Digging a Hole Is More Complicated Than You Think

Australia has just sweltered through its hottest summer since records began, and those property owners who have the space are already thinking about using the coming winter months to put in a pool. Are you an owner who cannot bear another summer without being able to cool off a few steps from your back door? If so, you may already be thinking about it and wondering just what happens when people and machines start tearing up your back yard.

Pool Excavations a Breeze in the Hands of Experts

Well, wonder no more and fear not. People install pools every day and in the hands of experienced and professional operators, the result will be an oasis where you can relax with family and friends, entertain and keep the children occupied during the next long, hot summer.

Building a pool starts with the design, then with a signed contract in place it proceeds to engineering input then council approvals. Once these are given and the site is secured with temporary fencing, excavation starts followed by plumbing, electrical, concreting, tiling, final inspections and filling the pool.

People Get Nervous when the Machines Move In

Dee Gees Bobcats have been excavating for pools for the last 23 years, and we have found that the process that bothers people the most is the actual excavation. They worry that the machinery may damage building foundations or drainage and water pipes but these issues are all addressed in the initial stages.

Excavation Work Code of Practice Sets the Standard

All our excavation work is performed to the standards required by the Excavation Work Code of Practice, approved under Section 274 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Excavation work can be dangerous and a collapse can happen very quickly, endangering the lives of not only workers but also anyone close enough to be affected.

Hazard Identification is Site Specific

We identify any hazards before starting work, and put in place any control measures that are necessary. Typical hazards in excavations are earth or rock falls, inappropriate placement of excavated materials, hazardous manual tasks, and the presence of overhead power lines. This is not an exhaustive list, as every site must be individually assessed.

Getting on with the Job

Once we have the safety aspects covered, we get on with the job, with our experienced operators quickly carving out the soil and dropping it into trucks for disposal. We have already considered site conditions such as sloping land, different soil types, local weather conditions and the length of time we expect the excavation to be open.

Looking Forward to Next Summer

There are many more regulations and procedures we must follow until our part of the work is done, too many to detail here. Just be assured that when we excavate for your new pool, we exercise every care so you can spend next summer enjoying its benefits.

Get Your Project Completed by Experienced Suppliers

Every construction project needs several elements working together to be successful. It needs to be well planned and with all the required permits and certificates in hand before work starts. It needs a competent workforce and adequate funds to keep everything moving through to completion.

Key Element for a Successful Project

There is another element, however, that is essential to delivering any project, large or small, on time and within budget. That element is a reliable and experienced equipment supplier with a proven record of completing work to the highest standards.

This describes the work we do at Dee Gees Bobcats. Our business has been operating for over 23 years, and, in that time, we have built our equipment fleet from one truck and a bobcat to twelve combo units including attachments. We are confident in the quality of the services we offer.

Choosing a Quality Contractor without a Crystal Ball

Of course, every business makes claims like these but sometimes the results do not match the rhetoric. The owner of the project is left with shoddy workmanship and the expense and stress of getting issues rectified. So how can you know in advance that the contractor you chose can do the job you want?

Check Past Performance

There are things you can do to check credentials before committing to a contract. First, ask for the contact details of previous customers who would be willing to give the contractor a recommendation. With several such recommendations, you have first-hand knowledge of the type of quality and service you can expect.

Quality and service is not only about the equipment. It is also about the financial capacity of the business to complete the work. There have been many incidents over the years of work started by contractors who were unable to complete projects due to financial difficulties.

Know Where to Look for Information

ABN Lookup is an on-line tool of the Australian Business Register where anyone can search for basic information about any registered business. Enter the business name and you will find publicly available information given by businesses when they apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Important clues to look for are the date they received their ABN, the date they registered for GST and their main business location. You can also view the company record on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Our record, for example, verifies our website claim that we have been in business for 23 years. Further detailed searches are available for a fee.

Don’t Rush the Decision

Personal recommendations and official company records are both powerful indicators of how a business is likely to perform. A reliable supplier of quality equipment is critical to the success of any project, so take the time to get the right company.

Hiring Heavy Equipment Helps Amateurs Finish Their Projects

Some people start major landscaping, fencing or other earth moving projects only to find that the amount of manual labour involved far exceeds their expectations. Typical projects could be to revamp their own residences, or they may be investors who buy rundown properties for resale at a profit. To maximise the profit, they do as much of the labour themselves as they can.

Saving Money and Personal Satisfaction – Good Reasons to DIY

Some tasks, such as plumbing or electrical work, should only be done by tradespeople. However, those with handyman skills can lay pavers, put up fences, build gardens and erect a shed, a carport or dozens of other tasks. They do this to save money and for the personal satisfaction they get when the project is completed.

However, there is a better way to have the best of both worlds and it involves Dee Gees Bobcats. We hire out bobcat and earth moving equipment for both large and small projects in Brisbane. Our experienced operators work with care and precision, taking hours off the time it would take a handyman to do the same work.

Hiring Heavy Equipment Cuts the Project Down to Size

In fact, this is the biggest advantage that hiring heavy equipment has over doing some tasks manually. If the job involved digging just one or two postholes, it most likely would be quicker to do it by hand than to arrange hiring a post hole digger from us. If it was for an entire fence, the digger would be moving to the next hole while the fence posts were being installed behind it.

Opportunity Cost – Time Wasted is Time Lost

While there is a cost associated with hiring equipment, the time and effort saved is worth the expenditure. This is called an opportunity cost because the time saved can be used to complete other work which, without the equipment, would have to wait. The saved time creates the opportunity for further work to take place, and projects are completed earlier than planned.

Many Hands (and Equipment) Make Light Work

People who restore rundown properties for a living know this already and often contact us to hire specialist equipment. They want these properties prepared for resale quickly so they can sell them and move onto the next project. While they still do other tasks themselves, anything that can be done quickly with our Brisbane earth moving equipment is welcome.

Clean up that Construction Site Fast!

We all know people who start a home renovation project, and want to do it all themselves. With work and other family commitments, tasks are continually interrupted and the project drags on and on. Parts of the property look great and other parts look like a construction site.

Hiring earthmoving equipment in Brisbane for heavy tasks gets everything done quickly, so think about us the next time you have a personal project.

Thinking About Landscaping? Start With A Plan

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” is a common saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin, which is as true now as it was back in his day. Those who disagree argue that too much planning destroys spontaneity, but most projects are too expensive and important to leave everything to chance. However, there is always room for last-minute changes to accommodate a sudden burst of creativity.

Don’t Waste Time and Money

When the project involves landscaping, a lack of planning could see time, effort and money wasted if ill-conceived garden placements and plantings need to be removed and replaced. Even the smallest outdoor area benefits from some forethought about where to place seating areas, outdoor lighting, ponds, paths and other features.

When a client contacts us to discuss a landscaping project, their need can be as simple as hiring a truck and driver, or as involved as site preparation requiring the use of bobcats, rock breakers, trucks and experienced operators. At Dee Gees Bobcats, it is not the size of the job that is important, but how well we understand the needs of the client and what is planned for the site.

A Simple Sketch Will Get Things Started

If you have a site that needs landscaping and you don’t know where to start, we recommend that you first put your ideas down on paper, even if it is just a preliminary sketch. For an average-sized house block there is no real need for complex and expensive formal drawings, but setting a budget and costing your ideas will ensure you have the funds to complete the project.

Make Good Decisions – Compare Quotes with Budget

Decide on the positioning of permanent features such as a covered barbeque area, paved walkways, garden beds, fencing, water features and such. Measure the spaces to make sure everything will fit, and decide which tasks require earthmoving equipment or other professional expertise. Obtain quotes for everything and compare them with your preliminary estimates, then adjust where necessary to fit everything within budget. There may be tasks you can do yourself to keep costs down.

Preliminary Planning Essential for Large-scale Projects

Planning for large, expensive landscaping projects follows a similar process but it is usually done under the supervision of a project manager. Typical sites include retail and commercial centres, new housing estates, retirement villages and apartments. We have worked in both environments and for us, as the earthmoving contractors, it is only the scale of the project that is different.

Plans Provide Motivation and Direction

Creative types who would prefer to just start anywhere and follow their noses often find they run out of money, leaving the project unfinished, sometimes for years. Starting with a plan, even a basic one, provides motivation and direction, and still leaves room for the creative spark to show itself at appropriate times.

How Heavy Equipment Helps to Change the World

It would be impossible these days for large, earth moving projects to move forward as quickly as they do without the modern, specialist equipment we have at our disposal. The mining industry is the place to see big machines, both in the extraction of iron ore in Western Australia and the coalfields of Central Queensland. Drag lines, huge haul trucks, massive hydraulic shovels and others, just keep getting bigger with each new model.

Heavy Equipment Around the World

All around the world, these and other amazing earthmoving equipment hire are moving soil, digging for minerals, building roads, constructing bridges and making it possible for our buildings to reach high into the sky. Take, for example, the Komatsu Super Dozer which can move 100 cubic metres of material in a single pass, or the Herrenknecht tunnel borer that has excavated some of the largest tunnels in the world.

A New Project that Needed Very Large Equipment

Australia has been at the forefront of developing some of these extraordinary machines, and it all started in 1949 when the first sod was turned on the Snowy Mountains Scheme. At the time, it was the largest and most complex project in the world, requiring new engineering methods, thousands of workers and new ways to get heavy equipment through the mountains.

The Scheme consists of sixteen major dams, seven power stations (two of them underground), a pumping station and 225 kilometres of tunnels, pipelines and aqueducts. It covers a mountainous area of 5,124 square kilometres, and only 2% of it is above ground. Its purpose was to divert the waters of the Snowy River, which emptied into the sea, back through the mountains to irrigate the inland, at the same time generating hydro-electric power.

No Computer Assistance for Operators in the 1950s

Two Thornycroft ANTAR prime movers, state of the art in their day, with a trailer in-between, hauled every other piece of heavy equipment up the mountains. All the machines involved were huge for their time, heavy and hard to handle without any of the computer assistance of today’s equipment. It was the expert guidance of the skilled operators who made sure these machines worked just as precisely.

Much Smaller but Just as Effective

In our business, we haven’t worked on anything of this scale, but we still need some pretty serious equipment to complete the projects our clients want. Swimming pool excavation and demolition, drainage works, trenching, under-house excavations and other similar work needs excavators, bobcats, augers, rock breakers and other attachments to get the job done quickly and cost-effectively.

Dee Gees Bobcats also offers labour and machinery hire for clients who need to fill a short-term need. Our fleet of large trucks gets our equipment from one job to another and while they are nowhere near the scale of the biggest and best, they are perfect for our purpose, just like the rest of the earthmoving equipment hire in Brisbane we have talked about.

Early Decisions In Project Planning Made In Good Faith

Planning a project these days is a structured process supported by a range of software tools that keep track of progress against the original milestones established at the start of the work. Typically, it starts with stakeholder agreements followed by setting goals, priorities and deliverables. Then a schedule is created, risk assessments prepared and the final plan presented to everyone involved.

Complex Projects Call for Sound Planning

It sounds simple enough when set out like this, but in reality it can be very complex, especially when large projects are involved. There are high stakes in every aspect, from engineering to the financials, the acquisition of skilled personnel, having the best equipment right through to site safety and protection of the general public.

Changes to Early Decisions Inevitable in Long-term Projects

Decision-making is a critical part of keeping a project on track, and many of these decisions need to be made at the planning stage. Those early decisions are made with the best of intentions, but without a window into the future. Things change as the project moves along, and it is critical to success that these changes are incorporated into every aspect of the project plan.

This is something we come across in our business almost every day. At Dee Gees Bobcats, we supply both machinery and skilled operators for general hire. We work on drainage and trenching projects, swimming pool excavations, demolitions and other similar earth moving projects. We are also experienced at tricky, under-house excavations, which are in demand by home owners who need more space.

Changed Site Conditions Sometimes not in the Plan

Our work can be made more difficult than it needs to be, or be a safe and simple job, depending on decisions made by someone else at the beginning of a project. Being independent contractors these decisions are out of our control and often involve changed site conditions as a result of work done by other contractors before we come on site.

Expert Guidance and Practical Experience Produces Results

Nowadays, we check the site conditions ourselves before we start work, and make our own decisions about the best way to do our part of the job. If the site is under the control of someone else, we work with them to get the best, most cost effective and safest outcome. Where this involves working within the confines of expert knowledge and planning, we are happy to follow instructions.

If it is a smaller project under our charge, understanding the site conditions is our responsibility. We have many years of practical experience at our disposal, and we call on this experience to make the right choices that will give our clients the results they want.

Earthmoving Is A Risky Business Without Insurance

Insurance is one of the few things we have that we hope is never used, as it means that some unexpected event has happened that has caused us loss or damage. For a homeowner whose house has just burnt down, it can be the starting point from which they rebuild. For a business owner, it is absolutely essential to ensure that the business can continue to trade, even after something has disrupted their ability to deliver a product or service.

Insurance Essential to Protect Business Operators

In the case of an earth moving business like Dee Gees Bobcats, there are several types of insurance that we consider essential to protecting not only our interests, but our clients as well. The type of work that we do is not without risk and because we are operating large machines on private properties we do everything we can to make sure that we are not transferring that risk onto our clients.

We do this by supplying earth moving equipment in good operating order that is regularly maintained. Our staff are fully licensed and experienced, with the training and background to perform their difficult tasks to the highest standards of workmanship and safety.

Insurance Must be Right for Our Industry

Naturally, we insure all our plant and equipment against loss and damage, but just as important as having insurance cover, is getting the right type of cover to suit the unique circumstances facing our type of business. There are insurance companies that operate in this market and provide a number of different products suitable for our industry.

They are able to offer policies that are quite specific. For example, they offer fleet insurance for companies large enough to have many vehicles, or policies just for dump trucks, tipper trucks and prime movers, amongst others. For items of plant, it is possible to get a policy just for earth moving, drilling, crane operating, demolition and other similar activities.

Public Liability Insurance a Must

As far as the actual management of the business is concerned, public liability insurance is an absolute must. This type of insurance covers a business for personal injury or property damage claims made by third parties (other than employees) that arise from the operations of the business. Third parties would typically be contractors, customers or members of the general public. It is the most common insurance product sold to businesses.

Confused? Get Professional Advice

Without the right insurance products in place, any business is vulnerable to risk, not just ones like ours. Get professional advice as there are so many providers and products on the market that it is almost impossible to choose the right one without assistance. It is a small price to pay for peace of mind, and the knowledge that if the worst happens, the business can still survive.

Expert Advice Needed Before Buying Pallet Forks

One of the many challenges facing business operators is the need to control operating costs while still maintaining productivity. The wide range of mechanical equipment now available has created labour saving opportunities for even the smallest operators and the most difficult locations. Their key to success is using the right equipment for the job.

Efficient Lifting Equipment Boosts Productivity

If a large part of your operation involves moving objects from one location to another, but a forklift truck is not suitable for your type of work, pallet forks may be the ideal equipment for the purpose. They are available in different sizes, so are suitable for working in both small and large spaces. Pallet forks offer a safe and productive alternative for moving heavy items when a forklift is not practical.

Dee Gees Bobcats has earth moving equipment and qualified operators available for general hire and for trenching, drainage and excavation work. We also have attachments to our equipment available for hire, including pallet forks, which attach to our bobcats.

Pallet Forks Suitable for Many Lifting Tasks

As their name suggests, pallet forks are ideal for moving pallets containing boxed, bagged or packed material. They are also suitable for landscaping and construction work, and for loading and unloading timber, fencing, bags of cement and other similar materials. On rural properties they are used for lifting and moving bales, handling fertilisers and many other tasks that once were done manually.

Overloading is a Safety Hazard

However, just like any other piece of equipment, they are at their most efficient when the size and composition of the pallet forks matches the type of work and the relevant load capacities. It is important that they are never overloaded, both from a safety point of view as well as also to prevent damage to the load. The carrying capacity, the weight of the load and the length of the tines should all be compatible with each other.

Many Variations Mean Expert Advice is Needed Before Purchasing

Pallet forks differ from each other in various other ways. Technically, they range from being a simple, manual piece of equipment to complex hydraulic items with attachments. Some are manufactured to be attached to a crane, some are height adjustable, with a prong spread either performed manually, automatically or hydraulically.

In fact, there is such variation in the types of pallet forks available that anyone looking to buy one should be getting expert advice from the supplier before placing an order. Cost will also be a consideration, with the simple, manual models being a much cheaper alternative than one with all the bells and whistles.

The pallet forks we hire out are compatible with our particular bobcat models. Rather than go to the expense of purchasing a set that may only get limited use, why not hire our equipment instead?

Different Horses for Different Courses

Sometimes it can be challenging for a lay person to know what sort of machine is needed for what job. This is what we mean by different horses for different courses.

If you are sitting at home thinking that you might like to have that old tree stump removed, or you want to have some paths cut, or you might be putting in a driveway or digging holes to put up a fence you will be wondering – which contractor should I call?

Dee-Gees Bobcats Pty Ltd has put together some information to cut through the confusion and help you choose the right person for the job.

Excavators

Excavators have a long bucket arm that is attached to the cab and swivels in all directions. The worker is able to operate it from the high position in the cab to shovel dirt and lift heavy machinery and other items. Coming in sizes ranging from 0.8 ton mini excavator all the way through to the huge 35 ton machines, they can run on tyres or treads and also have different attachments such as a grab, hammer, auger, and a ripper.

Backhoes

Looking similar to a tractor a backhoe is a great all round machine for smaller suburban jobs. With its adjustable shovel attachment on one side and a bucket on the other it is able to shift dirt, dig trenches and lay pipes.

Bulldozers

Bulldozers are strong, heavy duty machines. They are best used in large open spaces, where the grading may be rough and / or rocky. They can shift huge amounts of dirt with the large front mounted blade.

Skid Steer Loaders

More commonly referred to in Australia as a Bobcat, the skid steer loader is a hardy little versatile machine suitable for all forms of construction, landscaping and agricultural work. Running on either tyres or rubber treads they possess a tight turning circle so are ideal in a smaller site. They also have the ability to change to different attachments such as augers and trenchers.

Motor Graders

Motor graders are the ones you usually see working on roads. Their huge adjustable blade is used to smooth over any rough surface be it level or sloping, to level soil and gravel in preparation to laying of asphalt.

Trenchers

Ranging in size from a walk behind model all the way through to heavier equipment, a trencher does exactly what its name says. It is designed to trench and lay large pipes, using alternating digging functions according to the needs of the job.

Don’t Risk a Serious Incident or Major Damage by Doing It All Alone

To the untrained eye, operating earth moving equipment on a construction site looks effortless. The operator moves a few levers and suddenly large chunks of earth are picked up from one area and deposited to another. The landscape changes in minutes, and in a few hours, the job is done and the site is swarming with other trades.

Moving Earth with Large Machines Requires Experienced Operators

Of course, there is a very good reason why it looks easy. Operating this type of equipment is a skilled occupation requiring experience and, for large machines, licencing and certification by relevant authorities. Many of the tasks undertaken by these operators can be dangerous, and their knowledge of safety rules and techniques keeps everyone on the site safe.

We know that some do-it-yourself landscapers are keen not only to save money on their projects but also to test their skills with some of the less dangerous equipment. We understand that, but people must realise that often, the damage they cause costs them twice as much as if they had hired one of our operators.

A Dee Gees Bobcats operator can have the job done in half the time to a professional standard without any damage or danger to others. We have been called in on occasions to rectify the damage caused by an untrained person trying to do work that is beyond their level of skill.

Unskilled Operators can cause Major Property Damage

For example, excavating too close to a retaining wall can undermine the foundations. Depending on the soil texture, this can cause a section of the wall to collapse as the compacted soil is loosened by the operation of the machinery. This can jeopardise the integrity of the remaining wall, and be costly to repair.

Paving looks easy enough, and with proper preparation and care, a handyman can successfully create a paved path or recreation area suitable for a backyard. However, we have seen top-soil that has been carelessly removed, leaving an uneven area that then has to be smoothed out before work can continue. This resulted in a loss of time on the job, and the extra cost of calling our team in to rectify what for us, would have been a quick and simple task.

Serious Injuries and Equipment Damage a Consequence of Inexperience

On larger projects, the results of untrained people using machines such as bobcats and mini excavators can be much more serious than uneven paving. Overloading the bucket can cause the machine to become unbalanced and tip over, possibly crushing the operator or causing a similar hazard to anyone close by. Failure to keep clear of obstacles or other people on the site could result in substantial property damage or serious injury to others.

Why consider going it alone when you can avoid all these scenarios, and others not mentioned, just by contacting Dee Gees Bobcats? You will get a professional result without the stress.