Case Study

Detailed Excavations Australia (DEA) and CJD Equipment


Detailed Excavations Australia (DEA) has been on the scene for 12 years now, after owner Sean Costello was offered an opportunity to work in the water game by one of his mates. Sean had been in the industry for a while, so when this first leg up came along, he grabbed it with both hands.

After initially planning on running a plant hire business as a one-person, one-machine operation, Sean Costello quickly realised that that approach just wasn’t going to cut it. Three years after he purchased his first machine, he bought his second, and two years after that he got his third. Seven years later, the business has grown exponentially with nearly 50 pieces of plant, including everything from 1 tonne up to 40 tonne.

Talking with Sean on site, he shared, “Today DEA has a plant hire division, a haulage division and a contracts division, where we do utilities. We’re ASP1 accredited, RMS accredited, and here we are today building our own second subdivision this year that we have built as PC, and this will be the second of many.”

Breaking into Tier 1 work

In the last five or six years, DEA has also delved considerably into Tier 1 work. Completing major infrastructure work has really changed the game for DEA.

“Successfully completing Tier 1 projects has given us credibility amongst a wide range of different clientele,” Sean shared. “We have worked on projects such as the Southwest Metro, Parramatta Light Rail, West Connex and Transport for NSW’s M6 Stage 1, just to name a few. We even worked at Garden Island through another contractor in Sydney CBD, which we enjoyed.”

Operating Sean’s 50-odd bits of plant is his much-valued team, which fluctuates between 30-40 members depending on various projects and project requirements.

“We generally float around 35 guys, and a lot of those guys have been with me for a very long time, and they are the backbone of DEA,” Sean said.

“I’m a guy that went out and got finance and bought a couple of machines – but none of it works or is successful without the team. At the end of the day, they are the guys that keep the clients happy and the machine burning, and if they’re not burning they’re not earning! It all comes down to them.”

Sean Costello with the Volvo EW60E from CJD Equipment.

Problem solving with CJD

Having a partner that is highly proactive in problem solving and getting machines back up and running as quickly as possible was of the utmost importance. It was on this proven and earnt trust that Sean’s relationship with CJD has been built.

“Our operators love climbing into Volvo machines. From the new stuff to the old stuff, no one has ever complained about working in our Volvo gear, and if my guys are happy operating Volvo gear there’s no reason they will want to get out of it,” Sean shared.

“We started in our first Volvo in 2017 in an ECR235C and it had been nothing but faultless. Still, when it hit 6,000 hours it experienced a major failure. I needed the machine urgently for another job and I thought I would be up for a fortune to have the machine repaired, along with a long downtime period. The way CJD Equipment handled the repair, warranties and turnaround time was exceptional. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. That one experience changed my whole perspective on CJD’s After Sales Support. After that, we now have seven Volvo Machines – a ECR235C, two EW60E, two ECR250E, a ECR145E and a EC300E.”

Amazing tech supplied from factory

Sean’s latest purchases were the two EC250Es, and Sean attributes its integrated tech as the main reason for their success. With whatever platform of 3D GPS, there is a machine suitable.

Sean was more than impressed with the tech support on offer. “When I first purchased my first GPS unit on the ECR145E, I was sceptical on what level of support was going to be available, but I was proved wrong. And after purchasing our third machine with the two new EC250Es, I have to say the support and the technology are both top shelf. The fact that the integrated payload On-Board Weighing (OBW) comes as standard and not an additional item is excellent.”

There’s no doubt that the tech in these new Volvo machines has been designed to be very user-friendly for the operators. It’s phenomenal what is offered to operators from 2D, 3D or simple laser. It’s pretty clear just how happy he and his operators are with the quality of the DEA Volvo fleet.

“After purchasing our third machine with the two new EC250Es, I think the support and the technology are both top shelf,” Sean said.

A blossoming relationship

Sean’s Regional Sales Manager from CJD Equipment for the Macarthur/South Coast region is Rebecca Roleski. She has only been in the role for three months, but has worked in the industry for seven years in various other roles.

“I’ve been working with Sean and DEA since my first week at CJD in August this year, taking over our last RSM/Sales Manager in a continuing relationship between CJD and DEA. DEA has now bought two 25t machines with Dig Assist and a used 30t machine from me. They already have multiple Volvo machines, including a 14t and a 6t wheeled excavator,” Rebecca said.

“So far, from my time on the ground in the new role, a lot of my customers’ feedback highlights the significance of the technology that’s standard in our latest machines. I would certainly say that Dig Assist is a great function for many customers, especially doing the work that DEA does. Having introduced Dig Assist from the factory means that you get Volvo support throughout as well, which is super exciting. We are working with partners in the software game to ensure we have the best features and that our machines are providing ultimate productivity for a longer life, while keeping those costs down over time.”

According to Rebecca, Volvo provides ultimate productivity, operator comfort and low fuel consumption. Solid and built to perform, the machines ensure there is less downtime. “DEA needs to be on-site and there to perform, and Volvo helps this get done. Our service also allows them to continue with their projects as needed.”

While there’s no doubt that Rebecca’s relationship with DEA is still blossoming as they come to understand each other and the more detailed elements of the relationship better, they both seem to be off to a great start.

“CJD is forever expanding and continuing to grow. They look at opportunities and take them with both hands,” Rebecca said.

“I am so happy that I joined such an amazing team, and I am looking forward to being a part of what is yet to come. But for everyone else, WATCH THIS SPACE. You will be just as excited.”


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