Earthmoving Attachments, Earthmoving Machinery, Steelwrist, Tiltrotators, Wheeled Excavators

Australian Civil Solutions maximises productivity with Steelwrist

Two wheeled excavators equipped with Steelwrist tiltrotators

Australian Civil Solutions (ACS) has enjoyed a decade of steady growth by keeping a finger on the pulse of the construction industry, and taking advantage of the latest technological innovations – such as Steelwrist tiltrotators.

Over the past decade, Laura and Tom Daly and their dedicated team have grown Australian Civil Solutions (ACS) from a single wheeled excavator operation into a significant player in Southeast Queensland’s earthmoving and civil construction industry.

“We were both working for equipment hire businesses, which is how we met initially,” Tom says. “Our first piece of machinery was a wheeled excavator, which we imported from Ireland. And the business has just grown organically from there.”

Now employing more than 60 staff, ACS specialises in both wet and dry hire of heavy equipment, and has provided a comprehensive range of machinery to many large civil projects.

“We’re based in Southeast Queensland, but we’ve worked all over Australia,” Tom says. “We originally specialised in wheeled excavators, but we’ve now expanded into larger tracked excavators, loaders, bulldozers – all the earthmoving gear the industry needs.”

Tom says a big strength of ACS is how his businesses engages with clients, and tailors its fleet to the needs of an ever-changing industry.

“We spend a lot of time talking to people about what it is they’re trying to achieve on their projects, and then matching the tools to suit,” he says.

“We’re now running about 150 pieces of equipment. We have an offering that can cater to a range of different clients, whether they need a 2-tonne or 75-tonne excavator, a 2-tonne site dumper, or a 7-tonne hammer. It’s a very diverse fleet.”

An excavator equipped with a Steelwrist tiltrotator
The ACS fleet includes around 20 Steelwrist tiltrotators. Image: Steelwrist.

Maximising equipment

Another edge for the ACS fleet comes in the form of Steelwrist tiltrotators – a device that Tom says can unlock the potential of almost any excavator.

“Tiltrotators turn excavators into Swiss Army knives,” he says.  “Having that 360-degree rotating head on there means your excavator doesn’t have to work as hard. The tiltrotator does maybe 50 per cent of the work in some applications. They’re a real innovation.”

Tom says that a few years back, the transition from straight hitches to tilting heads with quick couplers was an exciting development, but the advent of the tiltrotator has taken productivity to another level.

“They just make the machines so much more useful,” he says. “And our customers now see the utility of them.

“To someone that has never seen one before, they may seem unnecessary. But it only takes five or six hours operating with one for people to say ‘wow, where has this been all my life?’. And we see that type of reaction all the time.”

It’s still an education process for the Australian industry, but Tom is more than willing to play his part.

“The Scandinavian market has been using tiltrotators for more than 25 years now, and they basically don’t do anything without them,” he says.

And Tom says Australian tier one construction and infrastructure businesses have everything to gain by adopting the innovative tool carrying devices.

“If you put a tiltrotator onto a 14-16-tonne wheeled excavator with a highly trained operator, they’d probably do the work of two tracked excavators in the same application,” he says. “There are huge cost savings there if you can set up your processes to suit that kind of unit.”

Choosing Steelwrist

“We’ve got around 20 Steelwrist tiltrotators in the fleet currently – primarily X18s – which we run on our wheeled excavators,” Tom says. “And we also keep a couple of spares in the workshop to rotate through whenever one needs a service.”

Tom acknowledges that while Steelwrist is not the only quality tiltrotator manufacturer on the market, the support ACS has received has given him no reason to consider a competitor any time soon.

“The Steelwrist tiltrotators are lighter by about 10 per cent, so that’s a factor,” he says. “But for us, it’s been mainly a relationship-based thing.”

Tom points to his long-term relationship with Tony Fitzgerald, Oceania Support Manager at Steelwrist Australia, as a key element.

“When Tony came on board with Steelwrist Australia, that gave us a lot of confidence, knowing that they’d have someone there with his skillset,” Tom says.

“Tony has a very high technical capacity to understand these products, and to educate people about them too. He’s a natural teacher, and he enjoys discussing how the products work, and explaining their benefits.”

Tom says he often finds himself fielding inquiries about the Steelwrist product line, but that the conversation usually gravitates towards the quality of the backup and support on offer – an area in which Steelwrist has never failed him.

“The Steelwrist Australia guys have a great passion for what they’re doing, and they have a lot of heritage in this industry,” he says. “Tony was a good equipment salesman for many years, Darryn [Wilson, Managing Director] has been in the attachment industry for a long time, as has his son Brett [Wilson, Sales and Support Engineer NSW].

“It’s a real passion project for the Steelwrist team – it’s more than just a nine-to-five for all of them.”

This passion, Tom says, has directly translated into the sort of above-and-beyond service that has set Steelwrist Australia apart to date.

“We have never failed to have a tool back in service within 12 hours,” he says. “Tony has more than once put in the extra hours to put something back together that we need for six o’clock the following morning. So, you cannot discount them for service.”

The road ahead

Tom says that as long as Steelwrist Australia can continue to provide a high quality of care to go along with its quality products, he’ll remain an advocate for Steelwrist products.

And looking to the future, he’s excited about the possibility of adding another dimension to the relationship through the adoption of Steelwrist’s new automatic oil couplers.

“We’ve recently taken out a lease on a quarry, where we’ll be cutting sandstone blocks using a variety of different hydraulic tools,” Tom says. “We’re looking at setting up an excavator there with a Steelwrist automatic oil coupler, and a quick-change cassette on each of the tools. Which will mean nobody needs to get out of the cab to pull off and reconnect hoses.

“And any time you can remove the need for an operator to get out of the cab – that’s a big deal for productivity as well as safety.”

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