Cover story: GT Civil

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Cameron Officer

Hyundai excavators and wheel loaders give GT Civil all the certainty they need to get a multitude of projects completed on time and to specification

With bases in both Tauranga and Cambridge, GT Civil has civil work and drainage covered throughout possibly the fastest growing area in the country. A veritable corridor of urban expansion runs from Waipa to the Western Bay of Plenty and GT Civil co-directors Tim Graham and Nathan Thomas are sitting in the sweet spot.

Founded eight years ago, GT Civil has become a common sight on large scale urban developments.

GT Civil have long been advocates of both Hyundai machinery and the Porter Equipment back-up service

"We’re a civil contractor, who specialises in construction in complex working environments, whether that be a road corridor or an environmentally sensitive area," says Tim. "We engage with entities such as Tauranga City Council and Hamilton City Council in order to install sub-surface infrastructure such as sewer systems, pump stations and water mains."

With 30 highly skilled team members and work underway on anywhere between six and eight high profile projects throughout the Waikato and Bay of Plenty at any one time, Tim is a firm believer in having the absolute best back-up service for GT Civil’s machine fleet that money can buy.

"Key to running an efficient business such as ours is having bulletproof back-up support, and Porter Equipment delivers on that for sure," he says. "We set out from the very beginning to present a unified service to our clients and a big part of that is how we present our machines. A machine fleet that is well-maintained and clean presents a better image of our company in the public eye.

"We really like the reliability of Hyundai equipment and the value for money it offers us, so we have stuck with it wherever possible. While the gear itself has been great, you can’t understate the difference a responsive agent makes to things, and Porters have always been excellent."

This Hyundai HX145-CR is one of the 14-tonne excavators the company runs

The GT Civil machine fleet, with the help of Porter Equipment, has grown to include a variety of Hyundai excavators, rollers, front dumpers, as well as Hyundai HL730-9 wheel loaders, both of which are fitted out as tool carriers, meaning the GT Civil team has the flexibility of quickly switching to forks in order to carry pipe.

Befitting the company’s many tasks spread across two busy regions, the excavator line-up consists of mini excavators, including a brand-new Hyundai R17Z-9A, as well as excavators of various sizes through to 30 tonne.

More consistency comes in the form of the way Tim and Nathan ensure their excavators are specified.

GT Civil also have trailerable micro excavators, including this new Hyundai R17Z-9A

"We spec our gear to a high standard across the board," says Tim. "All our machines run power tilts as standard. We also utilise grab buckets and vibro hammers for sheet piling, so the expectation is that our machines are ready to go, no matter what the job is.

"Porters make sure the machine turns up ready to go with all of these requirements taken care of. It’s all done ahead of the final machine delivery which means we can get on with using it for the reason we’ve invested in it straight away."

Tim says the Hyundai HX145-CRs are great mid-size machines and especially useful when working in sensitive environments.

"We commonly fit wider tracks to our 14 and 23-tonners which makes them especially useful in scenarios where we are working with sensitive soils and lighter ground pressure is ideal."

Another component of the GT Civil spec list is the latest in Topcon 3D machine control technology. A number of the company’s excavators run the technology, which is fast becoming a must-have for civil earthworks entities looking to maximise their jobsite efficiency and accuracy.

Machine control technology helps ensure GT Civil’s operators delivery absolute accuracy at the sharp end

"We are big advocates for 3D machine control," says Tim. "It just makes life easier and it’s good for the guys in the machines to be able to see exactly what they’re building as they go. There’s also a big safety aspect to using 3D machine control. We can lay bulk Polyethylene (PE) pipe to grade without having to have guys in the trench bedding up: it eliminates unnecessary risk and makes the team more efficient at the same time, so its win-win technology really."

The technology available in Hyundai equipment from a factory level, as well as the ability for GT Civil to ensure their machinery is specified correctly, gives the busy company a competitive edge out in the field. But Tim is also quick to point out that, beyond the mechanical ability of the equipment they use every day, a solid relationship with the people who support that equipment is even more important for preserving business continuity.

"[Porter Equipment territory manager] Steve Puddle is great to deal with. He knows our business really well. He knows what sort of requirements we have for our machinery and what sort of work we’ve got on. At the end of the day, having a really sound relationship with an equipment supplier such as Porters is far more important than shopping around for what you might think is the best deal.

"Our ambition is to be recognised as a reputable Tier 2 company," Tim concludes. "In order to do that, we place a lot of emphasis on building good relationships and having the right expertise and equipment at our disposal. Using reliable and safe Hyundai machinery helps us meet client expectations. Having Porters backing us up is a big part of how we deliver on those expectations too."

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