Porter Press Extra: Friday Homes use BOMAG and Hyundai

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Supplied

The busy Friday Homes construction team looks to the reliability and consistency of machinery from Hyundai and BOMAG to help meet their milestones

The BOMAG BW138 AD-5 double drum roller has only recently arrived on-site

Friday Homes is possibly the envy of many other development companies in the Wellington region. Yes, it’s a given that the company turns out immaculate projects anyone would be proud to put their name against, but there’s another reason why others might consider Friday Homes in the box seat, especially where their Te Ara Estate and Arakura Plains projects in Wainuiomata are concerned. It all comes down to contours.

"Being able to develop flat land is definitely a bit of a luxury in the Wellington area," says Friday Homes Fleet Manager, Darren Johnston. "We started here about 18 months ago with all the bulk earthworks, which we complete ourselves on our developments. Te Ara Estate will have 41 houses in total, while across the road Arakura Plains will feature 141.


Friday Homes’ fleet has grown gradually over the years

"Together they represent a big project, but we also have plenty of other subdivision work on around the region. We now have approximately 65 staff spread across all our activities.

We used to focus mainly on one-off homes, but we’ve successfully built up the house-and-land package side of things over the last seven years to the point that we only occasionally do one-off builds now."

While the nature of Friday Homes’ bread and butter build work has evolved over time, one aspect of this successful company’s operations has remained the same for several years now: its continued faith in the reliability of heavy construction equipment from manufacturers Hyundai and BOMAG, both of which are supplied and supported throughout New Zealand by Porter Equipment.

Friday Homes’ Hyundai R235LC-9 was the second Hyundai excavator the company purchased

"We purchased our first Hyundai digger around four years ago, which was the Hyundai R145CR. That was followed pretty closely by the bigger Hyundai R235LC-9 and then, when we needed even more machine capability, we added the Hyundai R290LC-9," says Darren.

Today, Friday Homes’ Hyundai machine feet also includes a Hyundai R35Z-9, Hyundai R210LC-9, and a Hyundai HX300L from the Korean heavy machinery manufacturer’s new HX generation line-up.

All of the excavators are kitted out with tilt hitches from the get-go, says Darren, as eliminating hoses to tilt buckets saves money and hassle over time. It’s notable that all the Friday Homes’ equipment Darren mentions is on-site at Te Ara Estate/Arakura Plains and looks in good shape after several years on plenty of other job sites too.

"We always want our guys to treat their machine like they bought it themselves. That’s the best approach I reckon," he laughs. However, one shiny machine on the job in Wainuiomata sparkles in the bright sunshine of this early-January day more through its newness to the company, rather than as a result of fastidious maintenance.

The Hyundai R290LC-9 is one of several machines supplied by Porter Equipment on this Wainuiomata sub-division

The BOMAG BW138 AD-5 double drum roller has only recently arrived on-site. Having previously invested in a smaller BOMAG BW120 AD-5, Darren says the need for a supplementary unit that offered a bigger footprint became apparent, especially within the wide-open boundaries of the twin Wainuiomata subdivisions.

"We stepped up to the four-tonne model to improve on our productivity on such a big block of land. We have had a good experience with our other BOMAG, and Porters were able to supply the machine straight away and at a fair price too.

Buying brand-new is obviously a decision we look at from all angles, but with the competitive pricing and the benefits of brand-new versus second-hand, it was a bit of a no-brainer."

Compact BOMAG double drum roller have earned a solid reputation for all manner of construction entities all over the world

Compact BOMAG double drum roller have earned a solid reputation for all manner of construction entities all over the world, including plenty of operators in the local industry.
The seven-model compact double drum roller range stands apart from their competitors, showcasing high-quality construction and intuitive operating features.

BOMAG ensures its operator platforms are comfortable places to spend the working day

Every operator platform boasts ample space and legroom to ensure a more comfortable workday. The BOMAG BW138 AD-5’s compact steering wheel and large access steps make getting on and off safe and simple. And when on-board, the operator has a clear field of vision from the seat.

As with every BOMAG double drum roller, main functions can be selected precisely and error-free via an ergonomic control lever. Drum vibration can be activated selectively for the front or rear only, or for both drums.

In tandem with the IVC (Intelligent Vibration Control) system, the BOMAG’s exciter system guarantees consistent compaction and reliable operation. The new Friday Homes roller also features a pressure sprinkler system with a high-quality pump, a five-stage interval system, and a large water tank.

There’s generous access to the engine bay for servicing, although, BOMAG has eliminated lubrication requirements for the entire machine. The wind-protected spray nozzles on the drum are easily accessible and replaceable, while BOMAG’s standard double filter system protects the nozzles against clogging.


Thanks to the Economizer, compaction is simple and reliable

"I really like the BOMAG rollers; they’re good machines. That Economizer function is good for speed and accuracy too. It won’t let the younger guys put a foot wrong," says Darren.
The BOMAG Economizer mode shows the operator the current degree of compaction through a series of LED indicators on the instrument panel.

The lights provide real-time information and prevent under- or over-compaction, which saves the Friday Homes team time and money by avoiding unnecessary passes. The company has a workshop in Seaview where their own diesel mechanic looks after the day-to-day needs of the machine fleet.

Darren’s own background is as a diesel mechanic, too, so he jumps on the tools if needed. Naturally though, when it comes to aftersales service and support for new Hyundai and BOMAG gear, Porter Equipment handles it all.

"We get great service from Josh Hunter and the Porter team. That’s one of the benefits of partnering with a provider that represents a group of brands we like using—one phone call and it’s all sorted. In fact, here in Wainuiomata, we’re in good shape too because one of the Porter Equipment guys lives over here and he’s always happy to help."

As Darren explains, the great customer service also extends to helping plug gaps in Friday Homes’ existing machine fleet. "In addition to the new four-tonner, we also have a BOMAG BW213 on the way. There has been a bit of a delay with it arriving, so Porters have helped us out with a loaner from the Porter Hire fleet in the meantime.

Thanks to their size and flexibility, they can get that sort of solution in place basically before you even have to ask. "All of our machinery obviously does the business for us, and we will continue to invest in BOMAG and Hyundai equipment where needed.

But having a good bunch of people behind those brands is a big part of why we buy what we buy. "Nine years ago, we had four diggers and that’s all. We’ve been lucky enough to grow significantly over the last decade, and we’ve had a great run out of the machinery we’ve bought from Porter Equipment. In fact, we’ve had a great run out of the whole partnership." 

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