Sumitomo excavators improving productivity

Northland's Shane Cullen Contracting seems pretty impressed with its fleet of Sumitomo excavators.

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"As if by chance, an AB representative rolled up out of the blue and offered me a test drive of a Sumitomo SH120-3," says Cullen. "I was very encouraged by the speed, tractive effort, and smoothness of the Sumitomo compared to our existing equipment. On top of that, the financial package that AB Equipment came up with was just too good to resist."

It was a pivotal moment for Cullen and his confidence in the product has since grown. His appreciation of what Sumitomo and AB Equipment have to offer has resulted in the purchase of another seven Sumitomos.

When asked what specific characteristics of the Sumitomo excavators made them most attractive to his business operation, Cullen quickly referred to the operational and productivity benefits of the machines.

"The Sumitomos are very well balanced and this allows our operators to work at full reach without being tippy," says Cullen.

"The hydraulics are very smooth, meaning house cuts and site work levels are finished quickly and accurately. Overall, the Sumitomo excavators are extremely user-friendly and easy to operate which is great because we employ multiple operators, so we don't have to spend excessive time on training," he says.

Cullen is just as impressed with the economic benefits of the Sumitomos. According to Cullen, they are fast in the slew, dipper/boom, and tracks, reducing cycle times and helping to maximise productivity.

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"With seven excavators in our fleet, it is paramount that we keep our operating overheads to a minimum. The advances that Sumitomo has made to its hydraulics and engine systems have been very noticeable which has seen us use less fuel. At the end of the day that adds up to more net profit which is extremely satisfying," says Cullen.

Cullen started out doing general farm maintenance and upgrades before becoming involved with numerous housing sub-divisions and commercial buildings in and around the Mangawhai area. 

For the last two years, his company has been one of the main contractors involved in the development of an international golf course and accommodation complex in Te Arai. The project involves roading, bulk earthworks, shaping, reservoirs, and site work operations. He readily admits there is still plenty of work to be done before it is ready for play.

Cullen employs nine full-time employees and has seen the Whangarei branch of AB Equipment grow significantly since he first became involved with the company. Continuous improvements to the branch have seen it recently move into a new purpose-built facility in Whangarei and become a comprehensive service operation with exceptional parts backup. Both are significant reasons behind his ongoing support for the Sumitomo brand.

It is also only fair to acknowledge the help of Karl Travers, the local Hydraulink service provider, which has plumbed up all of the attachments on Cullen's Sumitomos, ensuring they perform at their optimum.

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