Kobelco, Trimble partnership a clear winner

One of the world’s largest manufacturers of earthmoving equipment last year teamed up with Trimble to take its machinery to the next level with the introduction of a Trimble Ready option.

You can learn for yourself how that partnership can benefit your operations with this video created by Kobelco and SITECH Solutions.

The option is available for select Tier 4 Final Kobelco excavator models in Australia and New Zealand.

With a machine control system using automatic, the machine automatically controls the position of the bucket and the boom when operating in a semi-autonomous mode.

All that the operator needs to do is position the machine and simply pull back on the arm control stick where he wants to cut the grade.

The system will stay on grade automatically controlling the boom and the bucket to keep the cutting edge perfectly on grade according to the site plan. It even works with tilting buckets and tilt hitches.

Trimble's SITECH global distribution network provides installation services, personalised training and local technical support for the Trimble Earthworks Grade Control Platform installed on Kobelco excavators.

SITECH dealers understand how to apply Trimble Connected Site solutions across the construction site's operations to effectively improve on- and off-machine productivity.

Select Trimble Ready Kobelco Tier 4 Final excavators are now available in Australia and in New Zealand through Kobelco’s extensive dealer network. The Trimble Earthworks Grade Control Platform for excavators is available in Australia and in New Zealand through the SITECH dealer channel.

To learn more, contact Kobelco at Kobelco.com.au and SITECH at sitechcs.com or call 1800 SITECH.

Starbuck Excavations keep things social

If James Starbuck had decided to keep on the straight and narrow, he wouldn’t be where he is today…

James, a third-generation earthmover, decided at age 19 to strike out on his own, buying a 2.5 tonne excavator and starting his own business.

Today, his companies Starbuck Excavation and Starbuck Plant Hire are a huge success, sending up to 100 workers on to sites on a good day… and he’s got one of the excavator world’s most popular social media accounts to boot.

And all because he didn’t want to just dig trenches.

“Dad was mainly doing underground electrical work,” James explains.

“Long, narrow holes weren’t my style, so I struck out on my own.”

His grandfather started an excavation business in the 1950s that, by the 1970s, could be sending up to 400 workers out on to sites a day. It wound up in the 1980s and his father “just kept doing what he was doing”.

“The name Starbuck is well known for excavation in the Melbourne region, that’s for certain,” James says.

Literally growing the business from the ground up, 12 years later he’s running a business that can handle anything.

“I like helping people out. If you need a hole dug in your backyard for a pool, I can handle that, or if you need diesel tanks removed, I know the bloke to do it… right through to huge infrastructure projects, such as work for the railways,” James says.

James is an early adopter of technology, which he sees, in part at least, generational.

“I’m only 31 – I say I am part of the PlayStation generation,” he laughs.

“Not only do I understand what technology can do, I expect it to do it.”

“There’s no exception for excavation and earth moving. Things are improving and changing rapidly, and I reckon if you don’t keep up you won’t get the work.

“The reality is that labour costs are going up while skill levels are going down. The use of technology, such as 3D machine control, means you can subsidise that skill level. With it, you can make an average operator an excellent operator.”

Safety and savings are the key advantages, James says.

“Using Earthworks, for example, means we don’t need spotters and string lines. Straight away, that’s safer and its saving money with less workers on the ground,” he says.

“And the margin for error is hugely reduced so there’s rarely any redoing of work. I truly believe we are at the stage where if you are not using the tech, you won’t get the contracts.

“More and more clients are demanding it because they know it makes the workplace safer and that their plans will be carried out exactly to spec because the systems talk to each other.”

James said SITECH Construction Systems had been crucial to his business’ growth.

“The team are absolutely phenomenal,” he says.

“I doubt I’d be where I am now without them.”

And as for that social media stardom?

“I started my own Instagram account five years ago. I just posted pictures of me working on diggers – that’s what I do, I don’t have any hobbies – and its just grown and grown,” James says.

That is has. His Instagram account starbuckexcavations now has more than 18,000 followers, making it the top earthmoving account in Australia for a private company - and top 10 globally.

“I post pretty much daily and it’s all earthmoving, it’s what the people who follow it want to see,” James says.

“I take the time to reply to comments and questions, and I reckon people appreciate that too. It is definitely worth the effort – we get a lot of work via the Insta account – a lot of work – plus I’ve had a few trips thanks to it, including to Japan with Kobelco to see their factories.”

It’s all not too shabby for a bloke who just 12 years ago decided he wanted to chart his own course…

SITECH Construction Systems is now on Instagram – find us here: instagram.com/sitech_cs/

Trimble, SITECH and SEE Civil come together

Seeing is believing ...

Trimble's new Earthworks Excavator System with automatics is truly awesome stuff - and here's proof! Trimble Inc. has just released a video of the amazing results after we teamed up with partner SEE Civil in a real world application to directly compare the automatics and guidance only systems.

The results are very impressive. Compared to guidance only, Trimble Earthworks Automatics achieved TWICE THE SPEED and TWICE THE ACCURACY. 

What could 50% more production time do for your business in a year?

The proven performer for excavators is now rolling out for dozers

The Trimble® Earthworks Grade Control Platform offers your dozer operators cab-mounted portability, a user-friendly Android ™ UI, and the convenience of a 10-inch touch screen. Simply put, it helps new and veteran operators to do things right the first time, and in less time than ever  before. 

The next generation of machine control, from the company that invented machine control. 

Trimble Earthworks for Dozers

Onsite training brings bespoke manual to life

(L-R) Jim Skelhorn, Jake Madden, Shaun Gray and Sean Madden hit the ground running....

Contact your local SITECH support rep for training information.....

While many of us were perhaps having a slow start to the new year, two SITECH trainers and a group of surveyors and grader operators hit the ground running with a two-day workshop in the Gold Coast Hinterland in Qld.

The sessions were held in January at a civil site at Upper Coomera for surveyors from Survey Management Solutions and operators with CCA Winslow.

The aim of the training was to refresh and revise the group’s skills and knowledge of both the SCS900 and GCS900 software packages from Trimble and how they work and interact with the Trimble Total Station.

At the basis of it all were new manuals created by SITECH product support representatives Shaun Gray and Jim Skelhorn which, as Shaun explained, were specifically created for SMS and CCA Winslow to make life easier for everyone.

“The manual contains all the info we know these guys need specifically for the work they do,” he said.

“Because it has been customised for them they now don’t have to wade through the whole manual looking for what they need.

“It means less downtime - and we are only able to do this because of the solid and long-term relationships SITECH has with the companies.”

Part of the training involved the surveyors getting to know GCS900 (which is aimed at the operators) and the operators with SCS900 (surveyor orientated) so that both groups understand how the other works, potentially leading to more seamless operations.

“An example of that would be the surveyors seeing how the info from SCS900 is handed over to the machines for machine guidance,” Shaun said.

“It gives them a greater appreciation of how the information they gather and create translates, in this case, into the actual operation of a grader.

“The sessions also gave the guys the chance to ask questions and to explore aspects of the software and hardware they perhaps hadn’t fully exploited before.

“Everyone involved has been using the system and software for some time, so the sessions were really about fine-tuning and sharing knowledge.”

SITECH undertakes such training on-site on a regular basis. If you would like further information on training available for your operation, contact your local SITECH rep to find out more.