Porter Press Extra: Probuilt Drainage

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Cameron Officer

Auckland’s Probuilt Drainage has invested in its first Hyundai excavator, the mid-size HX145CR, and it's proving to be the right tool for plenty of task


The new Hyundai HX145CR is the biggest crawler excavator on the Probuilt Drainage fleet

Gary Page of Probuilt Drainage assures me the expansive vista the worksite provided us on the day of our visit isn’t indicative of where the Auckland-based civil works and drainage company’s new Hyundai HX145CR is usually to be found working.

The 14.6T machine working at Gary’s property

We were at Gary’s own semi-rural property among rolling green hills south of the city. An unexpected gap between projects meant he’s been able to quickly haul the excavator home
to carve out an access track down to his bottom field at the base of a steep grade.

As far as office views go, operator Daine Schimanski has a good one. But come tomorrow, the 14.6-tonne machine will be back in familiar territory, working on busy urban infrastructure repair and construction projects across the Isthmus.

Established 15 years ago, Probuilt Drainage are certified drain layers for commercial, domestic, and public drainage. The 14-strong team also undertake concreting, foundation work, and landscaping, but the sub-surface stuff is their bread and butter.

"We contract to City Care as their specialist for urgent stormwater repairs, as well as other stormwater drainage projects for the Auckland City Council, so the vast majority of the places we need to get men and machinery into are pretty tight," explains Gary.

"You know what Auckland is increasingly like: everything stacked up on top of everything else. So, we have to be mindful of both access for our gear and how the space available on the site might impact on us getting through the work in an efficient way."

Gary Page

Gary says that the new Hyundai HX145CR, which has just passed the 200 operating hour mark, is the biggest crawler excavator on the Probuilt Drainage fleet, but it still boasts a compact enough footprint and nimble operating ability to ensure it’s a thoroughly manoeuvrable machine.

"Our other excavators are between 1.5 and eight tonnes. This is the first Hyundai we’ve purchased, and we’ve been really impressed with it," he says.

"It’s nice and modern and has all the bells and whistles, so when you weigh up the purchase cost, it actually represents good value for money."

The Hyundai HX145CR clearly has the required grunt, too. While it might spend a fair portion of its working life on the flat, operator Daine has it tiptoeing up and down what is a precipitously steep hill with barely an audible change in engine note from the 97kW/130hp four-cylinder Cummins turbodiesel.

Operating on busy sites means there are many machine movements to contend with, in addition to staff on the ground.

The HX Series is built tough and features a sturdy frame

Hyundai HX Series excavators feature a state-of-the-art Advanced Around View Monitoring (AAVM) video camera system to provide excellent outward vision from the cab for operators in all directions — even behind the machine.

The HX Series features AAVM video camera system to provide excellent vision from the cab

With no less than nine camera views available (including a clever 3D ‘bird’s-eye view’ of the machine from above), busy, congested worksites like those the Probuilt Drainage team routinely operate on can be navigated with surety.

The camera system also aids the machine operator in cycling through work tasks safely and efficiently.

The latest generation Hyundai excavators also feature Intelligent Moving Object Detection (IMOD), which can recognise a person or object within the machine’s range of operation (from up to five metres away) and audibly alert the driver to the potential hazard.

Working through GPS/satellite technology to provide real-time support, remote self-diagnosis and monitoring software is standard on Hyundai’s latest generation HX machinery.

This helps ensure the operating health of the machine’s engine, hydraulic system, transmission, and electrical components are all kept in check.

The ability for the Hyundai HX145CR to ‘talk’ to Hyundai distributor Porter Equipment comes in handy when it’s time for the machine’s scheduled servicing.

"It all happens on-site," says Gary. "The service guys from Porters have been good to deal with. In fact, they are all really good to deal with, including [Porter Equipment territory manager] Andrew Bartlett. They just make everything really easy.

"We’re happy with the ability of the machine and the back-up support Porters gives us.
No complaints here."

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