Machine Control

CDA Group Australia and C.R. Kennedy

CDA Group Australia offers its clients an integrated range of civil and concreting services, with the multi-skilled contractor having steadily grown since its establishment in 2013, carving out a strong niche in the local New South Wales Central Coast market on the back of its broadly diversified approach.

As CDA Managing Director Chad Anderson told EEM, in founding the business he had identified a gap in the market between civil and concreting providers in the area, and drawing on his background in both set about building a company capable of taking on combined packages.

Chad, who has close to two decades of experience in the industry, was also driven by the desire to take charge of his work life and cut down on the requirement to move around from job to job, allowing him to spend more time closer to home.

“I was getting tired of working away,” he explained. “I’ve seen that through my family – my father and my stepfather are both in the industry, and they work away from home a lot.

“I started out with a little 1.7t excavator, initially working on the NBN project, and from there, with that market kind of dying a little bit, branched out into doing more commercial civil projects locally.”

Having initially established CDA as a one-man operation, Chad has over the years progressively built its capabilities, and the business now spans 10 staff, along with a growing and increasingly diverse fleet of equipment, underpinning its range of services.

CDA’s service suite broadly encompasses bulk excavation, detail excavation, structure packages, sandstone retaining walls, FRP packages and concrete placement, with it also offering plant and equipment hire.

Chad told EEM that the business undertakes projects across both the public and private sectors, with previous projects having included the Warnervale storage project, Raymond Terrace Childcare Centre, Edgeworth Senior Soccer Club and Morisset High School works.

Among its current projects, CDA is undertaking works at The Glen for Women drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Wyong Creek.

“On that project, we’re doing the full concrete and civil package,” Chad said. “And then we’ve got a couple of other little projects going – we do a bit for the Central Coast Council, and also a couple of other builders here on the Central Coast and in Newcastle.”

Enhancing CDA’s capabilities, it has recently added a number of machine control technologies to its fleet, equipping its posi-track with a Leica MCP80 machine control panel running MC1 software, along with an MDS30 docking station, while it is also running an iCON gps 60 rover in conjunction with iCON site software.

Drawing on the know-how of C.R. Kennedy, the sole Leica Geosystems distributor in Australia, Chad told EEM that the equipment has bolstered CDA’s service offering, helping it to stand out in the local market.

“What we’ve been focusing on is presenting our capabilities across civil and concrete construction, separating us from the other guys here,” he commented. “And the Leica equipment is making it easier to do that.”

Chad observed that the Leica equipment has “dramatically” boosted CDA’s efficiency, allowing the contractor to tackle projects at pace, noting of his decision to integrate the equipment, “I wish I’d done it years ago.”

“With us carrying out the concreting and the civil packages for builders with the Leica equipment, it’s not only given us the accuracy, but also the efficiency, meaning we can quickly get these jobs done,” he commented.

“And then also with the rover, it’s supporting how we can supply them accurate information, and give them their reports, and the builders are liking what they see.”

C.R. Kennedy Sales Representative Joshua Smith, who has been supporting CDA over the past half year, told EEM that the equipment delivers a range of efficiency benefits, complemented by practical and easy-to-use software.

“The MC1 software encompasses a simple and intuitive user interface, with one common interface across all 3D machine control applications,” Joshua commented.

“The iCON site software also provides simple and intuitive functionality, allowing users to check depth, grade, profile or surface, along with setting out structures, or any site elements, without waiting on a surveyor.”

Chad noted that following initial training and familiarisation with the equipment, it has slotted seamlessly into CDA’s operations, while C.R. Kennedy has been on hand to provide support when needed.

“The support has been unreal,” he commented. “They’re always available via phone, and I can contact them whenever I want. I’ve got a couple of guys I can contact, and they are more than happy to give us the time of day to talk us through anything on site.

“They explain everything via phone and get back to us straight away. I’ve now also trained three guys up on site on how to use the rover, and it’s literally taken me a couple of hours to go through the basics.”

Chad described C.R. Kennedy’s approach as “more than accommodating”, pointing to both the comprehensive support already provided, and ongoing collaboration with regard to potential opportunities moving forward.

Meanwhile, looking ahead to the rest of the year and the early stages of 2022, Chad is confident that business is set to continue building, despite some of the challenges that have been presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, from a purely business point of view, when it comes to being involved in the local industry at present, he described it as “exciting times”.

“We’re booked out to January,” he said. “We’ll take on more projects throughout that time, but we’ve got a steady flow to January at the moment. We’ve only stopped for two weeks throughout the whole pandemic – other than that, we’ve been flat out.”

The MCP80 machine control panel works in conjunction with an MDS docking station (MDS10, MDS20 or MDS30), running the MC1 software platform, supporting multiple heavy construction machines.
Features include:
• Fully cable free
• Easy removal of panel
• P67 environmental rating
• One common interface across all 3D machine control applications
• Simple and intuitive user interface
• Easy installation and quick setup for operators
• Rugged design of cradle and panel
• Docking station with onboard memory
• One software for all for easier operation

The iCON gps 60 is a versatile smart antenna for all construction positioning tasks, decked out with GNSS technology and providing various integrated communication options. Its features include:
• Superior GNSS technology for maximum accuracy and reliability
• Equipped with SmartTrack+, SmartCheck+ and xRTK
• Future-proof satellite tracking – works with all existing and future satellite systems
• SmartLink – bridges RTK communication gaps up to 10 minutes
• Multipurpose GPS solution – can be used as construction site GNSS Base, Rover or NetRover, in supervisor vehicle on site and entry-level machine control mounted inside a machine, increasing machine productivity
• Unique communication flexibility – featuring integrated radio, modem and Bluetooth
• No controller required for base station setup means users need less hardware
• Unique, flexible software licensing and feature upgrade concept
• Users can order packages or individual licences when needed, investing when needed.

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