Porter Press Extra: Solid Civil Solutions

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Supplied

Practicality and ease of transport were what Justin Wester was looking for when he added the compact Hyundai R60CR-9 to Solid Civil Solutions’ machine fleet

The compact Hyundai R60CR-9 added to Solid Civil Solutions’ machine fleet

With Northland back at Alert Level 2 as we went to print on this latest issue of Deals on Wheels, it’s no surprise to find Solid Civil Solutions’ Justin Webster feeling particularly positive about the months ahead.

Justin Webster

After 20 years in the civil earthmoving game, Justin has ridden the ups and downs. But building upon a dependable client book with his own years of experience and backed with some carefully chosen reliable machinery at his disposal, he’s revelling in the work he has on at the moment. "It’s definitely busy, which is great.

The business is making steady gains, and I’m very fortunate that, regardless of whatever else is going on in the country, I have a good clientele that have come to trust me to get the job done." Justin’s is a family business, with wife Roze managing the admin and 15-month-old son Reggie only a few short years away from his first Solid Civil Solutions Tonka truck.

Based in the Northland settlement of Pakaraka, around 20 minutes’ drive south of Kerikeri, Justin says the business base is great, as it gives him easy access to the Whangarei and Kaikohe Districts, as well as the Bay of Islands area, where there’s always plenty of work on.

"I have a variety of clients located all over the Northland region, so I basically take a ‘Brynderwyn-north’ approach to where I’ll go for work. You have to look after your clients wherever they are.

I’m lucky to have several long-standing customers who have stuck with me over time, including some larger entities like local power companies." In fact, it’s the work Justin completes for power companies that dictated his decision to invest in a 15-tonne Hyundai R145CR-9 crawler excavator last year.

"I’m often installing power poles with the 15-tonner, so I needed something that wasn’t absolutely enormous because I trailer it behind the truck when I need to. But I still wanted something for the installation work that wouldn’t be straining at the top end of its range. The Hyundai has been a great machine to use."

Cab doors open wide to provide easy access to the operator station

In developing the ‘dash 9’ series of crawler excavators, Hyundai engineered heavy-duty machines that offer up plenty of grunt, but the manufacturer also redesigned the excavator’s hydraulic system to provide the operator with better controllability, bringing improvements in pump flow control, redesigned hydraulic valves, and variable volume piston pumps to the table as well.

The cabin is roomy and ergonomically designed

Engine horsepower and hydraulic horsepower work in tandem in Justin’s Hyundai R145CR-9 to provide precise flow depending upon whether the task at hand is lifting or digging, monitoring hydraulic oil temperature and water temperature through the machine’s sensor system as it works.

Those sensors mean that the machine always delivers the optimum level of engine power and hydraulic flow. While pure heft was a key attribute that led him directly to the hydraulic performance of the Hyundai R145CR-9, practicality and ease of transport were what Justin was looking for when he added the compact Hyundai R60CR-9 to Solid Civil Solutions’ machine fleet.

"There are plenty of jobs where I need the grunt that the 15-tonner gives me, but I also do a lot of smaller jobs such as trenching or civil work on subdivision projects that suit a smaller machine," he explains.

"The little 5.6 tonner is brilliant not only because it still has a lot of digging and lifting power for its size, but from a transport point of view, it’s also much more economical for me to stick it on the truck and take it where I need it."

With a transport length of five metres and a transport height of 2.55 metres, the Hyundai
R60CR-9 slots neatly into the tipper bed of Justin’s three-axle truck. But just because the Hyundai R60CR-9 mini excavator is small, doesn’t mean it scrimps on the details.

The Hyundai R60CR-9 utilises a clean-burning and efficient 60hp engine

Designed with the same rugged principles in play as Justin’s bigger excavator, the 5.6 tonner’s upper frame structure is designed to absorb high stress, while an X-type centre frame and a reinforced box section track frame are purpose-designed to provide exceptional strength and longer service life.

The reinforced box section track frame provides exceptional strength and longer service life

Engine and hydraulic technology and reliability is a through-line here too, with Justin’s Hyundai R60CR-9 utilising a clean-burning and efficient 60hp engine that offers impressive power for the weight class. The mini excavator is also equipped with an arm flow summation system, a boom holding system, and a swing parking brake for smooth and fine control.

Hyundai machines offer good reliability and value for money for Justin’s operations

"Hyundai machines are comparable with the best out there," says Justin. "They offer really good reliability and value for money. But I also think a big difference is Porter Equipment themselves; they just do that aftersales support side of things so well.

The frame structure is designed to absorb high stress

"They have the ability to be everywhere, so that support is really consistent wherever you go. It doesn’t matter whether I’m in the Far North or down towards Whangarei, if anything was to go wrong or I needed advice, I know I’ll be covered. And that’s a pretty strong thing to say because Northland is a bigger territory to cover than a lot of people realise."

The province certainly is big, but with Porter Equipment providing the right tools of trade and the right level of back-up, Justin is able to go the extra mile for his clients, wherever those miles take him.

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