Gardening with Digger: The little Komatsu that changed Richard's and Fiona's lives


D2E-Gardening-With-Digger-(1).jpg10 years ago, Hobart-based Richard Sorbian and Fiona Ferguson started a landscaping business with the purchase of a Komatsu PC30MR-2 from Doug Fulton in 2004. After 10 years, 4000 hours, and some life-affirming experiences, they recently traded the machine on a new PC30MR-3. Fiona has written a beautiful short story on "Gardening With Digger", and the impact the little machine and a companion Komatsu SK820-5SF had on their lives and the community around them.

So many things that happen in our lives are side effects or flow on effects and it is so with business too.

Richard (my then boyfriend) started a one-man (and his trusty assistant girlfriend) business 10 years ago.

It began as an absolute 'sea-change' caused by circumstances beyond our control. Redundancy combined with being over 50 years of age equals you are on your own.

So the man decided enough of the suit and out with the machines and bought himself an excavator

It wasn't long before Richard and his machines were able to create all sorts of wonders together. And he had fun.

The little neighbourhood opened up to us and over time there were mountains of rock and boulders, soil and mulch, compost and bark, gravel and sand, timber and plants were moved in, moved up, moved down and around.

One Hundred and One Things to do with an Excavator a coffee table book in the making.

Apart from the myriad capabilities of man and machine, the imagination and creativity allowed and the need to earn a living there was an interesting side effect.

As we worked on a little job here a big job there our lives were branching out from our home into the neighbourhood and beyond.

Each person passed us on to someone else and over the years we never advertised

Then there were the people we worked for.

They were young, middle and old aged. There were singles, couples, families, widows and widowers.

As we spent time with these people, transforming their gardens, it gave us a peek into their work and lives.

Some were rich, some were poor, most in that in-between where each dollar is earned and spent with great consideration

So from little things big things grow. Not only did the scope of where we worked branch out, but our capabilities and skills branched out as we took on jobs.

We were not trained or knowledgeable in so many things and learned along the way

So we come to today when we look at the excavator a bit worn out now as we are, and sad as it is, we have to replace her.

Ten years is a long time and has certainly given us many adventures. I would never have imagined that so many experiences could have come out of that one purchase.

The need to commemorate is due to changing over the old excavator for a new one. I feel there is a new chapter coming and not sure I want to let go of the old .

We clean and polish the old machine. It looks pretty good considering all it has been through. It has a few battle scars, scratches and bits missing, tracks with cracks and rubber torn. I know I will miss this.

Now for the next ten years with our second brand-new excavator.