Moulding Excavations has added versatility to its earthmoving operations with new additions to its fleet of Kobelco excavators – including a new SK75SR-7 Offset.
Based out of the Whitsundays in North Queensland, Moulding Excavations has been a pillar of the local earthmoving and civil works industry for nearly 50 years.
“We’re a small, family-run business, which was started by my father in 1976,” says business owner David Moulding. “I joined him 10 years later in 1986 after I finished my diesel fitting apprenticeship.”
The business originally relied on Massey Ferguson backhoe loaders for the brunt of its operations, but once David took over the business in full, things diversified.
Once my father retired in 1996, I expanded the business beyond just backhoes. Today, we also run excavators, track loaders, trucks, tipper trucks, tag trailers, rollers, and any other general earthmoving equipment required to service the industry in this area.David Moulding – Owner of Moulding Excavations
Trust the locals
The Whitsundays might be best known for its white sandy beaches and stunning blue waters. But for long-time Kobelco advocate Tony Vicars, it’s blue excavators that get him excited.
Tony is the Business Development Manager for Sherrin Equipment, a Kobelco dealer covering Central, North, and Far-North Queensland. He’s become David’s go-to guy for all things excavators.
“I met David about three or four years ago, when he was still using a Kobelco SK135 from the dash-5 series,” Tony says. “He’d done about 8000 hours on the machine, but he didn’t really want to let go of it.”
But once David put the newer dash-7 equivalent – the Kobelco SK135SR-7 – through its paces on Tony’s recommendation, he soon came around to the idea of an upgrade.
“He realised the big difference that the dash-7 offered from the dash-5,” Tony says. “And he ended up making the right decision to purchase it.”
Not long after that, David started looking to add another dimension of versatility to Moulding’s offering.
“We spoke to him a fair bit about his application, what he needed to deliver for his clients in the area, and came up with the idea that he should be running an offset boom,” Tony says. “So, we ended up selling him the SK75SR-7 Offset.”
David quickly discovered that he’d made another good choice, with the offset boom allowing him to operate in much tighter spaces than with a standard excavator.
“It enabled him to take on extra scope of works with the local council jobs he does, and he hasn’t looked back since,” Tony says.
Kobelco’s SK75SR-7 Offset is a 9-tonne excavator, designed to deliver superior performance, efficiency, and comfort in a variety of work environments. Its short radius design coupled with an offset boom gives operators a huge advantage when working in tight spaces.
“I was always a little bit hesitant about knuckle booms,” David says. “But this machine is very well balanced, and it makes the machine so much more user-friendly in certain situations.
“We do a lot of water main work, for example. Here, you can actually dig over the top of the main, from the right-hand side to the left, all without having to reposition the machine.”
David was also impressed by how easy the controls were to learn.
“I had no problems adapting to it,” he says. “It’s a great setup, and it can get you into some really tight spots that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. And it also delivers a tonne of power. I’ve owned other similar sized machines over the years, and always been disappointed in their breakout power. The SK75SR-7 doesn’t lack in breakout, but then it’s still super economical too. It’s very impressive.”
Inside the cab, a 10-inch colour monitor paired with jog-dial operation helps operators easily navigate the machine’s functions, while an eagle-eye camera with 270-degree vision helps boost job site safety. An air suspension seat, optimal air conditioning vent placement, and ergonomically designed controls help keep operator fatigue to a minimum – especially important for those long hours under the scorching Queensland sun.
“There’s nothing else in this size that competes with the cabs on the dash-7 models,” David says. “It’s basically the same sized cab you get on the big machines. It’s got an awesome, fully adjustable seat, big screen for all our telemetry, and the controls are well designed. It makes them very nice machines to operate.”
Tony adds that the quality of the dash-7 cabs demonstrates a manufacturer listening to its customers.
“Kobelco have gone out to the market, listened to a lot of their customers and potential customers alike, and built a cabin to suit their needs,” he says.
With the scope of works Moulding Excavations delivers, David has quickly grown to appreciate the extra vision afforded by the 270-degree eagle-eye camera.
“We do a lot of work with councils, and there’s often a lot of people working around you on jobs like that,” he says. “So it’s great to be able to keep an eye on what’s going on and where people are when you’re backing up – that all-around visibility is awesome.”
A third generation of Mouldings is set to lead Moulding Excavations: Liam, already a major part of the organisation with 10 years’ experience in the industry, along with Darcy, who is a heavy diesel fitter.
But while David’s still at the helm, there’s still more growing to do. And the next step? He says adding another larger Kobelco would round out his fleet nicely.
“We’ve got the 9-tonne SK75SR-7 and the 15-tonne SK135SR-7,” he says. “Next, I’d love to grab a 21-tonner, which would cover all my bases.”
And with the experience he’s had with Kobelco so far, there’s no question David will be dialing Tony’s number when the time comes.
“If someone’s looking for reliability and quality, Kobelco machines are the answer,” David says. “The backup support from Sherrin Equipment has been great too. There’s never been a problem getting parts, and Tony is always available to talk to, or to sort anything out.
“That helps give us the confidence in our business that we need to continue growing.”