Porter Press Extra: Earthwork Solutions Ltd

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Supplied

Earthwork Solutions have added a BOMAG BW 100 ADM-5 Tandem Roller to the frontline machine fleet in order to remain efficient and perform consistently regardless of the task at hand


The new 1.7T BOMAG BW 100 ADM-5 Tandem Roller

The surf beaches, vineyards, and general laid-back nature of sunny Gisborne might offer up the ultimate lifestyle for many. But when the big projects are on, Earthwork Solutions Ltd co-founder Matt Mead says there’s no substitute for the latest technology and an expert eye on staff utilisation at every step of the way towards completing the job.

"We believe strongly in using technology to our advantage, and we’ve always pushed to ensure our team has the best tools for the task. That’s why we have invested in 3D machine control and now have seven or eight machines on our fleet that features this level of automation," he says.

"This also means we can engage a smaller number of staff who are adept at doing more. Thanks to our machine fleet giving them an efficiency advantage, we can have our guys perform a broader spread of tasks regardless of what the job is."

Earthwork Solutions Ltd, which was formed by the born-and-bred Gisborne local back in 2007, currently has 25 staff on the books; a number, Matt says, that "makes every aspect of the business more manageable, from the back-end books side of things to the job optimisation out in the field."

Current work the busy civil construction, drainage, and earthworks entity is engaged on includes a long-term high-profile stop bank upgrade along 60km of the Waipaoa River, which meanders its way down from the hills inland from Te Karaka before disgorging into Poverty Bay.

The client, Gisborne District Council, is one of a number of large-scale organisations Earthwork Solutions Ltd has completed work for in recent times. "The stopbank upgrade work is an ongoing project, but back here in town, there has been so much new development work going on in Gisborne lately that we have been engaged to work on a lot of commercial and industrial projects, more so than at any other time since we started the company."

Machines from the BOMAG light tandem roller line-up are a common sight on development projects like Oakview all over NZ

A prime example of this is a brand-new housing subdivision a few kilometres inland from the city centre. Offering a range of different section sizes, Matt says the multi-stage Oakview development represents one of the most significant residential developments in the Gisborne area for a decade or more.

For Earthwork Solutions Ltd, work on the large site accounts for approximately a third of the company’s resources. But it’s the nature of the work the company is performing here—backfilling drainage trenches, kerb line prep, footpath prep, and other more technical work—that has led to Matt investing in a machine with a slightly more compact footprint than many other examples of the company’s frontline gear.

Despite being a new addition, the 1.7-tonne BOMAG BW 100 ADM-5 Tandem Roller isn’t unfamiliar to the Earthwork Solutions team. "We’ve been hiring one of these through Porter Hire up until now and just delivering it back to them between jobs," explains Matt.

"But with our continued involvement at Oakview—and the potential for other urban development work around the city—I could see that it was probably going to be more cost-effective over the long term to buy one of our own."

Matt admits that he hasn’t focused on machinery of the BOMAG BW 100 ADM-5’s size much until now, but he can see the obvious benefits the tandem roller delivers. "For a start, it’s very transportable. It fits on a tandem trailer, which means it isn’t tied into the subdivision work if we need it elsewhere at short notice.

The BW 100 ADM-5 is a compact roller

Also, I’ve mentioned how it’s quite a compact roller, but at the same time, BOMAG can’t be beat for operator comfort. "We did our analysis on other tandem rollers of this type before deciding on the BOMAG, and the operator station definitely seems the roomiest, with a small steering wheel, a big platform to stand on when you’re getting into the seat, and all the controls laid out logically.

The spacious operator’s platform a compact steering wheel, a big platform to stand on, and a robust dashboard

"We’re still at the backfilling and trenching end of things so haven’t had it on pavement yet, but those machines have a good reputation so I’m looking forward to seeing some good results from it," he says.

Supported right across the East Coast by Porter Equipment, BOMAG tandem rollers are popular machines used by many different operators on a wide variety of construction sites.

The tandem rollers are well regarded for consistent compaction performance

Well-regarded for consistent compaction performance and an abundance of user-oriented features, machines from the seven-model BOMAG light tandem roller line-up are a common sight on development projects like Oakview all over New Zealand.

Beyond the machine itself, Matt says Colin Duley, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay territory manager for Porter Equipment, has been great to deal with during the purchase process.

"We might see more development projects like Oakview spring up in Gisborne in the future; it seems to be the way things are going as the city grows," concludes Matt. "But we’re still working further afield and often in more remote settings. We’ll use the BOMAG roller wherever it’s needed to ensure it’s an investment that continues to produce results for us."

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