Product profile: engcon tiltrotators

The engcon tiltrotator is proving to be beneficial for Pukekohe-based Troydon Contractors

Jumping into the cab of their 5.5-tonne Hitachi ZAXIS 55U that was recently fitted with a new engcon tiltrotator, Blair Abernethy from Troydon Contractors was all smiles.

"Let’s put the new kit to work" he said as he got stuck into the final trim of Kowhai Intermediate School’s new car park surfacing in Mount Eden, Auckland. 

There’s no doubt that Pukekohe-based Troydon Contractors are a family company through and through, with Darren Abernethy at the helm for 35 years and all of his children involved in the business today. At first glance, they seem like traditional old-school contractors, but look deeper and there’s much more going on here than first meets the eye.

Embracing the future

Driven by sons Blair and Troy’s interest in innovation, Troydon Contractors made a clear decision back in 2016 to embrace construction technology in a big way, and they haven’t looked back since.

Caleb Hudson, general manager, says, "We truly believe that the future of the civil industry lays in the productivity gains that technology delivers. Keeping up with the advancements in technology is exciting, and it’s also the key to getting the next generation interested in careers in civil construction."

The 5.5-tonne Hitachi ZAXIS 55U fitted with a new engcon tiltrotator
The 5.5-tonne Hitachi ZAXIS 55U fitted with a new engcon tiltrotator

Troydon Contractors began investing in Leica construction technology and, as they grew, so did their fleet of machinery fitted with Leica iCON GPS machine control, including excavator, dozer, and boxblade systems. Used in conjunction with their Leica rovers and robotic total stations, they are now in a position where this technology is used on just about every project.

"We’ve seen the benefits that technology delivers over the last five years; it’s made a huge difference to our business growth and positively impacted our teams’ skill set. Not only have we seen a boost in productivity but we are also able to deliver consistently accurate results for our customers and that’s been really important to us," says Caleb.

Expanding the toolbox

Recently, the Abernethy brothers set their sights on investing in a new tiltrotator. Having seen them grow in popularity across the US and Europe, they were keen to give them a go.
"We could definitely see the benefits of using a tiltrotator in terms of versatility, especially when working in tricky and tight situations, which is most of the jobs in Auckland these days," says Troy.

After researching what was available in New Zealand, they demoed the engcon tiltrotator and were hooked by its capabilities and ‘sandwich’ set-up, which enables the user to take the tiltrotator off when not needed and maximise breakout torque for plain digging and increase lifting capacity.

"We really liked the engcon; it’s a quality brand with all the features we wanted and more.

he benefits of using a tiltrotator are numerous, especially when working in tricky and tight situations
The benefits of using a tiltrotator are numerous, especially when working in tricky and tight situations

It also gives us the functionality of a rotating head when using our existing attachments, which will be a huge asset. We especially like the mobile app, which lets us change the speeds or check the settings, plus if we ever need support, the Global Survey team can dial in remotely to check or reconfigure the system, too."

Blair adds that once he’d been working with the engcon tiltrotator, it opened up a new way of thinking about what he could do with it. He believes it will be a valuable tool for final trim of a sub-grade with technical fall requirements or final battering/shaping of areas to finish a job to the exact design proposed.

Although Blair was the first at Troydon to take the engcon for a spin, he was confident the whole team would be wanting to have a go. He reckoned it only took him about half an hour’s training to get up to speed with operating the tiltrotator.

"It was intuitive to use; I found the 360-degree infinite rotation relatively simple to operate. Our team is pretty keen on new tech. They’ve already mastered the Leica iCON GPS, so no doubt, they’ll be lining up for a turn on the engcon."

Changing the narrative

Troy, Blair, and Caleb strongly believe that technology is the way forward for the industry, especially when it comes to creating positive career pathways.

"We need to change the narrative about careers in civil construction. We’re on the way to becoming a high-tech industry and should be attracting smart people who get excited about the capabilities of technology now and what’s coming in the future. Civil construction is a great industry to be involved in and a great career path," says Troy.

Troydon Contractors use education and technology to upskill their team. Their thinking is that what’s good for the team is good for the company and the industry as a whole.

"We take a big-picture view. We want all our team to progress their careers and educating them on technology is a key part of that progression."

Building on past successes

"Over the years, we’ve built our reputation on quality and consistency. Our customers know they can rely on us to get the job done to a high standard in a timely and cost-efficient way. Investing in technology has been an important part of us being able to deliver projects on time and with precision to the design," Troy adds.

Troydon Contractors specialise in end-to-end civil works, everything from bulk earthworks to drainage and right through to the finishing surface. Usually, the team works on multiple medium-to-large commercial projects across the Auckland region, including delivering projects for New World and PAK’nSAVE supermarkets, schools, retirement villages and warehouses.

The tiltrotator is simple and intuitive to use
The tiltrotator is simple and intuitive to use

"Having suppliers we can rely on has been incredibly important too. We can’t have machines sitting idle or be waiting around for ages for a callback. We already had a trusted relationship with Global Survey as we’ve been using Leica GPS for years now, so getting the engcon from them was a natural choice."  

Blair adds, "We can’t speak highly enough of the team at Global Survey. They’ve been amazing to deal with, always available whenever we need assistance and always happy to help with support and training. We share a can-do attitude, and we hope to continue our relationship with them for many years to come."

The Abernethy brothers are looking to the future with innovation but also want to continue their father’s tradition of focusing on family values and giving back to the community and the industry.

"Dad is a legend in the industry; 35 years of building up a great business, having a positive approach, and valuing our team has been a huge influence on us, and we definitely want to continue that legacy as we move forward."   

For more information on Troydon Contractors, visit, or for more on Leica and engcon construction technology.

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