Hobart contractor Bayden Reardon loves his 11-year-old Komatsu PC128US-2 excavator so much that he can't bring himself to give it up and in fact continues to operate it every day while his employee gets to drive his newer machines.
"I should really be selling it, but it's reliable, tidy and there's still a lot of work left in it yet"
Bayden bought his PC128US-2 new in 2004, then added a PC138US-8 in 2010 putting on operator Ryan Andrew to drive the newer machine and has recently purchased a second PC138US-8, while continuing to operate his original Komatsu.
All his machines run with tilting quick hitches, thumb grabs, blades and are plumbed up for rock breaking and auguring work "they have to do everything".
Bayden started his business around 2000 with another brand of excavator, doing house footings and excavations for local builders around Hobart.
He started doing a bit of work for southern Tasmanian civil contractor Dwyer Construction Services (now called DCS Civil Tas) 10 years ago, and now doing around 90% of his hours with them.
"DCS does a lot of civil projects up to $5m, road widening, subdivisions etc."
Due to the age of his first two Komatsu excavators, Bayden recently bought a second PC138US-8, which he handed over for Ryan to operate.
"But for now, I'm continuing to operate my original PC128US-2, which has now got around 11,500 hours on it," he said.
"I should really be selling it, but it's reliable, tidy and there's still a lot of work left in it yet."
"It's been a great machine with very little lost time due to breakdowns," said Bayden.
And it's not that he has any complaints about his newer machines either.
"Our older PC138 has done 4600 hours now, and Ryan's been very happy with it," said Bayden.
"We haven't had any major dramas and its still going strong, though its chains and sprockets need changing now.
"We had a few very minor problems with the Dash 8 when we first got it, but Komatsu came to the party on that and it's been good ever since," he said.
Bayden also uses Komatsu's KOMTRAX remote monitoring system supplied as standard on the two PC138US-8s to troubleshoot any issues,and monitor fuel consumption.
"It's a very good system, it's informative and it'sgood to see how much work each part of themachine has done."
"And we're very happy with the machines' fuelconsumption; they're using about 10 litres an hour orless, regardless of the work you're doing," he said.
"Generally these machines have been very reliable,great to operate and the service from KomatsuHobart has been spot on as well."
From Left: Bayden Reardon & Ryan Howe