Coal Cliff Take IMC Excavator

Australia's first iMC (intelligent Machine Control) Komatsu PC210LCi-10 excavator.

Australia’s first iMC (intelligent Machine Control) Komatsu PC210LCi-10 excavator recently made construction of a complex bioretention basin system a straightforward, no-dramas project for Western Australian-based Coalcliff Plant Hire & Civil Contracting.

Construction of the three basins, part of the Lefroy Street Bio-Infiltration Basin project located at Collie, incorporated different levels to be boxed out, along with placement of varying materials and involved multiple design changes throughout the six-week program.

The PC210LCi-10 took all these issues in its stride and in fact allowed the entire project to be completed with just the single machine, with no need even to bring in a grader or skidsteer to complete the final cleanup work.

Coalcliff Plant Hire & Civil Contracting, which has been in operation since 1995, works throughout Western Australia although primarily in the state's south western and wheatbelt regions carrying out a range of civil works including roadworks, bulk earthworks, dams, land clearing, drainage and cleanup and repair of storm damage.

Its new PC210LCi-10 is its fourth Komatsu excavator, according to the company's operations manager Darrell Scott.

"We have started buying more Komatsu in the past year or so, due to the quality of the equipment, plus the backup and support they were offering.

"That's especially been the case with our local rep Curtis Batemen, who's always there to help whenever I need him," said Darrell.

"We also find the service people are really helpful, especially with its Komplimentary Maintenance program; they just ring us and tell us it's time for a service we never have to call them then they go out to wherever the

machine is working and carry out the service."

Coalcliff took delivery of its new iMC excavator in late March, but it wasn't until mid May that it went to a job that took advantage of its technology.

"We'd initially had it out on some mine sites, but in May we put it onto a job constructing a series of three bioretention basins," said Darrell.

"We had different levels to box out for different bio-media, applying layers of different materials according to the design specs.

"The machine was excellent; over the whole six weeks of the job, we just had the one machine, and never needed to bring in anything else.

"If we'd been doing this conventionally, we'd have had to use survey and pegs, then spent hours trimming to design. But the PC210LCi-10 was so precise we didn't need to," he said. "We never had to worry about losing or burying pegs. Particularly when we were digging out the basin, the job kept getting rescoped, with levels and

design changes, which we were easily able to cope with using this machine.

"Certainly it was a tricky job, with lots of changes; I think we changed design about five times.

"But with the help of Scott Jamieson Komatsu's SMARTCONSTRUCTION Centre Remote Support National Manager, we'd just modify and uploaded the new design files remotely and kept going," said Darrell.

"We do have a conventional bolt-on indicate system on our PC350, but this was the first with iMC in place. It's just excellent in practice; you can dig to a grade, and when you get there it stops it won't let you overdig."

Coalcliff's next project for the Komatsu iMC excavator will be upgrade works for the Collie Motorplex, carrying out clearing and drainage works.

"This includes multiple larger culverts with long runs in the design, there are different lines and levels we have to work to," he said. "It will all be done with that machine, and it will really reduce the need for laser levels and boning out."

The decision to go with the iMC excavator was an easy one for Coalcliff, which was in the market for a new excavator with GPS-based indicate capacity.

"Essentially it's the same price as a bolt-on system from one of the major GPS companies, but it does more and gives you a lot more control.

"As well, the larger screen in the cabin is a lot better than on the standard machine control systems, plus it comes with an 8000 hour warranty.


"This is definitely the way of the future; now we're looking forward to seeing it

on some bigger machines," said Darrell.?