Porter Press Extra: Hyundai R140LC-9 excavator

By: Vivienne Haldane, Photography by: Vivienne Haldane


Rotorua-based B & D Thom Ltd has put their new Hyundai R140LC-9 excavator through its paces and are happy with the results

B & D Thom Ltd has a new addition to its line-up, and the Rotorua-based outfit is certainly putting the new machine through its paces.

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Flattening out the car park site

The team recently purchased a Robex Hyundai R140LC-9 to add to their Hyundai fleet (they also have a Hyundai R140W-9-wheel excavator and a Hyundai HL757-9 Wheel Loader) from Porter Group in Hamilton.

"Our previous Hyundai, also a 14-tonner, had done 6000 hours, so it was time for an upgrade," explains Grant Thom, B & D Thom director.

"The new one has had no cosmetic changes to it, so it’s very similar. When the new model comes out and this one has done as many hours, we’ll probably update again. I’ve had a good run with the Hyundai machines; they are economical and have a lot of power," he says. What stands out for Grant is Porter Group’s back-up service.

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Grant Thom, Dennis Krebs, and Ian Davy

"At the end of the day, all machines do the same job, but it’s the back-up service that sets them apart. The service we receive from Porters has been awesome and you can’t fault the product," he says.

"In our business, we can’t afford to be down for long with maintenance issues. I can phone Porters in Tauranga and they will send their service truck out the same day or sort something out that night. There’s also a Porter’s hub nearby in Hamilton for parts and although we haven’t needed it, it’s good to know that it’s there.

On the job

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All Hyundai machines come with numerous in-built safety features

Barry and Daphne Thom began their contracting business 50 years ago and sons Grant and Ian have continued the tradition. Over time, the business has evolved and so has their machinery.

Barry operated in the Kinleith area doing V-Blading with a bulldozer to prepare forestry land for New Zealand Forest Products (NZFP).

The next-generation operates in much the same area: from Rotorua across to Tokoroa and southwest to Taumaranui and provides contracting services to clear vegetation and complete water control before and following harvest of the pine plantations for Taumata Plantations.

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The R140LC-9 is fully set up for safe and efficient forestry work

Clearing vegetation requires robust, reliable equipment and Grant says the machines must be able to do the work easily. The Hyundai R140LC-9 is certainly up to the task with protective forestry cages - front, side, and top safety rails and a backing camera to the rear.

"We go in before harvest to open up the roads before the crews and truckies get there and then again after harvest to fix the forest roads and do a post-harvest clean-up," explains Grant.

Grant says their nine employees "are all great workers. We have a good work culture; I like to think everyone is happy to come to work. Any business is only as good as their workers so having ours operate good, reliable machinery is a vital part of the mix.  It’s all about working well together, taking pride in what you do, good communication, and going home safely to your family each night.  That’s what we aim for."

Hands-on

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Chubb thumb and Calibre tilt action, supplied by Porters, helps balance logs in the bucket

When we turned up on-site to see the Hyundai machinery in the raw, operators Dennis Krebs and Ian Davy were hard at work in the Mamaku Ranges creating a new gate and car park on a DOC forestry site.

"It’s a peppy machine," says Dennis adding that he’s happy with his new Hyundai R140LC-9 and the way it handles.

"There’s plenty of driver comfort and it has good visibility. Besides this, the thumb and tilt action is handy to help balance logs in the bucket, allowing more control. We also have the option of using a smaller bucket, which has bigger teeth and is used mainly on the hard stuff.

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Hyundai excavator and loader lined up ready for action

"It’s satisfying: you turn up to a job that’s been left in a helluva state after the bush boys have been in there, clean it up, and turn it back into a road."

Ian agrees, "At the end of a day’s work, you’ve made a nice finished road. We get a lot of good comments about the work we do and have our Hyundai machinery to thank for that."

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