Porter Press Extra: Croskery Contracting

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Cameron Officer

Hyundai and Porter Equipment have been a constant presence for Croskery Contracting, providing the right gear when it counts

The Hyundai HX140L is Nigel Croskery’s fourth 14-tonner

As far as distractions go, the view from one of Nigel Croskery’s current worksites would be a good one on a good day. Even with the rain squalls pushing through with regularity on the day of our visit, it wasn’t half bad.

The view from Nigel’s worksite

The dozen or so executive homes positioned high on a hill at Kokotau, about eight kilometres southeast of Carterton, enjoy immense views all the way up the Wairarapa Valley.

I imagine on a clear day you could see Masterton shimmering on the horizon, while the busy corridor of State Highway 2 and its handful of prosperous settlements are all spread out before you.

Nigel and a couple of his seven staff from Masterton-based Croskery Contracting have just completed a septic tank instal up here and are now completing the finishing work on the front of the section, ready for the next stage of the house build.

"We do house sites, shed sites, driveways, drainage, and farm tracks, but we also have five tip trucks and do a lot of cartage work, transporting metal and lime," says Nigel. "We do a bit of forestry work too."

Nigel also has a yard with a weighbridge closer to Masterton where he completes crushing and screening for clients. Between every service Croskery Contracting undertakes, he and his team are busy year-round.

In order to keep up with work, Nigel runs a machine fleet, which "kind of just grew and grew over time, but you need to have the right gear for the job otherwise what are you going to achieve?"

He started out as your quintessential one-man band with a single truck and digger duo back when he was 30. Today, he runs a multi-brand fleet of equipment, but a constant over the years has been Porter Equipment and Hyundai.


The Hyundai R25Z-9KA mini excavator is good for getting into trickier spots

Running through his history with Hyundai—the Hyundai HX140L on these pages is his fourth 14-tonner, and he also has a modern BOMAG BW213 D drum roller on-hand—Nigel forgets to even mention the little Hyundai R25Z-9KA mini excavator also on-site at Kokotau.

Bomag compaction equipment is a constant in Nigel’s fleet

He says the 2.5-tonner is a "great wee machine and good for getting into trickier spots up near houses you can’t take the big diggers into." Its parked-up position neatly under an overhanging balcony here ably demonstrates that plus point.

"I’ve been buying Hyundai diggers for years and it’s really easy to see how far they have come," Nigel continues. "This latest one has all the bells and whistles, and I know it’s going to be a good machine for us. I tend to keep my diggers for around 5000 hours before trading them in. They’re still in good shape at that stage."

The latest generation updates include reinforced durability and operator visibility

Two big areas where the Hyundai excavator range has pushed ahead with the latest generation updates are in reinforced durability and operator visibility. Both the upper and lower structures of Hyundai’s HX Series boast much-improved durability, with Hyundai Construction Equipment having strength-tested the new range through numerous tests and simulations.

Both the upper and lower structures of Hyundai’s HX Series boast much-improved durability

The wear-resistance of the standard bucket options has also been improved through the use of new material, while a new cover plate is now a feature of the end of the dipper arm to help minimise abrasion on the connector between the arm and the bucket.

Nigel has taken this a step further with the adoption of a thumb grab on his new Hyundai HX140L’s bucket, which was fabricated by Carterton firm, D. A. McGovern Limited.

"I get thumb grabs put on all my diggers. They’re handy when you’re clearing bush or scrub or whatever. The good thing about the design I use from McGoverns is that the thumb is positioned on the tilt hitch closer to the bucket so that it overlaps with the edge of the bucket.

Some designs have the thumb positioned further up and the risk there is that it gets caught inside the bucket and all of a sudden, you’ve stuffed it."

Hyundai HX Series excavators also utilise high-pressure hoses with improved heat and pressure resistance, increasing the durability of these components. Nigel’s new machine is also kitted out with full ROPS/FOPS protection, making it easy to return to forestry work when the time is right.

The latest Hyundai acquistion has all the bells and whistles

Another big area of improvement in the Hyundai HX Series machines is in their ability to let the operator manoeuvre the machine safely, even on busy sites. An option for owners is to incorporate a state-of-the-art AAVM (Advanced Around View Monitoring) camera system, which offers a secure field of vision for operators in all directions, thereby helping to prevent accidents.

The system can be bolstered further still by IMOD (Intelligent Moving Object Detection), which sounds a warning for the operator in the cab if people or potentially dangerous objects are detected within five metres of the machine.

Nigel says he has had great service from national Hyundai Construction Equipment distributor, Porter Equipment. "Josh Hunter (Wellington region territory manager) is a good sort.

I get on well with him," he says. "I was pretty impressed with the speed Porters were able to get this new machine here too. I purchased it on 6 June and by 12 June it was here in town getting the thumb installed. That’s pretty good going in my book."

Before we leave the hillside at Kokotau, Nigel shows me another house pad his team has finished recently. It might be the fact it (finally) stops raining by the time we head over here, but if anything, the view from this second position is even better than the first.

I comment that you could almost play billiards on the pad, such is its expert finish.
"Yeah, it’s a good one, but that’s what you build on right? It’s gotta be good," Nigel says modestly.

With Hyundai machinery and the back-up of Porter Equipment, Croskery Contracting will no doubt continue to busily construct solid foundations for lucky Wairarapa residents for years to come.

Find new and used heavy machinery for sale in NZ

Keep up to date in the industry by signing up to Deals on Wheels' free newsletter or liking us on Facebook