Komatsu Commemorating 50 years in Australia - Bruce Leer
Bruce Leer, 77 years old, AE & BA Leer, Sydney, bought first Komatsu dozers in Australia.
We became the first owner of a Komatsu dozer in Australia, when we bought a D60-1 in about 1965.
We have a letter from Wabco, written by Peter White, who was the boss there at the time, congratulating us on buying this first Komatsu dozer in the country.
We went for the Komatsu after having a terrible experience with another brand of machine. We had an order in for a replacement machine of the same brand, but my father didn't want to wait, so when we were offered a D60-1, we became the first buyer.
We had that machine for a number of years, before trading it back to Wabco for a newer D60-6.
As it turned out, not only were we the first D60-1 buyer in Australia, we were also the first D60-6 dozer buyer and that was a fantastic machine and also the first buyer of the D55 track loader.
At one time, we had the biggest fleet of Komatsu machines in the Sydney metropolitan area: two D60 and two D85 dozers, and three D55 track loaders.
We also did a bit of work to help out Wabco. In the late 1960s, we demonstrated a D60-1 and a D80-1 on the Westmead Hospital building site at Parramatta.
Some years later, we also demonstrated the first D155-1 dozer in Australia, at Centennial Park.
In the early 1970s, two of us drove two 40 tonne dump trucks all the way down the highway from Sydney to Melbourne!
The family company still owns Komatsu equipment today. In the late 1990s, we bought a PC120, and we traded it in for a PC150-5 in 2001.
It's the best excavator we've ever owned; so far we have notched up 10,500 hours on it, and all it's had done is a new water pump and a replacement top dipper arm seal. Apart from that, we've done nothing to it. It's a fantastic machine.
Our family company has been going for 70 years this year.
My father Alfred started the company in 1945, and I came in when I left school, when it was called AE & BA Leer, and my son Gavin has since taken over and it's now trading as B & G Leer.
We celebrated our 50th anniversary in 1995, so this year we'll have done 70 years in business.