Porter Press Extra: Toa Civil

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Cameron Officer

When Toa Civil Construction needs to get the next job done, they rely on the machine technology inherent in both Hyundai and BOMAG heavy construction gear

Josh Paku and Mike Northcroft

There’s nothing quite like past experience to help hasten future productivity. Just ask Toa Civil Construction director, Josh Paku. While Toa Civil itself is only just celebrating its first birthday in business this month, Josh has had years of experience in the civil construction industry.

A by-product of that is Josh’s experience utilising reliable BOMAG and Hyundai heavy construction machinery for the big projects too. "After 14 years in the industry I decided to go it alone last year," says Hawke’s Bay-born and bred Josh. "I spent many years working with Higgins, most notably in a senior contract manager role, before moving on to work for Russell Roads here in Napier.

"I started as a one-man band last year, with just a truck and a digger, but it’s fair to say things have accelerated pretty quickly since then." Just 12 months on from Toa Civil’s formation, Josh has 13 staff on the books, with dedicated crews based as far away as Wairoa.

Today, Toa Civil completes all manner of civil projects for an equally diverse client base. Counted among the company’s various disciplines are pavement prep work, car park, and footpath construction, slip remediation, and large-scale drainage project work, among other tasks throughout the province.

"I put our growth down to existing client relationships. I’ve forged some really great working relationships with clients, and these have formed the backbone of where Toa Civil has expanded to over the last year or so.

It’s definitely a risk going out on your own, but we’ve been very fortunate to partner with good clients who have helped give us the opportunity to expand where we can." Expanding rapidly means ensuring the right amount of heavy machinery is on tap for the Toa Civil crews.

To that end, the company fleet has expanded in tandem with the company’s client book, and this is also where that past experience comes into play. "Off the back of being at Russell Roads, I came to really like Hyundai excavators, as Russell Roads have long been advocates for Hyundai gear," Josh continues.

"Essentially you look to the big guys for guidance on what works and, basically, if Hyundai is good enough for Russell Roads, then it’s definitely good enough for us." Putting his money where his mouth is, Josh has certainly looked to Hyundai—supplied through New Zealand distributor, Porter Equipment—to fulfil his heavy construction machinery requirements.

Toa Civil has a growing fleet, which now includes an eight-tonne Hyundai R80CR-9, two six-tonne Hyundai R60CR-9s, a compact Hyundai R25Z-9, and a bigger 14-tonne Hyundai HX140L, which is currently on order.

BOMAG BW138 AC-5 combination roller

Another recent purchase is the BOMAG BW138 AC-5 combination roller on these pages. It’s a machine that has also arrived on-site in Hawke’s Bay via distributor, Porter Equipment.

The BOMAG BW138 AC-5 is pitch-perfect for footpath and repair work

With its compact footprint, the BOMAG BW138 AC-5 is pitch-perfect for footpath and repair work as well as roading and driveway construction where tighter angles necessitate a smaller machine.

The new BOMAG has a compact footprint 

The machine’s ample feature set includes drum vibration, which can be activated selectively for front and rear only, or for both drums at once. In tandem with BOMAG’s Intelligent Vibration Control (IVC), the exciter system guarantees consistent compaction and reliable operation through every pass.

The roller is also ideal for roading and driveway construction where tighter angles necessitate a smaller machine

Josh and operator Mike Northcroft are both big fans of the BOMAG compaction gauge system, which gives Mike and other operators accurate, real-time information on the firmness of the compaction under the drums.

"The compaction meter onboard the BOMAG is awesome," says Josh. "It speeds up every job because we’re not waiting for soft spots to appear. We can see where they are from the outset and correct as we go.

It means we’re way more efficient on the ground, and the end result is the machine can be moved on to the next project much quicker because we have that accuracy at our fingertips. We know with this machine we’ll produce excellent results every time."

Producing excellent results is something BOMAG and Hyundai distributor Porter Equipment has become adept at over decades of service to Kiwi construction entities. Toa Civil, despite its recent arrival, has benefitted from this same rock-solid reputation for support in the field.

"The big difference with Porters is that they make everything so easy," says Josh. "They have an impressive line-up of machinery, and they also have the ability to find other options to suit.

We have machines on order and while we wait for those machines to arrive, the Porter Hire division can sort out temporary cover gear. It’s a great solution and it keeps us moving.

"We have big ambitions and a firm eye on the future for our company. We know that Porter Equipment and the quality machinery they sell and support will help us achieve our goals."

With Porter Equipment alongside them, it would appear Toa Civil Construction’s ability to keep pace with prospective future productivity is certainly assured.

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