Leading Victorian pipeline contractor Jaydo Constructions Pty Ltd made the switch to Komatsu excavators about five years ago, and ever since has never regretted the change.
Managing director Dirk de Haan, who has also held senior elected positions with the Civil Contractors Federation, including a three-year stint as branch president, said the company and its operators had been very pleased with its Komatsu excavators since its first purchase.
"It actually took Komatsu a long time to get a machine in with us," said Dirk.
"We'd been running other brands for many years, but eventually they got their first one in four or five years ago, when they sold us a PC220-7.
"We subsequently bought a PC300-7, then just recently purchased four machines: two PC300-8s, a PC220LC-8 and a PC228USLC-3EO.
"Over the years, they got more competitive, then once we opened the door for them when we decided to look at other brands, Komatsu really stepped up," he said.
"We're very pleased with the product: the productivity, the operating stability and the operator comfort levels, as well as with their after-sales service and product support."
Dirk said the Komatsu excavators had really proved themselves in production trenching, which for a specialist pipeline contractor is essential.
"They are highly suitable for this application, in terms of their strength, their stability and certainly their speed; they are a lot quicker than other machines, and in trenching work, that's very important."
The other key issue for Jaydo is safety, which Dirk said was a critical factor for the company when choosing and operating equipment.
"The fact that all Komatsu excavators come with hose-burst protection, reversing cameras, emergency stop buttons as standard is very important for us.
We will pay extra for safety, so having it as standard is a great benefit.
"We will spare no expense on safety, so it's hugely attractive to us that all these safety benefits are built in," he said.
"The other great thing about the latest Komatsu machines is the KOMTRAX system," said Dirk.
"We get automatic readouts on a whole range of machine operating conditions, such as fuel use, hours each machine spends travelling, the time spent in different modes and so on.
"That sort of information is fantastic.
"For example, being able to view the operating mode data allows us the opportunity to retrain our operators if we see they are operating continuously in the wrong mode; it saves us fuel and helps us ensure the machines are operating to optimum productivity," he said.
"After sales service from Komatsu Australia has also been very good, although in fact we've had less use for it with our new excavators than with our previous machines."
About Jaydo Constructions
The company specialises in major pipeline constructions throughout Victoria and will also go interstate for the right contract. It carries out all types of major pipeline works: water supply, drainage and stormwater, and sewerage.
Dirk and Peter de Haan took over management of the business from their father Jan de Haan 21 years ago this November, and he had been running the business for 20 years before that. It has been trading as Jaydo Constructions Pty Ltd for nearly 25 years.
Over the past 40 years, it has grown and developed from a small drainage subcontractor/owner-operator to the point where today it is involved in large pipeline contracts, major alliance projects and land subdivision developments.
Jaydo is a participant in the Melbourne Water Pipeline Alliance, a five-year alliance between Melbourne Water, Fulton Hogan, GHD and Jaydo, which started 18 months ago in early 2008.
"This alliance involves providing Melbourne Water's infrastructure design and construction needs for stormwater and sewerage both new and replacement networks, and from our point of view, is being run on a 'stand alone' basis within the company, almost as a separate operation," said Dirk.
Jaydo is also involved in concrete pipe manufacturing through Reinforced Concrete Pipes Australia, the only national supplier of steel reinforced concrete pipe that is wholly Australian owned.
It also remains strongly involved with the Civil Contractors Federation, with director and shareholder John Lander on the board of the Victorian branch.
The company has come a very long way over the years, but still remains largely a family-owned company, 90% owned by the de Haan family.