R.W. & K.A. Newnham and Epiroc

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Updated: December 3, 2019

Earthmoving contractor R.W. & K.A. Newnham has been operating out of Euroa and its surrounding districts in the north-east of Victoria for over four decades, with founder Rod Newnham having formed the company in 1977.

Rod explained to EEM that he had previously been a fitter and turner by trade, which had often meant repairing local contractors’ equipment and machinery, and which had ultimately led to him meeting Stuart McLaine, who had been in the logging and earthmoving industries for well over 50 years. Rod had subsequently bought his first bulldozer from Stuart, moving into the earthmoving business – and, now over 40 years later, he is still in the industry. He noted that “experience only comes with hard work”, and highlighted the importance of having a strong and dependable team, backed by local knowledge. “The company has been fortunate to have had good, reliable long-term employees – all of our employees are locals, which helps to have a great team,” he said. “Along with a first hand knowledge of the local area, and the many different types of soil and terrain, we are fortunate also to have a reputation for quality work.”

Products And Services Evolve With Changing Consumer Demand

Rod noted that throughout his time in the industry there have been many changes, with products and services altering greatly over the years, driven by shifting consumer demand. “For quite a number of years, we were constructing large dams for many of the local vineyards, with these dams requiring scrapers and dozers for efficient construction,” he observed. “However, with the advent of restrictions on dam sizes, we no longer have the scrapers.” He said that, among the projects R.W. & K.A. Newnham has been undertaking, it has been involved in the reconstruction of several trotting/racing tracks, along with many civil works involving site preparation for buildings and car parks. “Locally, we have completed all of the earthworks for the development of the new Lindsay Park training facility, and also the site and car park for the new 75-bed aged care facility in Euroa,” Rod commented. “Recently, we have completed stage three of our own 46-lot subdivision. Currently, the drought has meant a lot of empty dams that require cleaning out, and we are also working on constructing a private 18-hole putting green, and continue to carry out track work and maintenance at the Lindsay Park complex.”

Epiroc Bulk Pulveriser And Bucket Crusher Introduce New Capabilities

When it comes to equipment, Rod noted that advancements over the years have not only seen the introduction of an evolving range of capabilities, making operation and maintenance easier, but have also brought about a new level of operator comfort. He told EEM that he has been dealing with Michael Baumann, Director of specialist heavy demolition equipment supplier Breakthru Hammers, for a number of years.

“Michael’s team has repaired our hammer, and we have also purchased a new hammer, a nibbler, and our latest acquisition is the Epiroc BC 3700 bucket crusher,” Rod said. “Michael and his team are excellent to deal with, and they have an abundance of knowledge regarding the products they sell and also the repair of those products.

“We look forward to converting a large stockpile of waste concrete into a usable product, and also being able to crush local ripped hill gravel into a 40mm product to be used as a road base.”

Michael explained that Breakthru, which is based in Somerton, Victoria, was founded after he was approached by Swedish manufacturer Epiroc (formerly Atlas Copco Mining and Rock Excavation), asking if he would be interested in starting a company selling and repairing Epiroc hammers.

“I have been involved in the construction and mining industries for 35 years,” he stated. “My knowledge with hammers stems from working with all different models through the years, from commissioning, repairing and installation.”

Michael told EEM that he had begun working with Rod after initially repairing his hammer, with Rod subsequently enquiring about machines to crush concrete and produce a sized product for resale.

The first product that Rod purchased was the BP2050 Epiroc bulk pulveriser, which he loved due to the speed of the open and close cycle, which is achieved through the speed valve, integral to the pulveriser.“ Another feature is the easily replaceable jaws or teeth in the crushing area.

“The second item Rod purchased was the BC 3700 Epiroc bucket crusher. One of the features that caught his attention was easily being able to adjust the jaw gaps, which can be done in less than five minutes. A second feature was reverse direction for any blockages that may occur – with this feature, there are no more blockages in the crusher bucket, allowing less downtime.”