of trucks, usu­ally a Cat, Volvo, Hi­tachi, Bell or a Ko­matsu,” he said.

“The client will al­ways state how many litres it wants the water tank to hold, then we work out how many Mag­num spray heads would be re­quired: three, five or seven-head con­fig­u­ra­tions.

“The client will usu­ally ask for three on the rear spray bar, rear top left or right bat­ter sprays, along with the front top left or right-hand bat­ter spray heads.

“I would ask if they re­quire a rear drib­ble bar along with a front-mounted re­cessed water can­non, which en­ables the water truck to be trans­ported with­out the need to re­move the water can­non.”

Dif­fer­ent types of trucks will have dif­fer­ent chassis and rear mount­ing points to fit the water tank to, along with the front hold­ing mounts which hold the tank down to the chassis.

Tony’s En­gi­neer­ing makes tanks to fit all the var­i­ous mod­els of ar­tic­u­lated dump trucks as re­quired.

“We can­not re­move a water tank from one truck, then try to in­stall to an­other model, as it sim­ply won’t fit,” Tony said.


Once the in­struc­tions for water tank style are re­ceived from the client, they are for­warded on to Tony’s team of skilled drafts­men, which gets to work cre­at­ing de­signs and draw­ings.

“When these are com­pleted, the client is sent a copy to re­view and ac­cept that all is cor­rect to his rec­om­men­da­tion,” Tony said.

“When the client ac­cepts the draw­ings, we send off all Au­toCAD schemat­ics to the steel com­pany to have all parts cut, pressed and rolled as per the draw­ings.

“Once all parts are re­turned, we start the assem­bly process to fab­ri­cate the water tank, flux core weld­ing wire is only used.

”When com­pleted, the water tank is shipped out to the paint shop, where it is blasted with an abra­sive class 2.5 blast out­side and in the in­te­rior, the in­side is painted with an epoxy mas­tic liner.”

The ex­te­rior re­ceives an epoxy zinc primer/two-pack polyuretha­ne top coat to suit the man­u­fac­ture colour while the rear spray bar/drib­ble bar pipe work is all hot dipped gal­vanised.

“Once paint work is com­pleted, the client will de­liver the ar­tic­u­lated truck to my premises, and from there we fully in­stall the tank to the truck,” Tony said. “Only pre­mium parts are used on the water tanks.

“I have a team of elec­tri­cians/hy­draulic fit­ters who will put to­gether all parts to have this as­sem­bled ready for test­ing.

“All elec­tri­cal braid wiring fit­ted to the water tanks have ex­cep­tional weather­ing per­for­mances, in­clud­ing mois­ture, abra­sion, fire and en­gine fluid re­sis­tance along with Deutsch se­ries fit­tings.

All lights used on the water tanks are LED light­ing.

“We in­stall a cab con­trol box which has all its con­trols to op­er­ate all func­tions, like the spray heads, rear drib­ble bar, and front mounted water can­non.”

The cab con­trol box in­cludes a water level gauge where the driver can see how much water is in the water tank at all times.

There’s a rear-mounted water sen­sor that cuts out the water pump when the water is low to stop any water pump dam­age.

“We also have in­stalled a water level site glass out­side the water tank so the driver can view from the cab or when re-fill­ing,” Tony said.

“As well, a rear-mounted water hose reel is at­tached to be used for var­i­ous func­tions on the mine site.

“When the water truck is fully as­sem­bled, we pro­ceed to fill the water tank with water, then we cal­i­brate the cab water level gauge and pro­ceed to test all func­tions.

“The ar­tic­u­lated water truck is run through all its op­er­at­ing func­tions to en­sure all elec­tri­cal and hy­draulics are in work­ing or­der prior de­liv­ery to the client.

“Fi­nal stage is to in­stall all com­pany and safety de­cals to the water truck to com­plete the build.”


There are many other achieve­ments when it comes to Tony’s cus­tomi­sa­tions and cre­ations.

“I’m par­tic­u­larly proud of a bucket cylin­der guard, which was de­signed by my drafts­men,” Tony said.

“We went through the process to have a patent placed on these bucket cylin­der guards.

“Ba­si­cally we in­stalled a cylin­der clamp to the hy­draulic cylin­der, and a top cover that slides when the cylin­der is ex­tend­ing, which pro­tects the chrome rod.

“This fea­ture pro­tects the chrome rod from be­ing dam­aged when work­ing in harsh en­vi­ron­ments on mine sites.

“These are made only for Hi­tachi ma­chines to suit mod­els EX1200, EX1900, EX2600, EX3600 and EX5600.”

Tony’s En­gi­neer­ing sells these guards Aus­tralia-wide, while some have also been shipped to over­seas clients.

Clients like Rio Tinto, BHP, FMG and NRW pur­chase these parts for all of their Hi­tachi ex­ca­va­tors on site.


Tony’s En­gi­neer­ing was es­tab­lished in 1990, quickly de­vel­op­ing a rep­u­ta­tion for high qual­ity work­man­ship and fast turn­around times. It has been hailed for its abil­ity to de­sign and de­velop many spe­cialised at­tach­ments and fab­ri­cated as­sem­blies for cus­tomers, with an em­pha­sis on prob­lem-solv­ing, get­ting re­sults and pro­vid­ing ex­cel­lent ser­vice.

“I have been work­ing for my­self since 1990 and since then, for ex­am­ple, we have made nu­mer­ous buck­ets; we can ac­com­mo­date any loader/ex­ca­va­tor bucket fab­ri­ca­tion,” Tony said.

“Over the years, the prod­ucts have ranged from small con­struc­tion buck­ets to the large CAT 994 bucket, along with larger ex­ca­va­tor buck­ets to a Hi­tachi EX3600.

“We in­stall hard­ened steel to cer­tain ar­eas of the buck­ets to min­imise down time, which will stop pro­duc­tion of the ma­chine.

“We only use flux core weld­ing wire on our bucket fab­ri­ca­tion.

“All buck­ets are made to suit dif­fer­ent re­quire­ments for the client, which are de­signed in our of­fice.

“We fab­ri­cate all types of buck­ets to suit mod­els such as Cat, Hi­tachi, Ko­matsu, John Deere, Volvo, Ko­belco and Sam­sung.”


Tony also makes re­place­ment and new spe­cialised blades for track doz­ers, wheel doz­ers and graders. The com­pany engi­neers of­fer a spe­cialised so­lu­tion to all blade re­quire­ments, as well as a full wear plate pack­age to ex­tend blade life and min­imise down­time to ma­chines in the harsh­est of work­ing con­di­tions.


An­other feather in Tony’s cap is the com­pany’s pro­duc­tion of fully cer­ti­fied safety stands made from heavy duty steel. De­signed for a large range of min­ing and con­struc­tion ma­chines, they are built to be moved around the work area by fork­lift or by Tony’s En­gi­neer­ing pur­pose-de­signed trol­ley, and are de­signed and built to suit any ap­pli­ca­tion, rang­ing from 20t to 150t. As well, Tony man­u­fac­tures tyre in­spec­tion rack stands, which are fully cer­ti­fied to Aus­tralian Stan­dards for the in­spec­tion of large tyres for any dam­age or de­te­ri­o­ra­tion. Sizes range from load­ers to dump trucks.

The black cir­cle shows the bucket cylin­der guards in­stalled to a Hi­tachi EX3600 ex­ca­va­tor, which pre­vent the chrome rod from be­ing dam­aged when in op­er­a­tion. They fit all mod­els: EX1200, EX2600, EX3600 and EX5600.

This is a skele­ton bucket to suit a CAT 336 ex­ca­va­tor, made of hard­ened steel to suit the harsh en­vi­ron­ments on mi­ne­sites.

The JCB Di­nosaur water cart was built for a client who does hous­ing es­tate de­vel­op­ments. The en­tire back end was built and fully in­stalled to the trac­tor that was sup­plied by the client.

This client re­quested three rear mag­num spray heads, in­stalled to a CAT 740 ar­tic­u­lated truck, it was fit­ted with a Ti­tan water can­non and rear water hose reel along with a rear drib­ble bar.

The water tank here was made to suit a CAT 740 ar­tic­u­lated dump truck, which was shipped to a client in New Cale­do­nia. It was fit­ted with three rear Mag­num spray heads along with a front water can­non.

This water truck was built for a Na­tional plant and shipped to NSW for a long-term con­tract. It had three Mag­num spray heads and rear drib­ble bar water hose reel.

This bucket was made for a CAT 992K loader, to suit the client’s ap­pli­ca­tion. An over­lay plate was placed on the in­side to pre­vent dirt be­ing caught. This bucket was fit­ted with Hens­ley hard­ware.

These CAT D9T dozer blades and sidearm were all in­stalled with an over­lay plate to pre­vent wear. Tony’s Enginer­ing in­stalled rock guards to the blades to pre­vent over­spill when op­er­at­ing to stop dam­age to the lift cylin­ders.

This CAT 993 bucket for FMG had a com­plete wear plate pack­age in­stalled, with over­lay plates. The un­der­side of the bucket also had all BIS 500 wear plates fit­ted. FMG re­quires all its buck­ets ro­bust enough to han­dle all harsh work­ing en­vi­ron­ments.

The client, NRW, re­quested a new CAT 992G for its fleet of load­ers. This 12m3 bucket had all CAT hard­ware in­stalled along with a wear plate pack­age.

This CAT 992K was one of five built, spe­cially made to suit the client’s iron ore pro­duc­tion, fit­ted out with Brad­ken hard­ware and over­lay plate in the in­side to pre­vent smooth op­er­at­ing.

A Bat­ter bucket to suit a CAT 349DL ex­ca­va­tor.

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