Equipment and Machinery, Excavators, Kobelco, New South Wales, STM Trucks & Machinery

Big power in tight spaces: the Kobelco SK380SRLC

An aerial shot of Ardee Civil's Kobelco SK380SRLC excavator lifting a large concrete pipe

Ardee Civil is getting the job done with a new Kobelco SK380SRLC excavator from STM Trucks & Machinery.

Sydney-based civil contractor Ardee Civil draws on over two-and-a-half decades of experience in the water works sector, having built its reputation around providing top-quality workmanship in undertaking often complex projects. Ardee has worked across a wide range of residential and commercial projects over the years, providing water main, wastewater, and stormwater services.

As Managing Director Mick O’Donovan told EEM, Ardee has Sydney Water major works constructor (wastewater) accreditation, with it having carried out a broad range of projects across different areas of Sydney for the utility.

Mick, who himself has been in the industry since 1994, said Ardee has primarily focused on this type of work in carving out a niche for itself as a specialist capable of taking on projects requiring a high degree of knowledge.

“We’ve mainly concentrated on the Sydney Water work,” he explained. “This spans lots of water mains, sewer mains, and stormwater projects, and a lot of the projects we work on are often in very tight spots.

“We’ve been around for a long time, and we maintain good relationships and look after our clients. Obviously, to do this you have to have the right equipment. So, we do like having good equipment around us as well.”

Ardee Civil employees pose with the company's Kobelco SK380SRLC excavator.
Ardee Civil specialises in civil works for Sydney Water.

Knowledgeable staff, reliable equipment

Ardee’s water main services include residential and commercial potable and recycled water work, from one lot up to 400 lots, with pipes ranging from 100mm up to 750mm in diameter, while it also upgrades old water mains to new mains, including transferring fire and other services.

Its wastewater works span wastewater sidelines, concrete encasements, and subdivisions up to 400 lots, with construction of 1050mm or 1200mm diameter in-situ manholes, with its stormwater works ranging from 150mm up to 2100mm in diameter, with in-situ or precast pits.

Mick said Ardee has built a broad portfolio of projects for Sydney Water over the years, with it very much focused on delivering quality finished work.

“We’ve been doing Sydney Water work now for a long time,” he said. “We’ve got good staff and equipment, because with complex works you need machines that have the lifting power and the digging power.

“For instance, we’re working on some pump stations at the moment that are running up to 18m deep.”

Ardee’s project portfolio also includes a 300mm water main upgrade in Manly Vale, including all connections and road restorations, and installation of a gross pollutant trap in Bankstown, including all excavation, shoring, and backfilling.

In addition to this, it has carried out deviation of an 1800mm RCP pipe with pit chambers, sheet piling, and dewatering in Kensington, and deviation of a 300mm and 150mm wastewater pipe, including chambers, in Parramatta.

Ardee Civil's Kobelco SK380SRLC excavator
The SK380SRLC’s powerful output, combined with a limited tail swing, was a key factor is Ardee Civil’s purchasing decision.

Getting the job done

Mick has long been running Kobelco excavators – having bought his first Kobelco almost 25 years ago and utilising a number of different models in varying weight classes over the years – and recently added a 36t Kobelco SK380SRLC to his fleet.

He told EEM that the SK380SRLC’s powerful output, combined with a limited tail swing, was a key factor is his purchasing decision.

“It’s for the work we do in tight spots, which is usually complex works, and you need machines like that for the lifting power and the digging power,” he said.

“We’re actually using it on a job we’re doing at the moment, including 1800mm pipes, which is in a tight area.”

STM Trucks & Machinery North Sydney Area Manager Peter Moore said Mick had bought his first machine, a used Kobelco SK60-3, from him in November 1998, followed by a new Kobelco SK135SR in November 2002, with his latest machine, the SK380SRLC, delivered in November last year.

Mick said he has been dealing with STM for many years, noting STM supports its products with strong client services.

“There’s a relationship there and they have good service,” he said. “They look after the small guys and the big guys.”

A view inside the cab of Ardee Civil's Kobelco SK380SRLC excavator
The SK380SRLC’s spacious cabin is designed for operator comfort.

Kobelco SK380SRLC specs

The Kobelco SK380SRLC runs a 200kW Stage V Hino engine, with Kobelco advising the high-pressure common rail fuel injection system, variable-geometry turbocharger, and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system reduce particulate matter, while the large EGR cooler greatly reduces the formation of nitrogen oxide gases.

The SK380SRLC’s short radius design occupies only one highway lane, with it capable of operating effectively in narrow spaces.

Additionally, the SK380SRLC features:

  • Operator comfort – an air-tight cabin features a spacious interior, with an air-suspension seat installed as standard, while air-conditioning vents are optimally positioned, directing air flow toward the operator’s neck and back
  • Powerful performance – a maximum digging depth of 6.99m and maximum digging reach of 10.93m, bucket digging force of 208kN and arm crowding force of 139kN (Power Boost provides more power instantly)
  • Controls – a light-touch lever is designed to reduce fatigue over long working hours or continuous operations, an LCD multi-display shows information including fuel consumption, the one-touch attachment mode switch converts the hydraulic circuit and flow amount to match attachments
  • Safety – rear, left and right cameras allow the operator to confirm the safety of the worksite
  • Maintenance – the LCD multi-display shows maintenance intervals, a lower access step near the engine simplifies maintenance, a handrail on the step side provides access to the maintenance port on the upper arm, and the FOPS guard can be tilted open for window cleaning.
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