After taking a huge risk to establish their business a decade ago, the directors of one of Canberra’s leading civil engineering contractors say the Australian Capital Territory’s massive skills shortage is the only thing holding them back now.
ACT Civil has enjoyed steady growth over the past decade and provides jobs for 30 people in our nation’s capital and while there’s no shortage of work, there is lack of skilled workers, according to company directors Scott Layden, Dane Pumpa and Vince Neuss.
“We’re as busy as we can be, we’re currently advertising for more plant operators. There just doesn’t seem to be any end in sight for the expansion of land development in Canberra,” said Scott.
While it may be a struggle to find skilled operators, ACT Civil is making up the shortfall with the use of its machinery.
The company has just purchased a Kobelco SK480LC-8 excavator from Kobelco dealership, Siteworx Machinery. “Siteworx gave us a really good deal and the service and back-up from them has been great,” said Vince.
The impressive 48-tonner is the 10th Kobelco excavator in the company’s fleet and the second 48 tonner.
Vince says Kobelco excavators
are reliable machines that perform remarkably well in hard rock and clay conditions. “The sheer power of Kobelco machines can see them open up more ground than any other excavator. They are the best for digging in hard ground,” added Dane. “We’ve built up a good relationship with our clients and we don’t let them down. With a lot of the residential development moving into the hills and harder ground we need equipment that’s not only reliable, but powerful – Kobelco certainly fits the bill.”
ACT Civil predominately install sewers, stormwater and water mains and the associated concrete structures. “We have certainly found our place in the local market,” said Vince.
“We’ve had a really good run with Kobelco. They have been very accommodating and given us good straight-up deals. When we started out Kobelco was the only manufacturer who seemed to want our business,” said Scott.
“The partnership with Kobelco has worked out well for us. Not only are they the best machines for our type of business but they have given us consistently good backup and service all along, I don’t hesitate to recommend them to other contractors,” said Dane.
Today ACT Civil boasts a turnover of between $8 and $10 million annually and a large fleet of excavators, rollers, backhoes, front end loaders and other plant equipment.