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Engcon steps up the pace for alpine road construction

Pete Vagne Excavations of Jindabyne, New South Wales carries out projects for landowners who need roads, dams and other earthworks constructed. Pete also builds rock walls and prepares sites for residential and commercial construction

His business is located at the centre of ski resorts and villages where there is high demand for work associated with ski lifts, snow-making and other resort and town infrastructure. Always looking for a way to make the business more efficient, Pete came across a YouTube video demonstrating an engcon tiltrotator system. He immediately saw the benefits for his business and the huge potential for productivity gain.

“We are always busy and the faster and more efficiently I can perform tasks and move onto the next project, the happier my customers are and the better the bottom line looks.

“The aspect of the engcon system that really impressed me was the amount of work that could be performed with just one machine, eliminating the need for multiple machines and attachments.
“I realised the major benefit was when you were changing hydraulically operated attachments, such as a grab or hammer.

“Convinced this was the way of the future, I invested in Australia’s first Kobelco SK140lc-11 excavator which has been fitted an engcon system comprising a top hitch, EC214 tiltrotator and EC-Oil blocks on the bottom. This enables the tiltrotator to be quickly removed if necessary for those instances where a little bit more breakout force may useful, or you want to reduce the weight on the front of the boom.

“The engcon attachments used regularly include a grader plate, tooth bucket, batter bucket and a grab. I have also adapted my older trenching buckets to work with the tiltrotator.

“Having the standard engcon EC-Oil facility on the machine is absolutely invaluable in terms of saving time and productivity is fantastic when using the engcon DC2 proportional control system with the MiG joystick.

“This enables precision proportional control over rotation, tilt, tracks, forward, reverse and attachment unlock and grab. The design of the control is a very ergonomic handpiece, very comfortable to use and certainly reduces fatigue.
“The DC2 electronic control and MiG system works extremely well on the job and if needed, provides remote monitoring of hydraulic and electrical systems. The engcon smartphone app gives you direct troubleshooting and calibration direct in real time with the engcon Sydney support facility.

“In fact, we used this feature for fine tuning the machine soon after was delivered. It was so easy being able to talk from the excavator’s cabin and share data direct with the engcon technical experts at the Sydney office.

"While there is a steep learning curve in getting used to operating a tiltrotator, I found that after about two weeks I was fully proficient with the setup, and after about two months it became second nature and quite easy to use.

"In very little time you get so used to the tiltrotator that you wonder how you operated a business about one. The flexibility of the EC-Oil and tiltrotator provides a whole new dimension to the way you work and the better quality of the work produced.

“Our current job is typical; preparing roads, gutters and batters, which is where the tiltrotator definitely comes in handy. Being able to position the machine in one spot is a big benefit in not having to move too often, saving a huge amount of time.

“The steep slopes of an alpine terrain present challenges with constructing roads and the fully configured engcon tiltrotator system is a big productivity gain for me. Conservatively, the system has increased my productivity by at least 30 percent.
“Time savings from the clean-up of the site and final finishing is huge. It makes such a difference. The ability to turn that bucket 90 degrees so you can place material exactly where you want is a massive time saver”, Pete concluded.

“In very little time you get so used to the tiltrotator that you wonder how you operated a business about one.”

Pete Vagne Excavations

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