When client demand meant Bowen Basin-based contractor Scott Coleman, of CWE Contracting a loyal Komatsu customer since he started on his own in 2007 needed two more machines, the option to rent them on long-term hire from Komatsu Rental was the perfect alternative in these uncertain times for anyone working in the mining industry.
Scott specialises in providing civil works for mining companies in the Bowen basin, which can cover anything from cleaning out drains, to building and maintaining haul roads, along with general infrastructure construction and maintenance.
He started his business in Brisbane in 2007 initially with a used Komatsu PC200-6 excavator, which he traded on a new PC200-8 about 18 months later working on major infrastructure projects around the city.
In 2010, he relocated his business to the Bowen Basin, and since then has purchased two more Komatsu excavators: a second PC200-8 and a PC350-8.
Then last year, Scott needed another two excavators to service his clients, a third PC200-8 and a PC450-8. With Komatsu able to offer both a purchase and a rental option, he carefully considered both.
"The industry, as you're probably well aware, is very up and down at the moment," he said.
"I did look at both options and I was offered a very good deal through Komatsu for a brand new PC450 and a brand new PC200, but the way the industry is at the moment, it's still quite unstable.
"I was also offered a very good deal for a long-term rental through Garry Rogerson [Komatsu Rental's Queensland Business Development Manager].
"That meant if it all was to turn bad overnight, I've got the opportunity to turn that tap off and not be stuck with the usual finance loan repayments," said Scott.
"It also helps the relationship; if I can put through a couple of rentals up here, help Komatsu get some gear on the ground as well, that's what it's all about for me and it also does me a favour as well.
"The price I'm paying for the rental is fair and I can still achieve acceptable margins on hiring them out to my customers plus the backup service with the rental machines is brilliant."
When first establishing his business, Scott did his research on the best machines in the marketplace, and decided to go with Komatsu.
"I've always been a bit cautious in business, so I wanted a brand that I'd believe I could get good resale value on.
"I find with the Komatsu excavators, even when they start getting a few hours on them, there's always a market for resale. If you need to clear your debts, there's always a very good chance that you can unload a machine if you have to, and come out square," he said
The other major reason for Scott opting for Komatsu was the feedback from others in the market.
"When I went to buy my first one, I did a fair bit of homework on Komatsu and the other brands.
"What I like about the Komatsu machines is they're well known, they're well tried.
"They also run a six-cylinder motor, as opposed to the other brands that are running four-cylinder engines these days I don't like that," he said.
"And since I've started buying Komatsu, I've found the service and backup I get from them is second to none.
"I have a very good relationship with John Frater out of Mackay and also Garry Rogerson, the Komatsu Rental BDM, and if there's ever any dramas, I can just make a call and, whether it be parts or service backup, it will be sorted out."
Scott also uses Komatsu's KOMTRAX remote monitoring system to keep an eye on his machines.
"Because I don't have a lot of machines, I just look at the monthly report from KOMTRAX.
"The main thing I focus on with the KOMTRAX report is the idle hours and the walk hours.
"I don't like our machines walking too far, that's why I bought my own low-loaders, so we can move them around and limit the walking.
In the early days, one of our machines did a lot of walking, and we had a whole lot of undercarriage problems and all sorts of dramas directly related to walking too far for too long.
"So the main use for KOMTRAX for me now is to look at my idle hours and walk hours," said Scott.
"But as far as repair goes, I find Komatsu machines just bulletproof. We have very, very little trouble with them.
"I'm more than happy with them and I'll continue to stay with Komatsu for forever and a day while I'm in business," he said.