Workshop manager Josh Silver from our construction clients, Picton Civil sat down with Roads & Infrastructure’s Leon Cranswick to discuss their recent purchase of two John Deere motor graders. The following article details what the new graders mean for the company and how we continue to provide a high level of service and support to their operation. It’s fantastic to hear such great feedback, and we are very pleased to continue to support Josh & and the team at Picton Civil.
Picton Civil’s recent purchase of two John Deere motor graders has lifted the company into contention for major infrastructure contracts and tenders.
Josh Silver, Workshop Manager – Picton Civil says the construction industry is constantly evolving.
While undertaking infrastructure projects throughout the southwest of Western Australia, Silver says he has witnessed first-hand the average scale and machinery requirements of projects increase over time.
Which is why in 2019, Picton Civil made the decision to upgrade its motor grader fleet.
“We had a fleet of three, 12-foot graders at the time. With the opportunity to add to the existing fleet, we took this chance to go for a larger grader to broaden our capabilities.” Silver says.
“This was due to the nature of construction work in Western Australia at the time. We were getting requests from customers for projects which required machines with larger capabilities.”
Soon after, Picton Civil purchased a 670GP and a 672GP motor grader from John Deere.
Silver says moving to the larger motor graders has broadened Picton Civils’ capabilities “immensely”.
“It’s significantly boosted our production and has reduced our lead time on projects,” he says.
“With some of our older machines we could only complete smaller projects and repair works. It’s opened a new door for us as a civil construction provider.”
Picton Civil, formally J.W Cross and Sons, has been providing earthmoving services and civil construction solutions throughout the southwest of Western Australia since 1968.
The company also provides wet and dry plant hire, demolition and asbestos removal to a wide range of clientele ranging from individuals and small business to large-scale industry and mining projects.
“We also complete civil construction projects such as road construction, large scale carparks, drainage and dam construction. It’s in these projects that the 670GP and 672GP motor graders really shine,” Silver says.
The 670GP and 672GP models form part of John Deere’s G-Series four-wheel-drive and six-wheel-drive motor graders, respectively.
The G-Series marks the introduction of John Deere’s SmartGrade Motor Graders. This platform offers grade-control and hydraulic functions to boost productivity.
This allows the machine to stay on grade, no matter what blade pitch, articulation angle, or circle offset the operator has selected.
Machine positions can also be pre-set, allowing multiple machine functions and positions to be altered with the press of a single button. SmartGrade Motor Grader components are installed and calibrated at the factory, meaning the user can maximise their grading output from day one.
Silver says that having both the 670GP and 672GP models has given Picton Civil an extra layer of flexibility.
He adds that while both machines can complete similar projects, the 672GP larger net power and torque (149–179 Kilowatts, compared to the 670GP 134–172 Kilowatts) can sometimes be the deciding factor when selecting which machine to use.
“We’ve used the 670GP for road maintenance and we’ve also used it on local carpark and road construction projects,” he says.
“For a recent dam project, the 670GP provided us with great flexibility, as it was able to complete road construction works as well as dam construction. It’s very useful having one machine to complete different types of projects.”
But for major infrastructure works, Silver says the 672GP just edges out the 670GP.
“With the extra weight and blade pull, the 672GP is the preferred machine for our larger projects, but the 670GP can handle these jobs quite easily as well.”
Putting machinery to the test
Picton Civil has recently commissioned its 672GP for works on the Bunbury Outer Ring Road, a $1 billion project in WA’s southwest.
The project aims to create a 27-kilometre free-flowing highway, linking Forrest Highway to Bussell Highway, providing an alternative route around Bunbury.
As well as supplying wet-hire equipment for other contractors, Picton Civil was awarded a tender for its own construction project as part of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road works.
Silver says that having the larger 670GP and 672GP motor graders was essential in supporting the project.
“Some contracts and tenders require the use of larger machinery. At the site we have 40 tonne dump trucks, 40 tonne water carts, 36 tonne excavators and the 672GP, so it’s quite a large-scale operation,” he says.
Silver says minimising downtime on the project is paramount. As such, Picton Civil sometimes carries out its own general maintenance for the 670GP and 672GP when required.
Both machines were designed to offer easy ground-level access for servicing needs.
All daily service points, including fuelling fluid levels and daily checks, are grouped on the left side for convenient operator access. On the right side, maintenance teams have easy access to the engine oil, fuel, hydraulic, transmission, and differential filter bank.
“The serviceability of the two graders is exceptional. The overall design and strength of the machine is another standout, it’s very durable,” Silver says.
Picton Civil has nine John Deere machines in total, with plans to add more models in the near future.
“We had a warranty issue with the mouldboard following the purchase of the first machine. This was solved in just two phone calls with no interruption to our operation and absolute minimum downtime,” Silver says.
“It was this level of customer service and the overall sales experience which left a great impression, which is why we’ll go to AFGRI Equipment when purchasing new machinery.”
The original article can be found at the following link: https://roadsonline.com.au/upscaling-operations-with-john-deere-motor-graders/