Kobelco giant destined for Down Under
Award-winning contractor selects award-winning SK1300DLC excavator for challenging demolition project.
It towered like a Colossus over the Bauma 2022 exhibition. It is the largest OEM-made high reach demolition excavator in the world. And now the Kobelco SK1300DLC-10 is headed for Australia to spearhead a prestigious project for one of the biggest and most-respected contractors in the global demolition industry. That contractor is Liberty Industrial; and its order for the 126 to 137 tonne Kobelco SK1300DLC-10 marks a coming together for a pair of World Demolition Award winning companies. Liberty Industrial has won an impressive five World Demolition Awards in recent years, including the overall title back in 2014. Meanwhile, the Kobelco demolition rig was crowned Innovation, Plant and Equipment of the Year in 2022.
Peter Stuijt, Kobelco’s Product Marketing Manager at Kobelco Construction Machinery Europe B.V., says the order for the ground-breaking machine was a truly international affair. “Prior to the Bauma 2022 exhibition, we brought an SK1300DLC from Japan for a demonstration in Rotterdam in the Netherlands,” he recalls. “The team from Liberty Industrial took the opportunity to travel from Australia to see that machine in action to check on the machine’s ease of transportation and assembly, and its performance in a real working environment. They were clearly impressed with what they saw.”
When the Kobelco SK1300DLC-10 arrives in Australia, it will become the first unit of its kind in the country. And when it makes landfall Down Under, it will do so fully-loaded. “Liberty Industrial has taken every boom option available for the machine,” explains Chris Wolf, General Manager – Marketing & Direct Sales, Kobelco Australia. “That includes a three-piece boom configuration that can carry a 4.3 tonne attachment to a working height of 40 metres, and a separate boom that can carry a massive 12 tonne tool for ground level processing. There is also a two-piece boom option that can carry a 9.6 tonne attachment. This really is a turnkey solution that can be customised on site to meet changing demands as the project progresses.”
That site will bring with it a number of distinct and unique challenges of its own. And one of the biggest of those challenges is its physical location. The machine will be spearheading the demolition of an industrial facility in Gove in Australia’s Northern Territory. And Gove is remote. Very remote. “To put it in perspective, the biggest city in the Northern Territory is Darwin. There are no major roads between Darwin and Gove so it’s a 23-hour drive between them,” explains Kobelco’s Chris Wolf. “So, all of the equipment for the project is actually going to be shipped there via barge from Darwin around the top of Australia.”
Wolf reports that Liberty Industrial will initially be supported direct from the Kobelco factory, with technicians from Japan traveling to assist with machine assembly and handover training. “Before the machine starts work, our team will provide extensive training on the assembly, disassembly and operation of the machine, in Darwin, for both our dealer and the Liberty Industrial team,” he says.
Once the machine travels to Gove, support switches to the local dealer. And that dealer is gearing up for the massive machine’s arrival. “Our dealer has already put in place a stock of fast-moving parts and consumables for the site in Gove. We have also established a recommended parts stocking list that will be held in Darwin and replenished from our central parts distribution centre in Sydney,” Wolf explains. “Parts turnaround from Darwin to Gove is likely to be two days, but we have made a commitment to support this machine regardless of the remote location. We wouldn’t sell a machine like this if we weren’t able to back it up.”
Part of that back up will draw heavily upon technology and – more specifically – telematics. The SK1300DLC will be fitted with the Kobelco Monitoring Excavation System (GEOSCAN), a web-based programme that enables owners and dealers to monitor machines remotely.
“GEOSCAN gives us the ability to monitor the condition of the machine from Darwin or even from Japan,” Chris Wolf says. “The system will allow us to plan scheduled servicing of the machine and to identify and interrogate any fault codes from the machine. We will probably know of any problems even before Liberty Industrial does.”
At Liberty Industrial, meanwhile, the excitement and anticipation is growing. “Liberty Industrial are excited for the arrival of our Kobelco SK1300DL-10 to join our growing fleet. The addition, the Kobelco SK1300DL-10 further shows Liberty’s commitment to being the industry leader when it comes to investing in the right equipment for our workforce.,” says Barry Crossey, Liberty Industrial’s General Manager. “We are transporting the Kobelco SK1300DL-10 straight off the boat from Japan, into Gove where it will be put to work for the next few years.”
While the Kobelco SK1300DLC travels from Japan to Australia ahead of its onward journey to Gove, and even while the dealer team assembles the parts required to support this unique machine, Chris Wolf has time to reflect. “We have been speaking to Liberty Industrial for a number of years now. The company is world-renowned and is seen as a true pioneer in Australia, so we are excited that they have selected the SK1300DLC to spearhead such an important and challenging project,” he concludes. “This order demonstrates their faith in the Kobelco machine, and in our ability to support that machine in the field.”