HIRING SUGGESTIONS FOR A TROUBLE-FREE PROJECT

Green tractor with a yellow rim

Running a successful business is always challenging, never more so than now. Higher operating expenses are reducing profits and increased competition requires spending on advertising to grab market share. The hire industry is not immune from these factors. The customer could be a householder hiring general items such as electronic devices or a business hiring earthmoving equipment, but the principles of quality customer service still apply.

Need to Choose a Machine Equipment Hire Company?

Take, for example, a company that has secured a contract to landscape a new residential complex including constructing a pool and surrounds, driveways, walkways, fencing and outdoor areas. To keep their capital spending under control, they have opted to hire the equipment they need for this work, instead of buying it.

Know What to Look For

If you are the project manager, getting the right equipment hire company will be essential to getting the work done on time, to budget and to the quality standards required. Do you choose the company offering the lowest price, the start-up with shiny, new machinery, or do you look for an experienced company with a long-term record of satisfied customers?

Dee Gees Bobcats is an equipment hire company with a solid reputation built on a long-term history of completed projects and satisfied customers. Much of our work is repeat business for regular clients who know they can rely on us to complete our part of their projects without fuss. While we advertise, we also attract many new clients through word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations.

A Cheap Price Could Equal a Substandard Job

If you need to hire bobcat and earthmoving equipment, we have a few suggestions that may help you choose the right operator for your project. First, we would caution you not to choose based on price alone. Of course, you need to make a profit, but selecting your hire company just because they offered the cheapest quote could compromise the quality of the finished job.

Look for a Company with Competent, Experienced Machine Operators

Next, take some time to match your hire needs with several hirers in the market place. If you only need basic equipment for a short period of time, it is likely you will be dealing with smaller companies with lower overheads. Also, ask about the level of experience and qualifications of their machine operators. A competent operator will do a quality job in the shortest possible time.

Check for Regular Machine Maintenance – Break Downs Come at a Cost

Finally, query the hirers about the frequency and quality of their maintenance. Do they have a regular maintenance schedule that keeps their machinery in top working order? A broken-down machine will delay your job and cost you money, so this should be an important factor in your choice. By following these suggestions, you should have a trouble-free project.

To Hire Or To Own – A Question That Needs To Be Asked

The capital cost of acquiring heavy equipment is a large outlay that many smaller companies cannot afford. Such companies, while being able to trade successfully in a healthy market, operate on very small margins and are often struggling to maintain cash flow. As the owners of the machines, they are also responsible for maintenance and other running costs such as fuel, insurance and registration.

Doing Small Construction Work in a Cost-Effective Way

When their machines are not actually working, they are also not generating income, so large amounts of money are effectively sitting idle. Typically, they also employ machine operators, so wages and employment on-costs must still be covered while the equipment that makes the money is slumbering through the night. Is it any wonder that specialist companies have sprung up to do the smaller jobs that are not cost effective for large construction businesses?

Dee Gees Bobcats started out over twenty years ago with just this type of situation in mind. From small beginnings of a truck and one bobcat to where we are now has been the perfect illustration of the benefits of hiring equipment rather than buying it. We are now in a position where we can offer our clients the best of both worlds. We can provide our equipment with an experienced operator, or just hire out what the client needs for the time it is needed.

Hiring and Rental Industry a Major Contributor to the Economy

We are now operating successfully in the hiring and rental industry, which in Australia is now worth more than $5 billion. The mining and construction industries are the two major contributors to this growth. With mining on a recovery trajectory and the construction industry enjoying a robust period, especially in the area where we operate, the future looks bright.

Smaller, Modern Equipment Creates Flexibility

The type of equipment now available has also had a big impact on the industry from the perspective of the small operator. Once machines only came in one size – big. Now, however, there are excavators in a range of sizes to suit small jobs such as trenching and drainage work, under-house and swimming pool excavations. These machines also come with a range of task-specific attachments that create flexibility.

Heavy Equipment Hard to Liquidate in a Falling Market

The old idea that hiring was wasting money that could be better spent on owning a piece of equipment is disappearing. Many businesses go under in a falling market when too much money is tied up in assets like heavy equipment that are not easily liquidated. Astute business owners are looking for a consistent return on their investment, so unless they are in the business of hiring out equipment to others, there are much more lucrative ways to get their funds working.

Working In Confined Spaces Perfect For Compact Machines

Although there are still construction projects happening in new housing estate areas in the outer suburbs of South-East Queensland, an increasing number of homeowners are opting for renovating homes in older areas closer to city services. While the blocks of land in these areas are typically larger than what is being provided now, there are established dwellings and other structures in close proximity.

Compact Machines More Suitable for Smaller Jobs

This poses a problem for contractors who have been engaged to perform major structural or excavation work. Getting large pieces of equipment in and out of these premises is difficult and expensive. Many contractors are now looking at machines that are more compact and other smaller pieces of equipment to make these projects more cost effective.

This allows small companies like ours the opportunity to work on projects that are difficult to access. At Dee Gees Bobcats, we have a range of bobcat and earthmoving equipment for hire ranging from 1.5 tonne to 6 tonne excavators, mini bobcats and other ancillary equipment.

Many Demolition Projects Happen in Confined Spaces

When people outside the industry think of demolition work, they immediately associate it with media film of big smoke stacks or multi-storey buildings being destroyed in spectacular fashion in front of thousands of onlookers. While these situations do happen, the more frequent types of demolition are those that either happen inside buildings such as removing a floor, in between buildings in very confined spaces or simple jobs like ripping up a concrete path.

Compact Equipment gets into Hard to Reach Places

Our equipment is ideal for these small demolition tasks and for excavating under high-set houses for owners who want to build additional accommodation in space currently not being used. For example, while we use our compact excavators to dig trenches, their reach is also perfect for either breaking up concrete or removing rock in hard-to-reach places.

Attachments Offer Extra Versatility

The secret to this versatility is the number and variety of attachments and other pieces like rock breakers and rock grabs that extend the range of jobs they can perform. Bringing large demolition or excavation machines into a fully fenced, established yard with gardens and fifty-year old trees is a project manager’s nightmare. While the owners want their work done, they don’t want the rest of their home damaged in the process.

Small Machines, Minimal Disruption, No Complaints

Only our small machines are suitable in these types of situations. When we are on site, our trucks carrying this equipment can be parked in the street without blocking traffic. Because the machines are so manoeuvrable, we can unload them and have them working in no time. We get the job done quickly, the clients get their renovation and we don’t annoy the neighbours. Everyone is happy.

Breaking Rocks With Amazing Machines

There is no “one size fits all” in today’s workplace, with most industries having areas of unique skills and specialisation that take years of extra study and/or practical application. The earth moving industry is one of these, with top operators having expertise at driving several different pieces of large equipment, and the skills to use other peripherals and attachments.

There is More Than One Type of Rock Breaker

One such piece of equipment is a rock breaker, which, as its name suggests, is self-explanatory but not the whole story. Rock breakers come in a range of sizes and capabilities, and different models are specific to certain machinery. For example, small capacity rock breakers are designed for use on skid-steer loaders, backhoes and mini/mid-sized excavators.

Modern Technology Creates Clever Machines

Others are larger and more complex in terms of their engineering and capabilities. For mining, tunnel building and other major civil construction, there are heavy range breakers designed for excavators that are 18-tonnes and larger. These larger breakers are equipped with variable speed technology, which senses a change in the hardness of the material under pressure and adjusts the impact energy striking rate.

Get the Right Sized Breaker for Your Project

For us here at Dee Gees Bobcats, a machine of that size would not be necessary for the type of work we do. Most of our project work is built around trenching, drainage work, swimming pool excavations, demolition work and under-house excavations. We also do some minor landscaping and our machines and experienced operators are available for general hire.

Most of our excavator-bobcat combinations, including rock breakers, vary in size from 1.7 tonnes to 5-6 tonnes. These smaller breakers are very versatile and can complete multiple tasks from the same carrier that are performed by the same operator. This makes them very efficient and a huge time-saver on projects with time constraints and tight margins.

Rock Breakers Remove the Need for Manual Labour

When you watch a rock breaker of any size and capacity at work, it is hard to imagine that less than 80 years ago, breaking up rocks to a size small enough to be transported off-site was a manual task. Large projects like building roads and railways employed thousands of men who laboured with picks and sledge hammers to smash the rocks’ impeding progress.

Remarkable Advancements in Machine Technology

To get to where we are now with the technology in some of the large breakers having the ability to work at 15 different speeds that automatically adjust to ground conditions, is really quite remarkable. Even the smaller rock breakers that we use are amazing in terms of the time and effort they save and are one of the reasons that we can price our work as competitively as we do.

Environmentally Friendly Methods To Process Wastewater

If, like most of us, you live in a well-serviced area where your garbage is collected every week, your water comes out of a tap fresh and clean, and your personal wastes are flushed down the toilet, you probably don’t think about wastewater. We only think about these things if the drains get blocked and effluent bubbles up through the pipes and spills inside.

Rural Users Need to Understand Their Wastewater Systems

Thankfully, that is not a common occurrence, but for people living in rural areas that are not connected to public drainage and sewerage systems, understanding how their wastewater systems work is essential. They may one day be in a situation where they have to manage a drainage system failure themselves, or at least do a temporary fix until a drainage expert can get to their property.

Wastewater Processing Covered by Government Legislation

Waste water drainage systems are covered by government legislation, with all waste water in Queensland required to be monitored and reported to the EHP (Department of Environment and Heritage Protection). Other states have similar requirements, with protection of our waterways and the water table the prime concern.

When we are digging a drainage system for a client, we must comply with all legislation to make sure that the end result is eco-friendly. Our plant operators at Dee Gees Bobcatsare skilled and experienced, as there are several different ways to construct an eco-friendly drainage system.

Worm Farm Septic Tank System One Solution

One method of environmentally responsible waste disposal is to install a worm farm septic tank system. This is a natural, biological system that processes sewage, household wastewater and organic waste, and converts it into a liquid fertiliser that is distributed underground throughout the property.

Sand Filtration Method

Another method is the use of a sand filtration system to process sewerage, bio degradable waste and wastewater. The waste flows into a large in-ground concrete tank where an anaerobic bacterial decomposition occurs. This primary-treated effluent then flows through an in-ground sand filter specially designed to suit the volume of the material. From there it moves to an underground well, where it is discharged to the required locations.

Constructed Wetlands Become Living Filters

A third option is a wastewater treatment system using constructed wetlands or reed beds. These are living filters that transform wastewater through natural processes that strip sewage effluent of bacteria and nutrients. This is a safe and cost-effective solution for people who live in rural areas.

As these systems have some of their components underground, excavation is needed, and this is where our trained operators excel. Eco-friendly drainage systems are not only good for the environment, but also once constructed, they cost little to maintain, so everyone wins.

Don’t Be Fooled When Choosing Excavation Equipment

If you were to ask an open-cut mine operator, a construction site supervisor and a tunnelling engineer what they thought were the top five pieces of excavation equipment, you would most likely get a different answer from each one of them. The mine operator wants equipment to excavate ore and get it to the surface quickly. The construction site supervisor wants equipment large enough to remove topsoil but small enough to manoeuvre around other site works. The tunnelling engineer wants boring equipment that can drill through rock and remove waste material efficiently.

Picking a Winner is Not So Simple

Choosing winners in this type of competition would only deliver a fair result if there were various categories of excavation equipment, for example, tonnage, weight limits, capacity or purpose to name just a few. For general purpose work, however, the consensus is that excavators, backhoe loaders, bulldozers, skid steer loaders and graders are the most useful. They are also most likely to be seen by the average person and are therefore the most familiar.

The Work Defines the Equipment

It all depends on the type of work being done. Large construction companies with multi-million-dollar contracts to build infrastructure and other major projects will have access to much larger and heavier equipment than a small sub-contractor. We fall into the latter category. Our company, Dee Gees Bobcats, provides an earthmoving equipment hire service to clients throughout south east Queensland.

With over twenty years’ experience working in the plant hire industry and a team of skilled and experienced operators, we have worked on both large and small projects. We specialise in drainage and trenching, swimming pool excavations and demolitions, and under house excavations. We agree with the experts that the type of excavation equipment already mentioned is best suited for the work that makes up most of our business.

The Biggest is Not Always Best

In our case, our smallest excavator-bobcat combo starts at 1.5 tonne, and with twelve different combinations available, our maximum capacity is our 8-tonne excavator. Among the available attachments that make up our combos are augers, rock breakers and grabbers, slasher attachments and pallet forks.

The Right Excavator for the Job

While none of these on their own could be considered a prime piece of excavation equipment, when used in conjunction with the appropriate excavator-bobcat, they can perform all the tasks we need to satisfy our clients. We could have the biggest excavator in the country, but if the job is too small to accommodate it, then it is superfluous to our needs.

The best piece of excavator equipment is the one that gets the job done quickly, efficiently and within the time frame required.

Don’t Start An Excavation Without Checking With Experts

There are quite a few reasons why property owners may decide to perform an excavation on their land. There may be a landscaping project on the go that involves installing a fish pond or a water feature. There may be plans to extend living space by excavating underneath a high-set house or the lucky family could be looking forward to swimming in their own backyard pool.

 

An Excavation is Not Just Digging a Hole

 

Whatever the reason or project, we should point out here that an excavation in this context is not a simple hole dug for a new clothes hoist or letter box. This is something large enough that it needs to be behind temporary safety fencing and deep enough that, if it collapsed while someone was working in it, there could be a burying hazard.

 

As an excavating contractor with a business that spans over 20 years, we are not afraid to call ourselves experts on the subject. Dee Gees Bobcats have a reputation for doing quality work, which includes trenching and drainage works, and swimming pool and under house excavations.

 

Building Codes, Council Regulations and the Rest!

 

With all this experience behind us, we also know all the things that can quickly go wrong if an excavation is being done by someone who does not know the building codes and council regulations for the location in which they are working. Usually, they also do not know what infrastructure they can damage by digging into the ground without checking where vital cables and drains are situated.

 

There is No One Size Fits All

 

Knowing the rules around excavation is not as simple as it seems. All three levels of government, local, state and federal, all have various building codes, regulations and by-laws that may differ from one state to another.

 

As well as the laws surrounding the excavation and building process, there are also codes of practice and regulations regarding the health and safety issues arising from any excavation. These are consistent across the country as the states agreed several years ago to harmonise their OH&S rules, so they are now mostly the same.

 

Local Council is the Place to Start

 

If you are a property owner thinking about doing a major excavation yourself, we recommend that you visit your local council first. They can give you all the information you need about your project, including the building permits you will need and the fees involved to get council approval.

 

Too Much Trouble? Call in the Experts

 

Better still, you could bypass all this and hand your project over to an excavation expert. Companies like ours have the knowledge, experience and competent personnel to complete your project quickly, safely and with all the required council inspections and documentation in place.

 

Want a Pool in Time for Summer? Best Start Now!

With everyone still rugged up against the chill of winter, this is not the time you would typically be thinking about putting a pool in the backyard. Getting into a skimpy swimsuit and voluntarily plunging into cold water is unlikely to be at the forefront of your mind, but if you intend to install a pool for summer, this is the time you should be making plans.

Supply and Demand Applies to Swimming Pools

Pool installation is just like any other commodity in the marketplace. It is driven by supply and demand, so if you wait until peak demand, that is, the beginning of summer, the work may not be finished for weeks. If you are lucky, you may have it completed by early autumn, and if the heat lingers you may get a few weeks of use before next winter.

Don’t Wait Until Summer to Order a Pool Build

There are several reasons for this. One is that every pool company in the state will have full order books, placed by customers who started their planning early. Another is that getting the necessary approvals and permits from the relevant authorities takes time to process. A third is the shortage of labour and equipment, with every available pool builder already working to capacity.

The Building Development Approval Process

As far as approvals and permits are concerned, all new swimming pools constructed in Queensland require a building development approval. This involves your pool builder drawing up plans and specifications for your approval, then lodging the documents with your local council, a private certifier and the relevant statutory authorities.

You will also require sewerage and water supply approval, also arranged by your pool builder. Before any approvals are given, your local council or private certifier will require information from the pool builder that the finished pool will be structurally sound. If the site is a difficult one, this may require structural advice from a qualified engineer.

Pool Builders Use Excavation Companies They Trust

As swimming pool excavations are a significant part of our workload, we welcome these busy times. At DeeGees Bobcats, we work regularly with many pool builders who value our professional approach to the work, knowing that when we excavate a site, it will be done according to the plans and specifications given to us.

Building a pool is a team effort, with many different trades and specialists involved, from the drawing of the final plans to getting the final approval to fill the pool. As you can see, the planning, the approvals and certifications take time, so if you want your pool to be ready for summer, the time to act is now.

Percussion Hammers Smash Rocks With Ease

Working in the construction industry offers multiple opportunities to be engaged in varied and interesting tasks, and to operate a range of different and challenging equipment. Much of that equipment is specialised and requires operators to be licenced in order to use it legally. Without that equipment, projects would take much longer to complete, cost more and expose workers to unsafe conditions.

Modern Equipment Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

The days of using manual labour for digging are long gone. Modern equipment is available in all sizes from huge drag lines and dump trucks used in open-cut mining to mini-excavators that can manoeuvre into the smallest places on a work site. The excavation for a swimming pool, for example, can be finished in a couple of hours.

Unexpected Obstacles Underground

However, there are still challenges to be overcome. Breaking the surface to perform an excavation can often present unexpected problems. Thankfully, we usually know where underground pipes, water mains, electrical cables and other infrastructure are situated so we don’t strike them when digging. What we often find that what we are not expecting are large amounts of rock.

After many years in the industry, we have become accustomed to striking rock at varying depths. Our operators at Dee Gees Bobcats are experienced at managing these situations, but they also have the benefit of mechanical assistance in the way of hydraulic breakers.

Mechanical Assistance Needed to Break up Rocks

For those unfamiliar with the term, a hydraulic breaker is a powerful percussion hammer, powered by an auxiliary hydraulic system from the excavator. The hydraulic breaker is fitted to the excavator and the operator controls its use, using a foot-operated valve. Its purpose is to break up any large rocks impeding progress, or even break up big chunks of concrete in a demolition job.

Excavators Available – Small and Large

We have excavators for hire from 1.5 tonne to 6 tonnes capacity and each of them is fitted with breakers. The size ranges we have available make our equipment very versatile, with the smallest suitable for suburban back yard excavation projects, and the largest holding its own on any major construction project.

Operators Break up Rock without Leaving the Excavator

When rock is found, our operator, using the foot control, can break it up safely and with precision, so it can be dumped into a truck and removed from site quickly. Usually, there is little interruption to the normal work flow, which would not be the case if the operator had to shut down the excavator to remove the rock by some other method.

Sometimes we need to break up concrete slabs or piers when we are doing under house excavations, and again, the hydraulic breakers make this work easy. Without them, we would struggle to meet our time frames, so any modern equipment that makes our work easier is welcome.

Projects Using Heavy Machinery Need to Be Well Planned

It is hard to imagine a world without the heavy machinery we rely on to build our cities and infrastructure. These giants have given us the ability to complete large projects efficiently, quickly and at costs less than would have been incurred if we were still relying on manual labour.

Project Management Methods Well Documented

Through practical experience, the best methods for managing projects of all sizes and costs have been identified, documented and taught to succeeding generations of engineers and construction professionals. Advancement in technology or process improvement has brought us to where we are today, with machinery specific to almost every task readily available.

Small Businesses Provide Support Services on Large Projects

These developments have made it possible for small businesses such as ours to be successful in the supply of earth moving equipment and personnel for major projects. Our company, Dee Gees Bobcats, has excavators from 1.5 tonnes to 6 tonnes, bobcats, tippers, post hole borers and other equipment ready for general hire.

Forward Planning Essential to a Well-Run Project

After many years of experience in the industry, we know that any project can run into trouble if it has not been well planned at the outset. In fact, the presence of heavy machinery on a work site, while necessary, comes with its own set of challenges. These challenges must be identified and addressed early if the project is to run smoothly and is to be completed on time, as well as being in budget.

Book Machinery and Labour in Advance

There are several issues that immediately come to mind. The first is that the project managers know what is needed and when, then make definite arrangements with us for specific machinery and operators to be available, well in advance. We have work booked well into the future, so leaving it until the last minute to contact us may cause delays.

Use Risk Management Processes to Identify Site Hazards

The second is that OHS issues must be discussed during the planning process. A risk assessment should identify issues such as a requirement for temporary barriers to separate the public from the hazards caused by our machinery. It will likely have sought solutions to providing our machinery access and egress if the work will take some time, and to keeping the site and the machinery secure overnight.

These will not be the only hazards caused by the presence of heavy machinery on site. By planning for them at the beginning of the project, the site safety professionals will be ready to address each issue as it arises.

Every Obstacle can be Overcome with Planning

There are many more challenges involved in working with heavy machinery than those mentioned, but the guiding principle is that with planning and foresight, every obstacle can be overcome, and disruptions to the work flow kept to a minimum.