Apart from being a specialist in excavators, one of the largest earthmovers in Australia and having one of the most recognisable brands in the plant hire industry – EA Hire, hailing from rural Victoria is keen to differentiate itself for its innovation in excavation attachments and its ‘green’ approach to earthmoving. I sit down with Laurence Eales, Managing Director of EA Hire Equipment to discuss some cool excavator attachments, green earthmoving and what makes EA Hire stand out from the rest.
Q1 - Laurence – thanks for talking with me. I love talking to plant hire companies that seek competitive advantage through specialisation, innovation and diversification in our competitive marketplace. What gives EA Hire the edge?
EA Hire Equipment has demonstrated its ability and capacity to go way beyond ‘off-the-shelf’ and ‘out-of-the-box’ solutions in earthmoving, and we have a very ‘hands-on’ approach to construction. We provide our clients with innovative solutions to complex construction problems. We have the largest and most exotic range of specialised excavator attachments to be found anywhere in the industry, and the in-house capability and expertise to design, modify and manufacture specialised attachments required to meet any unique construction requirement. We’ve helped many of our Tier 1 clients solve large scale construction project issues in recent times.
Our company also provides Australia’s largest fleet of specially modified Short Boom excavators for tunnel and shaft work. Our engineers pioneered and developed the Short Boom to enable our excavators to perform specialised underground civil tasks in confined spaces below ground.
"I pride our company on our service to clients, we have a reputation for being a partner, not a supplier. We take the time to understand our client’s unique requirements, project conditions and issues and our service and advice is as tailored and specialised as the plant and equipment in our fleet".
Simply, our edge is that clients know that when they choose to use us they are partnering with a company and a committed team that is focused on the client’s business outcomes with the gear and the expertise to get the job done!
Q2 – Let’s talk vacuum lifting attachments on excavators for pipeline constructions – what kind of cost and labour savings can a customer expect when compared to traditional methods of pipeline constructions and what safety benefits do these offer customers who hire these innovative attachments?
We have an ELiTE brand of vacuum lifter excavator attachments. These can be hired with machine and as a stand-alone. It is the perfect tool for stringing and stacking pipes safely. Basically the cost and labour savings associated with this attachment include:
- Requirement for less ground crew personnel means reduced manpower costs
- Reduces plant hire costs due to its ability for rapid, multi pipe deployment
- Can perform in inclement weather meaning less downtime
- Less standby time/costs required for rail cars, vessels and trucks
The safety benefits provided by the ELiTE Vacuum Lifter are:
- No requirement for ground crews to climb pipe stacks or trucks reducing accident risk
- Can be operated from a safe distance (the excavator cabin) with a wireless remote control
- Suction ability is not affected by temperature extremes
- Factory fitted with a range of additional safety features e.g warning lights/sirens and check valves
Q3 – Onto Erkat Drum and Traverse Cutters, give me the elevator pitch on how these stack up to traditional cutters for mining and civil applications?
Erkat cutters can operate in noise and vibration sensitive areas. If the jobsite is in a CBD or high density residential location, for example. Productivity is increased because this attachment is not prone to the same work restrictions due to its reduced noise and vibration levels. This can also minimise plant and attachment hire costs for the project.
Other benefits of the Erkat drum and traverse cutters are:
- Available with a large variety of special cutting heads for profiling, mixing and mining as well as wood cutting
- Cutters heads are mounted on oversized bearings guaranteeing a longer operating and service life
- Heavy duty fasteners guarantee secure fixture of cutter heads
- Extremely robust spur gears
- Adaptable hydraulic motors with powerful torque
- Mechanical 360 degree rotatable console with standard Atlas Copco hole pattern.
All these features make Erkat the first choice for trenching, tunnelling, demolition and special foundation work, in my opinion.
Q4 – You’re very proud of your green initiatives. Give us a run-down of what EA Hire is doing to innovate in the space of ‘green earthmoving’.
We decided long ago to make a difference and be a part of the climate change solution and provide our clients with the cleanest, safest and most modern equipment available. As a company we will continue to identify and assess new technologies and make them available to our clients in this space.
Our clients get access to the most environmentally considerate hydraulic excavators and machines available today, in our young fleet, and they are equipped with a clean but powerful engine to comply with Tier 3 and Stage III (A) specifications meeting all underground emission requirements.
Over 90% of the major excavating plant our business can, and is recycled. All resin parts are marked to facilitate recycling. The machines are completely lead-free. The radiators and oil coolers are made from aluminium and wires are lead-less. Also - biodegradable hydraulic oil is available for worksites where special environmental care is required.
Q5 – I’ve heard you have some hybrid excavator fleet. Does this give you a competitive advantage with some large civil and mining contractors keen to set a new standard in green earthmoving?
We were proud to be the first Australian company to offer its clients and the industry the Komatsu Hybrid Excavator through our Green Fleet initiative. These machines were first used in Australia on the Hunter Expressway Alliance project in New South Wales. The client on this job achieved up to 25% reduced fuel consumption, N0x and carbon emissions compared to if they had used conventionally powered excavators.
Responsible environmental management has always been high on the government agenda and highly regulated in all levels of public policy. Every construction project has an environmental impact, and contractors are now required to demonstrate initiatives to reduce these impacts. We, as earthmoving contractors, need to take some responsibility too. Increasingly we are seeing these considerations as a bigger part of the tender process to win public works. Our hybrid excavators (as does rest of our Green Fleet) do give us a competitive advantage and demonstrates our commitment to responsible environmental management. If a contractor with these issues chooses EA Hire Equipment – they can be assured of a partner who is as committed to making advancements in this area, as they are.
EA Hire Equipment’s fleet and capability can be found on iSeekplant.com.au: www.iseekplant.com.au/ea-hire-equipment or you can visit their website for brochures, videos and more information on their exclusive offerings. www.eahire.com.au