Porter Press Extra: ASV RT60NS tracked compact loader

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Cameron Officer


The ASV RT60NS tracked compact loader is the first piece of earthmoving gear owned by Aiden Page for his new enterprise, APDirtworx

It’s early days for APDirtworx, Cambridge-based Aiden Page’s new enterprise. And he’s the first to admit he’s keen to build up a small, dedicated client base at his pace. While he has been around construction machinery all his working life, the ASV RT60NS is the first piece of earthmoving gear he’s bought. Thanks to Scotty Manderson in Thames, however, Aiden is already well-versed in operating compact gear like this.

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"My mate Scotty asked if I would be keen to take on some of the overflow work he has been tasked with over in the Coromandel. I agreed and could immediately see what a great little business he has over there. I thought to myself, the sort of work he is doing over there is in high-demand in the Waikato, too, so it seemed like a great fit," Aiden says.

After looking at a few different brands of compact tracked loader, Aiden decided on ASV primarily because the distributor, Porter Equipment, is local to him. He says he also immediately liked the dimensions of the machine, although, the unit on his driveway today isn’t actually the machine he set out to buy.

"I was originally going to go for an ASV RT-30, which is a 1.6-tonne machine versus the RT60NS, which is just over three tonnes. I thought, well, I’m after a compact machine to work around new builds and up against fence lines and that sort of thing, so I may as well go for the smallest possible option.

"It wasn’t until I talked to the team at Porter Equipment though and discussed what I wanted to do, that they suggested I think about other applications for the machine. They got me to have a serious think about how I’d be using the ASV, in what sort of environments and whether there would be potential for different work for it.

ASV RT60NS

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"I went in ready to buy an RT-30 but came away with the RT60NS and haven’t looked back since," Aiden says.

The 60hp (44.7kW) ASV RT60NS now has around 200 hours on it, and Aiden has definitely found a more diverse portfolio of work for the machine. In addition to spreading topsoil at new-build sites, Aiden has also completed his fair share of driveway work, as well as calf shed clean-outs for rural clients. 

The compact dimensions of the ASV means Aiden can get the machine inside out-buildings and down the backs of houses. One of his clients is Dave Bennett, who has the Jennian Homes contract for North Waikato. It’s this sort of straightforward regular construction work that Aiden is after, and it’s the sort of work the ASV is specially built for.

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"The trucking industry was an enjoyable one, but after 20-odd years, you get a bit sick of the hours you put in. I decided the time was right to change gears a bit and look to do something completely different," Aiden says.

"But I’m undertaking this new venture at my own pace. I’m not about to rush out and try and score 15 or 20 clients and then find I don’t have time to do them all justice. I’m happy to be a one-man operation. If I get five or six clients who need dirt shifted on a regular basis, I’ll be a happy man," he laughs.

Porter Equipment a big help

He says the most crucial part of the process for him—especially when buying a machine he hadn’t actually used before—was the advice the Porter Equipment sales team gave him. More than assessing his actual needs and pointing him in the direction of the right sized machine, Aiden says the Porter Equipment guys also gave him a lot of tips about wear and tear too.

"I found that sort of thing really invaluable. It was good to talk to them. They gave me a lot of advice about track maintenance and that sort of thing."

Aiden has kept the original bucket that came with the machine but has also opted for a four-in-one attachment. He also says he will add to this with a pivot attachment eventually too, which will allow him to work with the bucket level, regardless of whether the machine is operating on a slope.

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"I’ve been really impressed with the versatility of the ASV, as well as things like the ground speed and—especially with the summer we’ve had so far—the air-conditioning system. You can spend eight hours in that cab, so things like that remain very important, even if it isn’t a big excavator," he concludes. "It’s a small machine, but it does everything I need it to."

ASV RT60NS specifications 

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Operating weight: 2957kg
Operating width: 1524mm
Tipping load: 2072kg
Ground pressure: 3.7psi

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